Year of the Artist is a unique national project starting in June 2000 and running through to May 2001, that celebrates a vital element of our culture – the arts, and the artists who engage directly with our culture through an amazing array of activities.
For Year Of The Artist Cleveland Arts organised a project entitled Cultural Tourist.
The aim of Cultural Tourist was to celebrate the role of the artist and the Tees Valley region by creating opportunities for two internationally respected artist groups Vexed Generation (a design/fashion group based in London) and MCo.T (a multi-artform motor-cycling club from various locations in Germany). Our Cultural Tourists will be given an itinerary and guide put together by Cleveland Arts, Tees Valley Tourism and many other partners. Cleveland Arts will also arrange for our visitors to be met by anumber of ‘holiday reps’, who will act as host to specific sites. These may include a special tour of the landscape that inspired Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner; of industrial architecture; an experience of the Virtual Reality Centre; the beautiful and dramatic coastline and hidden gems such as Hartlepool’s Headland. Important to all holidays is the experience of shopping and relaxing, built into the stay there will be plenty of chances for our tourists to respond to the regions many exciting bars, pubs and whole host of bistros, cafes and restaurants. The experience of and chance meetings during travel and within hotels, B & B and caravan sites will also play an important part of the residency.
The holiday will be promoted by Northern Arts in both regional and national press. Cleveland Arts will also create either digital or printed documentation for 2001 to time with the closing events of YOTA together with the Cultural Tourists. We hope that it will stimulate the artists’ own creative practice but also give a national and international visibility to the diverse range of locations and activities that the region has to offer. Cleveland Arts would like to arrange for the tourists to visit and experience places that are not necessarily considered as top of the list ‘tourist locations’, but that reveal something of the area’s rich context, and who knows perhaps expand the notions of cultural regeneration and tourism. In addition our Cultural Tourists may be able to help the region by promoting relationships between artists, cultural industries and business partners.