Newcastle Common comes to the High Street – But What Is It?

We wanted to make sure you had heard about Newcastle Common, it’s our new intiative for your high street and town centre. Working in partnership with Newcastle BID we are planning that this will grow over three years, and will be shaped by feedback and working with people in the town centre.

It’s been developed by listening to your views provided by you to BID to create ongoing activity and reason to visit the town centre and developing interest from regular and new visitors. The program will be looking at ways to transform and use the High Street as places of art and creativity by using currently unused shop spaces and public space.

As lockdown and social distancing measures ease we would like to welcome people into Newcastle Common, be a place where people can watch performances, get involved, be a meeting space to grow and develop partnerships. At the moment we are planning on taking two empty shop units to become the home of Newcastle Common and are utilising more with the Every Other Seat exhibition by Dust Rising developing over February-April, across multiple window spaces.

Newcastle Common will be hosting a number of Artists in Residence over time. An artist in residence are artists taking inspiration from the place they are in, they talk to people, look into things, ask questions, for a set period of time make Newcastle their place of work and ultimately produce artistic work for everyone to enjoy.

Our first Artist in Residence, Holly Johnson, has nearly finished her month long residency. She focused on the hatmaking tradition in Newcastle, The Hatstory of Newcastle, posting weekly videos on social media, asking for people’s memories and photos of wearing hats, and producing a number of hats inspired by what she had discovered. You can find out more here. Newcastle Common Artist: Holly Johnson – Appetite

Newcastle Common is developing fast and we already have our second Artist in Residence working with us, Ian Mood. You may have seen him out and about as he immerses himself in the town centre. From now until mid April Ian will be talking to people, taking photos and soaking up the atmosphere (all in a socially distanced way) to create a series of new paintings to be displayed.

About Appetite

Appetite is a programme funded by National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme. The Appetite consortium is led by the New Vic in partnership with Partners in Creative Learning, Staffordshire University, 6Towns Radio, GoKidsgrove, Keele University and Newcastle BID. Supported by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and Aspire.