re:imagine, the new Arts Council England funded co-creation art project for adults in the North-East of England who are looking to enter the creative industries, chose this date for their project launch at the Magic Hat Café, and what a wonderfully auspicious date it turned out to be.
Billed as an opportunity to meet the project’s community participants, the event promised interactive art activities, panel discussions, and live music, set against a backdrop of seasonal spooky on-brand re:imagine orange lighting in keeping with the mystical date.
Any trepidation about the date was quickly dispelled by project facilitator, artist Richey Henderson, as he eruditely guided the assembled guests through a night in which we learned about the role of co-creation in the arts during a panel discussion with North-East makers and community creators North Star Co-Design, ate delicious food from the talented Magic Hat kitchen, danced along to nu-soul original music from singer Georgia-May featuring Daps on keys, and networked with re:imagine partners and other prominent North-East creatives. Guests were invited to engage with several interactive art activities that asked us to contribute to the first re:imagine collective artwork, write a postcard to our future selves, and reimagine human emotions in 3-D form. All presented in re:imagine’s trademark orange signature colour of course!
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the evening was when the re:imagine community participants, four women from across the North-East keen to explore their lived experience and enter the creative industries, took to the stage to introduce themselves. There was barely a dry eye in the house as each took turn to share their hopes and dreams for the project ahead. A warm heartfelt applause from the assembled guests sealed what was indeed a reimagined, and truly magical, Friday the 13th for everyone involved.
re:imagine runs for 30-months from October 2023 to May 2025 and involves partners including ARC Stockton, Mima Middlesbrough, and the Saabat Gallery in Redcar and Cleveland. More information about the project can be found atreimagineartproject.com