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Gateshead Interfaith Forum Project

Gateshead Interfaith Forum project delivered with GemArts
In partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

Gateshead Interfaith Forum, with GemArts, delivered a variety of high quality, school-based, alternative education and community based, anti-discriminatory, arts projects that aimed to positively promote and explore faith and cultural diversity within Gateshead.

Gateshead Interfaith Forum and GemArts worked alongside partners, including Gateshead Council, to deliver participant focused arts projects, community intervention and awareness raising sessions across Gateshead. The project enabled 11 professional artists to engage with 1500 young people from local Gateshead primary and secondary schools, far surpassing the original aim of 500 people.

The projects explored anti-discriminatory topics, e.g. race and hate crime, using creative, educational intervention as stimulus to engage with participants and to encourage open discussion and dialogue about commonalities, negative stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding different faiths and cultures. The aim was to foster greater community cohesion, promoting safer, more understanding and positive communities and preventing crime and disorder in Gateshead.

During the project pupils took part in workshops exploring Bollywood, Chinese art and dance, Rangoli, African drumming, drama, mural painting, textile art and poster making, as well as educational visits. These creative activities enabled participants to explore issues in a safe and supported environment, taking a creative approach to address these issues helped overcome the stigma and fear that people can feel when subjects are raised directly.

The achievements of the project were showcased at a Celebration Event on Thursday 8th May 2014 at Dryden Centre, Gateshead. Young people from local schools and community centres were invited to speak about their work and perform in front of an audience of their peers and invited guests.