AD - Celebrate Difference

I was thrilled to be asked to join Sunderland Culture's Young Ambassador Team as they took over the Arts Centre Washington for the night for 'Celebrate Difference'. The event was about embracing and celebrating differences of young people, whilst empowering them to be proud of who they are. 

This event was a particularly special one for me, as I becoming unwell at the age of 14 put me into an identity crisis. I lost all things I loved and was able to do, and 11 years on, I'm still finding myself again. Now, one of my biggest passions is working with young people and supporting those who might be going through similar things. 

From the moment we arrived at the Arts Centre you could feel the excitement bursting out of the venue. After a warm welcome, I made my way around the maze of exhibitions and instillations, whilst talking to artists, guests and young people. Many of the pieces were commissioned by professional artists who worked with the young people or produced specific workshops for this event. 

Here are 3 of my favourite pieces of artwork from the event: 

 World Artists are a team of young people ages 13-23. They ran a drop-in Gelli print workshop with artist Emma Beattie exploring the theme of body positivity. Here is my creation. 

Mark Shields is an artist specialising in graffiti. At the start of the event, the canvas simply said 'Celebrate Different' but people were encouraged to add their own quotes of positivity. By the end of the night, the canvas was full and it looked stunning!

Sarah Dobbs is an arial artist and provided a stunning live display which mesmerised a packed audience. The young people also worked on photographing her piece, based on grief, which was incredibly powerful.

Overall, it's hard to believe that a group of 13-25 year olds organised this very professional event. Of course, they have some incredible leaders supporting them, and with the kind backing of Sunderland Culture and Helix Arts, this event was possible. I'm proud of what the whole team have achieved, I loved the mix of people who attended and I was so pleased to see that it was such a success. Here's to the next one!

Kate x


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