A new £900,000 Creative and Cultural Fund for Belfast, will bring a series of large-scale arts projects to life, reaching out to communities across the city.
Creative Belfast, set-up by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, is the first initiative of its kind, providing opportunities for local people to come together to create unique and memorable arts and heritage projects. Four arts organisations have already been awarded funding through the programme to devise their ideas. Each will work with a range of community partners over the next 18 months to develop their projects and create major new arts experiences and events for Belfast.
These will include a significant piece of public art created by Golden Thread Gallery; Baby Day, a new one-day festival for Belfast’s youngest citizens created by Replay Theatre Company; Nine Nights, a thrilling outdoor theatre experience brought to us by ArtsEkta; and Abhainn bheo na Fearsaide/The Living River Farset, a partnership between the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill and Cultúrlann on the Falls, which will use arts to celebrate the history of the river that gave Belfast its name.
Roísín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said the new fund will promote community engagement and challenge social exclusion: “Creative Belfast is about engaging the city’s diverse people and communities in culture and arts. All of the funded projects will offer opportunities for local people, from the young, to the old and everyone in between, to get involved.
“We want to encourage people who possibly haven’t engaged with the arts before to do so now; to explore their creative-side and be part of something truly magnificent. The projects are all unique, innovative and spectacular in scale and the final artworks will be unlike anything seen in Belfast before, reflecting the true creative ambition of this great city.”
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nichola Mallon, commented: “This project is a great example of Belfast City Council’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that residents and visitors feel connected with the excellent cultural offering here.
“People of all ages, from all backgrounds and from all parts of the city now have the chance to get involved and get creative. I would encourage everyone to accept that challenge – go for it!”
Almost £600,000 has now been awarded through the Creative and Cultural Fund to support the first four successful projects. Details of when the fund will reopen for applications will be announced later this year.
To register to receive email updates, log on to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/creativebelfast. You can also keep up to date by visiting www.artscouncil-ni.org/creativebelfast or connect with projects online at facebook.com/creativebelfast and via twitter @Cre8tiveBelfast and #CreativeBelfast