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Create/Disrupt is a new programme for artists, aspiring arts workers, makers and producers who have not had formal training or undertaken a degree and are interested in pursuing a career in the arts. The 2023-24 cohort will undertake workshops with practitioners, go on trips and take on a shared studio space at The NewBridge Project.

Graphic of black background with lilac capitalised text reading Create Disrupt

Create/Disrupt is a strand of Artist Development for aspiring artists and art workers who have not been to university. It is made up of a diverse group of people from across the North East with a shared desire to have a career in the arts and to meet likeminded folk with similar experiences.

It aims to provide opportunities to develop personal creative practices through a workshopped and studio environment, whilst opening up access to art spaces and networks for its members. Create/Disrupt intends to create a network of aspiring artists and arts workers who are underrepresented in the sector, and is designed to create alternative pathways to arts jobs and professional development. It is responsive and adaptive to the needs of its members and directly analyses why and how the sector looks the way it does. Create/Disrupt is a political project that identifies the barriers to participating in creative practices and works to centre the voices and work of people who are excluded.

Create/Disrupt was launched in 2020 and co-created a programme of activity that reflected the interests, hopes and desires of the group. This included research trips to national arts organisations, advocacy work within the sector, training and development opportunities that match the needs of the artists on the programme and began building a community and network of atypical arts workers. It is now in its second iteration and the group has worked with diverse artists and practitioners. Workshops have included a session rituals, recipes and sacred knotting with Mani Kambo; a creative session with sign-maker Ash Willerton which saw the group taking chances and making their own signs; and a visit from Kate Sweeney, sharing her milestone moments as an animation artist.

For more info, please contact Izzy Finch:

“I loved the first session, getting to know the people, eating together on the programme and the space. The sessions were so chilled & fun & there was a great atmosphere. All the sessions have been amazing in trying new things, exploring other artists’ work & networking. I can’t wait to have access to the studio more often & explore other workshops & collaborate with the create/disrupt cohort.“

“This is such an incredible opportunity that I am unbelievably grateful to be part of. It’s so accessible to all of the community & I feel I have been well supported throughout the programme so far.”

“I never thought an opportunity like this would be open to me, my favourite thing so far has been meeting and working with Ash because he is the best at what he does and I never thought we would get to work with him. I also love working with Kate Sweeney. Everyone’s stories on becoming arts workers are so varied. I really am looking forward to getting full access to studio and I am feeling super inspired overall. The trip to Glasgow will be amazing its one of my favourite cities and I don’t know loads about the art scene there.”

“I feel so grateful to have something like this, I didn’t really know of NewBridge before and I leave each week feeling completely inspired.”