As well as signalling the end of 2012, December 31 also represents the last day of eligibility for Culture Awards nominations. SAM WONFOR provides a gentle reminder of how to put your favourite things in the mix
NOMINATIONS have been coming in like you wouldn’t believe for The Journal Culture Awards 2012.
And as December 31 – the end date for eligible work, performances, events and artists – approaches, we thought it would be wise to remind everyone of how to go about shining a light on your favourite cultural things and people of the year.
Perhaps the best place to start is to offer a rundown of the categories for which we are soliciting nominations.
As has been the form for the past few years, we are going to be handing out 15 Culture Awards – designed and made by a to-be-confirmed North East artist – in the following categories:
Visual Artist of the Year
Performance of the Year
Performing Artist of the Year
Newcomer of the Year
Writer of the Year
Renaissance North East: Museum Award (recognising a special or innovative museum project)
Arts Council Award (for a truly excellent piece of work)
Best Arts & Business Partnership
Best Event Tyneside
Best Event Northumberland
Best Event Sunderland
Best Event Durham
Best Event Teesside
Best Overall Event (selected from the five sub-regional event winners)
Special Contribution to Arts and Culture in the North East
As anyone who has kept tabs on previous Culture Awards ceremonies will testify, past winners have royally represented the spectrum-spanning treasure trove of talent we have in the region.
They include musician Kathryn Tickell, comedian Sarah Millican, The Futureheads, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, choreographer Liv Lorent, artist Laura Lancaster, Durham lighting festival Lumière, authors David Almond, Chris Mullin and Richard Milward, The Durham Book Festival, Live Theatre artistic director Max Roberts, the Turner Prize at Baltic and Northern Stage production Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The closing date for nominations is February 10, 2013. Any event, exhibition, performance or publication which has taken place between January 1 and December 31, 2012, is eligible. Judging will take place early next year, with the winners announced at a ceremony, in association with Arts Council, England, in the spring.
As well as the giving out of the awards, the evening will also see some of the region’s most talented performers take to the stage.
In the six awards to date, the likes of Beccy Owen, Sakoba Dance, Katie Doherty, Lesley Roley, The Futureheads, The Unthanks, BalletLorent, Bad Taste Cru, Sharks Took The Rest, Kate Fox, The Cornshed Sisters, and Smoove and Turrel have all admirably taken on entertaining duties – with many of them doubling up as finalists and winners on the night too.
So who will be on the shortlist for the 2012 honours?
To a huge extent, this is up to you. What had your neck-hairs upstanding during the past 12 months? Was it Close the Coal House Door at Northern Stage; or the world premiere of balletLorent’s Rapunzel at the Gala Theatre Durham, which made up part of the city’s ever-expanding Book Festival?
Were you lucky enough to catch The Futureheads’ a capella performance at Durham Cathedral in August or their performance as part of The Cluny’s 10th Anniversary Weekender celebration, which peppered Newcastle’s Ouseburn with homegrown talent.
Did you see Sting get back to bass(ics) at The Sage Gateshead or the early-stage preview of his shipyard musical? Or was Cheryl Cole playing her first solo Arena gig on Tyneside more your thing?
Were you one of those who enjoyed the celebratory Peace Camp – part of the UK-wide Cultural Olympiad – at Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumber- land, and the Connecting Light evenings across Hadrian’s Wall or did you marvel at Northumberlandia?
Clearly, I could go on for a lot longer than I have space for... but you get the idea.
We look forward to being overrun by your suggestions. With arts funding hanging in the balance every which way we turn, there can be no better time to wave arms and stamp feet in loud celebration of what we can do.
To make a nomination for The Journal Culture Awards visit www.journallive.co.uk/cultureawards and click on the link.