City of Dreams launch

• Ambitious 10 year strategy aims to reach 165,000 each year
• Written with 1,000+ children & young people
• 40 partner organisations
• Plan to engage 100% of schools in Newcastle & Gateshead by 2019

An ambitious 10 year mission for every child and young person in NewcastleGateshead launched on Tuesday 18 September, aiming to earn the city a reputation as the best place to be young.

Called City of Dreams, the mission will engage 165,000 children and young people every year for the next decade, enabling everyone to take part in cultural and creative activity. It will support a generation of local children and young people to find their voice, influence decisions in the city, and grow the skills, confidence and talents to thrive.

The City of Dreams strategy has been written by almost 1,000 children and young people, and a partnership between 40 organisations led by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues – a group of 10 world class venues on Tyneside.

16 year old Andrew Adams from the Gateshead Youth Assembly said,
“City of Dreams is different because it’s for ALL children and young people in Gateshead and Newcastle, and
because young people have been involved in how it works from the start through a Big Culture Conversation which has given 1,000 under 15s the chance to plan how it will work.”

The mission was launched at a special event on 18 September, where 14 new programmes of activity were announced to support young people to be more creative, confident, skilled and active citizens.

The launch was hosted by Northern Stage. Led by young people from Newcastle Youth Council and Gateshead Youth Assembly who performed a specially commissioned poem, speakers included Kirsty Lang (broadcaster, journalist and chair of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art), Cllr Gary Haley (Gateshead Council), Cllr Kim McGuinness (Newcastle
City Council), Vee Pollock (Dean of Culture, Newcastle University), and James Ramsbotham (North East England Chamber of Commerce).

Executive Producer for City of Dreams, Ben Dickenson explains,
“NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues are delighted to be launching City of Dreams. We know that growing up
on Tyneside isn’t always easy but we firmly believe our city can earn a reputation as the best place to be young. Over the last year we’ve worked with thousands of children and young people, and organisations in the arts, education, community, health, and science sectors, to come up with plans that can make a real difference to the lives of under 25s.”

Initiatives announced at the launch include:
• Make Something Brilliant, a citywide programme of creative activities for all ages
• Projects supporting 1,000+ young people to pursue creative careers
• A long-term research partnership with Newcastle University
• Plans to engage 100% of schools in Newcastle and Gateshead by July 2019
• The Our City, Our Story programme to give young people a platform to share their stories about the city

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