Success Sees Young Stars Shortlisted For Prestigious Awards

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 13th May 2024

A project to boost the creative input and agency of Tees Valley youngsters at our region’s museums has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards.

Young Producers are a group of 16–25-year-olds who plan events and exhibitions across the area. There are currently two active groups, based at Hartlepool Art Gallery and Preston Park Museum, and their success has seen them shortlisted for two categories at the Northern Cultural Education Awards 2024.

Young people on the project learn how to produce their own events and exhibitions supported by venue staff and budgets. The project also seeks to promote youth voice and youth influence and agency in decision-making in cultural organisations.

They also hear about career opportunities in creative industries across the North East and take part in training sessions provided by Children North East in public speaking, team working and building confidence.

The project was funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Arts Council England through the Tees Valley Creative Education Partnership. The project is due to be expanded to another two museum services this year, doubling opportunities for young people in the Tees Valley.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’ve a wealth of wonderful creative talent right here on our doorstep and I’m pleased we’ve been able to fund Young Producers to ensure our young people get the chance to flex their creative muscles as early as possible.

“We’ve some unique museums and top-quality venues in our region and it’s great we’ve been able to work together on this project. This shortlisting is thoroughly deserved, and I hope the panel sees sense and gives our project the silverware on the day.”

The Tees Valley Museums Consortium (Preston Park Museum, Museum of Hartlepool and Hartlepool Art Gallery) with Children North East have been nominated for the Inspirational Local Partnership Award.

The young people are also co-curating an exhibition in partnership with the British Museum and the Hartlepool Art Gallery team called “Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue” which will open at Hartlepool Art Gallery on Saturday, 18 May.

Reuben Kench, Chair of the Tees Valley Museums Consortium, said: “The young people are an inspiration and have shown such dedication and enthusiasm with their contributions. They’re passionate about improving their local communities for all and their events have been a huge success with audiences. We’re delighted that they have been selected as finalists as it’s a huge vindication of their and our partners’ hard work.”

The Young Producers project is a Finalist in The Young Arts Activism category.

The awards programme aims to shine a light on best practice, innovation and activism in the field of creative and cultural education across the North of England.

It will culminate in an awards ceremony and networking event onFriday, 24 May, at The Edge Arena, in Wigan.

The Young Producers groups in Hartlepool and Preston Park are currently looking for new members. For more information visit

The Tees Valley Museums Consortium consists of the museum services of Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Councils.

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