One of the world's biggest and most prestigious art competitions is on show in Sunderland this weekend.
The BP Portrait Award begins a six-week run at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on Saturday.
The judges looked at more than 2,000 portraits sent in by artists from all over the world.
Cllr Paul Watson Leader, Sunderland City Council, one of the event's organisers, says it's great news for Sunderland:
Some students who have been leaving their mark at Teesside University which has recently moved into a striking new building on its Darlington campus.
The question for the university was how to make the design look as good inside as it does on the outside.
Staff turned to their own students - and they responded to the challenge.
It is still a work in progress but we had a look at what they've been up to.
There has been a surprise £600,000 U-turn on arts funding on Tyneside.
Just months after Newcastle City Council proposed cutting all of its support for the city's venues, it is now launching a fund worth more than a half a million pounds.
The council leader says that he hasn't changed his mind, but that they have found the money elsewhere.
And, if it gets approval, theatres could get council funding again by 2016.
Watch the full report from Dan Ashby below.
The leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, has been talking to us about the announcement that a new £600,000 arts fund is being set up to support theatres and arts organisations in the region.
Newcastle City Council is starting up a £600,000 arts fund for its theatres and arts organisations to apply to.
It comes after the council proposed to cut more than one million pounds of its arts funding in its last budget.
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg accused the council of playing politics with its decisions, but today the council said the decision made financial sense.
Councillor Nick Forbes said the money was coming from alternative revenue streams which were safe from cuts.
The North East playwright who wrote Billy Elliot launched a scathing attack on cuts in arts funding by Newcastle City Council as he received an honorary degree at Northumbria University.
Lee Hall used the occasion to again accuse the council of attacking art for ordinary people.
Council bosses say they are responding to budget cuts from the government.
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Newcastle City Council have responded to claims they have "attacked art" with cuts in the City.
The North East author that penned Billy Elliot has accused Newcastle City Council of attacking the arts for working class people.
Lee Hall spoke out about cutbacks to services including libraries and theatres when he was back in the region to receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University.
The author said that the cuts would affect ordinary people the most.
The local authority say that their actions are a necessary response to slashed government budgets.
The playwright Lee Hall, who wrote The Pitmen Painters and the screenplay for the film Billy Elliott will receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University.
He was born in Newcastle, and his work has been recognised internationally for his work on stage and screen. Much of his writing is rooted in the working class culture of the North East. A central theme in his work is the role of art in those communities.
He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters alongside students from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at a ceremony today.
"I am thrilled to be honoured by the University at a time when Libraries and Arts are being threatened in the City. The recognition that culture and art is valued as centrally important to the University's concerns is more than simply a personal recognition, but a reminder of the vital part they play in all our lives."
A seaside town has taken on an enchanted feel as an illuminations festival gets underway. Whitley Bay in North Tyneside is staging 'Shimmer', a digital arts festival introduced last year as a build-up to Bonfire Night, bathing buildings in waves of light.
An animated film called ‘Diversión' forms the centrepiece of the event, lighting up the town's Spanish City dome in vibrant colours.The Waves leisure pool and the Panama Dip skate park are hosting light-based works by cutting-edge artists.
The festival, which has a £50,000 budget, will draw to a close with a fireworks display held on Sunday evening.
"The council had never commissioned anything like that before, but when they saw how fantastic it was they thought we’ve got to do it again.“One of the reasons the festival was so successful last year was that people really responded to the work."