“It is difficult work, sometimes dangerous and often thankless.”
The Playhouse has received a £102,498 Community Relations Council grant award for its peacebuilding activity.
The Community Relations Council, through its Core Funding Scheme, has announced that it will be supporting a total of 32 organisations for the 2018/19 period to the value of £1,276,000.
This investment will support peacebuilding activities in nearly 400 locations with over 35,000 participants in the next year alone. The work ranges from sports based programmes, theatre performances, anti-sectarian training, residential conferences as well as programmes with interface communities.
The Playhouse Community relations programme uses a range of artists with significant experience of using arts activity in conflict areas / areas of social breakdown to promote healing and reconciliation within Northern Ireland / Border Counties. Workshops include exploring the pathway to peace and engaging with real life stories and experiences of The Troubles in accessible, moving, and inspiring Theatre of Witness workshops. Participants can engage with performers and storytellers from all sides and realties of The Troubles to explore the path to healing from conflict.
Opening the launch event at CRC Offices, CRC Chair Peter Osborne said;“This society needs to value more those who build peace. It needs to recognise and respect the work that the peace builders do. It is difficult work, sometimes dangerous and often thankless.
At a time when political stagnation may define this peace process if we let it, we should acknowledge that peace building is about more than institutions and structures. It is mainly about relationships.
Building those positive relationships at community level, worked at day and daily by core-funded groups, are what might push peace up the Hill. It is the community that held this place together during the darkest days; it is community that can continue to drive the peace process.
The Community Relations Council and The Executive Office, with the groups supported through the Core Funding programme, deliver a range of interventions throughout Northern Ireland, diversionary programmes, mediation, capacity raising and relational development. This programme represents real value for money and is critical in helping this society understand that there is much more that unites us than divides us.”
Grainne Killen, Director Of Good Relations and T:BUC at The Executive Office said; “The Community Relations Council Core Funding Scheme funded by The Executive Office supports the back-bone of much community relations activity here and makes a real and meaningful difference in the delivery of the Executive’s good relations policy, including the implementation of the aims and objectives of the Together: Building a United Community strategy. The 32 groups from across Northern Ireland receiving this funding show a real commitment to building a shared and safe community, that supports cultural expression and makes a real contribution to the future for our children and young people.”
The Playhouse Community Relations Co-ordinator Claire Heaney-McKee said; “The Playhouse are delighted to receive this support from CRC which will enable us to build upon the valuable work building good relations & peace & reconciliation. We are excited to deliver theatre and visual arts based peacebuilding programmes with communities throughout Northern Ireland ”.
For more information on community relations and peacebuilding at The Playhouse contact The Playhouse Community Relations Co-ordinator Claire Heaney-McKee on (028)71268027 or Claire@derryplayhouse.co.uk.