Once Upon A Time...
Established in 2004, Beyond Skin is an organisation which uses Music, Arts & Media to assist in the building & development of cultural relations in Northern Ireland, with the overall aim of addressing issues of racism & sectarianism.
- To address racism & sectarianism in Northern Ireland through multicultural arts.
- To promote positive attributes reflected from a society made up of different cultures.
- To promote multicultural arts for the benefit of the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.
- To promote racial harmony and the exchange of cultural ideas and relations through the medium of the arts.
- To contribute to maintaining a peaceful society in Northern Ireland.
- To increase social awareness of different cultures within Northern Ireland
- To increase links between communities from different cultural backgrounds.
- To present, promote, organise, manage and produce performances and exhibitions of works of cultural and educational value.
Our 4 main flagship programmes
The Motion Project
Homely Planet Inter(net) Cultural Radio
World Music Northern Ireland
Beyond Skin Global
The Motion Project:Multi-cultural collective using music as a methodology for cultural exchange & education.
Homely Planet Inter(net) Cultural Radio:Cultural exchange / education and world music through radio broadcasts and forums.
World Music NI:Promoting world music in Northern Ireland.
Beyond Skin Global:Using music, art and media to link global development issues to local race relations.
The key element of project delivery is partnership and participation. Beyond Skin's approach is to give ownership of the projects to those involved. This is applied internally (employed staff and volunteers) and externally (groups, individuals, schools etc.). Partnership programmes are welcomed, and in turn Beyond Skin shares its ideas and projects. Communication plays a massive part in this approach, building up good relationships with any of those worked with, such as education boards, council units, individuals, etc. This in turn means a significant investment on the part of the project managers in building up and nurturing those relationships across Northern Ireland.
In essence, Beyond Skin's approach is to bring together a whole team of creative colleagues, from committee, staff and artists who deliver Beyond Skin's programmes. With such a team, possibilities, rather than barriers, can be seen. The approach is one where everyone has an input, and there is a positive and proactive target-audience focus, where the motto is: "Don't organise something you wouldn't go to yourself". In this sense, those who are benefiting from the programmes are those same people and groups who are brought into the process and inform its development along the way.
Beyond Skin have a very personal touch and a strong empathy based on the realisation that most people do not have access to accurate information and mixed messages from the media, community peers and those with negative agendas can influence peoples' opinions which can present social unconstructive attitudes. Giving people the opportunity for cultural learning and exchange can assist build trust and confident and empower them to make a difference in their own communities.
Beyond Skin is a very ethical organisation never afraid to challenge issues, policies or decisions that may have a negative impact in the community.
As always we remain people focused, not organisational obsessed and continue to share our ideas, findings and resources always aiming to empower people to use their skills for positive outcomes benefiting the Northern Ireland community and beyond. In tough financial times we are not just here to survive as an organisation but to develop and deliver a new innovative project; that's what we do best, usually with little resources but working with passionate, gifted people.
Although world events, mainstream media, corporate advertising and some people in power paint a very gloomy picture of the world where one person cannot make a difference, it is an attitude that Beyond Skin challenges. Assisting to reduce fears, developing confidence in people and allowing them to exercise their gifts in a supportive encouraging environment forms part of our aims to promote peace and understanding. People are amazing, and we all have the ability to achieve what people consider the impossible.
Our online presence is getting stronger. We are engaging with new media, social networks and working closely with our design partner Sinful Design, who produce our outstanding promotional materials and handle our website network. Online, we feel we strengthen our projects and extend our network even further.
In 2010, many of our ideas & projects have settled into formats & brands. Our new team is running at a steady pace, focusing on a variety of roles.
Although we operate with the usual tight governance procedures of most charities, we are very unique. More of global family than an organisation, a social force rather than a brand and most of all a dynamic team of individuals that form part of a wider global movement to promote peace and equality for all.
So if you are running an event or project or even just have an idea, we would love to hear from you.