Community Group Recognised
The Club are delighted to award the 2015/16 John Savage Trophy to New Lodge Arts Group - a community arts organisation based in the Greater New Lodge area of North Belfast which provides opportunities for people of all ages to actively engage with and participate in a wide range of art forms that they would not otherwise be exposed to.
President Ronnie presented the Cup and Bursary Monday 15 February to Katrina Newell, Head of Arts and Youth Development along with Geraldine Wilkins, Chair of the Board, and Anne Delaney, Arts Programme and Operations Manager who expressed their thanks.
New Lodge Arts initially began life in 2003 as a one-year pilot programme by Ashton Community Trust. Nurtured by Katrina it has continued to expand with greatly increased participation and audiences covering not only the New Lodge area but right across North Belfast. In partnership with local community and youth groups, artists and other arts organisations it ensures that its programmes are appealing and appropriate to people, whatever their need. They include the Arts Academy, Youth Development, Flagship Events & Festivals, Partnership Programmes, International Projects, Taster Projects and Adult Projects.
During 2014/15: 3849 participants took part in 795 workshops/events across North Belfast; 13,937 audience numbers attended and 40 community/youth groups/schools took part in various projects. Their vision is that through creative arts people will be able to "realise their full potential so as to contribute fully to the cultural and civic life of Belfast". They highlighted 'Ryan' who started participating aged 13 but through the development opportunities supported by the group has progressed to management and is now employed by them; the adult drawing class that has expanded into a Community Club and the how the international projects provide opportunities for those who have never been out of NI.
Following the presentation of the Award they invited members to their FabLab at the Ashton Centre to hear about and see their work first hand 8 members went on 23 April 2016 and experienced their excellent facility. FabLabs – digital fabrication laboratories – were set up to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technology. The idea was conceived by renowned inventor and scientist Professor Neil Gershenfeld at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His idea was a simple one: to provide the environment, skills, advanced materials and technology to make things cheaply and quickly anywhere in the world, and to make this available on a local basis to entrepreneurs, students, artists, small businesses and in fact, anyone who wants to create something new or bespoke. (picture shows the FABLAB in operation. 7 members also visited the Fablab on Monday 15 March 2017. They were all highly impressed with the facility those who had no real concept of Fablab prior to the visit were totally amazed PP Gordon MIllilngton speaking reporting to the Club on the visit noted that absolutely anything is possible if we can only unlock the potential in young people and recommended such a visit to all members.