About Beyond Skin

2 Oct 2014

Who? What? Why? When?

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.

We are the most active world arts organisation in Northern Ireland and represent the largest diverse team of international artists on the Isle. We have acquired an impeccable track record for development and delivery of projects whilst nurturing the skills of artists. But don’t take our word for it, ask around.



What We Do...

Interactive World Music Experiences • Festivals • Global Arts Workshops • International Radio Productions • Rural Global Village Experience • Food Market • International Fashion Box • World Dance & Music • Global Education Projects • Live World Music Performances • International Media Exchange Projects.

How We Do It...

Through a professional team representing over 40 nationalities we offer the biggest range of world arts & multicultural media projects in Northern Ireland providing also creative opportunities to link with our partners through 27 countries. Established in 2004, our team has acquired an outstanding reputation for developing and delivering innovative creative projects that generate positive outcomes.

We see ourselves 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.

What About You?

We would love to hear from you and discover how we can help you out with your projects, events or ideas!

We have various workshop & project formats and running programmes. We also design bespoke project/events to suit your requirements. And most of all we are a friendly bunch of people passionate about bring positive social change and we just love working with people. Please take time to visit our social media sites and project sites and see for yourself what has been happening, what we are doing now and plans for the future.

Key objectives

  • 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.


Ethos

The key element of project delivery is respect, partnership and participation. Beyond Skin's approach is to give ownership of the projects to those involved. This is applied internally (employed staff, artists 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.

Many of our ideas & projects have settled into sustainable formats & brands.

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.

We'll say it one last time...if you are running an event or project or even just have an idea, we would love to hear from you!

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We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.


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Supported by the Arts Council Northern Ireland Lottery Funding