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Northern Ireland groups enjoy grants windfall from Culture for All

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Northern Ireland
Culture for All Northern Ireland
Release date:
30 1 2013

Memories of Belfast’s dance hall days are to be captured on film in celebration of the UK City of Culture year thanks to a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

Newington Day Centre is one of nine groups across Northern Ireland awarded grants totalling over £84,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Culture for All programme.

Culture for All is a small grants programme offering grants of up to £10,000 to communities across Northern Ireland that want to play a part in the UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013. Community organisations can apply for funding to run arts and culture projects and activities that link in with the historic event, encourage talent and improve the lives of people in communities.

The north Belfast day centre has been awarded £9,925 to run a series of events based around the history and music of the old dance halls of Belfast. Older people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia will visit the sites of the old halls as well as looking at film footage and pictures. An old time tea dance will also be organised with groups from Derry~Londonderry where older people can share stories and get out on the dance floor.

Centre manager Margaret McCrudden said the grant will be used to produce a booklet and DVD recording the stories and music of those taking part. “People with dementia related illnesses may have a poor short term memory, but we want to take them back to the days of the old dance halls and help them reminisce. We’ll record their stories as well as source archive photographs for a DVD and a book,” said Margaret.

“They’ll be taken on a tour of Belfast, visiting the sites of famous dance halls such as the Floral Halls, the Jig and the Plaza, to see what stands in their place today.

“Their memories and their stories will be recorded for the DVD which will be available for other groups and the public to enjoy and the older people will have something to share with their grandchildren. We also plan to bring a group from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry for an afternoon tea dance and tap into events that are happening there for the UK City of Culture Year.”

She continued: “Cameras will record the dancers as they take to the floor, and the videos will be used to illustrate the stories recalled on the DVD. Older people will feel someone values them and their memories.”

Cathedral Youth and Community Centre, in Derry~Londonderry’s Fountain area, has been awarded £9,425 to run a music and arts project to celebrate the city’s multicultural population. Activities will include music courses on African drums, Scottish and Irish dancing, arts and crafts classes to create a cultural mural, photography and design to produce a cultural cookery book and a community cultural festival.

“The activities, organised to mark UK City of Culture Year, will involve people of all ages and backgrounds,” said project manager Jeanette Warke. “Our Cooking for Culture project will see young people learning skills from older people and the international cookery book will be produced with input from foreign national students studying at Foyle Language School and the North West Academy,” she said.

“We have our own African drums and we want to expand what we do with these. This will highlight the skills of our young people. And the cultural festival, to take place in August, will be the first such event organised by the centre, and will be followed in September by the harvesting of the allotments, when produce will be sold in a joint market.

“We want to bring people together, to open up the Fountain and bring people in and celebrate the rich culture of this city.”

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “The Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council of Northern Ireland are delighted to announce these grants from this programme which is giving communities across Northern Ireland the chance to be a part of one of the world’s most significant cultural events in 2013.

“We would encourage organisations across Northern Ireland with an idea for an arts or culture project that links to the City of Culture celebrations and benefits their local community to apply for funding now.”

Application forms and guidance notes are available to download now at: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/northernireland

A full list of Culture for All grants in Northern Ireland

For more details call us on 028 9055 1455, or e-mail us at enquiriesni@biglotteryfund.org.uk

For further information contact:
Andrew Kennedy, Press Office Big Lottery Fund: 9055 1426
Mobile: 07788 640 791

Notes to Editors
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.