Musical project aims to inspire at The Word

Project leader Jennie Brewis with Daniel Clifford, from The Customs House.
Project leader Jennie Brewis with Daniel Clifford, from The Customs House.

South Tyneside’s newest cultural venue aims to become a musical hub with a new project led by a member of one of the region’s most popular bands.

Jennie Brewis, from the Cornshed Sisters, is leading a project at The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields, which will involve workshops which explorte the art of songwriting.

The initiative will also feature some guest performances from regional singer/songwriters.

Jennie has already started the project by gathering ideas for songs from people using The Word.

She said: “Over the next few weeks I’ll be working in The Word on Saturdays and Sundays talking to people about stories then trying to work those stories into song lyrics.

“The intention is for people to see songwriting and singing as part of our culture – just the same as storytelling, poetry or writing a novel.”

Arts Council England is funding the scheme as part of the Arts in Libraries project aimed at adding arts activity into libraries.

It is managed by South Tyneside Council in partnership with The Customs House.

Daniel Clifford, who delivers the arts in libraries project on behalf of the Customs House, said: “The project aims to showcase what a flexible building The Word is and how the nature of libraries has changed. They’re now cultural hubs and not just somewhere you go to read a book in silence.”

The first ‘pop-up’ gig was held on April 1, featuring Newcastle singer songwriter Nev Clay.

Future performers will include The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde and This Little Bird singer Beccy Young.