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Leading light in carnival arts, David Boyd, awarded an MBE for services to the arts and community

Tuesday 18th February 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts

David Boyd, founder-Director, of Beat Carnival Image: David Boyd, founder-Director, of Beat Carnival

David Boyd, founder-Director, of Beat Carnival, one of Northern Ireland's leading arts organisations, has received an MBE for services to the arts and community. David Boyd, from Holywood Co.Down, set up the Carnival Centre in Belfast, establishing a permanent centre for excellence in Carnival Arts, where visiting international artists come to share their expertise and is considered one of the best Carnival centres in the UK.  David Boyd will receive his MBE at Buckingham Palace on 2nd April 2020.

Since its foundation in 1993, the small, dedicated team at Beat Carnival has brought positive change and transformation to the lives of thousands of individuals and to the wider communities across the region by creating opportunities to participate in Carnival Arts.  The organisation produces impressive, large-scale carnival events, reaching out to local communities to get involved in helping to create carnival performances from scratch. 

Many of the participants from local communities are young people from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds who learn new skills and acquire new confidence through their involvement with Beat Carnival.  From creating music, choreographing dance routines and designing spectacular costumes, through to creating floats and props, local communities become fully immersed in the creative process whilst working alongside David’s professional artistic team. 

Beat Carnival also develops and supports professional carnival artists, establishing a sustainable legacy of creative skills and knowledge, as well as focusing on outreach, collaboration, shared celebration and achievement across the various communities of Northern Ireland.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the principal funder of Beat Carnival, Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,

“The Arts Council warmly congratulates David on receiving this recognition for his work and services to the arts.  Through their artistic work, David and Beat Carnival bring people and communities closer together and offer an invaluable platform for carnival artists to develop their skills and talents  David's passionate advocacy for Carnival Arts as a pathway to education, job creation, self-esteem, skills training and cross-community and intercultural inclusivity, has proven to be a significant force for positive change.”

With David's dedication to enhancing people's lives through engagement in the arts, the output of this small organisation is truly remarkable and has built close working relationships with community organisations across Belfast.  He has implemented more than 20 specific arts engagement and education programmes in Greater Shankill, one of Northern Ireland's highest-ranking areas of deprivation and disadvantage, designed to address community challenges and give children and young people their best chance in life.


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