Award-winning arts project to help deliver South Tyneside Winter Festival Parade

The Cultural Spring is working with three local artists for the parade.

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An award-winning arts and culture project has been commissioned by South Tyneside Council to help deliver this year’s Winter Festival Parade.

The project, which is named The Cultural Spring, has previously worked with South Tyneside Council, in the summer to help deliver the South Tyneside Festival.

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For the Winter Festival Parade, The Cultural Spring has already begun working with three local artists as well as three local organisations, to help bring more colour and vibrancy to the parade.

Jenni Mac, Jo Howell and Rachel Eleanor Rooke are the three artists in question, and all three are working alongside an individual South Tyneside based business.

Jenni, who is a visual artist and poet, is working with Ocean Choices, a community interest company that works with people with learning disabilities. Jenni and the group will be making puppets and costumes for the parade.

Photographer and artist Jo is working with 7 South Shields Cubs and Beaver Group, and together they will create 20 small lanterns for the parade. Jo is also working with Age Concern Tyneside to make a larger single lantern. The lanterns will have landscape photographs of South Tyneside landmarks transferred onto them.

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Artist Rachel is working with WAVES, an additional needs children’s support group in Jarrow as well as the A LIST Group, an organisation for older people, to make decorations for the parade.

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The Cultural Spring will also be collectively working on an audio trail alongside Hive Storytellers and Men in Sheds South Tyneside.

Claire Finlay from The Cultural Spring team explained: “The idea is that people will sign up for the trail via Eventbrite. Participants will get a QR code which will then give them access to the trail – which will involve a series of doors being placed around North Marine Park. At each door there will be a different Winter Tales story – it’ll be an audio treasure hunt and we’re sure it will add to the fun on parade day.”

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The South Tyneside Winter Festival Parade, will be held on Friday, December 8, starting at 5.30pm.

The Cultural Spring have also organised a Winter Parade Craft Week, which is taking place throughout this current week (from Monday, October 30). The free workshops are being held each day at Ocean Road Community Centre.

Coun Audrey Huntley, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said: “We are delighted to have The Cultural Spring on board for this year’s Winter Parade.

“As one of the key highlights in our spectacular Christmas programme of events, the Winter Parade is always a fantastic experience for the whole family to enjoy and get in the festive spirit.

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“It’s a real celebration of community spirit with a festive feel and we hope that people will take the opportunity to get involved in the workshops that are happening over the coming weeks.

She continued: “The addition of the Winter Tales audio trail around North Marine Park is really exciting and is sure to bring extra cheer for visitors to the Parade.”