City of Dreams belongs to everyone.

We’re bringing people together to make our city the best place to be young.

We’re working with a wide range of people and organisations across Newcastle and Gateshead, and beyond. If you’re involved the arts, culture, heritage, science or education sectors. If you work with children, young people or families. If you’re a leader in your community, council or business…

…then this is the page where you can hear about why, what and how we’re doing with City of Dreams.

We’re engaging every child and young person in Newcastle and Gateshead, enabling them to have a powerful voice in decisions in their city, and growing their skills, talents and confidence.

Read on to find out more.

A week of special events showcasing opportunities for young people is coming to Tyneside – 18th to 22nd November

Which industry is worth £100 billion to the UK economy?

Which industry employs 3 million people across the country?

Which industry has jobs in film, radio, TV, drama, visual art, gallery management, heritage, archeology, music, dance as well as finance, admin, marketing, design, building managenment, joinery, and even technical and digitial roles?

Yes! The creative industry. And here on Tyneside, we are making more new creative sector jobs and careers than almost anywhere. We can proudly boast the fastest growing creative economy in the country. So why should young people consider a creative industry job?

read the full blog post here

Read moreDiscover! Creative Careers on Tyneside


Why should you support young people to get creative? How can it help their confidence, grow their skills and develop new careers?

In this new blog Kate Murphy explains why she’s supporting Creative Careers week 2019 – taking place 18-22nd November – and tells her story of getting into creativity with The Suggestibles.

Creativity? As Kate says, “we’d be fools to underestimate it”.


An online search of ‘things to do in Newcastle’ brought me to improvisation at 17 years old. The page I opened in the second step of this search told me of a comedy show at The Cumberland Arms in Byker, and it was performed by a local group called The Suggestibles. “They ask the audience for suggestions as they perform,” I told my drama teacher at school the next day, revelling in its simplicity. “And then that’s what they do onstage: what the audience have said. They make it up as they go along.” It was so simple that it bordered on dangerous. Not only were The Suggestibles inviting a roomful of beer-moustached adults to be their co-writers (daring enough already), it was also their only plan for the show. There was no back-up. No rehearsal. No script. They make it up as they go along. That was it.

Read the full blog post

Read moreCreative Careers – supporting the next generation

The North East’s only free culture crawl for 12-17year olds returns to Tyneside on 17th and 18th May  

Twi-Lates brings together some of the region’s most iconic venues to put on two nights of special events for teenagers in NewcastleGateshead. From big budget films, to silent discos, improvisation games, music workshops, animation making and mass participation dancing, Twi-Lates is packed with events designed for young people. 

The events take place during “twilight”, between 4pm and 7pm, when teenagers tell us they are able to come along without the rest of life getting in the way. Twi-Lates runs on the 17th and 18th May, immediately before The Late Shows – NewcastleGateshead’s award winning late-night culture crawl involving over 60 venues. And, because we know the cost of getting stuck into culture can exclude some young people, every Twi-Late event is completely free.

Here the fantastic Lissie Connor from Dance City talks all things Twi-Lates, City of Dreams and dance. 

The full line-up of Twi-Lates events, with information for what the venues will be doing, can be found in The Late Shows listings: The Late Shows listings.


Find out about Twi-Lates events:

Friday 17 May, 4-7pmOuseburn:
Seven Stories
Victoria Tunnel
Brinkburn St Brewery, Bar & Kitchen

Saturday 18 May, 4-7pmNewcastle:
Alphabetti Theatre
Dance City (5-7pm)
Good Space – Commercial Union House
Newcastle Castle
Tyneside Cinema
Hatton Gallery
Newcastle Library

Saturday 18 May, 4-7pm – Gateshead:
Cotfield Mirrors at St Cuthbert’s Church
Gateshead Library
Shipley Art Gallery

 

Want to know more: read our full blog post about the Twi-Lates here


 

The North East’s only free culture crawl for 12-17year olds returns to Tyneside on 17th and 18th May – and with twice the fun! 

Twi-Lates brings together some of the region’s most iconic venues to put on two nights of special events for teenagers in NewcastleGateshead. From big budget films, to silent discos, improvisation games, music workshops, animation making and mass participation dancing, Twi-Lates is packed with events designed for young people. 

The events take place during “twilight”, between 4pm and 7pm, when teenagers tell us they are able to come along without the rest of life getting in the way. Twi-Lates runs on the 17th and 18th May, immediately before The Late Shows – NewcastleGateshead’s award winning late-night culture crawl involving over 60 venues. And, because we know the cost of getting stuck into culture can exclude some young people, every Twi-Late event is completely free.

Read the full post

Read moreA free evening of culture for teenagers? We’ve got 2!

Reflections on the Our City Our Story event by Helen Green, Children and Young People’s Team Lead at Live Theatre.

A few days have passed, the rooms are back to normal, chairs – tables – sofas returned to their usual place. A few flyers now tucked into racks remain the only physical trace that Our City Our Story occurred on the 7th of March here at Live Theatre.

To be honest a year ago when we blithely said – ‘Aye go on, yeah we’ll host something’ nobody really knew what Live Theatre had agreed too. What was understood by Tech, by Front of House, by Senior Management, by every department was that the theatre would be welcoming a whole load of young peoples voices into the building. Giving a platform; to say some stuff about what they think – about being a young person, growing up in this city. Why would we not? Telling stories is Live Theatre’s bread and butter.

Read the full post

Read more“Some roared, some whispered, all were important” – the magic of Our City Our Story


Be bold and reap the rewards of a new approach to audience development, argues Laura Rothwell, founder of CRYSTLSD and interim Marketing Director at Tyneside Cinema.

In this blog Laura explains why and how cultural venue marketing teams can do things differently, sharing learning from the recent X-Culture pilot and publishing the full project report.


Over the past few months CRYSTLSD has been leading an innovative programme called X-Culture, testing new approaches to engaging young people in cultural, creative and heritage offers.  

At the City of Dreams launch event in September 2018, we outlined how, through a small pilot project, we would attempt to demonstrate how relationships with a younger audience could be rethought. 

Read full blog post

Read moreIt’s time to be bold, it’s time for X-Culture

 

29 films, 15 performances, a dozen exhibits, 4 hours of music – 11,000 voices 

On 7th March 2019 City of Dreams brought a new kind of event to NewcastleGateshead. Featuring films, music, dramatic performances, interactive exhbits, 360degree films, visual arts instalations and even an arcade machine, Our City Our Story presented stories of growing up on Tyneside from 11,000 children and young people.

Taking over Live Theatre for the day, the event was programmed by young people and every piece of work on show was made by and about under25s in our city. Every demographic and geography of NewcastleGateshead was represented.

Over 500 members of the public came to hear what life is really like for children and young people. More than 150 VIP decision-makers attended a closing session where issues emerging from the event were debated, with topics including poverty, gender innequality, discrimination and expriences of the care system.

We feel everyone should have the chance to find out more about the event, and what young people in our city are saying about their lives. With so much to see and hear, we’ve been wondering about the best way to share it with you. We will be posting videos and photos on this blog soon, but in the meantime have a look at the amazing images createdx by Georgie Mosley, our “graphic recorder” for the day.

What’s a “graphic recorder”? And why have we worked with one to capture what came out of Our City Our Story? Our partners at Newcastle University exlain all.

Read the full post and see the graphic record of the event


Graphic recording – what and why

As part of NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues City of Dreams initiative, Our City Our Story provides a significant platform for young people in Newcastle and Gateshead to express their experiences of growing up in the region.

Through a wide range of creative approaches, and working with multiple partners, the event relays some of the challenges and issues young people face, as well as their thoughts on broader social and political issues. Brought together in a collective form it is a very powerful event to experience.

Our City Our Story itself is a form of document, but we thought it was also important to capture the event itself – the conversations and themes running through the day – to provide a vehicle for reflection and catalyst for further discussion.

We felt it was important to do this in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking, and which could be easily shared. We were delighted that Georgie Mosley from Inky Thinking was able to be with us, and we are sure her work will encourage those who were at the event, and others, to continue the conversations the young people of NewcastleGateshead have started.

Vee Pollock – Dean of Culture and Creative Practice, Newcastle University


Graphic record 1 – what happened at Our City Our Story?

Here’s what Georgie saw at the event. This fantastic image capture so many of the words, images, moments, themes and experiences at Our City Our Story. Enjoy!

City Of Dreams


Graphic record 2 – the debate

The VIP session of Our City Our Story was designed to shape the thinking of senior decision makers in local councils, health services, education, communities, business and transport. Our young event programmers wanted those in charge of the city to know what life was like for them and to make better decisions that could improve the local story of childhood in the future.

Here Georgie has captured the themes and key points of that discussion. It makes interesting reading!

QA


Stay tuned to this website, or follow us on Twitter (@cityofdreamsNG) to hear more about Our City Our Story and what happens next.

Join us on March 7th to hear 11,000 stories of growing up on Tyneside 

Our City Our Story is a brand new kind of event, offering a powerful insight into what it’s like to be young in NewcastleGateshead. Bringing together stories made by 11,000 children and young people, Our City Our Story is taking over Live Theatre from 1pm-6pm on 7th March.

Organised by City of Dreams, produced by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and curated by a team of young programmers, the event brings together music, film, dance, theatre, arcade machines, virtual reality, interactive exhibits, and more, to offer a unique one-off experience.

More that 40 arts, culture and community partners have contributed things made by and about young people in our city. Almost every geography and constituency is included, and young people themselves are at the heart of planning and running the event. Our Young Champions board will be your hosts and guides…

…and they want to tell you more about what you can see at the event. Over the next few days we’ll be posting some videos of them talking about the exciting things happening at Our City Our Story.

Here’s Young Champion Eddie telling you what the event is all about. There will be a whole load of interactive exhibits from people like L:ink, Northern Stage, The Princes Trust, Northumbria University, Konnect and Curious Monkey.

 


Our City Our Story is open to the public between 1pam and 6pm on Thursday 7th March, at Live Theatre. More details can be found here.

If you’re a decision-maker in the city you may be able to join us at the special VIP closing event, including a panel discussion chaired by comedian Mark Thomas. Find out more here, or email here.

For more updates follow us @cityofdreamsNG.

 

 

Join us on March 7th to hear 11,000 stories of growing up on Tyneside 

Our City Our Story is a brand new kind of event, offering a powerful insight into what it’s like to be young in NewcastleGateshead. Bringing together stories made by 11,000 children and young people, Our City Our Story is taking over Live Theatre from 1pm-6pm on 7th March.

Organised by City of Dreams, produced by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and curated by a team of young programmers, the event brings together music, film, dance, theatre, arcade machines, virtual reality, interactive exhibits, and more, to offer a unique one-off experience.

More that 40 arts, culture and community partners have contributed things made by and about young people in our city. Almost every geography and constituency is included, and young people themselves are at the heart of planning and running the event. Our Young Champions board will be your hosts and guides…

…and they want to tell you more about what you can see at the event. Over the next few days we’ll be posting some videos of them talking about the exciting things happening at Our City Our Story.

Here’s Young Champions Andrew and Kay telling you what the event is all about. There will be nearly 5hours of film showings, including films from Konnect, New Writing North, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Youth Focus North East, Newcastle Arts Team, Dynamix, Tyneside Cinema, and many many more.

 


Tomorrow…

Visit our blog pages again to hear Eddie tell you about the exhbitions you can see at the event. 


Our City Our Story is open to the public between 1pam and 6pm on Thursday 7th March, at Live Theatre. More details can be found here.

If you’re a decision-maker in the city you may be able to join us at the special VIP closing event, including a panel discussion chaired by comedian Mark Thomas. Find out more here, or email here.

For more updates follow us @cityofdreamsNG.

 

 

Join us on March 7th to hear 11,000 stories of growing up on Tyneside 

Our City Our Story is a brand new kind of event, offering a powerful insight into what it’s like to be young in NewcastleGateshead. Bringing together stories made by 11,000 children and young people, Our City Our Story is taking over Live Theatre from 1pm-6pm on 7th March.

Organised by City of Dreams, produced by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and curated by a team of young programmers, the event brings together music, film, dance, theatre, arcade machines, virtual reality, interactive exhibits, and more, to offer a unique one-off experience.

More that 40 arts, culture and community partners have contributed things made by and about young people in our city. Almost every geography and constituency is included, and young people themselves are at the heart of planning and running the event. Our Young Champions board will be your hosts and guides…

…and they want to tell you more about what you can see at the event. Over the next few days we’ll be posting some videos of them talking about the exciting things happening at Our City Our Story.

Here’s Young Champion Sylvia telling you what the event is all about. There will be several hours of live music, including performances from CoMusica, Turn Up The Quiet, Hotspur Primary School, Melody Sproates and Reality Boots.


Tomorrow…

Visit our blog pages again to hear Andrew and Kay tell you about the films you can see at the event. 


Our City Our Story is open to the public between 1pam and 6pm on Thursday 7th March, at Live Theatre. More details can be found here.

If you’re a decision-maker in the city you may be able to join us at the special VIP closing event, including a panel discussion chaired by comedian Mark Thomas. Find out more here, or email here.

For more updates follow us @cityofdreamsNG.

 

 

Join us on March 7th to hear 11,000 stories of growing up on Tyneside 

Our City Our Story is a brand new kind of event, offering a powerful insight into what it’s like to be young in NewcastleGateshead. Bringing together stories made by 11,000 children and young people, Our City Our Story is taking over Live Theatre from 1pm-6pm on 7th March.

Organised by City of Dreams, produced by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and curated by a team of young programmers, the event brings together music, film, dance, theatre, arcade machines, virtual reality, interactive exhibits, and more, to offer a unique one-off experience.

More that 40 arts, culture and community partners have contributed things made by and about young people in our city. Almost every geography and constituency is included, and young people themselves are at the heart of planning and running the event. Our Young Champions board will be your hosts and guides…

…and they want to tell you more about what you can see at the event. Over the next few days we’ll be posting some videos of them talking about the exciting things happening at Our City Our Story.

Here’s Young Champion Josh telling you what the event is all about.

And here he is again, with four other Champions, telling you why you should come along:


Tomorrow…

Visit our blog pages again to hear Sylvia tell you about the music you can enjoy at the event.


Our City Our Story is open to the public between 1pam and 6pm on Thursday 7th March, at Live Theatre. More details can be found here.

If you’re a decision-maker in the city you may be able to join us at the special VIP closing event, including performances from Brash, Curious Monkey and Live Youth Theatre, a performances from Dance City, films from New Writing North, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Unfolding Theatre and Northumbria University’s Mapping The City. All finished off with a panel discussion involving special guests and chaired by comedian Mark Thomas. Find out more here, or email here.

For more updates follow us @cityofdreamsNG.

 

 

 


Join us on March 7th for a completely new kind of event, giving a powerful insight into growing up on Tyneside.


Our City Our Story is happening for the first time on March 7th 2019. Organised by City of Dreams, and hosted by Live Theatre, this unique event showcases stories made by more than 11,000 children and young people living in NewcastleGateshead.

Running 1pm to 6pm, and featuring work from more than 50 collaborators, this is an afternoon full of film, theatre, music, poetry, animation, art, virtual reality, photography, alternative city maps, interactive exhibits, and more.  All brought to a close by a panel discussion hosted by comedian Mark Thomas.

Our City Our Story is a new kind of event, a platform for young people to tell their own stories in the ways they want them told.  

read the full blog post

Read more11,000 voices – this is Our City, this Our Story

 


In our first blog of 2019, Eclipse Enabler Degna Stone argues there is no “one size fits all” solution to under-representation of black people in the cultural sector. 

Access, money, governance, workforce development, all need urgent attention from the leaders of our creative institutions. 


I’m an Enabler. An odd title but one that perfectly sums up what my job entails. Enabling artists to build relationships that will help them to create sustainable careers in the arts. I do this through Slate: Black · Arts · World, an ambitious cross-artform development programme run by Eclipse to support Black* artists across the north of England by increasing access to local, national and international networks.

Read the full blog post

Read moreA workforce that represents the changing face of Britain? We’re still playing catch up.

 


In November City of Dreams brought together arts, culture and heritage organisations to discuss how we can best support children and young people’s progression over the next decade.

Here we share some of the presentations, films and ideas shared at the event, alongside examples of pledges made by our guests to improve future progression opportunities for under25s.


More than 30 organisations attended the seminar, hosted by Sage Gateshead on November 27th. These ranged from large cultural and heritage institutions, to statutory providers of creative activities, to youth sector partners, education services and independent arts organisations.  “It’s not often that we get the chance to come together and talk in this open and honest way”, commented an attendee from a cultural venue in Newcastle. “There’s so much good stuff happening”, said a colleague from a statutory education provider, “it’s so useful to hear what everyone is doing”.

“I’m inspired to do more and better”, added the learning director of a local science and heritage charity. And what was it that inspired them so much?

Read the full blog post.

Read moreTaking on the progression challenge – presentations and pledges

 


City of Dreams believes NewcastleGateshead can earn a reputation as the best place to be young. We can only make this ambition a reality if children and young have a powerful voice in our city.

Earlier this year Unfolding Theatre invented an exciting new way to give young people a powerful say in the future of our society. It is called MultiVerse Arcade, and over 3000 people took part.

We’re delighted that Artistic Director Annie Rigby, and Associate Artist Gary Lydon, have taken time out to tell us all about it.


Multiverse Arcade, an installation made with and for young people, welcomed 16,701 people through its doors.

Multiverse Arcade was created in collaboration with 51 young people at Young Writers’ City at Excelsior Academy (run by New Writing North) and Queen’s Hall Youth Theatre in Hexham. They worked with us at Unfolding Theatre to explore their feelings, concerns and dreams for the future. The piece they helped create was presented as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Read full blog post

Read moreMultiverse Arcade – young people making waves

 


City of Dreams is working with young people on Tyneside to explore new ways for cultural venues to communicate with under25s.


During the 2018 Big Culture Conversation we spoke to nearly 1000 under25s on Tyneside. 9-in-10 of them could identifs cultural organisations in NewcastleGateshead by their logo or the facia of their buildings. But only 1-in-5 knew what was on offer for them in those venues. The vast majority did not read venue brochures, visit organisation’s websites, or follow them on social media.

As for venues promoting via young people’s peer-to-peer communication tools, well, that was an absolute no-no. Worse still, around 66% of those taking part in the Conversation did not think they “belonged” in cultural venues. Whilst nearly 8-in-10 said the use of organisational brands, or artform terms, on promotional material made them feel less confident about engaging.

Read full blog post

Read moreCommunicating with children and young people – new report, new ideas

 


City of Dreams is bringing arts, culture and heritage organisations together on 27th November to discuss how we can best support children and young people’s progression over the next decade.

Places are filling fast. Don’t miss out!

Ahead of the seminar here are some thoughts about progression from our Executive Producer, Ben Dickenson.


When City of Dreams launched in September we made the bold claim that NewcastleGateshead can be the best place to be young. Bold, but not idle and not plucked from a marketer’s handbook. This ambition was set by our Champions network of over 50 organisations, and our belief that it can be achieved was affirmed during our Big Culture Conversation with nearly 1000 under25s across the city.

Read the full blog post.

Read moreAgents of humanity – taking on the progression challenge

 


Under 25? Live in Gateshead or Newcastle?

Want to tell your own story? Want to be heard by those in charge of our city?

Get involved with the Our City Our Story event.


Our City Our Story is a special annual event, happening for the first time on March 7th 2019. It is a powerful way for young people to share their stories and shape the future. It is a chance to show the world what it’s really like growing up on Tyneside, and to have those stories heard by people who make the big decisions about our city.

read the full blog post

Read moreIt’s your city, it’s your story – tell it!

 


A call out from the City of Dreams Young Champions Board

Make your voice heard – take part in one of our consultation workshops


City of Dreams is a 10year mission for all children and young people in Newcastle and Gateshead. We want our city to be know as the best place to be young.

We’ve brought together museums, galleries, cinemas, music and dance venues, theatres, science centres, a centre for children’s books, and lots of other organisations that do creative things with under25s. Also involved are charities, schools, universities, councils, health services, transport, businesses, and more.  We have exciting plans to help everyone under25 in our city take part in creative activity – that’s 165,000 people, every year, till 2028. Plans to support children and young people grow skills, confidence and talent. Plans to work with young people so they have a strong voice in decisions about our city.

In fact, listening to young people is one of the most important things we will be doing. And that is where you come in!

Read full blog post

Read moreThe Big Culture Conversation 2019 – we want to talk!


learn the tools for a career in producing with Newcastle’s award winning puppetry and alternative theatre organisation

by Kerrin Tatman, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Moving Parts


Engaging young people in the work we do at Moving Parts Arts is essential to the growth of the North East visual theatre scene and to develop a pool of upcoming producers and arts administrators. There are few avenues in the North East region for young people to enter the world of producing, programming and event organisation and we are thrilled to have partnered with City of Dreams to start creating real opportunities for young people to enter this rewarding field of work.

Read the full blog post

Read moreAgainst the odds and bordering on crazy? Maybe. But yes YOU CAN!

 


By Laura Rothwell

Founder of arts and culture marketing agency CRYSTLSD and Interim Director of Marketing at Tyneside Cinema


Over the next six months CRYSTLSD will be leading an innovative City of Dreams pilot programme, testing new approaches to engaging young people in cultural, creative and heritage offers.    

This blog – the first in a series by CRYSTSD founder, Laura Rothwell – recaps the bold assertions underpinning this programme, initially presented at the City of Dreams launch event in September 2018. Laura challenges the received wisdom of marketing approaches often employed by cultural and heritage organisations. She calls for a more intelligent segmentation of ‘younger audiences’, and outlines how the CRYSTLSD pilot programme with City of Dreams will test a relationship-based engagement model that can reshape the way our marketing teams work and transform how our sectors communicate with young people.

Read full blog post

Read moreLet’s talk about “younger audiences”

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.

Among our guests were supporters from Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Newcastle University, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Gillian Dickinson Trust, the Community Foundation of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, The Prince’s Trust, BBC Newcastle, Curious Arts, VInspired, Esh Group, Moving Parts: Newcastle Puppetry Festival, and more.

Read the full post and see all the videos

Read moreCity of Dreams – our supporters and partners

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

Read moreCity of Dreams launch – exclusive video footage

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

Taking place at Northern Stage, and attended by over 220 invited guests, the events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council. Speakers included broadcaster Kirsty Lang, local councillors, the chair of NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and representatives of City of Dreams research, business, charity and cultural partners.  

Read the full post and see all the pictures

Read moreCity of Dreams launch – in pictures

A week of special events showcasing opportunities for young people is coming to Tyneside - 18th to 22nd November Which industry is worth £100 billion to the UK economy? Which industry employs 3 million people across the country? Which industry has jobs in film, radio, TV, drama, visual art, gallery management, heritage, archeology, music, dance as well as …
Why should you support young people to get creative? How can it help their confidence, grow their skills and develop new careers? In this new blog Kate Murphy explains why she's supporting Creative Careers week 2019 - taking place 18-22nd November - and tells her story of getting into creativity with The Suggestibles. Creativity? As Kate says, …

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