A Launch In Creative Space - Orchestra of Change Mid-Ulster Peace IV

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“I used to think that music was like lace upon a garment, nice to have but not necessary. I have come to believe that music is essential to our community life.”
George Eastman - an American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company

Music, the dialogue in Draperstown as Glasgowbury Creative Hub hosted the launch of the Mid Ulster “Orchestra of Change” – a Beyond Skin project.

Pictured: Participants who attended the launch of the ‘Beyond Skin’ PEACE IV funded project in Draperstown recently are pictured with Councillor Cora Corry (Carntogher Ward, Mid Ulster District Council),  ‘Beyond Skin’ tutors Niko Petsakos and Raphael Frank, and Sean Henry. (Mid Ulster Good Relations)

This project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The project forms part of a wider regional Arts Dialogue Youth4Peace programme with additional support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The aim of the project is to use music to provide a platform for children and young people to express their identity, needs, gifts, stories and sense of belonging. Music productions from the project will explore themes of equality. human rights, environment, community, mental health, youth, peace and security. The themes echo UN Resolution 2250, the first ever thematic resolution on Youth, Peace and Security. This historic document is very important for all young peace builders worldwide because it brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace.

Workshops will take place with various youth groups across Mid-Ulster that will come together at times throughout the project. It is not an Orchestra in a tradional classical format - simply children and young people collaborating together making music with their instruments, voice and recycled materials that produce sound.

Beyond Skin established in 2004 are creative Innovators in peacebuilding, enabling the Arts as the dialogue to assist the development of a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society free from racism & sectarianism. Through a diverse team of artists and peace soldiers we design and facilitate innovative creative projects & solutions that strengthen community relations, nurture peace processes, assist good mental health and promote interaction between different cultures through diversity and global education.
Beyond Skin are one of the organisations represented in #ArtsDialogue, an international intergenerational team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists.

Back in August 2018 as part of the Arts Dialogue programme for the Magherafelt Tafelta Festival  Beyond Skin ran a series of workshops with young people called "The Orchestra of Change" the outcomes and creative outputs was so successful it has been developed into an eighteen month project welcoming participants across Mid Ulster district.

Beyond Skin founder Darren Ferguson commented
“Every process has a rhythm and we all have soundtracks to our stories. The Northern Ireland peace process is no different. Sharing, learning and celebrating through music & sound is the best approach for building relationships and skills that enable people to contribute to a society where the cycle of sectarianism and intolerance is broken. Just like an orchestra each participant will demonstrate how you can be an individual but part of it all at the same time”

The Orchestra of Change Project is open to anyone 10-18 years who plays and instrument or sings. All abilities and levels welcomed.
Facilitating most of the project will be Greek composer & musician Nikos Petsakos, hip-hop rap producer Raphael Frank, guitarist Leo Mahdi, soul singer & choir master Siobhan Brown and instrument maker Patrick Finnegan. Both Nikos and Frank are part of the Arts Dialogue collective, an international intergenerational team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists. Other special guest musicians will assist the project along the way.

For more information contact Darren Ferguson info.beyondskin@gmail.com   mobile/whatsapp 07877756987   www.beyondskin.net