Our work at a glance (2018 - 2022)
Since 2018, Citizen Songwriters has been bringing people across the North East of England together from different walks of life telling stories through creating meaningful songs. We have been offering unique experiences for people to connect creatively with themselves, with each other and with the communities where they live through music and storytelling. This includes both adult group learning and school workshops focusing on creative writing, songwriting, singing and playing musical instruments.
Over the spring of 2022, we set out to review our work and give new partners, organisations and communities we've begun working with a snapshot of our work today.
Citizen Songwriters is a not-for-profit ‘Community Interest Company’ currently employing two part-time music facilitators as well as other freelance musicians to work on specific projects. Songwriting experiences tailored to specific communities
No two Citizen Songwriters projects are the same. Some times we’ll be writing a unique song for a special occasion, for example celebrating a local community or heritage event. Other times we’ll be supporting a group to create their own songs on a theme.
Groups can vary from a few individuals up to a class of 30. Since 2018 we have:
Sought funding, designed and delivered 8 original community songwriting projects (of the total 24 projects).
Completed 10 commissions from local authorities, Arts Council Creative People & Places schemes, charities and arts organisations.
Been contracted to deliver 14 other activities and community music projects, including over 100 sessions.
Most of our work supports communities who have not had opportunities to create music, or where songs will make a strong social and cultural impact, giving people ways of combating loneliness, isolation and connecting communities who wouldn’t otherwise meet. We've been working with diverse groups across the North East of England, including:
Refugees and people who are seeking sanctuary.
Isolated communities and areas with high deprivation and unemployment.
People facing isolation and loneliness due to cognitive impairment or mental health challenges.
From 2022, we are actively expanding our pool of songwriting facilitators across County Durham, to train and support musicians who have the necessary musical abilities but who may not have had the opportunities yet to apply their practice in the context of community songwriting. In doing so, we’ll be able to give more communities across the North East our unique experience of creative engagement and all the benefits it brings for improving mental health, well-being and community harmony.