Celebrate Different


Celebrate Different was a Make it Happen project for young people in Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland Culture.

Image Credit. Marion Bota

Celebrate Different explored the themes of body positivity and identity through specially commissioned artworks created by professional artists, performances, music and an exhibition. There were things to experience, see, do, take part in, think about and of course CELEBRATE.

In 2019, young people from Sunderland Culture’s Young Ambassadors took part in our Make It Happen programme. Working as a team they developed skills including marketing, team work, event planning and budgeting allowing them to gain confidence in co-production.

Having taken part in the training the Celebrate Different collective was formed. Taking over Arts Centre Washington, young people recruited local artists to create an eclectic evening for attendees of installations, performances and workshops.

“I’ve never been a person to really make big decisions in a group setting, it’s given me a boost of confidence in knowing that my opinion is valid.”

Julia- Celebrate Different Collective

“My daughter has been involved from the beginning as a curator and I think what we’ve seen as a family is they have really got involved with it. She has made some good friends, they’ve been out on a Saturday outside of here and I think we would all agree that she has developed and grown in confidence, it’s really good.”

Celebrate Different Collective Members Parent

“I think it is absolutely a wonderful night and I am so impressed with the quality of the event and the young people. Young people I have talked to they are so enthusiastic about what they’ve been doing it’s brilliant.”

Event Attendee


Since completing the Make It Happen training and co-producing the first takeover event, the Celebrate Different collective have continued to organise take over events with Sunderland Culture.

Helix Arts has continued to support the group with the most recent takeover taking place in October 2022 of Sunderland Culture’s ‘Bright Light Remixed Exhibition’. Showcasing local young musicians, hosting workshops and celebrating loving yourself and embracing your own identity.

Thank you to our funders.

Sunderland Culture’s Young Ambassador programme was made possible thanks to funding from Culture Bridge North East and Hays Travel.