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About Us

Developing Community Through Arts

Community arts programmes work!

About Us

Based on the York Road since 2000, Arts for All has been a bedrock of community arts in north Belfast for 15 years. The core of the organisation's work is to offer opportunities for participaton in the arts to suppoprt community development, education, community relations, personal development and social cohesion. During 2013, Arts for All worked with 829 participants, 95 artists, over 50 community groups and ten schools.

Arts for All firmly believes that positive change can be acheived through the delivery of arts projects which can improve the lives of local residents  – both today and in the future. Through experience, Arts for All knows that those who become involved in creative activity are more inclined to stay involved in the life of the community.

Arts For All is working towards a better future for north Belfast. Arts for All's vision is to 'develop a more cohesive, confident and creative community in north Belfast'. All Arts for All programmes aim to deliver this vision.

Research* carried out by Arts for All found that after being involved in a community arts project:

  • 84% of participants felt more confident about what they could do
  • 52% of participants decided to do a training or education course
  • 73% of participants reported feeling better or healthier
  • 85% of participants reported feeling happier

Arts for All is all about positive change

about-us-02In the past, north Belfast has suffered from the negative impact of social deprivation and division. The Dunlop Report (2000) stated that: 'North Belfast has some of the poorest health and social care indices in Northern Ireland, with high incidences of cancer, asthma, bronchitis and other diseases, partly because of the high level of deprivation and reatively poor housing'.
 
Arts for All views each community arts project as a small step towards a more postive view of community and towards healing the wounds formed by decades of conflict and segregation. Working at a grass roots level with members of community to build and strenghen relationships, Arts For All provides amazing opportunities for those who have limited or no chance to be creative to express ideas.
 

Arts For All thinks all these ideas are really important!

Arts at the heart of it All

Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it (Bertolt Brecht)

Arts For All believes that building good relations through arts is the most effective medium for addressing issues of confict and division, as well as a valuable way of easing social tension.

Over the years, Arts For All staff have witnessed art projects deliver challenging community programmes during which participants are given the space and confdence to express themselves without feeling intimidated.

Fostering such environments gives a voice to people who may previously have remained silent and isolated from the wider community.

Workshops and projects use such mediums as: music - instrumental and vocal; dance and drama; folk art; creative writing; architecture, painting and sculpture; photography and graphics; crafts and industrial design; textiles; costume and fashion design; motion picture, television, radio, tape and sound recording, as well as performance and exhibition.

Arts For All loves community arts!

To see the most recent Annual Report click here.

* ART WORKS! Creative Community Development: Exploring the role of Community Arts in Community Development in North Blefast

The Arts for All team

 

Finance manager: Jill McDermott has worked in Arts for All as finance manager since 2008. During that period she has built up relationships with local people and has used her wide knowldege of the arts to bring artists into north Belfast and to support and nurture creative talent through the mentoring scheme. Jill has responsibililty for the organisation's finances. She develops budgets for funding applications and balances the books to ensure projects happen on time and within budget. Jill also delivers the mentoring scheme with the co-ordinator and assists with the delivery of programmes. Jill has seen firsthand what community arts can do at grassroots level and how it can be used as a tool to help people address issues in their lives

 

Board

Chair: Jim Crothers is project co-ordinator at the Hubb, North Belfast.

Treasurer: Muriel Bowyer is co-ordinator of Small Steps. She has 20 years' community development experience with a background in community development, administration, regeneration and support work. 

Jennifer Cockard is project co-ordinator within Small Steps

Rosie Mulvenna is manager in Second Time Around charity shop

Helen Johnston is the Tresurer of The WAC group (Women' Art and Crafts) 

Lee Reynolds is a councillor for the Belfast City Council