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Foyle O-Bon and Project Sparks receive emergency funding from the Arts Council

Thursday 24th December 2020 at 10am 0 Comments

Pictured (L-R) are Mark Roberts, Liberty Consortium, Sora Umetsu, Trish Kelly, Katsu Umetsu, Ami Umetsu, Fortan Umetsu, Fiona Umetsu, Nicola Schnurr and Gilly Campbell, Arts Council. Image: Pictured (L-R) are Mark Roberts, Liberty Consortium, Sora Umetsu, Trish Kelly, Katsu Umetsu, Ami Umetsu, Fortan Umetsu, Fiona Umetsu, Nicola Schnurr and Gilly Campbell, Arts Council.

Foyle O-Bon and Project Sparks, two arts organisations based in Derry-Londonderry, recently received funding from the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme (OEP) and Health and Safety Programme to enable them to adapt to the Covid-19 restrictions by creating new work online and install equipment to help them to safely deliver their in person.

Foyle O-Bon is an organisation that uses Japanese arts and culture as a way of improving community engagement, breaking down barriers and using the arts to improve wellbeing.  Using the art of taiko drumming, Japanese dance, arts, crafts and games, they deliver outreach projects in the community throughout the year and also host the annual O-Bon Festival at the Playtrail site.  Foyle O-Bon received OEP funding to enable the organisation to adapt and establish a stronger online presence to deliver workshops digitally.  They also received funding through the Health and Safety Programme which has enabled the organisation to purchase marquees and a mobile van to take their work out on the road where they can deliver workshops safely outdoors to communities.

Fiona Umetsu, Foyle O-Bon said,

“This funding is a game changer for our organisation and in 2021 we will be able to bring our work out to communities, bringing workshops, festivals and performances to people across the city to engage with safely outdoors.”

Project Sparks / Liberty Consortium is another organisation from Derry-Londonderry that received funding through the Health and Safety Programme.  The organisation has an inclusive approach to play and outdoor learning at its Playtrail site within the grounds of Ardnashee School and College whilst providing Day Opportunity & Social Provision for young adults with learning disabilities at their HUB within Northside Village Centre.  Their wider services are currently utilised by a cross section of organisations, as well as many youth clubs and schools. The Playtrail facility is also open to the wider community outside of school hours and hosts a year-long programme of activities.

The Health and Safety Programme funding will enable Liberty Consortium to upgrade a 200 seater, three-tiered outdoor covered amphitheatre located within the Playtrail by installing heaters, padded seating and sanitising stations. The outcome will make the existing space warm, welcoming and usable in all weather, particularly for children and young people with physical restrictions.

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts and Education at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added:

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support Foyle O-Bon and Project Sparks through our Organisations Emergency Programme and Health and Safety Programme, funds that were created to help organisations respond to the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, helping them to continue producing creative work, assist with operational costs and to help plan for recovery in the long-term.  As a result, both Foyle O-Bon and Project Sparks will be able to continue their work, reach a wider audience and bring communities closer together through participation in the arts.”

For further information on all funding opportunities visit www.artscouncil-ni.org/funding

 

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