Taste the World has been an increasingly popular feature of WOMAD festivals around the world since 2005, bringing artists performing at the festival to a designated ‘cookery’ stage to prepare and cook a traditional dish from their country of origin, whilst in conversation with the Taste the World host. Food, music and conversation are a universal combination and Taste the World serves up a compelling mix of all three. The first Taste the World took place at a WOMAD Festival Australia in 2005 and from there it has moved around the world
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Plans have now begun for Taste The World to be hosted at the foot of the Mournes in Newcastle as part of the PEACE IV Blueprint programme. Blueprint is a comprehensive ethnic minority cultural diversity programme across the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area, supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)
The participatory led project will be in partnership between Unit T, Taste The World UK team and Beyond Skin. Leading up to the Taste the World event scheduled for Spring 2021 will be a series of immersive online workshops and special events with guests. Online workshops will be facilitated by Annie Menter and guests. Annie has over 30 years’ experience managing intercultural projects and festivals including managing Taste the World UK for WOMAD.
Commenting on the launch of the PEACE IV Ethnic Minority and Cultural Diversity Programme across the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area Cllr Laura Devlin, Chair of Newry, Mourne & Down District Council said;
“I am delighted that Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, through our PEACE IV Programme can bring such an inclusive and vibrant online project and final celebration event to the area. This project will be led by local residents on a cross community basis, it will pay particular attention to minority groups and groups who traditionally have been marginalised in society, creating opportunities for a greater degree of participation and integration. This will be the first of 12 cultural diversity project that will be delivered throughout the Newry, Mourne and Down District area. Community spirit and cohesion has proven to be abundant in the Newry, Mourne and Down District area in recent months as we have adapted to the challenges of Covid 19 and this PEACE IV Ethnic Minority and Cultural Diversity Project will be a great way of showcasing and celebrating the talents, openness and inclusive nature of our local community.”
Annie Menter, independent producer & founder of Taste the World UK commented;
“We are so excited to be bringing Taste the World to Northern Ireland and to be working with Beyond Skin and the community in the Mournes, towards staging an event in 2021. Our vision for sharing music, food and conversation, opens up hearts and minds to the wealth of creativity and diversity both globally and locally. It is something we believe touches on shared histories and individual experiences. Finding connections and celebrating difference can be a powerful tool for change. We can’t wait to come together with organisations and individuals to share what we feel sure will be a ‘Taste the World’ to remember.”
Unit T is a charity established in 2013 to provide educational, leisure, creative and social events to help reduce isolation, promote good mental health and to help bring communities together. They have strong links across Newry Mourne & Down District area most recently winning the civic pride award with their regular environmental cleanup events, facilitating artisan markets with local craft, food and drink producers, co-ordinating festivals in Newcastle/ Downpatrick and providing creative workshops for children and adults of all ages and abilities.
Their latest venture A Taste of the Mournes which will celebrate all the diverse tastes of the people from all backgrounds who live in the Mournes. They aim to bring them together through supper clubs, cookery schools and workshops, a perfect fit for the Taste the World Project.
Kathy Black Project Manager of Unit T said;
“We would like to offer the opportunity for local people who want to bring something new and exciting to the Mournes, you don’t have to be a musician, artist or performer just bring your time and energy to come with us on a journey to explore your local culture, history to create an event to celebrate music, food and great conversation.”
The Blueprint programme, of which Taste the World is one, will see twelve projects across Newry, Mourne and Down designed and implemented by participants with help from specialists in the related themes of the projects. The projects will compliment cultural celebrations and initiate social action projects. A trainer of trainers programme will also be facilitated by the Brehon Advisory.
We invite people to participate in the Taste The World project development workshops that will start online. This is a very exciting opportunity to be in the company of such a world class brand and the people who make it so. This is all about partnerships and relationships between the local communities and Taste The World. It is not about parachuting in a world-renowned festival stage, it is about local ownership and participation that will enable a legacy that will benefit the people of Mourne and the wider community.
As part of the PeaceIV programme participants are asking to commit to the entire development and delivery of the Taste The World event. This includes online workshops, events with special guests held in Newcastle when CoVId-19 restrictions are lifted, and volunteering at the Taste of The World festival event. Participants will see the project from start to finish. This is a unique opportunity and experience to work alongside the Taste The World team and special guests from around the globe.
More information about Blueprint www.beyondskin.net/blueprint
For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu
The idea for Taste the World began on a bus travelling across North America during a WOMAD tour in 1993 but it was some years later that the seed of the idea actually took root and has since blossomed into the hugely popular WOMAD event that it is today. Talking with artists on that tour it became evident that the things they really missed when away from home were food and family and that many of them, male and female loved to cook. As we talked, stories emerged, spontaneous music happened, and it became obvious this was an exciting concept that WOMAD could share with its audiences. The first Taste the World took place in Australia in 2005 and from there it has moved around the world.