Make Something Brilliant

4th July 2019
City of Dreams launches #MakeSomethingBrilliant
• 45,000 chances for children and young people to take part
• running every day during summer 2019 at iconic venues on Tyneside
• first and only of programme of its kind in the UK
• unleashing creative potential of under25s to make 2019 the “summer of making”
• making culture accessible to all - most activities free and a host of special offers
City of Dreams has launched a new programme for children, young people and families, running for the first time in summer 2019. #MakeSomethingBrilliant brings more than 300 creative activities to iconic venues on Tyneside. With events every day during the summer holidays, it offers more than 45,000 opportunities for under25s to grow their skills and talents.
The programme includes experiences in drama, dance, music, art, filmmaking, writing, improvisation comedy, technology and more, run by organisations including Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, Dance City, Great North Museum, Live Theatre, Newcastle Improv Festival, Sage Gateshead and more.
NewcastleGateshead has a proud history of creativity and innovation. We have the fastest growing creative industries in the UK, and a thriving cultural scene. #MakeSomethingBrilliant opens the doors of creative organisations and cultural venues to the makers, inventors and artists of the future.
#MakeSomethingBrilliant has been created by City of Dreams, a 10 year mission to enable every child and young person in NewcastleGateshead to take part in cultural and creative activity. Working with a partnership of more than 50 arts, culture, heritage, science, education and community organisaitons, City of Dreams aims to earn NewcastleGateshead a reputation as the best place to be young. #MakeSomethingBrilliant is a key part of City of Dreams plans.
Executive Producer Ben Dickenson explains, “We spoke to 1000 under25s in the city. They said growing up on Tyneside isn’t always easy but they are full of creative ideas and talent. They don’t just want to see a movie, a music gig, or enjoy the latest digital inventions. They want to make their own. #MakeSomethingBrilliant is a city-wide and summer-long chance to do exactly that”.
By ensuring two-thirds of the #MakeSomethingBrilliant progamme is available without charge, and securing a host of special offers from places like Seven Stories and Tyenside Cinema, City of Dreams is also making sure the most disadvantaged don’t miss out. That is why #MakeSomethingBrilliant has been endorsed by the City of Dreams Young Champions Board, a representative body of children and young people founded by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council.
17 year old Eryn Wood from East Newcastle, a Young Champions and a Prince’s Trust Ambassador, said ”I can’t wait to experience #MakeSomethingBrilliant. There’s something for everyone, and most of it is free. Its a chance to be yourself, find a new talent, learn something new and it’s for everyone.”
#MakeSomethingBrilliant is also supported by voluntary and community services and local councils. Cllr Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council, said: “It’s great to see such a wide variety of activities being provided for our young people during the summer holidays, many free or low-cost. The ideas for these activities came from young people themselves so I’m sure the events will be a big success and result in amazing experiences while learning new skills.”
#MakeSomethingBrilliant is bringing the best children and young people’s entertainment to Tyneside. Seven Stories will premiere The Unseen but Manic Chord Theatre. Chief Executive, John Coburn said: ”The Unseen will be an adventure like no other. The Ouseburn valley will become an extra-terrestrial playground. Think Stranger Things with the audience joining the gang of
protagonists on their quest. We’re delighted to be premiering this at #MakeSomethingBrilliant, and to be part of the first summer of making in Newcastle and Gateshead.”
Highlights of the #MakeSomethingBrilliant programme for summer 2019 include:
• NewcastleGateshead’s first ever creative skills “Spy School” run by Northern Stage
• a week of music and fun to help you move like your favourite pop stars at Dance City
• the North East premiere of The Unknown, a high-tech interactive theatre production guiding you through Ouseburn, brought exclusively to the region by Manic Chord Theatre and Seven Stories
• a creative writing summer school led by New Writing North
• filmmaking challenges at Theatre Royal and animation bootcamps at Tyneside Cinema
• construction skills with LEGO and saving the environment with slime jars at Discovery Museum
• improvisation comedy workshops with the ever-popular The Suggestibles at Alphabetti Theatre
• make yourself a superhero with daily science activities at the International Centre for Life
• weekly workshops in skills for art led by leading visual arts practitioners at BALTIC
• theatre making workshops with award winning directors, actors and writers at Live Theatre
For more information visit
Notes to editors
• #MakeSomethingBrilliant details: begins on Saturday 20th July and runs at 16 venues across Tyneside every day until Sunday 1st September. Full listings can be found at
• The programme is produced by City of Dreams with support from NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle Improv Festival, Helix Arts, New Writing North and more.
• Two thirds of #MakeSomethingBrilliant events free. Other offers include £1 tickets for any film for unemployed and asylum seekers at Tyneside Cinema, weekdays before 5pm (contact box office on 0191 227 5500), a groupon offer for 35% off day and annual passes at Seven Stories and buy one, get one free entry to The Unknown (contact box office 03003301095, use code BOGOFAUG).
• City of Dreams is a 10year strategy, initiated by NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues in late 2017. City of Dreams will lead multiple programmes engaging all under25s in cultural and creative activity, supporting them to have a stronger voice in decisions about the city, and growing their skills, confidence and resilience. City of Dreams is supported by a network of over 50 organisations from arts, culture, heritage, science, community, voluntary and statutory sectors.
• Funded by Arts Council England, Gillian Dickinson Trust, Guy Readman Trust, The Ballinger Trust
• Photographs may be used: Spy School at Northern Stage, Filmmaking at Tyneside Cinema, Boot Camps and Dance City, Summer of Making at Baltic Centre for Contemporary art. Available here: