Statement Against Racism

On 4 June 2020, the cultural sector of the North East of England initiated a statement, hosted on this website, denouncing racism and seeking to bring about a collective change in thinking and action as organisations and individuals. 

This has received support from the list of signees here on this page which now extends beyond the cultural sector and beyond the North East. It is hosted here as a central point to the full list.


Next, we urge signees to have strategic and creative conversations to make actionable short- and long-term pledges. These pledges will be hosted on this site to hold themselves publicly accountable for their own innovations and developments on this subject.

We’re also seeking more organisations and creative professionals to join this campaign so please hit the ‘Join Us’ button in the menu above – or email us at

  • *Please note this page will be updated periodically, not immediately.
  • ** UPDATE – 2nd July 2020 We want to acknowledge the volume of social media surrounding Tyneside Cinema in the last 7 days and the pain that is being expressed.  Individuals and organisations which have signed up to the North East Culture Sector Statement in June have an obligation for public accountability on the actions they take to address racism and its deep roots.  We expect Tyneside Cinema to honour this commitment, consistent with their pledge.   We acknowledge the statement of the Tyneside Cinema Trustees of July 1st , their expression of sorrow and their commitment to publishing the recommendations of an independent review within 6 weeks.  After conversations with Tyneside Cinema yesterday and while the independent review takes place, it has been mutually agreed that Tyneside Cinema will be removed as a signee to the North East Culture Sector statement. We all hold one another accountable. 

The statement:


We, the undersigned from the cultural sector of the North East, declare that silence is not ok and silence is seen as complicity. Racism has no place in a just and humane society.

Whilst we cannot undo pain and neglect, we are calling on all of us in the arts, cultural, heritage sectors; professional and voluntary to work together to address racism and its deep roots. We must listen, have conversations and most importantly act, we know we need to do better.

Everyone is part of the solution – artists, staff, trustees, partners, promoters, audiences and communities.

We want to tackle this together in sharing better understanding and practices. We stand united to bring about change in our thinking and actions as a collective of organisations and individuals.

In the weeks and months to come we will collectively act to build on this statement with concrete steps and actions to demonstrate our commitment to bringing about real change. We ask you to stand with us.

The Signees:

Alphabetti Theatre

Signee: Ali Pritchard, Artistic/Executive Director

Ampersand Inventions

Signees: Jonpaul Kirvan FRSA / Peter Marchal, Directors

Anna Robinson


ARC Stockton

Signee: Annabel Turpin

Artist Union England

Signee: Theresa Easton


Stephanie Allen, Executive Director

Assembly Rooms Theatre Durham

Signee: Kate Barton


Signee: Liv Lorent

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Signee: Sarah Munro, Director

Ben Dickenson

Associate Literary Producer Alphabetti

Bensham Grove

Signee: Shirley Brown, Chair

Beverley Prevatt Goldstein

Signee: Beverley Prevatt Goldstein

Blowin’ A Hooley Theatre


Bonnie & the Bonnettes

Signees: Hattie Eason, Cameron Sharp and Rebecca Glendenning, Co-Founders of Bonnie and The Bonnettes.


Signee: Bethan Kitchen, Artistic Director

Bridge+Tunnel Productions

Signee: Tina Gharavi, Creative Director

Butcher’s Dog Poetry Magazine

Dr. Jo Clement, Managing Editor

Camisado Club

Signee: Caroline Liversidge

Centre for Life, Newcastle

Signee: Linda Conlon

Circus Central

Sarah Carrie, Operations Director

Citizen Songwriters CIC

Signee: Sam Slatcher and Alex Summerson, Directors

Cobalt Studios

Signee: Kathryn Hodgkinson

The Common Room

Signee: Liz Mayes

Company of Others

Signee: Nadia Iftkhar, Artistic Director & CEO

Comrades of Children Overseas (COCO)

Signee: Lucy Kendall

Converge at Northumbria

Signee: Ally Hunter Byron – Coordinator 

Coracle Productions

Signee: Matt Jamie, Artistic Director

Creative Seed

Contact: Sandy and Garner Harris, Founding Directors

The Culture Durham Partnership

Signed by Tony Harrington, chair

The Culture Vulture

Signee: Rachel Horton

Cumberland Arms

Signee: Jo Hodson

The Cultural Spring

Signee: Emma Horsman

Curious Arts

Signee: Phil Douglas, Director

Curious Monkey

Signee: Amy Golding

D6 Culture in Transit

Clymene Christoforou, Director

Daniel Jefferson


Dance City

Signee: Phil Douglas

Debbie Beeks


Degna Stone

Poet and editor

Dingy Butterflies CIC

Signee: Ben Jones, Founder & Director


Signee: Lisette Auton, Co-founding Member


Signee: Carol Alevroyianni

Eliot Smith Dance (ESD)

Signee: Eliot Smith, Artistic Director

Elizabeth Kane


Ednie Wilson

Creativity Development Manager, Gateshead Council

Event International

Signee: Frank Wilson

East Durham Creates

Signees: Jess Hunt & Malcolm Fallow

Empty Shop CIC 

Signatories : Carlo Viglianisi and Nick Malyan

Explore Lifelong Learning

Signee:  Dorothy Stainsby, Co-chair, Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre CIO

The Forge

Signee: Tony Harrington Executive Director

The Foundation of Light and Beacon of Light facility

Signee: Jamie Wright, Managing Director

Gateshead Council

Signee: Councillor Angela Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure

Gateway Studio CIO

Signee: Martin Hylton, Artistic Director/CEO


Signee: Vikas Kumar MBE, Director


Signee: sean burn

Gosforth Civic Theatre


Greenfield Arts

Signee: Katy Milne

Harambee Pasadia CIC

Signee: Hannabiell Sanders

Hayley Mardon


Helix Arts

Signee: Stephen Pritchard, Business Development Manager


Signee: Chelsea Clarke, Founder

Holly Argent

Artist/ Researcher

Hullabaloo Theatre

Signees: Miranda Thain, Chief Executive & Artistic Producer

Identity on Tyne

Signee: Project Coordinator

The Invisible Labs

Signee: Bhavani Esapathi, Founding Director

Jack Drum Arts CIC

Signee: Helen Ward, Managing Director

Kate Chedgzoy


Katherine Williams


Katie Mitchell

Arts and Health Network, North East

Keep Our NHS Public North East (KONPNE)

Signee: Jude Letham

Kitchen Zoo

Signee: Bob Nicholson

Kusoma African Book Club

Signee: Pauline Hughes (Plummer) 

Ladies of Midnight Blue

Signee: Yilis Suriel

Laura Fish

Writer and lecturer at Northumbria University

LGBT and fed North East

Signee: Phil Hayden

The Letter Room

Signees: Meghan Doyle and Stan Hodgson, Co-Artistic Directors

Little Cog

Signee: Vici Wreford-Sinnott, Artistic Director

Live Theatre

Signee: Jim Beirne, Chief Executive

Louise Evan Wong 


Luca Rutherford

writer + performer


Signee: Caroline Pearce

Megan Brown

Dance Artist

Melody Sproates


Middlesbrough Council Cultural buildings: Middlesbrough Town Hall, Middlesbrough Theatre, Middlesbrough Museums.

Signee: Mieka Smiles, Executive Member for Culture, Middlesbrough Council

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA)

Signee: Laura Sillars, MIMA Director and Dean of MIMA School of Art & Design

Mortal Fools

Signee: Kiz Crosbie, Artistic Director/CEO

Moving Parts Arts

Signee: Kerrin Tatman, Artistic Director & Producer


Signee: Debbie Taylor, Editorial Director

Music Partnership North Newcastle

Signee: Georgina Biddle, Senior Specialist Music Service 


Signee: Helen Walker, Director

Network Artists North East

Signee: Jo Liddle

The NewBridge Project

Signee: Rebecca Huggan, Director

New Writing North

Signee: Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive

Newcastle City Council Arts Team

Signee: Cllr Ged Bell (Cabinet Member for Culture)

NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Signee: Shelley Johnson

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Signee: Philip Bernays, Chief Executive

Newcastle University

Signee: Professor Julie Sanders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Newcastles of the World

Signee: David Faulkner

North East Culture Partnership

Signee: Matthew Jaratt

North East Emerging Museum Professionals Group

Signee: Hannah Mather

North East of England African Community Association

Signee: Abdul-Aziz Kouamé

North East Labour History Society

Signee: David Connolly

NEPN (North East Photography Network)

Signee: Amanda Ritson

Northern Alchemy Brewery

Signee: Andrew AItchison

Northern Architectural History Society

Signee: Christopher Downs, Chair

Northern Heartlands

Signee: Jill Cole

Northern Print

Signee: Anna Wilkinson, Director

Northern Roots

Signee: Adam Collerton, Director

Northern Stage

Signee: Kate Denby, Executive Director 

Northumberland Theatres

Signee: Wendy Scott

November Club

Signee: Joe Hufton, Artistic Director & CEO

Ogre Studio

Signee: Steven Walker, Creative Director

The Old Coal Yard

Signee: Carl Kennedy

On Board Arts street theatre company

Signee: Nik Alevroyiannis, Artistic Director

One For All Productions

Signee: John MacMahon, Creative Director

Open Clasp

Signees: Joint Chief Executives Catrina McHugh MBE / Ellie Turner


Signees: Jonpaul Kirvan FRSA, Paul Stone, Chris Yeats

Origin Moko Jumbies

Signee: Alan Vaughan

Paco Rivera


Pippa Kyle

The Poetry Book Society

Signee: Sophie O’Neill

Prometheus Foundation CIC

Signee: Dot Owston

Rowan Brown

Ruth Mary Johnson

Actor / Director

Sage Gateshead

Signee: Abigail Pogson, Director

SALTo Arts Productions

Signee: Richard Broderick


Signee: Padma Rao

Sanjee Ratnatunga

Ideas for Change Consulting

Sensory Spaces, Newcastle

Seven Stories

Signee: John Coburn

Seventeen Nineteen

Signee: Lily Daniels, Participation and Engagement Officer

Dr. Sheree Mack


Show Racism the Red Card

Contact name: Justine King, Educational Coordinator

Sian Armstrong

Writer, Performer and Theatre-maker

Side By Side Arts CIC

Signee: Stuart Angus, Director

The Six Twenty

Signee: Melanie Rashbrooke, Artistic Director

Skimstone Arts

Signee: Claire Webster-Saaramets, Director


Signees: Max Lee and Matt Antoniak, Co-directors

Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne

Signee: Nick Hodgson

Summer Streets Festival

Signee: Ross Millard


Signée: Caroline Afolabi-Deleu

Sue Ward


Sue Woolhouse MA RCA

Ouseburn Warehouse Workshops

Sunderland Culture

Signees: Graeme Thompson, Helen Connify

Sunderland Music Hub

Signee: Lizzie Nixon

Susan Ashley

AHRC Researcher

Streetwise Young People’s Project

Signee: Mandy Coppin (Taylor)


Signee: Salha Kaitesi, Founder & Artistic Director

Tees Valley Arts

Signee: James Beighton, Executive Director

Théâtre Sans Frontières

Signee: Sarah Kemp, Joint Artistic Director


Signee: Mark Robinson

Tin Arts

Signee: Martin Wilson, Executive Director

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Signee: Iain Watson, Director

Tyne and Wear Cultural Freelancers

Signee: Leila d’Aronville

Twisterella Festival

Signees: Andy Carr and Henry Carden

Unfolding Theatre

Signees: Michael Barrass, Alex Elliott, Garry Lydon, Annie Rigby and Luca Rutherford


Signee: Nikolas Barrera


Signee: Helen Pailing

Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir

Signees: Mathapelo Imarhiagbe, Chinyere Igun, Glen Smiley

Waka Waka Africa North East

Signee: David Faulkner

We Make Culture CIC

Signee: Laura Brewis, Project Director

Well Newcastle Gateshead

Signee: Mark Mulqueen, Programme Director

Women Artists of the North East Library

Signee: Holly Argent, Project lead

Workie Ticket Theatre CIC

Signee: Lindsay Nicholson, Co Artistic Director

Workplace and Workplace Foundation

Signee: Miles Thurlow


Signee: Ilana Mitchell, Director

Yvette Ja Hawkins

Visual Artist