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Articles and Blogs


Why Culture Northumberland?

by Claire Venus and Jason Thompson

27th April 2020


At the start of 2020, two creatives in two separate Northumberland places were developing an idea separately without realising.  


Claire, an engagement manager and creative producer based in Shilbottle (a village just outside Alnwick) and Jason a digital media professional based in the picturesque seaside town of Newbiggin by the Sea.  


By February 2020, they had both spoken with passion to Cultural Development Manager at Northumberland County Council Wendy Scott about their idea.


The enthusiasm for the idea was tangible and galvanised into action by our world being turned upside down by COVID-19 in April 2020.  


Culture Northumberland celebrates, showcases and connects people, places and ideas born in Northumberland, UK on a shared public platform for the first very time. 


Claire says;


"My idea for a more joined up space to connect in Northumberland creatives came from a deep love of the place I live and have built a career from.  


It also came from feeling lonely!  Working without colleagues for fifteen years, I often felt like I was outside of the party looking in through a foggy window.  


When I became a mother in 2014, the opportunities to make space for evening events and networking passed me by as I adjusted to family life.  With the way media has moved on in the last year or so, I’ve felt more connected than ever.  I wanted to create a space where EVERYONE’s welcome and a diverse set of art forms, heritage and culture is celebrated in one place.   Where people find out news, celebrate each other’s wins and join up to create projects, apply for funding and share practise.  


I am hugely excited to be working with Jason and making space and mechanisms for people to share their creative voice, past projects and how they are finding ways to work in these challenging new times.” 


Jason says;


“We live in a unique county, and although I may be biased, having lived here for 50 years, I think it’s the the place with most amazing creativity, culture and heritage. 


Its a big place, with lots going on, and part of the problem his that it can be hard to stay in touch with each other and share the good news stories, examples of best practice, and feel part of the whole cultural community. So one way to help join up the dots and connect people is with our new brand Culture Northumberland.


What we are aiming to do is take the lead from those already engaged in the organisations, events, places and spaces, and bring together as many of the strands as we can so that we can share it all. There are already great websites, social media pages, blogs, digital content and online resources. We want to help people get to it all. And part of that is listening to what you want from us - we don’t know it all!


So the new website, as well as rebranded social media such as the former Northumberland Arts News, now Culture Northumberland, will be a place for sharing not just the Arts news, opportunities, stories and links, but those for the wider cultural and heritage sectors too. It’s very early days and the start of something that we know can grow organically into an incredible resource for us all.”

Thank you for being here and sharing time and space with us on this journey and a huge thanks to Wendy Scott for believing in our ideas!



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