A pop-up shop is to open in the Bridges to showcase the work of an award-winning arts project.
The Bridges has generously donated a unit to the Cultural Spring for a six-week period. The Cultural Spring is an Arts Council funded project working to increase engagement in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside.
The shop will be used to showcase the project’s work over the past three years and to find out what art forms Wearsiders may be interested in over the Cultural Spring’s next three years. The shop will also be used as a platform for local artists and performers, and to highlight the city’s bid to become City of Culture 2021.
Michael Barrass, project co-ordinator at the Cultural Spring, said: “We’re really grateful to the Bridges for their generosity. The shop will be hosting our first three years exhibition which shows the work we’ve been doing in our original ten wards over the project’s first three years.
“The exhibition includes original work produced as well as videos of the many events we’ve organised or supported since 2014.
“We’re also programming workshops and performances into the unit. Sunderland College, for instance, will be showcasing visual and performing artists – there’ll be music from some of their students, and paintings and photographs will be on show too.
“We’re also working with Sunderland Symphony Orchestra and other artists, artistic groups and performers from throughout Sunderland and South Tyneside. We’re aiming to have something on every day, and will be paying particular attention to the Easter holidays when we’ll be putting on workshops for young people.
“We’ll also be giving space to Sunderland’s 2021 City of Culture team so they can gather more support for the bid.
“We’re also grateful to the Parker Trust, based in Pallion, who’ve given us some ‘upcycled’ furniture to use in the shop.”
Andy Bradley, Centre Manager for the Bridges, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support and promote the work of the Cultural Spring. We’ve been aware of the work they’ve been doing in Sunderland and South Tyneside and we’re excited to be part of such a successful and ambitious project.
“There’s a real cultural momentum building in Sunderland – hopefully toward a successful City of Culture 2021 bid – and we’re only too pleased to be playing a meaningful part in that. We hope the pop-up shop is a success and we urge Bridges customers to pop in, watch the performances or take part in a workshop.”
The Cultural Spring exhibition has already been on display at The Customs House in South Shields where it was seen by hundreds of visitors. The pop-up in the Bridges will be in Crowtree Mall, opposite Top Shop, near Debenhams.
Over the next three years the Cultrual Spring will be moving into new wards which are Hendon, Millfield, Pallion, Sandhill and St Anne’s in Sunderland; and Horsley Hill, Beacon and Bents, Simonside and Rekendyke, Monkton and Bede in South Tyneside. The project’s three partners are the University of Sunderland; The Customs House in South Shields and the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust.
For more information go to The Cultural Spring website www.theculturalspring.org.uk