North East Connected

Local hard-to- reach learners shine brightly at digital arts exhibition

Sunderland based social enterprise Media Savvy CIC held its third annual exhibition at the University of Sunderland’s design centre last week. The core aim of the week- long event was to boost local participants’ confidence, sense of pride and employability skills.

The exhibition proved to be a huge success with more than 500 people attending the event.

Visitors had the opportunity to see over 180 digital artworks produced by the CIC’s learners along with a selection of video and animation projects.

Managing Director Dan Makaveli, 34, a Sunderland university graduate said:

“For a variety of reasons, SHINE_ON was our most difficult exhibition to date to actually ‘pull off, which in a way, makes it the most satisfying to me. We again had a great turnout on the launch night and throughout the week-long exhibition, from learners and their friends / families and many key partners and funders.

Thanks once more to all of our generous sponsors this year, including the University of Sunderland, Sunderland City Council, SR1 Rotary Club, Peter Conway, Grainger Financial and Pizza Hut Pallion. We could not put the event on without their generous help and support”

The company delivers digital arts and media based courses for disadvantaged people, including; offenders, mental health service users, those with learning / physical disabilities and the long-term unemployed. Many of their courses also include nationally recognised qualifications in either IT User Skills or Vocational Studies.

One of the most progressed learners to date Peter Tyzack said:

‘’I used to suffer from social anxiety and depression with the worst period being between 2011 and 2014. It was the Media Savvy course that made me want my life back and helped me realise that I was good at something. Thanks to the courses I keep getting better and keep challenging myself on a personal and professional level.

I will always remember the event fondly as a part of my progression and the impact Media Savvy has had on my life. As well as having my work shown at an exhibition I was given the scary opportunity to speak at the event, openly speaking to a room full of people about my struggles with mental health and the journey I had begun in reclaiming my life.’’

In 2012, the Sunderland-based not-for- profit organisation was named ‘Best Start-up Business in the North East & Yorkshire’ from over 200 shortlisted, for the inaugural Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards.

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