Belfast Telegraph

Tribute to former prison arts boss

A special celebration in memory of the former director of the Prison Arts Foundation in Northern Ireland is to be held next month.

Mike Moloney, who died last year aged 59, worked as a drama specialist for the Northern Ireland Prison Service from 1991 to 1997 and joined the fledgling Prison Arts Foundation in 1997 as a development officer. He had been its director since 2005.

A tribute night to him is planned for next month.

A spokesman for the organisers said: "Mike was an inspiration to many, in recognition of this friends, performers & local arts organisations have joined together to celebrate his charisma, character and love of the arts."

He added: "The artists and organisers are giving freely of their skills, sweat, laughter, and tears in a tribute to the late, great Mike Moloney, actor, teacher, circus performer and director of the Prison Arts Foundation, but above all, an inspiration to many over his 33 years in Belfast."

The Foundation said it aims to release the creative side of all prisoners, ex-prisoners, young offenders and ex-young offenders in Northern Ireland using all of the arts and crafts including writing, drama, fine art, craft, music and dance.

Through artist in residence programmes the Foundation has endeavoured to promote and widen the practice and appreciation of the arts to all those serving custodial sentences.

Recognised and practising artists conduct workshops seeking to encourage and to inspire inmates to use their time more creatively. The residencies are bolstered by a visiting artist scheme where local artists demonstrate their work then lead an interactive workshop in the technique used.

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