Hoardings Project for Sunderland arc

In 2007 regeneration company Sunderland arc teamed up with arts education consultancy Infinite Arts and nationally renowned comic poet John Hegley to begin a schools’ focused project. Pupils were introduced to the work that Sunderland arc is doing in the area and encouraged to think about their city and where they like to go with their friends.

Workshops took place with pupils at Hudson Road Primary School and Usworth School, focusing on the themes of ‘friendships’ and ‘place’. The project was also showcased at the Sunderland International Friendship Festival where visitors were invited to draw pictures and create conversations on a giant Friendship Wall.

Emily Taylor, communications manager at Sunderland arc, said: “The arc’s ambitious developments are not only about satisfying today’s needs and aspirations but also those of future generations. This project has given them the opportunity to find out more about the regeneration process and the importance of communities and pride in places.

John Hegley was impressed by the abilities of the students. “If I came in with enthusiasm, they responded well.” He provided exercises based around the subject of Friendship, asking the pupils to create acrostics for the words FRIENDSHIP and PALS, and to invent conversations between characters.

Sunderland arc were able to exhibit some of the children’s work on hoardings at a development sites during 2009. Infinite Arts produced digital designs for each picture incorporating a mock gold frame. These were printed in large format by Chromazone and fixed to the hoardings where they remained for over two years. The images are now displayed at Hudson Road Primary School.

The project was funded by Sunderland arc in conjunction with Sunderland City Council

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