Hello and welcome to Arts Centre Washington.
Arts Centre Washington is located in the new town of Washington which sits in a position of equal distance between Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham. The area has its roots in mining, the last pit closing in the area in the 1980’s. Going even further back, the ancestors of George Washington who lived locally gave the area its name and one of the most famous north east legends, The Lambton Worm, supposedly took place a stones throw from the arts centre.
The arts centre itself is a converted 19th century farm, a ruin rescued at the time of the development of the new town in 1972 when it was decided that a centre for arts and culture should be included in the vision for the area. Originally called Biddick Farm Arts Centre, it has gone through several incarnations to become what is now a vibrant multi-arts centre that hosts a theatre, gallery, rehearsal rooms, artist’s studios, recording studio, café and award winning bar. It is now owned and managed by Sunderland City Council.
Arts Centre Washington has a very distinct character. The Gallery, which forms the central creative hub of the building, is a light and airy raftered space whilst the 110 seat theatre is converted from the main barn and retains its original stone walls and unique atmosphere. Another barn has been converted into a multifunctional space that is used for a variety of purposes whilst the cowsheds now serve as a block of artist’s studios. The café/bar in the courtyard allows customers to spill out into the sunshine on hot, summer days.
Arts Centre Washington exists to provide a mixed programme of artistic events and activities for all members of its community to experience and participate in the arts. Events include theatre, music, dance and comedy with Saturday nights in the Low Barn playing host to the award winning Davy Lamp Folk Club. On Wednesday evenings the arts centre is taken over by young people on the Remix programme which offers a whole range of arts activities for13-19 year olds. Budding musicians are also able to take advantage of the Community Music Space which offers free practise rooms and technical support whilst older members of the community are frequent visitors to the weekly Tea Dance and fortnightly Nifties group. There is also a packed programme of Classes and Courses - activities for all ages to take part in from salsa to sequence dancing; model making to messy play.
Arts Centre Washington’s main funder is Sunderland City Council with funding for special programmes and projects provided by Arts Council England and the Northern Rock Foundation.
Courtyard Studios, Arts Centre Washington is home to a number of creative industries
Studio 2. No Limits Theatre Company
Innovative, inclusive, inspirational. Founded in 1995, No Limits is committed to socially inclusive projects that enable young people, disabled people and community groups to be involved in innovative theatre.
Studio 3. The Voice Studio
Internationally renowned singer, vocal & performance coach Maggi Ballantyne
Studio 4. Hazel Barron-Cooper & Vincent Cooper
Hazel Barron-Cooper is a painter and her current work is inspired by the landscape of Northumbria.
Vincent Cooper's paintings often feature the landscape. Vincent is also available for art tutoring sessions.
Watercolours, oil paintings and drawings are sold from the studio.
To contact both artists email firstname.lastname@example.org
Studio 5. Robson Tuners
Producing some of the world's finest and exclusive tuning machines by fusing technology, precision engineering and artistry.
Studio 8. Trish and Trina Performers Academy
Providing an array of different dance classes for children and adults including Tap, Disco, Ballet, Cheerleading and Performing Arts
Studio 10. KW Photography
Award winning professional photographer Kevin Weatherly offers a range of services including Wedding Photography, Portrait & Event Photography, Commercial Photography
Studio 12 – To Let