East Durham Creates

Former mining communities enjoying culture from the ground up
Everything There Ever Was at Crimdon Dene
Everything There Ever Was at Crimdon Dene
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
Everything There Ever Was at Crimdon Dene
Everything There Ever Was at Crimdon Dene
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
If These Walls Could Talk in Horden
If These Walls Could Talk in Horden
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
VoiceOver connecting neighbours together in Horden
VoiceOver connecting neighbours together in Horden
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
Night of Neon and That at Dawdon Youth and Community Centre
Night of Neon and That at Dawdon Youth and Community Centre
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
Pirates of Crimdon Dene
Pirates of Crimdon Dene
Photo: Richard Kenworthy
If These Walls Could Talk in Horden
If These Walls Could Talk in Horden
Photo: Richard Kenworthy

Where: East Durham
With: East Durham Creates is based at East Durham Trust in Peterlee and managed by a group of partners – East Durham Trust, Beamish Museum, East Durham Area Action Partnership and Culture and Sport, Durham County Council. In 2018 East Durham Trust became the lead organisation for the project.

“During the last three years we have witnessed how art and culture can make a valuable contribution to transforming the lives of local people – we look forward to taking the vision of a sustained arts provision to the next level.” Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive of East Durham Trust 

East Durham Creates, which aims to increase opportunities for residents of East Durham to get creative and involved in arts and culture, was first established in 2014 and has already engaged over 50,000 people in experiencing arts and culture.

Beginning its second phase in 2017, East Durham Creates has continued to develop a programme of activity by and for the local community. This has included major commissions with targeted participants (families with young children in 2017/18, older adults in 2018/19 and young people aged 13-25 in 2019/20) which have culminated in large scale events such as ‘Everything There Ever Was’ in Crimdon Dene and ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ in Horden. These events engaged more than 6,500 people as audience and over 400 people as participants.

Smaller local commissions and projects have ranged from original musical theatre called Tangent which has begun to tour, an East Durham based Creative Age project, talent development for local artists culminating in an arts market, a spray project, work linking in local authority projects like Apollo 50 and Brass, a project working with resettled young people and more.

Local community centres have also been supported to programme theatre performances and other cultural events, increasing their offer as a venue as part of Cultural Hubs.

"The project has brought performers to our community centre who are so passionate about their art and that local people would never be able to see otherwise. It actually brought me to tears. Now that's a feat in itself.” Irene Waller, Eastlea Community Centre

East Durham Creates is working towards a long-term vision where by 2024 it will have created ways for the arts to contribute to the cultural wellbeing of local people and made a difference to the area.

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK from Maxy Bianco on Vimeo.