Arts Council Northern Ireland invest as principal funder of a 10 month #ArtsDialogue programme across Northern Ireland.
In March 2017 Beyond Skin hosted Northern Ireland’s first Global Youth4Peace Summit in partnership with organisations, peace activists and artists across the globe. The design was a unique experimental format going against the grain of traditional conferences allowing unprogrammed space for creative expression, artistic development, natural dialogue and relationship building.
Born out of the summit a whatsapp group of the facilitating team formed called #ArtsDialogue representing Ireland, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Israel, Netherlands, Tanzania, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since March the collective have been very active sharing experiences, music, artwork, ideas, collaborating and forging a strong family relationship. This has led to the design of the #ArtsDialogue model, ethos, vision and activity programme to be delivered by the collective based in the aforementioned countries.
Applying our creative freedom as Artists within Peacebuilding and Community Relations - Challenging traditional and default formats of conferences, workshop models and safe space concepts - A unique Arts led approach for shared learning drawing on a decades of peacebuilding experience across the Globe.” - #ArtsDialogue
Workshops have already started with the Arts Council as the principal funder of a 10 month programme through Lottery funding joining other investors. Flagship events complimenting the workshop programme are in development including a large #ArtsDialogue presence and programme of activities at the Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 14 – 15 October.
Natalie Marquez from the collective and Escuelaz de Paz Colombia commented
“Agradezco al Arts Council, por apoyar este Arts Dialogue; es importante la sostenibilidad en el tiempo de estos procesos, ya que el arte nos ha permitido atravesar fronteras y de esta manera unirnos bajo un mismo diálogo para construir culturas paz en nuestras comunidades.”
The organisations represented in the collective are Beyond Skin (Northern Ireland), Heartbeat (Israel-Palestine), The Music Project (Sri Lanka), Escuelas de Paz (Colombia), United Network of Young Peace Builders (50 countries memberships) and Brehon Advisory (active internationally).
Beyond Skin Founder & CEO Darren Ferguson said
“#ArtsDialogue has been a breath of fresh air and an unexpected development that is extremely exciting and long overdue. It has been the response to rising concerns within our diverse team the way the Arts, Intercultural expectations & language are viewed within good relations youth work and Peace Building. #ArtsDialogue aims to challenge, question and provoke mediocrity through unbounded creativity in the pursuit for a more peaceful and equal society.”