Izzy Finch, learning and participation officer at The Customs House.jpg
Izzy Finch, learning and participation officer at The Customs House
Nicky Mckeen

Member Article


A packed programme of events for young people has been created for The Takeover Festival 2018 at The Customs House.

This year, the annual youth arts festival features theatre, cinema, music, dance, poetry, hip-hop and visual art, all hand-picked by a group of volunteers.

The Takeover Festival runs from Monday, May 28, to Friday, June 1, with an exciting line-up of events, competitions, films and performances for people aged 25 and under.

Izzy Finch is overseeing the running of The Takeover Festival, supported by Catherine Scott and the 15-strong Takeover Team, who are aged between 14 and 23.

Izzy joined the Learning and Participation team at The Customs House as learning and participation officer in March this year.

She said: “I work with diverse communities to engage people in artistic, creative experiences and previously worked as a freelance project musician and community artist in Newcastle. I’ve had a very warm welcome here at The Customs House and I feel so proud to be part of such a highly skilled, supportive and creative team.

“As someone whose path was defined by quality arts participation, I’m committed to promoting and facilitating this right for individuals from all backgrounds and cultural perspectives.

“The Takeover Festival at The Customs House is part of the national Takeover Day initiative providing young people with leadership opportunities, employability skills and a chance to try something new.

“Our Takeover Team of young leaders have been working hard over the past months to programme a week’s worth of inclusive arts-based workshops and performances, ranging from queer make-up tutorials, to breakdance jams, craft workshops, film awards and theatre shows open to anyone aged 11 to 25 during May half-term.

“Making participation a reality for the hard to reach poses challenges but our Takeover Team has done an incredible job at fostering good relationships with local organisations and youth groups whilst working collectively to create a vibrant, multi-faceted youth arts festival.

“Safe spaces like Takeover give young people opportunities and a platform for self-expression, to be heard, validated and mentored. We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s event!”

The Takeover Festival is funded and supported by The Customs House, Arts Council England, South Tyneside Council, ScottishPower Foundation, The Community foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, The WA Handley trust, The Barbour Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Word, The Shields Gazette, Red Squirrel Press and The Kelly Family.

For booking details for all events, contact The Customs House box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.

The following events are part of The Takeover Festival 2018: Monday, May 28 Experiment with paint in Mini Makers and Mega Makers sessions. Mini Makers, for under-11s, runs from 11am to 1.30pm, with children needing to be accompanied by an adult. Mega Makers runs from 2.30pm to 4pm for 11 to 13 –year-olds, who don’t need to be accompanied by an adult. Both sessions cost £2 per child. Cheddar Gorgeous is coming all the way from Manchester to deliver a drag make-up masterclass. The workshop is free and starts at noon, and is recommended for young people aged 14 and over. Mas is running a body paint and airbrush art workshop from 3pm to 6pm. A Cosplay Ball takes place at 2pm, giving Cosplay fans the chance to showcase their costume, make-up and hair skills, as well as their characterisation. The even is free and suitable for young people aged 12 and over. The Takeover Open Exhibition Preview Party, from 6pm to 8pm, will unveil the latest exhibition at The Port of Tyne Gallery at The Customs House, featuring a range of work created by children and young people aged 10 to 15.

Tuesday, May 29 A graffiti workshop led by Mark Shields takes place between 11am and 1pm with the Mean Teens Breakdance Jam starting at 2pm, hosted by the incredible Just Jam International and Bad Taste Cru.

Wednesday, May 30 Experience Newcastle’s up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kay Greyson, plus support, from 2pm in The Green Room. The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize then takes place at 6.30pm.

Thursday, May 31 A film-making workshop takes place with Act 2 Cam, from 3pm to 5pm, for young people aged 14 and over, followed by the North East Young Filmmakers Awards from 6.30pm.

Friday, June 1 Mickey McGregor and Harriet Ghost, of Blowin’ A Hooley Theatre Company, are running an improv workshop from noon to 2pm.
StereoTYPED will be performed by The Customs House Youth Theatre junior section at 2pm, with WORMTOWN, written by Reece Connolly, The Takeover Festival’s first Young Writer in Residence, closing the festival, with the show starting at 7.30pm.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nicky Mckeen .

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