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Our City Our Story

25th February 2019

• The first event of its kind - a powerful insight into growing up on Tyneside
• Taking place at Live Theatre, Thursday 7th March 2019, 1pm-6pm
• Showcasing stories made by 11,000 children & young people
• Involving 40 arts, culture, education and community partners
• Panel discussion with local politicians, chaired by comedian Mark Thomas

City of Dreams is bringing a new kind of event to NewcastleGateshead. Our City Our Story is a landmark occasion, giving under25s a platform to tell their own stories and shape the future of the city. The event showcases stories made by more than 11,000 children and young people, bringing together dozens of films, poems, animations, performances, virtual reality, alternative city maps, and interactive
exhibitions. Almost every geography and demographic in the city are represented, in an eye-opening experience that provides a powerful new insight into growing up in NewcastleGateshead. Featuring contributions from 40 arts, culture and community organsiations,

Our City Our Story will be hosted at Live Theatre on 7th March 2019, between 1pm and 6pm.

Organised by City of Dreams, supported by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, the event is a platform
for children and young people to share the things that matter to them. A team of young producers have designed the event programme, which will take over the Live Theatre building, featuring – among others:

• Fed Up, a new play about food poverty by Live Youth Theatre
• I Am The City, a film made by young people from West Newcastle with New Writing North
• a virtual reality experience about living in care, produced by Curious Monkey
• Mapping The City, drawing made by 1000s of young people with Northumbria University

The event concludes with a special session for VIPs, including a panel discussion chaired by comedian Mark Thomas. Panel members include Cllr Gary Haley (cabinet member, Gateshead Council), Cllr Nora Casey (cabinet member, Newcastle City Council), and Vee Pollock (Dean of Culture, Newcastle University). Taking place for the first time in 2019 and repeating every year to 2028, Our City Our Story is part of City of Dream’s ambitious 10year mission to make NewcastleGateshead the best place to be young. Looking forward to the event Mark Thomas said, “City of Dreams is a great initiative. Every young person should have access to cultural activity, no matter how much money is in their pocket or their mum’s purse. I’m looking forward to joining in with Our City Our Story at Live Theatre.”

Executive Producer for City of Dreams, Ben Dickenson, explains, “Statistics tell us 32% of children on Tyneside grow up in poverty, the percentage in care is high, a third experience mental ill health. But to know what it’s really like to be young in our city you need to listen to young people. No one has brought so many of their stories together before.”

Artistic Director of Live Theatre, Joe Douglas added, “Everyone at Live Theatre is buzzing about hosting Our City, Our Story. City of Dreams can change the game. It is hugely ambitious but entirely possible. If the imagination and creative thinking of every young person in Newcastle and Gateshead is nourished and encouraged it can transform the adults that they become.”

Event curator Annalis Burratti said, “Producing this event has been an amazing experience. We had dozens of submissions, from virtual reality films, to plays, to music, to art works, even arcade machines. They show the fantastic things young people can make, and together they tell us about the issues that matter to them: poverty, discrimination, abuse, exploitation, gender, growing up in care.”

For more information visit the Our City Our Story blog page 

Download the eflyer

or visit Live Theatre's Blog


Our young hosts performing their poem “what is culture?” at the CoD Launch



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