12 projects receive culture boost

The Reading Rooms project from the Verbal Arts Centre.
The Reading Rooms project from the Verbal Arts Centre.

A series of outstanding arts projects will be brought to life across the Derry as part of the final instalment of the £900,000 Legacy Fund for the city following the 2013 Culture celebrations.

The fund, which was set-up by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City Council, has brought a total of 35 exciting arts and heritage projects to the city.

The final 12 projects supported through the initiative cover a range of high quality cultural offerings across, dance, visual arts, music and theatre genres.

Successful projects include the Waterside Theatre, In Your Space and The Void Art Centre.

Two major benefactors are the CHORALE project from Something Special and the Verbal Arts Centre for Reading Rooms Goes Mobile.

Based in Eglinton, Something Special is an organisation which offers educational and social opportunities for those young people and adults with learning disabilities.

Using their Legacy Funding, they will present C.H.O.R.A.L.E (Creative Hub of Rhythmic and Legacy Enrichment),a musical event which will offer huge opportunities for collaborative, inclusive learning and skills development through the arts.

C.H.O.R.A.L.E promises to be an inspiring and life transforming project that will enhance creativity and talent, transform audiences and their perceptions, highlight the need for inclusive community learning environments and emphasise the importance of collaborative working.

Following the success of the Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms initiative, a project which provides positive benefits to people’s health and well-being through the literary arts, the project will see a ‘Mobile Reading Room’ driven to hard to reach, marginalised communities living in areas of high deprivation throughout Derry.

The mobile reading room vehicle is highly branded and customised with the capacity to drive to inaccessible locations with a bespoke internal space to allow people to get on board when static to participate in a Reading Room session.

The sessions will be led by a trained volunteer facilitator who will use high quality literature to connect with the participants focusing on areas such as mental health development, reduction of social isolation and creative engagement.

Roísín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:  “The £900,000 Derry Legacy Fund has supported a number of projects in the city with many of the funded projects providing opportunities to encourage more of Derry’s citizens, from harder to reach communities, to participate in arts and culture. It’s about the value of the arts in promoting community engagement, challenging social exclusion and attracting visitors to the city who help boost the local economy.”

Oonagh McGillion, Director of Legacy said, “The quality of the applications in this second phase of the Legacy Fund was outstanding.”