Community groups could scoop a £1,000 cash grant for cultural events

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Grants of up to £1,000 are being offered to community groups in South Tyneside who are looking to deliver a new cultural event or activity.

Your Art is a scheme run by the Cultural Spring - an Arts Council funded project working to increase engagement in the arts in the borough and Sunderland - which aims to support local communities to shape, lead and programme arts events.

Over the past three years, the Cultural Spring has invested nearly £53,000 in local communities through the scheme.

Applications for the latest round of Your Art can now be submitted and support is available to contract an artist or arts organisation; pay for travel and accommodation costs to develop a relationship with an artist or arts organisation, or cover the cost of taking a community group to see artwork or events.

Emma Horsman,project director for the Cultural Spring, said: “We want the Cultural Spring to have a lasting legacy within our wards, and believe Your Art will help to sustain participation in arts activity, as well as providing the opportunity for people to try something new.

“There are two stages of support. The first stage can be funding of up to £400, which can be made available to get new projects off the ground. Stage two is for more developed projects and up to £1,000 could be available.

“Applications must include a brief proposal including a timetable, and a budget.”

To be eligible for a grant, those applying must live or work in Sunderland or South Tyneside and be part of a community association or an informal, un-constituted group with a bank account. The idea must be arts focused, and must be something new – support will not be given to existing groups to continue the same activity. And the application must come from the group who will benefit from the activity, and not from an artist who may deliver the activity.

Groups to have benefitted include the Happy at Home befriending service in South Tyneside, which received £750; Sangini, a women’s health organisation and Compass A Capella, a Cleadon singing group.

The deadline for this latest round of support is March 31.

Proposals will be assessed on a range of criteria including how the activity relates to the ambitions of the Cultural Spring programme, especially providing new opportunities to engage in the arts.

Applications will be assessed by a panel of five residents.

Proposals should be sent to YourArt@theculturalspring.org.uk or to Michael Barrass – Michael.Barrass@theculturalspring.org.uk - at the Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields, NE33 1ES.