Community and Youth Arts - A Personal Reflection
Conor Shields finds communication, regeneration and no discrimination
This article appears as part of the Creative Belfast Showcase which took place at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, during February 2006.
Community and youth arts are alive and well in Belfast and in the lives of its people. We make art for art’s sake, freeing the imagination; expressing what can be impossible to say; giving all of us a chance to reflect on who we are. . . in our own place, at our own pace. Art communicates.
There are murals and sculptures, street theatre pieces, carnivals and drums, choruses of songs, parades of lanterns, exhibitions and installations, conjurers and comics, poems and plays. Arts regenerate.
Local community venues host hundreds of workshops in film and fashion, song and dance, drama and design. School halls and community centres teem with enthusiastic young people, designing, painting, cutting and pasting, creating new art for new audiences. Scissors and laptops, cameras and clay.
Artists, well trained and highly dedicated, guide others to realise their potential. Art doesn't discriminate. No disability is a barrier, no cultural divide an obstacle. No age is too old to try or too young to start.
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative