Belfast Telegraph

Creating a shared vision in a community near you

by Natalie Irvine

A strategy for “a shared future” is not something left exclusively for politicians to work out in the confines of government buildings.

Especially if the Redburn Loughview Community Forum (RLCF) have anything to do about it — their latest initiative offers local community groups the chance to create and share their own visions for the future of their communities.

RLCF co-ordinator Louise Green said: “We would like all people to get involved to learn more of their own cultures and identity and to share the space we all live in, as the country we live in has an even more diverse culture than before.

“The focus of the project is aimed at reducing sectarianism and combating racism.

“Groups involved will receive six two-hour sessions with an experienced artist, as well as receiving training on tackling and dealing with sectarianism and racism in their community.

“The art project is open to all community groups in North Down. In celebration of our shared futures, the art work will be exhibited in November 2010 at Queen’s Parade, Bangor.

“A shared future booklet containing the art work will also be distributed to participants and the wider North Down community.”

The project is in partnership with Seacourt Print Workshop, who will be providing the artist liaison for the project. Robert Darby, the workshop’s director, said: “Over the past few years we have been increasingly seeking to engage with more people from across the community.

“Printmaking provides a supportive technique from beginning to end. It is perfectly suited to people who feel insecure about their artistic skills or may have bad memories from their schooldays. We design our programmes to be as fail-safe as possible — so that participants complete artworks they can be proud of.

“Creative activities can have a number of positive effects. For the individual they can help you relax and take your mind off the daily grind, improving your sense of well-being in the process.

“For groups they can help in team building and creating a shared vision for the future. For communities they can provide a way to celebrate and share cultural values.”

If you would like to book your community group on the ‘shared future’ project, please contact Louise at Redburn Loughview Learning Resource centre on 90427994 or email rlcf@live.co.uk

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