The North East of England is a rich and culturally vibrant area of the UK and much of it’s vibrancy stems from it’s long established and varied migrant communities.
‘For much of our period, the North East has been identified as an unusually generous, welcoming host and the lack of racial hostility has been presented here as a source of regional pride.’(D Krenton)
The Tyneside Irish Cultural Society exists primarily to promote Irish Culture on Tyneside and hosts and organizes a number of events through out the year, which include the Tyneside Irish Festival, St Patricks Weekend Festival, an annual Irish Music and Dance Programme, Story-tellers programme, Film and Irish History Club.
For 29 years the Irish Festival has showcased the highest possible standard of Irish Music, Dance, Literature and Drama and it’s ambition is to become Britain’s leading showcase for contemporary and traditional Irish culture, it has also led the way and been an inspiration for many other Irish arts and music organisations which include the Liverpool Irish Festival and Leeds Irish Festival and Felling Irish.
Over the years the festival generally followed a traditional format through which professional artists perform their established repertoire to an audience who are ever growing and crucial to the success of the events. But as things have progressed over the years there has been a stronger emphasis on community participation and taking ownership in developing their own work , with successes in devised theatrical performances such as ’ Father Cass’s Bodhran’ 2012. Our on going projects include a collaboration with Northern Stage working within the community to develop their stories of migration and to turn it into a large scale production. This project will take us in to 7 diffrent Irish Communities within the region and will enable us to really capture the feelings of loss,longing and hardship felt by the migrants who came in the 50′s and 60′s.
We also have a close working relationship with Newcastle University and Northumbria University which has enabled the establishing of the History Club and developing our Tyneside Irish Archive.
The Story-telling programme and touring Film Club have been crucial to engaging with the young and elderly in the local schools and the more isolated and hard to reach communities in the region, we’ve also developed a monthly Irish Film club in the Tyneside Irish Centre ( soon to move to the Star and Shadow), showing films past and present.
The Tyneside Irish Cultural Society has 29 years of expertise and experience which underpins it’s direction and ambition to establish an even wider and more extensive range of the Irish cultural activities and developing broader partnerships with other arts and cultural organisations, establishing it as one of the most successful Irish Cultural organisations in the UK.