When perusing Newcastle University’s Student Union societies page, you’ll see many societies and clubs, and can expect a lot to take your fancy. If you’re finding the list a bit overwhelming, but know you’re looking for something artsy to fill your extra-curricular time, then look no further than this article about some of the arts societies Newcastle has to offer!
We’ve spoken to a few of the more arts-focused societies to find out about what they offer members, especially during COVID-19. If you enjoy writing, consider getting involved with the Courier; our writers meetings are taking place online this year (more details to follow) but join our writer’s group here if you want to keep up to date!
NUAS is an award-winning Student Society, representing more than 600 members in their academic lives for 40 years. We provide opportunities for students beyond what the school offers, acting as a social outlet for members to breakaway from the heavy workload and enjoy the subject and their time at Newcastle. This ranges from talks by key industry professionals to nights out and exhibitions, and our greatly anticipated annual black-tie ball. For this year, we’re developing an evolving programme, adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 regulations and its effect on the campus experience with a focus on student welfare and engagement.
Do I have to study architecture to be a member?
No, anyone can be a member! More than catering specifically to architecture students, we’re the society for anyone in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, and all those who share a love for architecture. All you need is a passion for the subject. Every year we have a couple of members join up from outside of the school, especially due to our socials and formal events discounts.
While our Social Secretaries plan out ways to have fun during the upcoming potential lockdown, the Lectures & Talks team is setting the dates for the beginning of our Small Talks series – including names like BIG and Foster+Partners. We’re also planning to launch our new website filled with useful resources (among them an anonymous, student-led complaints procedure) very soon!
We are Newcastle University’s Creative Writing Society, also known as CreSoc. Whether you’re into prose, poetry, scriptwriting, screenwriting, playwriting, or just want a place to express your creativity, we are the society for you.
We hold weekly writing sessions, events and socials. Our usual sessions start at 7pm each Thursday, and we also have weekly writing activities you can try out in your own time. This year we are also organising two anthologies, to showcase fabulous submissions from our members.
Do you have to be a creative writing student to join?
Not at all! We have members from all faculties within the university, so no matter what you study, or what year you are in, we would be happy to welcome you to CreSoc.
We are running weekly events from Thursday (the 1st October), starting with an Introduction session about Creative Writing. On the 8th October, we are holding a book quiz. All of our events will be posted on the Facebook page, and we will be adding more soon.
GILBERT AND SULLIVAN
Newcastle University’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society, better known as NUGSS, is one of the oldest societies on campus, having been around since 1952. We are also the winners of the ‘Best Society Performance’ in the 2020 NUSU Awards for our main show, Iolanthe! We perform two shows a year, where at least one would be a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. We encourage an open atmosphere where members are comfortable to try something new. Our members are a collection, of singers, actors, musicians, tech crew and directors.
To find out more, follow our social media pages, or check us out on the NUSU website where there is a video compilation of previous shows we’ve done!
Can I still join the society if I‘ve never been involved in a show/performance before?
Absolutely! We accept anyone regardless of ability and experience. So if this is something entirely new to you, or something you’ve been dying to try out but haven’t before, now is your chance! We don’t audition our chorus members, so you’re guaranteed to be in our show. If you play an instrument and wish to be involved in our orchestra then we recommend you are at least grade 5 or above. Alternatively, if you want to be part of our backstage, then you’re welcome to give that a go and take on a different responsibility in the run up to and during our shows.
Throughout freshers’ week, a different member of our committee will be taking over our Facebook and Instagram to answer any questions you might have about our society. As we aren’t able to meet in person for the foreseeable future, we are planning to hold weekly socials during our usual rehearsal hours, every Tuesday from 7pm-9pm. The first will be held on Tuesday 6th which is open for anyone to join to see if they want to be a member of our society!
Literature Society is the perfect place to meet fellow readers – join us for book discussions, trips to places like Alnwick’s Barter Books, and book themed socials & book swaps. Though we’re currently running online for the foreseeable future, you can still participate in socials and book discussions online.
Do I have to be an English student to join?
No! Most of our members don’t take English Literature for their degree, so joining is a great chance to meet people from all degree programmes and stages. Because everyone is from such diverse subject backgrounds, conversations can be even more interesting as people’s understanding of the books discussed can be linked differently to each person’s degree as well.
Our first meeting is on the 28th October, to discuss The Shadow King – with the added incentive that we’ll be giving away a copy of the book to one member who signs up to the event here.
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, is a novel recently shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. It is set in 1935 Ethiopia during the time of Mussolini’s invasion and follows the life Hirut, a recently orphaned maid. Hirut decides that she wants to do more for her country and inspires many other women to join her in taking up arms and fighting back.
Keep an eye on our socials (linked below) to see what else we’ll be getting up to in the next few weeks!
PLEASE NOTE: THIS SOCIETY HAS YET TO BE RATIFIED, AND THEREFORE WHILST YOU CAN STILL BUY MEMBERSHIP AND PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS, IT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY NUSU AS A RATIFIED SOCIETY YET.
Hi everyone, we’re the Scrapbooking Society! Are you interested in calligraphy? Perhaps you’d like to make some cute paper crafts? Or maybe you just want to make friends whilst chilling out and crafting? If you can relate to any of the above, this society is for you! No matter your ability or experience, you can join us, learn new crafts, and make to your heart’s content. The current global situation is not ideal for making new memories, so how about a bit of memory keeping instead? Enjoy all of that and more with a £5 membership!
Will the society provide equipment/other resources for members to use for scrapbooking at the weekly drop ins?
Currently, given the status of the society we are not able to apply for grants or access any funding yet, and current restrictions mean our drop ins will be virtual for now, but the committee are aiming to provide various pieces of useful equipment for everyone to share, including paper trimmers, cutting boards and possibly photo printers when we are able to. We will also offer an affordable starter pack on our NUSU page when we are ratified (which should be shortly if all continues to go to plan).
Events: Pyjama Party Social – Friday 2nd October at 8pm (open to all students, message socials/page with your uni email for a Zoom link)
Taster Session 1: How to Make an Upcycled Postcard with things from around the House – Wednesday 7th October (time TBA shortly)
With more tasters to be announced soon!
Despite current circumstances, NUTS is still up and running! Although theatre companies are having a difficult time right now, it has given us the chance to explore a different means of drama and theatre. We’re currently working on online plays, podcasts and social media competitions where possible. We want to provide a fun outlet for students during this crazy time!
What kind of scale is your society?
What I’d say to new members is with everything looking so different to our normal is, don’t be put off! We really are a society that can not only provide fun but a means of making life long friends and memories! We have a family system being implemented too so we’re better than ever!
Our socials are @nutsncl on instagram and Newcastle University Theatre Society on Facebook. We also have a newcomers page you can join to find out more about you can get involved with!
Last modified: 4th October 2020