City of Dreams launch – exclusive video footage

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead on 18th September 2018.

Attended by over 220 invited guests, the two launch events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council.

You told us you wanted footage of our hosts performing their fantastic “What Is Culture?” poem, and to share the inspirational words of broadcaster Kirsty Lang, and NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues chair Iain Watson. You ask, we deliver!

Read the full post and see all the videos

Highlights of the launch 

This page has links short films from the event on our YouTube Channel, and articles about the launch in The Journal, Arts Professional and The Times.

Missed the launch event? Want a quick film to show your colleagues? Fancy hearing what VIPs, elected members, and CEOs think about City of Dreams? This is the video for you!

From chief executives and artistic directors of cultural, heritage and science organisations, to business executives, local councillors, members of the House of Lords, university vice-chancellors, charity directors, voluntary and community leaders, board members, and senior officers in local government and health services – the City of Dreams launch was full of people who make a difference to life in NewcastleGateshead.

We believe our city can be the best place to be young. The energy, commitment, and action focus, shown by all who attended give us confidence that we can make that dream a reality.

What is culture?

But where do we start? With the voices of children and young people, of course. This poem, performed by our young hosts at the opening of the VIP event, was written during 4months of consultation in our Big Culture Conversation programmes.  The poem draws together contributions of nearly 1000 under25s in NewcastleGateshead, and challenges our assumptions.

Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council have founded the City of Dreams Young Champions board, and are open to new members. If your organisation working with young people on Tyneside and wants to be involved just email

The Big Culture Conversation will run annually to 2028. 

The key notes

The VIP launch event was a packed hour of performances, short film screenings, key note speeches and a panel discussion.  Kirsty Lang made a passionate case for creativity and culture in the lives of young people, concluding by saying: “City of Dreams is about giving a voice to young people so they can tell the older generation what they want the world to look like.” Here is her speech in full:

Iain Watson gave the headlines of the City of Dreams strategy and action plan, explaining why the initiative was catalysed by NGCV and revealing the strong partnership of more than 40 organisations taking it forward for the next ten years:

Read all about it

You can read more about the launch in a number of publications, including features in The Journal, Arts Professional, and The Times.  The days following the events saw a mini-Twitter storm over, and several dozen messages of congratulations arrive at City of Dreams HQ. Here are a few examples:

“Thoroughly inspiring.”

“I’m so excited to be the parent of an 11 and 14 year old knowing there is a place in place to help them and their peers get the most out of growing up in NewcastleGateshead.”

“A phenomenal launch. The right focus on ambition and action. We’re ready to work with you.”

“Today something very exciting began – a 10year commitment to put children and young people at the heart of the city, and ensure that city is driven by creativity. I’m proud to be part of the City of Dreams.”

Stay tuned to this website, follow us on Twitter (@cityofdreamsNG), and keep your eyes and ears on BBC Newcastle – our official media partner.



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