A fun day for peace building

Holly Hinton and Nevada Hawthorne
Holly Hinton and Nevada Hawthorne

A fun day funded by the Arts Council has been held in the Cline Road Estate in Banbridge as part of a peace building initiative

Banbridge District Council, on behalf of Cline Road Estate, recently received initial funding of £3,995 from the Arts Council led Building Peace through the Arts – Re-Imaging Communities programme.

The funding is facilitating consultation and creative engagement with residents of Cline Road Estate with a view to developing a piece of public art that will challenge sectarian and racist attitudes and support community cohesion.

It is hoped that the artwork will reflect the diversity of the estate and contribute to the ethos of a shared community.

Artist Alan Cargo held a community ‘arts’ fun day for local residents on Saturday to investigate potential themes for the artwork.

Speaking about the fun day, Ian McCandless from Cline Road, said: “Saturday was really positive with new connections made between local people from both inside and outside the estate, all of whom had the opportunity to experiment with the arts.

“We hope that the final artwork produced will send out a positive message that our estate is open and welcoming to people from all walks of life.”

The £3.125m Building Peace through the Arts – Re-Imaging Communities programme offers funding to community groups and local authorities across Northern Ireland and the Border Region that want to tackle sectarianism and racism.

Up to £5,000 is available to fund peace building through local consultation and creative engagement for each project site.

Upon completion of this stage, a second application up to £50,000 can be made to produce and install the artwork.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said: “This important programme provides an invaluable opportunity for communities to promote tolerance and understanding while using the arts to find positive new ways to express identity and tradition.

“The arts introduce a new dimension to the process of building reconciliation within and between communities.

“I’m delighted that projects, such as this one at Cline Road, are now in a position to place creative regeneration at the very heart of their local neighbourhood.

The programme is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and also by the European Union’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and the International Fund for Ireland.