An INITIATIVE to bring together artists across the borough of Darlington is being launched.

The inaugural First Wednesday Arts Network, run by Humantics CIC and Darlington for Culture, will take place on Wednesday (August 6) between 6pm and 8pm at the Forum Music Centre, in Borough Road, Darlington.

Allison McKay, who runs Humantics CIC, owners of the Forum, said: “It was strongly identified at the arts debate led by Darlington for Culture during the arts festival in May that the closure of the Arts Centre meant that a networking hub was lost.

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“Humantics has responded by offering the space and resources to host a once monthly event for all to attend.”

John Dean, chairman of Darlington for Culture, which supports arts in the area, said: ”The loss of the Arts Centre fragmented the arts community and since then a lot of people have worked hard to recreate the sense of community that existed.

“That work is bearing fruit and there is a strong sense of an arts community which is making exciting things happen.

“The First Wednesday Arts Network will play a key role in the process. It’s a chance for artists of all forms to chance to suggest ideas and seek help to make them happen and see what grows.

“Since the centre closed, opportunities for such meetings have been reduced, hence the idea behind the First Wednesday events.”

The First Wednesday Arts network will be held on the first Wednesday of every month at the Forum. The Forum plans to host the informal get-togethers as a pilot for six months during which time it will assess if there is a need and demand.

Ms McKay said: “The success of the network events will depend on the people and organisations who attend.

“We hope it is a point where ideas are shared and new working relations are formed so we hope it is well supported and attended. During the initial pilot phase we will be collecting comments and suggestions that will help shape the future of the network.”