Radius Creative Community Arts Project

Arts | Community Cohesion | Physical Environment
Radius Housing Northern Ireland03/03/202231/03/2022
What is the project?

A Creative Community Arts Projects bringing tenants and their children together from the T:buc/'Housing for All' Shared Housing Development to discuss and celebrate the themes of children and young people, diversity, culture and safe communities. The participants will use art to depict these conversations which will result in the installation of 2 large pieces ( 1 x 125ft & 1 x 85ft) of community artwork panels located within the shared housing development and surrounding street.

Participants attend weekly art and design workshops, discussion on the 4 themes of children, &young people, Diversity, Culture and Safe Communities. They will also work on the development of a tenant vision for their development that will be reflected in their end design. The workshops are located in Lagan Village Youth & Community Centre on the Ravenhill Road.

Who is the project targeted at?

This programme is enaging with tenants and their children aged (4 - 14) living in a Radius shared housing development located on Ravenhill Road. It has partnered with the Social Change Group members who are made up of tenants from 2 shared developments on Ravenhill Road and work towards empowering themselves and others to promote shared housing and its benefits, network with the wider community for the benefit of the tenants in the shared developments..
The Creative Community Art Project is being co funded through Belfast City Council with their Peace IV funding and Radius through T;buc/Housing for All funding.

Why did the project come about?

This project was the result of connecting with Belfast City Council who where seeking to engage with groups in east Belfast as part of a Belfast wide programme of Creative Community Arts funded through Peace IV.

The Radius Communties Officer followed up this opportunity and developed the East Belfast programme in partnership with Belfast City Council

This was to build on and to further progress a Diversity in Art Project which they had delivered in the previous year using art to promote cultural diversity, acceptance, respect and understanding between cultures.. The Diversity in Art Project had been successful with the installation of art panels on lamposts and inside the apartment block hallways in the development.

This programme seen the removal of memorial banners that had been placed there in relation to the atrocities of the troubles and negative media coverage in the area in relation to paramilitary flags.

The Creative Community Art project will expand and build on the previous work already delivered and installed to promote shared living between cultures, break down barriers and make their area a nicer, better place to live. With newly designed large panels of artwork to be located on fencing and walls in the development. it will make the shared development a brighter more welcoming place to live, promote shared housing, present a message of acceptance, integration, respect and difference through the medium of art that has involved the tenants and their children and promoting ownership and civic pride.

There is also a sense of isolation particularly with Ethnic Minority tenants so this project provided a softer approach to connecting tenants, raising awareness on culture and diversity and promoting community cohesion.

How was this project implemented?

Tenant Consultation
Meetings with the Social Change Group
A flyer inviting tenants in the shared development to take part
An artwork bus tour across Belfast to promote interest and shared learning
Weekly workshops Nov 21- Mar 22
Weekend Residential 18th - 20th March to Corrymeela with 4 Good Relations themed workshops using creative art.
A launch Event of the Art Panels to be scheduled upon completion and installation
A celebration and launch event with all 4 areas of Belfast to display their project and development of their work
A 3 minute video log of the programme currently being developed.

How was this project funded?

Belfast City Council and Peace IV
Radius Housing and T:buc/Housing for All

Outcomes so far

The project will continue until 31st March with weekly sessions and a weekend residential to Corrymeela. There are 29 participants with parents and children
Includes Catholic, Protestant and BME tenants -
It is building relationships with parents and their children encouraging them to talk about difficult subjects in a positive constructive way. The participants are getting to know each other, learn about each others cultures and backgrounds and able to contribute in a positive way without prejudice.
Providing a safe space for these types of honest discussions on difficult themes with a wide range of cultures is important and this project is providing the space to enable this to happen resulting in a more cohesive community. Tenants are now calling to meet with each other to come to the group, involving each other in outside activities and events and supporting each other within the weekly sessions but also outside in their streets as well.. Ethnic Minority Families who where feeling isolated within their community now feel part of it and included.
Members of the group who are from the area have been supporting and accompanying ethnic minority tenants to come out and get involved in community activities. There has been an - apparent positive shift in tenants connecting and engaging with other irrespective of colour or culture.
The programme is enabling particpants to
Develop skills
Build confidence
Increase understanding of diversity & culture
Promote acceptance, respect and awareness
Build on Community Cohesion and community relationships
Making positive memories between cultures
This will create future opportunities for cultures to come together, engage with each other, create new friendships, build on community relationships, make where they live a happier, better place to be.
Evaluation of the project will take place at the end of the progarmme and will show the measurable outcome of this project with Base line Surveys/End Surveys and Good relations themed evaluations.

Future plans

There will be a launch event onside when the artwork is installed - April/May 22 TBC
A celebration event bringing participating groups together from across the city this will be arranged by Belfast City Council date TBC
Press Release when Artwork is installed

Additional Websites
Contact Details

Sharon Traynor
sharon.traynor@radiushousing.org

Mobile 07483328463