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Billy Chisholm


I was working at the community centre and some people came from East Durham Creates to organise an exhibition for an arts project. They wanted to get the kids involved. My main thing is sport, it wouldn’t be art, but I was asked to front it and I said yes of course I will, I’ll do my best, and it just went from there.

We thought of some ideas, we got the kids to give their ideas of what they wanted as well, and the artists presented what they wanted to the do. A couple of the artists who build the sculptures came and we scouted the area where to put things. We also got the kids to make some neon, lights and stuff like that – art – which was displayed on tables. We got luminous highlighters and coloured bottles in so when it was dark they’d all stand out. The bell tower was lit up; we had lights going around the black gates; and then there was a big luminous heart. 

It ended up being a great night for the town. Loads of people got out.  And it was great for the young people. They loved it. They especially loved standing outside putting the glow sticks through the heart – they were there all night doing it but they got it done, it was amazing!

I’ve learned more about art, and about how much people appreciate it. When we got the kids involved they were over the moon – they were just buzzing – I’ve never seen them like that before. You can tell it helps – it boosts their confidence. The kids that were quiet and shy, they were shouting, bossing the other kids about – their confidence had just shot up. I didn’t realise arts brings things like that out in people; brings out different traits and personalities. There’s a few of them came out of their shells and were just different people compared to what they usually are. It’s good to see. I love it when kids get full of confidence. 

Photo: Stephen King