In response to the almost complete disregard for North East traditional music, song and dance in the Regional Case for Culture, prepared by the 12 local authorities in the North East of England, Kathryn Tickell and Andrew Davidson have worked together and formed a new community interest company called Magnetic North East. The core purpose of MNE is to celebrate and promote the identity of the North East of England through music, arts, culture, heritage and creativity.
Andrew Davidson is Chairman of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society and Kathryn Tickell is one of the highest profile players of the Northumbrian smallpipes, but although the new organisation shares many of the objectives of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society, MNE’s focus will not be limited only to piping.
MNE was born out of frustration. Having taken part in the consultation process for ‘Case for Culture’, created by the local authorities in the region as a way to seek to convince central Government to fund arts in the region, Andrew Davidson was stunned to discover that the final report contained hardly any reference to traditional music, song or dance. He was further frustrated to find out that (London based) consultants commissioned by Northumberland County Council appeared to be completely unaware or dismissive of the unique traditions of the region.
The North East has a track record of success with grass roots initiatives, most notably Folkworks. The formal launch of MNE will be at a concert to be held at The Sage Gateshead on 4th November 2016.