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East by North East

East by North East

East by North East is a Youth Music funded project led by GemArts and working in partnership with the Sage Gateshead, The Soundroom, Excelsior Academy, Life Transformation Church, North Benwell Youth Project, Benfield School and Gateshead Council.

The project provides high quality weekly music making opportunities for more than 270 young people from the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic, refugee, asylum seeker and wider communities, based in the West and East end of Newcastle and Gateshead. As well as developing participant skills, East by North East also focuses on further developing the skills of local music leaders to meet the demands of culturally diverse communities, as well as using music as a creative intervention to address issues.

Find out more about the project through the short films about East by North East.

Phase 1.

Phase 2.

The project began in 2013, and since then East by North East has been recognised as an ambitious, leading example of partnership work, delivering alternative music making provision for young people who previously had no access to opportunities of this type. The young people working on the project have developed not only new music making skills, but improved confidence and in some cases developed English language skills through this work. GemArts East by North East partnerships continue to offer opportunities, develop skills and bring attention to the enormous talent coming from both the young people and the music practitioners working on East by North East.

Through East by North East young people work alongside regional musicians to develop their musical talents and build confidence in their own music making ability. The project champions creativity and diversity, and demonstrates the significant positive impact music making has on children and young people from all backgrounds, and what can be achieved when cultural organisations, community groups and mainstream education collaborate in the interest of a common vision.

Phase 3.

The third phase of East by North East began in Spring 2018. We have further expanded the programme to include more opportunities for young women from diverse communities to take part in music making to address the gender gap that exists nationally, and in addition have developed a new project strand in Gateshead to work with young people from Syrian refugee communities.

The programmme includes accreditation through Arts Award, progressions routes, recordings, sharing events and performances. More than 45 young people have already achieved Bronze Arts Award, a nationally recognised qualification which documents the hard work they put into the project and how far they have come along the process.

We have demonstrated how music making can raise young people’s confidence, aspirations, opportunities and skills, increasing motivation and helping them to be empowered, whilst celebrating their identities and the region’s rich musical and cultural diversity.
in addition we have continued to build on our exemplar programme by expanding and further diversifying the workforce and skill of music practitioners in the North East through CPD, training and development.

Please read music leaders Izzy Finch and Kay Greyson's blogs about their work on the project and Izzy's blog higlighting a brilliant collaboration between The Syrian Kings.

GemArts created a special CD and DVD pack to mark the achievements of participants, artists and all partners, presented at a very special presentation event for participants and their families. A copy of the CD DVD can be requested from

Participants are also involved in ongoing workshops, professional performance events and certicate presentations, and particpants are also given the opportunity to perform live on stage infront of a packed crowd. East by North East celebration event took place at Sage Gateshead in April 2017 and in April 2019.

The East by North East project is kindly funded by