LOCAL performers and street artists are being invited to showcase their talents at one of the biggest events in the region in 2018.

Following a successful funding bid to Arts Council England, organisers of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 are encouraging street performers and artists to apply for two opportunities to perform at the four day event which is being held between 11-14 July next year.

Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: "We're delighted to have been awarded £149,000 by Arts Council England to deliver an entertainment packed programme when Sunderland plays host to the start of The Tall Ships Races 2018 next July. I'd like to thank them for supporting what we hope will be a spectacular event.

"With around 1.5 million visitors and up to 80 vessels with crews from over 15 countries expected, the programme of live entertainment will give local performers a perfect opportunity to showcase their talents to the widest possible audience.”

Four Wearside Emerging commissions are being offered to artists to develop a street art performance as part of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 Cultural Programme. The commissions are for £2,500 each and will include mentoring from an experienced outdoor arts professional.

The Cultural Programme includes a range of activities at different sites in the city. The Wearside Emerging commissions will provide a mixture of circus, dance, music and street arts to entertain the crowds as part of the Hendon Ahoy! programme in Sunderland's East End.

Cllr Kelly added: "These commissions are an important part of the overall entertainment programme and we're hoping they will attract bids from performers across Sunderland. There are opportunities for performers from any genre including music, dance, short theatre pieces and circus and I'd encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch with the team.”

Anyone interested in applying for one of the Wearside emerging commissions should send their submission to Helen Green at Helen.green@mactrust.org by 26 November 2017, putting Wearside Emerging in the email title. Successful applicants will be notified by Christmas.

Separate to this, there is also a second opportunity for entertainers including bands, dancers, brass bands, comedians and school bands to throw their hat in the ring to perform at one of the two event stages – Keel Square and the East End of Sunderland – which will be providing entertainment between 10am and 10pm on Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 July.  There will also be entertainment on the Keel Square stage between 10am and 10pm on Saturday 14 July.

Stage programmer for The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018, Sue Hurrell said; “Successful applicants can expect to be part of one of the biggest events in the region in 2018. They will be performing to perhaps the biggest audience they’ve ever had. This promises to be a spectacular event and an opportunity not to be missed for anyone who takes their performing seriously.”

Submissions to perform on one of the two event stages should be sent to Sue Hurrell at suehurrell@live.co.uk by 8th December, putting Tall Ships Stage Programme in the email title. Successful applicants will be notified by Christmas.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more can also contact Helen and Sue by email before making their submission.