communiqué 7 Key Achievements 2013
4. An independent, internal review of the strategic orientation of the organisation, undertaken by Barry Cullen, highlighted four general area in which we should concentrate our work: (i) nurture art work among children, parents, families and communities; (ii) assert the role of cultural rights; (iii) to ensure community arts becomes identified policy domain in government; and (iv) to advocate through for arts and community.
1. Family Resource Centres are now linked to the Happy Parent Initiative and rolled out in 10 sites. We learned that one size does not fit all when it comes to HP. We have put in place a Shared Agreement with each local FRC to ensure understanding of the roles. The good news is that more than 60 parents took part in c. 90 hours of workshops. We are especially thankful to each FRC and to facilitators Lisa Crowne, Vivienne Byrne and Eleanor Phillips.
5. We developed a new Community Culture Strategy focused on local culture in Ireland. In December, we presented the Strategy at a meeting of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Mr. Jimmy Deenihan) and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald).
2. As part of our cultural policy study we travelled to three cities, Cork, Belfast and Kaunas. We listened and engaged with people about their experience of creativity and local culture. To mark the EU Presidency of Ireland, we organised an event in Šančiai district of Kaunas (LT) funded by Culture Ireland. Our thanks to F. Marques Penteado (BRA), J. van Heeswijk (NL), M.J. Jacob (US), N. and G. Urbonai (LT), S. Bosch (DE) as well as Irish-based A. Murphy, C. Smyth F. Woods, J. Mulloy, N. Crowley and N. O’Baoill.
6. We have strengthened our links to civil society through our membership of the Equality Rights Alliance (EFA), Claiming Our Future (COF) and the European AntiPoverty Network (EAPN). After ERA’s seminar, A New Departure for Equality and Human Rights we began to question how to make cultural rights more visible. With COF we the Art of Campaigning with over 35 groups participating.
3. Even though the funding environment remains difficult we organised an international study trip to Palanga, Lithuania during its Presidency of the EU. The actual cost of running the five day inservice training event was c. €5,000 and participants were able to secure €4,000 mainly through EU Grundtvig grants. Thanks to artway of thinking who led the in-service.
7. The Board is committed to maintaining the highest standards of Corporate Governance. Mark McCollum continues as Chair and Mary Doheny as Treasurer. Ed Carroll resigned (28/ 05/2013) and Kenneth Keogh joined us.
communiquĂŠ October-November 2013
Tipperary and Baldoyle FRC, North Dublin. A big thank you to all those who made it happen. From our experience Happy Parent works effectively when the local Centre really buys into it and makes it their own. And that does not mean that everything always goes perfectly
Ballyboden FRC 25th Years (1) Ballyboden FRC Celebration For three months, artist Eleanor Phillips together with community workers Jean Bates and Audrey Reddin worked with women, aged from 18 to 80 years old, from Whitechurch and beyond. The process involved many voices, experiences and abilities. The group also experimented with different materials and techniques producing a variety of art works. In the end a final group work of ink on cotton which reflects the history, personalities of the area. Travellers, older teenagers, young and middle aged mothers, and was structured in a way which facilitated participation at any point throughout the process. The local primary school provided their parent room to create the final art work. The programme resulted in new friendships, introducing residents from neighbouring estates to each other, and the discovery of hidden talents.
Volunteers from Connect FRC, Drogheda, Co Louth (3) Connections / Seminars (i) Community Culture Strategy (Dec 6) The Steering Group met to finish the work of the Strategy which we presented to Ministers Fitzgerald and Deenihan in December. We have worked closely with the Family Support Agency because FRCs continue to report positively the benefits of community arts. The Strategy seeks to revalue, reset and reinvent community arts. Blue Drum looks forward next year to continuing to serve as the catalyst to enable the foundation phase to be agreed and implemented.. (ii) CREATE Networking Day (Dec 7) Eleanor Phillips attended the networking day and was impressed by the case studies of work in the UK and elsewhere. The focus on the risks taken by all who engage
(2) Happy Parent (HP) In this quarter, we continued to delivery for parents in Connect FRC, Drogheda, Gort FRC, Galway, Spafield FRC, Cashel,
communiqué in work with communities of place, identity or issue raises some interesting questions in what are difficult times. www.create-ireland.ie
meeting was about sharing tactics and we got lots of ideas from Joe Murray and Gary White Dear from Afri, and artist Siobhan Clancy. We all agreed it was worth continuing our conversation early next year and to look at a practice collaboration in which to find new ways of campaigning. (4) We Are Family 2014 Gillian Keogan has begun preparations for We Are Family 2014, a feast of new generation community arts practices with a new set of ideas and dispositions. Our initial idea is to focus on the theme of disposable income of families. Like our inaugural event in Limerick and Clare in 2011, the event will be packed with
www.advocacyinitiative.ie (iii) Advocacy Initiative Seminar (Nov 20)
Gillian Keogan found this seminar really exciting. It focus was about building greater collaborative projects between groups as many people say that we need more of it and more forms. So much of our work is organisation-dependent and organisation-driven. But maybe we are less skilled in trying to work cooperatively and that is part of the reason that our individual voice is not heard. One playful exercise that made the same point was where each group had to make a structure out of spaghetti (uncooked), ball of twine, scissors, and cellotape. The aim was to stick a marshmallow on top of the structure at the end. All sorts of solutions and structures were created with differing degrees of success and failure. Of course there is a cost! It requires significant investment and time and energy, is not always successful and at times can end up damaging relationships where trust breaks down. www.advocacyinitiative.ie
EXHIBITION AND PERFORMANCE OF COMMUNITY SNAPSHOTS of work developed by FRCs; SHOW & TELL MARKETPLACE of projects and ideas; PANEL DISCUSSION related to disposable income of families.
Now we need a regional network or cluster of local FRCs to become a co-creator with us of the day. We will do all we can to plan the day but, like all the work we do, we need the local input to make it real. (5) Baldoyle FRC’s new building Our congratulations go to everyone - staff and volunteers in Baldoyle FRC - who organised a wonderful opening of the new premises in October. We really enjoyed the hospitality and conversations on the Open Day and hope we can continue to work together in the future.
(iv) The Art of Campaigning with Claiming Our Future in association with Blue Drum (Dec 3) Over 30 people came to talk about the art of campaigning and how to use creative tactics and actions for social change and overcoming economic inequalities. The
communiquĂŠ July - September 2013
Agency in July. A draft plan was considered and a number of action points agreed leading to a sign-off meeting.
(1) Refreshing Blue Drum Board We are refreshing our Board and are interested in hearing from individuals with a community development and community arts background.
(ii) Follow-up meetings also took place with Clodagh McDonnell, Principal Officer in the Department of the Environment about linkages to the Community Culture Strategy and local authorities. We also met with Arts Council Head of Strategy, Martin Drury to speak about linkages. At both meetings we found an enthusiastic response that was focused on practical ideas for the future.
(2) Happy Parent (HP) Eleanor and the team were really busy during the summer and autumn. All workshops are a coproduction with the local FRC and took place in Kerry, Tipperary, Galway and Dublin. Also two non FRC groups have asked us to deliver the programme locally. Read
(iii) Cork City Community Arts Ten months after the EU project work in Cork, Niall Crowley and Ed made a return visit to reconnect with those we met before and ask permission for including the idea of a community culture platform in Cork. People were very enthusiastic and have agreed to meet again before Christmas. Recently, Ed has also contacted Eve Phillips from Ballincollig FRC to look at the possibility of their participation too. Weâ€™ll keep you updated. (iv) Limerick Creative Communities In Limerick, we also met with a lively network of community organisations. The Creative Communities group confirmed the need to increase the visibility of work on the ground. Both Northside and Southill FRCs actively participate in this group. More update about these meetings can be found on our website.
Spafield FRC, Cashel, Co Tipperary
(3) Meetings / Seminars Most of our work in this time is focused on the Community Culture initiative. Community Culture is part of our campaign to get more equality of resourcing for community arts work with children, adults and families.
(v) Galway Community Arts We have made contact with Jen who is one of the organisers of the GALCA group in Galway. They developed the Galway Cultural Hub which we can
(i) Community Culture Steering Group The first meeting of the Steering Group took place in the Family Support
communiqué learn a lot from about how to communicate what is happening locally and create a space for exchanges between people on the ground.
Presidency. Supported by Culture Ireland the project engaged with ‘small’ and distinctive culture’ of a district called Lower Šančiai. Read (7) Fundraising Successful applications include: Dublin City Council (€400) and Culture Ireland €4000. Unsuccessful ones include: Community Foundation’s Community Enterprise Fund, the EU Grundtvig Learning Partnership, and the Equality Authority Mainstreaming Project. Just 3 people were awarded EU Grundtvig inservice training which was a big disappointment. Due to shortfalls in funding we put back Untapped Capital, about cultural enterprise until 2014.
City (Re)Searchers,Kiosk (4) Facebook In July, Bluedrummers reached its first thousand friends on Facebook. We actively try to keep links to other FRCs who use that platform. Our facebook page also has specific pages e.g. Happy Parent and City Researchers. (5) Northsiders Museum Eleanor, Lisa and Neil continue with workshops in the Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock. Neil is putting together an exhibition for early 2014 about the rent strikes and the campaign against the ‘b scale’ rent assessment. We are interested in hearing from people in Cork city who have memories or press cuttings from that time.
Sneem FRC puppetry workshop July 2013
(7) Communications & Finances During the summer months we gave advice and support to 10 groups per month. We sent out 3 editions of eNotes to a data base of c.800 so far this year. We sent out our FRC art Survey to all FRC’s in the summer months.
(6) EU Presidency 2013 Project Ireland has a large Lithuanian population. Our EU research project took us to inquiry so it was timely for a trip to Kaunas to mark Ireland’s EU
communiqué April - June 2013
(ii) Staff / Board Away Days We are currently exploring pathways beyond austerity and had a weekend review between board and staff. Barry Cullen facilitated the session and is currently drafting a response report to his overall organisation review process.
(1) Match Your Funding Idea Will your FRC receive any foundation funding before the end of 2013 for your community arts work? If so, please get in touch with Blue Drum because we wish to put together an application to a Department of Arts scheme to add €1 to each €1 euro given by foundations or private funding.
(iii) Family Support Agency We had an animated and positive response from the FSA (Bill O’Dea, Olive Shanley and Deirdre Fradl) when we updated about the work in progress during the review meeting. All FRCs will receive our summer update soon!
(2) Happy Parent (HP) Eleanor Phillips reports about the roll out of the Happy Parent Initiative. We continue with the review work with Barry Cullen. Twenty-two FRCs expressed an interest and workshops are taking place around the country. Read
(iv) CREATE Initiatives In May we connected to the artist-led work of CREATE. Eleanor and Ed went to an evening of exchange and conversation as part of Jesse Jones The Prosperity Project. Eleanor also attended its coproduction for the European Learning Network too and we will invite CREATE to explore connections in 2014. (v) AOLAAO Network Meeting ON April 27/28 Eleanor and Ed took part in the networking and exchanges of the Local Authority Arts Officers with their counterparts from England. We want to develop a shared project with the Network in 2014.
Sneem FRC, Kerry
(vi) Galway and Cork Ed met up with heath board funded project in Cork (Ballyphehane). He also met with artists involved in Gallery 126, a space in Galway City. Get in touch if you have plans to do creative things with family projects in Cork City or with an arts organisation in Galway. Ideas?
(3) Meetings / Seminars (i) Ministers Fitzgerald and Deenihan At our first meeting we had very positive enthusiasm from both Ministers to an idea for a Community Culture Strategy to ‘show off’ community arts work with children and families. Niall Crowley is supporting us to develop the Strategy. More to come!
communiqué Pedagogy of Community and Cultural Rights is a five-day programme that will explore cooperative approach among organisations. It is led by Artway of Thinking, a Venetian artists collective. Untapped Capital, an exchange workshop and seminar where we want to kick-start a conversation community arts enterprise.
City Researches Pop-up
(4) EU Presidency 2013 Project Ireland has a large Lithuanian population so it seems timely for a trip to Kaunas to mark Ireland’s EU Presidency. Supported by Culture Ireland the project will engage with ‘small’ culture beyond the institutions. The project is located with a community in Šančiai, Kaunas. Read
(5) Northsiders Museum
We gave advice and support to c.30 groups and sent out 2 editions of eNotes to a data base of c. 600. We are also refreshing our website. Recent publications include:
The first night of the Northsiders Museum Citizens' Exhibition took place. It collected images from people that represented ‘The Northside’. The celebrations went on for hours and included dancing to good old fashioned vinyl and drawing on the wall! Coordinated by Eleanor Phillips, the night also included a video interpretation of arts works by resident artist Lisa Crowne from A4 Sounds. (6) Artizen School 2013 We are optimistic that the fourth edition of Artizen will take place in the autumn. The theme will be Community Culture and includes:
communiqué January – March 2013
(ii) Irish Youth Foundation Niall McLoughlin and Sabina Cotter of IYF welcomed Ed’s exchange about community arts work with children. (iii) Vulnerable Families Conference Ed took part in an EU Presidency Conference about the dimensions of family vulnerability.
(1) Audited Accounts 2012 Gillian worked to close off the 2012 accounts. She comments: “ it’s interesting to look back the different streams of funding that were awarded to Blue Drum in that time in 2012!”
(iv) Social Inclusion Forum Gillian took part in this forum sharing our experience with FRCs and families experiencing poverty and social exclusion. Taking part was helpful to develop a child and family perspective for the Europe 2020 Strategy.
-Family Support Agency €68,555 -The Community Foundation €1,300 -The Arts Council €1,000 -Liverpool Study Visit Subs €460 -Dublin City Council €400 -Glenisk Donations €250 -European Union €36,000 -Give EUR Hope €3,500 -Dutch Embassy €385
City (Re)Searchers 2013 Sneem, Co.Kerry
(3) Happy Parent (HP)
(2) Seminars / Meetings
After the 2012 evaluation of the HP programme, it now operates as a 4 part programme which includes a selfmanaged element. The programme emphasises non-issue based creative communication between adult and child, and a friendly open peer-support environment for parents/carers.
(i) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Eleanor went to this seminar and advocated for a richer view of cultural rights. The panel agreed they had not looked at cultural rights from a production perspective before. She also nominated Blue Drum for future advocacy work in this regard.
An information leaflet and Poster for use by FRCs was designed and disseminated, as well as a Brochure and information leaflet aimed at other
communiqué organisations who also work with parents. In addition an Happy Parent Facebook page and Pinterest page has been set up to enable accessibility to the work and to inspire!
Community Culture proposal. He agreed to schedule a joint meeting with his ministerial colleague, Minister Frances Fitzgerald. The Proposal is a well-conceived, structured and modest proposal in development for over a year. At the heart of the programme is an urgent need to address what is a systemic inequality with regard to poorer family’s access to, and participation in the arts in Ireland.
We welcome Vivienne Byrne and Lisa Crowne as two new Arts Facilitators to the HP team. Barry Cullen also continues to evaluate the programme and planning meetings were held. Twenty-two FRCs expressed an interest and workshops take place in 9 centres:
Killinarden, Dublin. Fatima Mansions, Dublin. Sneem, South West Kerry. Trim FRC, Co. Meath. Connect FRC, Co. Louth. Caha Centre, Adrigole, Cork.
(5) City Researchers Community Culture Proposal is a result of research from the City (Re)Searchers Project where we are asking families and communities what makes culture important and valued? We completed the Cork and Belfast modules, which went really well in terms of engaging communities. Some idea for cross border programmes focused on FRCs emerged. Niall Crowley and the researchers developed a full day Public Deliberation. The researchers travel to Kaunas for the final four-day inquiry on 24-27 June, 2013. This event is supported by Culture Ireland’s EU Presidency Programme.
Killeshandra, Co Cavan Enquires are also coming in from other non-FRC community organisations e.g. New Life Centre in Darndale. (4) Community Culture In advance of the Dáil Committee on Arts and Disadvantage report (due Summer 2013) we were invited by Minister Deenihan to develop a
communiquĂŠ (6) Letter from Gordon Jeyes
Lithuania next October 2013. We chose Lithuania because its hosts the EU Presidency and Irish participants are funded for overseas courses only.
Gordon Jeyes, CEO Designate of the new Agency wrote to Blue Drum recently suggesting the merits of an arts initiative in the context of child and family support and a specific idea to develop enterprising skills programme. We will follow-up with Gordon and begin exploring community enterprise (more below).
(8) Grundtvig Ed and Eleanor took part in a preparatory visit to prepare a project with artway of thinking, a Venetian collective. We planned and prepared the work required to deliver the Inservice Training which is scheduled for October 2013 and which is now on the Europa training database website. Also discussed was an application for an EU Grundtvig Learning Partnership (9) Untapped Captial One of the outcomes of both the letter from Gordon Jeyes and Grundtvig preparatory visit is to organise Untapped Capital an exchange workshop and seminar focused on community arts enterprise. We want to explore how to â€˜bankâ€™ the gifts, skills and capacities of young people, families and communities as part of Artizen programme.
Fiona Woods I Have Doubts
(7) Pedagogy of Community and Cultural Rights - 20:20 Vision Another direct result of the City (Re)Searches project was the need for greater cooperation between independent bubbles of activity. Training is a strategy to get FRCs working more cooperatively in community arts. A group of facilitators from Italy were suggested as specialists in the area of co-operative tools (more below). Leargas have given us the goahead to offer a training course in