Arts scheme aims to spread a little happiness

APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS & Corinne Kilvington with one of the memory pods.
APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS & Corinne Kilvington with one of the memory pods.

A NEW arts project is aiming to spread a little happiness across South Tyneside.

The scheme, called Bring the Happy, starts this month, and it will ask people to tell them their stories about places they associate with happy memories.

Each memory related will then be recorded on a happiness map to form part of a digital archive of happiness from around the world.

Bring the Happy is the fourth commission by the Cultural Spring, a three-year Arts Council-funded project working to increase engagement in the arts in 10 council wards in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

It will end with live music shows at Sunderland University’s North Shore venue late next month.

Project organisers are now looking for volunteers to help collect memories at permanent and mobile installations, known as pods, across the borough.

Project co-ordinator Corinne Kilvington said: “We’ll have installations in the old Riddicks shoe shop in Fowler Street, South Shields, and at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, where the installation will be available at weekends starting from January 24.

“The pod will start at Sea Road, Fulwell, on January 20, then move to Front Street in Cleadon on January 26, then Station Approach at East Boldon on February 2, before moving to Boldon Village Hall on February 9.

“We’ve had a good response to our appeal for volunteers for the project, but we do need more.

“We’re looking for friendly, approachable people who like a chat and would enjoy gathering stories from people.

“We’re looking for people who could perhaps give us a day here or there.

“We will be paying basic expenses to cover meals, and volunteers will also get a free ticket to one of the live shows.

“It’s a really exciting project, and I’m sure volunteers will enjoy their time with us.

“The permanent installations will be receiving memories until February 19, and the live shows will be at North Shore on February 26, 27 and 28.”

To volunteer, contact Corinne at corinne@invisibleflock.com or ring her on 07960 838434.

The 10 Cultural Spring wards are Biddick Hall and All Saints, Whitburn and Marsden, Boldon, Cleadon, and Whiteleas in South Tyneside, and Castletown, Roker and St Peter’s, Red House, Southwick and Fulwell in Sunderland.

To find out more about the Cultural Spring project, go to www.theculturalspring.org.uk

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki