Creativity Month Kicks Off

Bumper programme offers a wealth of inspiring events and industry opportunities for people of all ages throughout March

Hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, organisations, venues and festivals are featured in an exciting Northern Ireland-wide events programme that is set to inspire, stimulate and celebrate the creative industries.

Aimed at audiences of all ages, the month-long programme is an initiative of the Department of Communities, in partnership with Culture Northern Ireland and the Nerve Centre and features over 150 events during the month of March.

Participating venues include regional libraries, Titanic Belfast, W5, Ards Arts Centre, Northern Regional College, National Museums NI, Nerve Visual and the Island Arts Centre.

Families are well catered for with a wide range of events and workshops, from Belfast Children’s Festival (March 10 - 15), Film and Comic Con at Titanic Belfast (March 11 and 12), to an exclusive preview screening of the new DreamWorks Animation Boss Baby as part of the Foyle Film Festival Intercultural and Anti-Racism Festival (March 25).

Another family highlight is Mini Masters on March 25 in the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn. Budding young artists are invited to mark the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh by learning about his work and creating their own artist inspired masterpiece to take home.

Throughout March, Cool FM and Downtown Radio are offering young people aged 17+ the chance to step inside the working of a commercial radio station with a series of practical sessions. Everything from radio advertising, DJ-ing and presenting to the news desk will be covered by leading experts from Bauer Media.

The Jill Todd Photographic Award exhibition, following its run in the Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, will open in Nerve Visual on March 9, accompanied by a series of free workshops aimed at children, young people and amateur photographers. The exhibition showcases the next generation of photographers and consists of work by Linda Conroy a former Ulster University student, among others.

The programme also features a number of training opportunities for people working within the creative sector such as the inaugural Female Entrepreneur Conference, hosted by Women in Business and the Causeway Enterprise Agency. Dr Leah Totton, winner of the BBC TV series The Apprentice 2013 will join Petra M. Wetzel and Tina McKenzie for the one-day event in Limavady.

Creativity Month 2017 Launch Photo

As part of its Community Cinema Marketing Summit on March 25, Film Hub NI is offering five film organisations to pitch for £5k each towards developing their marketing strategies. The competing film exhibitors will have to convince a panel of judges why they deserve to receive the financial investment.

To mark the launch of this year’s programme organisers are offering ‘creative photographers’ the chance to win a new iPad Air with retina display. 'Capturing Creativity' invites entrants to use their imaginations to produce a single snapshot of creativity in any shape or form. Images can be captured anywhere with just the phone in your pocket, as long as they're of high resolution.

Joe Carlin, Creativity Month co-ordinator, said 'Creativity Month is about inspiring and helping people to be creative and to help creative organisations and business to emerge and flourish. It’s also about bringing learning and fun to communities across Northern Ireland. I hope that this year’s programme will appeal to people of all ages and would encourage everybody to try a new creative experience this March - you might just surprise yourself.'

The programme is now available via www.creativityni.org along with the latest creative events, news stories and videos.