Designer Hemingway to inspire young talent

wayne%20at%20RFH%20davidjonesphotography_co%20(8)One of the UK’s best known designers is to address an audience on Tyneside to inspire more young people to release their creativity.

Wayne Hemingway MBE, co-founder of HemingwayDesign and Red or Dead, is delivering the keynote address at February’s Arts Award conference in Newcastle, organised by Bridge North East, which promotes cultural partnerships with schools and youth organisations.

Since it was launched by Arts Council England in 2005 more than 4377 children and young people in the North East have been awarded an Arts Award and 1698 people have qualified as Arts Award advisers.

The Award has five levels (Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold) and participants can choose any art form – from fashion to film-making, pottery to poetry – to develop their skills in creativity and leadership.  Employers, universities and colleges now recognise Arts Award as an accredited qualification.

(Coverage in The Journal newspaper, Chronicle online and Northern Echo online;

Hemingway is one of a number of well-known figures who have signed up to become Arts Award champions.  They include Graham Norton and Ben Shephard from television, actors Simon Pegg and Richard E Grant, musician Denys Baptiste, novelist Nick Hornby and poets Andrew Motion and Michael Rosen, who delivered the main address at the 2014 North East Arts Award conference.

“One of the many good things about Arts Award is that it is supported by people from different disciplines who share the belief that an engagement with the arts can be hugely beneficial for young people,” said Wayne.

He added: “Looking back to the turn of the 80s when we started out on a market stall, I’d never considered being a designer, it wasn’t on the radar of a teenager from Lancashire. Arts Award is great because it inspires people to use their creativity, and follow artistic options that they might never have considered. It also increases people’s awareness of their potential and inspires them to enjoy, and engage with, culture and the arts.

“I look forward to meeting some of the Arts Award advisers in February and hear how young people have been able to use the framework the Award provides to create something really special.”

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Bridge North East in the North East, on behalf of Arts Council England. Jeanne Hale, of Bridge North East, said: “We are delighted Wayne has accepted our invitation to be the main speaker at our conference.  Although it is an extremely rewarding role, Arts Award advisers have to work really hard and this is our opportunity to thank them, share best practice and – with the help of Wayne – inspire them.

“Arts Award has come of age and as a result we are seeing a resurgence of young people’s interest in all kind of arts – and that can only be a good thing.”

The Arts Award Conference takes place at Newcastle City Library on 6 February 2015 and is FREE to attend. Tickets for the event can be booked by going to or e-mailing




Notes to editors

A video of part of Michael Rosen’s 2014 keynote speech is available to view at


Bridge North East

Sage Gateshead is part of a national network of 10 Bridge Organisations, funded by Arts Council England, to use their experience and expertise to connect children and young people with art and culture. They connect schools and communities with Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations and others in the cultural sector – including museums and libraries – all across the North East region.