April 2023 - present
As the North East steams ahead to the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 2025, local artists have begun gathering stories from today’s passengers and why the railway matters. From artists in residencies on trains to workshops with community groups.
April 2021 - present
We are partnering with the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway and Shildon Railway Institute to capture the stories of people who have lived, worked and travelled on the railway in Shildon through songwriting and storytelling. Life along the Line celebrate Shildon's unique history in shaping world-wide rail travel.
Click here to find out more!
June 2021 - December 2021
Songs for the Soul is a project in partnership with PACT House Stanley to create songs together to promote a positive boost for mental health. The songs will be showcased on PACT House's very own in-house community radio show. The project is kindly supporting by County Durham Community Foundation and The Stanley Community Fund
Every month - ONLINE
Whether you've come to one of our Citizens Online sessions or you're new to the online community, this space is an open and creative space to share your ideas, whether a poem, a thought or a song. Songwriting Hangout over Zoom - every 2nd to last Tuesday of the month. Find out more here
March 2020 - present, on Zoom
Citizen Songwriters' music facilitators Alex Summerson and Sam Slatcher are currently running Citizens Online: a series of online songwriting sessions to connect people during the Covid-19 crisis, supporting those who are isolated. Visit the Citizens Online page for more.
January - March 2021
Throughout January, February and March, Citizen Songwriters will be partnering with City of Sanctuary to offer a series of online creative sessions to help build connections with others and celebrating what is important about being part of a community of sanctuary.
In November, we were commissioned by Greenfield Arts to write a song for the launch of the Shildon in Motion project. The song examines the innovative and extraordinary aspects of Shildon’s past and celebrates the ongoing creativity and ingenuity of Shildon’s people and its future. The project was funded by Northern Heartlands and Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership.
SOUND OUT SONGWRITING SESSIONS
June - September 2020, ONLNE
Group music-making has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost the immune system. It brings communities together to reduce loneliness and isolation. It’s a great way to express your individuality and an excellent tool for mindfulness and relaxation! This course is aimed at female carers of any age.
Citizen Songwriters have teamed up with ATOMS Education to provide Ukuleles along with a unique Ukulele resource pack for children and their families in East Durham, along with an online Ukulele webinar. The Ukuleles have been much treasured by the children especially as so much of their education has been disrupted by Covid-19.
CREATIVE SONGWRITING AT OASIS
Gateshead, with Oasis Community Housing
Citizen Songwriter's music facilitator Sam Slatcher has been running weekly songwriting sessions with people experience homelessness at Oasis Community Housing, Gateshead. Five different songs were written collaboratively with individuals on their experiences of homelessness and the impact of their lives.
SOUND OUT SONGWRITING SESSIONS
Bishop Auckland, with Jack Drum Arts
Citizen Songwriters' music facilitator Sam Slatcher has been running weekly songwriting sessions with female carers in Bishop Auckland who are isolated due to their caring commitments (January 2019 - March 2019). The programme was run by Jack Drum Arts, funded by the Carers Fund.
INTER-ACTION DROP-IN SONGWRITING
January - March 2020
Citizen Songwriters' music facilitator Sam Slatcher and Charden Wakanda have been running sessions at Action Foundation's Inter-Action Drop-in sessions at West End Library, Newcastle (January 2019 - March 2019). The programme was funded by Arts Society Tyneside.
10 venues, 1500 audience members!
The Stories of Sanctuary project took 15 participants to perform original songs in venues across the UK. Raghad Haddad, viola player from the National Syrian Orchestra, performed with the project, along with singer-songwriter Sam Slatcher.
3 new songs written in community
Citizen Songwriters also partnered with Stronger Communities Middlesbrough (Middlesbrough Council) to create new songs on ‘Treasured Memories’ with residents from diverse backgrounds from three Middlesbrough neighbourhoods.
Stockton-on-Tees with ARC Stockton
In May—June 2019, Citizen Songwriters’ facilitator Sam worked with performance artist Natasha Davis on a project called ‘Welcome Town’. The project involved participatory workshops and a public, interactive installation on Stockton High Street which re-imagined how towns could provide truly humane care for displaced individuals.
Songs of hope and courage
Stories of Sanctuary is a story and songwriting project that brings together diverse residents of Durham who all have a story or two to tell about their journey to the North East of England.