Sunderland and South Tyneside arts project Cultural Spring named one of Big Issue's 'Top 100 Changemakers' for 2020

An award-winning arts initiative has been listed among the 100 ‘changemakers’ predicted to ‘change the world’ by The Big Issue.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 3:06 pm
The Cultural Spring team, from left, Iam Burn, Michael Barrass, Georgia Shipping, Emma Horsman and Emma Scarr
The Cultural Spring team, from left, Iam Burn, Michael Barrass, Georgia Shipping, Emma Horsman and Emma Scarr

The Cultural Spring, which has brought arts and cultural projects of all shapes and sizes to the Sunderland and South Tyneside since 2014, has made The Big Issue’s Top 100 Changemakers list of “thinkers, creators and agitators who will change the world in 2020”.

The magazine is celebrating “awe-inspiring” people and groups working across the UK.

The citation reads: “From workshops for young inventors to calligraphy and creative writing, The Cultural Spring is an organisation that has helped people in Sunderland and South Tyneside to experience, be part of and be inspired by arts and culture in every form.

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The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, has named The Cultural Spring as one of 100 "changemakers predicted to make the world a better place in 2020."

“It has drawn audiences of over 11,000 to events and productions, and given 4,500 people the chance to get hands-on with arts in lively artistic workshops over the last 12 months.”

Cultural Spring’s partners include the University of Sunderland and the Customs House, South Shields. It was initially given £2million for its first three years, successfully bid for £1million for its second three-year phase in 2016, and £500,000 for another three years in 2019.

Cultural Spring project co-director Emma Scarr said: “We’re very proud that the work we do in communities across Sunderland and South Tyneside has been recognised – and we’re honoured to be in such exalted company on the list.

“We passionately believe that the work we’ve been doing since 2014 has the power to change people’s lives, and whole communities.

“We’re excited to be actively planning what we’ll be doing in Phase 3 of the project, which starts in April.

“Watch this space!”

Its projects include Sunderland’s Summer Streets festival and South Shields’ spectacular dance experience Rush.

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee, said: “This is the second time we’ve dedicated an entire edition of the magazine to celebrating 100 awe-inspiring people and organisations who we believe are changing the world in significant ways and giving us all hope for the future.”