New Lodge Arts held its week-long academy of dance, drama, visual arts and music for over sixty young people aged between 8-18 last week after receiving substantial funding from the airport.
The project, based in New Lodge Youth Centre, was open to young people from across north Belfast, including Greater New Lodge, Ardoyne, Ballysillan, Mount Vernon, Westland, Whitewell and Tigers Bay.
Head of Arts and Youth Development at New Lodge Arts, Katrina Newell, said: “Our very first Summer Arts Academy was a fantastic success which culminated in a brilliant performance of Sleeping Beauty by all the kids on Saturday night.
“The Academy was a fantastic example of young people from both sides of the community coming together and working hard to learn new skills whilst having fun and developing relationships with new people.
“The programme was led by a professional team of artists and, as well as performing, those who took part in the Academy were also involved in stage management, prop making and costume design, so it was real hands-on experience.
“We’re very grateful for the Airport for coming on board and providing us with the funding which made the week long Academy possible, as we couldn’t have done it without them.
“The feedback has been extremely positive from friends, families, and even politicians, so we are all delighted and on a real high.”
The George Best Belfast City Airport Community Fund, which sees the airport fine airlines for operating late flights, has provided funding to more than 60 community groups, charities, schools and projects.
Michelle Hatfield, Director of HR and Corporate Responsibility at Belfast City Airport said:
“We are delighted to see financial support from the Community Fund go to a project which inspires and encourages young people from both sides of community.
“I was fortunate enough to attend the final dress rehearsal on Friday and see the groups bring everything they had learnt together ahead of their performance on Saturday. It was great to see the kids working together and their dedication and enthusiasm towards the arts.
“The aim of the Community Fund is to support the local community and inspire young people. This
project was, therefore, a perfect candidate for support.
“Not only did it open up the world of arts to young people, but provided them with the opportunity to express their sense of pride and develop their self-esteem whilst building cross community relationships.”
For more information on New Lodge Arts, visit www.newlodgearts.com
To find out how your community group can benefit from the Belfast City Airport Community fund, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The airport can also be contacted by Facebook and Twitter - @BelfastCity_Air