Official Report (Hansard)

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 30 April 2009

Inquiry into the Funding of the Arts

30 April 2009

Members present for all or part of the proceedings:

Mr Barry McElduff (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry (Deputy Chairperson)
Lord Browne
Mr Kieran McCarthy
Mr Raymond McCartney
Mr Nelson McCausland
Mr Pat Ramsey
Mr Ken Robinson
Mr Jim Shannon

Witnesses:

Ms Danielle Fields )
Mr John Paul McBride ) New Lodge Arts
Ms Katrina Newell )

The Chairperson (Mr McElduff):

Good morning. We have with us this morning representatives of New Lodge Arts; Katrina Newell, Danielle Fields and John Paul McBride. The representatives can explain the capacities in which they are here.

Ms Katrina Newell (New Lodge Arts):

I am the manager of New Lodge Arts, and I am joined by Danielle Fields and John Paul McBride, two participants in our programmes. New Lodge Arts welcomes the opportunity to give the Committee an oral presentation. Thank you very much for calling us.

New Lodge Arts began in 2003 as a one-year pilot project delivered by Ashton Community Trust and funded through the Arts Council lottery project funding. Since then, building on its success, New Lodge Arts has grown to become a successful community-based arts organisation in its own right. We aim to provide quality arts programmes that are accessible and available at ground level and driven by the needs and demands of local young people and the wider community.

Young people are at the heart of the programmes that we deliver. They feed into programme development through the youth advisory group and arts-based action learning events that are held each year prior to submitting funding applications. That ensures that they keep coming back, and our numbers reflect that. Between January and March, 190 children, young people, and their parents as volunteers were involved in arts-based projects and programmes.

Young people are also involved in promoting the work of New Lodge Arts and lobbying for additional resources, and, in several instances, have actively fund-raised for the organisation. Through the Space project, young people recruited artists, oversaw the budget spend and raised additional resources to realise their vision — the creation and installation of three sofa benches for a local children’s play park. The young people raised £5,341 of a total budget of £10,800.

New Lodge Arts illustrates how the arts reach across the Assembly’s Programme for Government and deliver on a range of priorities and targets. Our programmes support community regeneration; community cohesion, in sharing public spaces and bringing communities together; capacity building, through volunteering; development of access and participation; and reduction in antisocial behaviour.

Through arts programmes, young people gain confidence, learn practical skills, build friendships, learn about themselves, become more active citizens and make a positive contribution to their community — the list is endless.

Educationally, young people develop through the arts. That is reflected in two of the arts academy’s dance and drama participants, who were the only two children from one of the local girls’ primary schools to achieve grades in their 11-plus that will see them go to grammar school.

Mr John Paul McBride (New Lodge Arts):

I have been involved in New Lodge Arts since 2003, when I took part in dance and Trash Fashion projects at the Cornerhouse. Since then, I have taken part in Xmas Factor, Bigga Fish and hip-hop workshops, a youth musical theatre project at the Rainbow Factory and various dance projects. I have performed in the Beat summer carnival, Celebrate New Lodge and the St Patrick’s Day parade. I went to London to see Dance Challenge at Wembley Arena.

I now volunteer for New Lodge Arts, and I am part of the youth advisory group. Being part of New Lodge Arts has helped me to develop the confidence to come up with project ideas for young people and to apply to the local youth bank to raise funding to make the projects happen.

New Lodge Arts is important for young people in New Lodge, because it provides them with positive activities, encourages them to get involved and opens their minds to what is possible. Through New Lodge Arts, I have been able to work with great artists, and I have been to see fantastic performances and events. Generally, New Lodge Arts gives young people such as me opportunities that we never have had before, such as going to London to see performances, doing a project in the Tate Modern or having a film screened in the Odyssey.

Ms Danielle Fields (New Lodge Arts):

I became involved in New Lodge Arts in 2005 when a choreographer from Bigga Fish in London came to one of the local centres to facilitate a week-long dance project as part of Celebrate New Lodge. Since then, I have been involved in several dance projects in New Lodge Arts. I performed at Celebrate New Lodge, local festivals and events and choreographed a dance piece that was performed at the launch of the New Lodge Arts Academy last year. I volunteer as a peer mentor for the dance groups in the arts academy.

I am also on the youth advisory group, and I recently received funding as a young entrepreneur to develop dance further in the arts academy. In March, I travelled to London on a study visit with other people my age and visited a centre in Bromley to see how arts and creativity are used in community development work.

I have benefited immensely from my involvement in New Lodge Arts. I want to follow a career in dance, and I plan to apply for a dance and cultural studies course at the University of Ulster at Magee next year. At the minute, I am studying for A levels in art, history of art and media studies.

Ms Newell:

New Lodge Arts is a small organisation with a large vision. In 2005, New Lodge Arts nominated the Waterworks Park for the Channel 4 Big Art project. The park was one of seven successful sites across the UK, and the only one in Northern Ireland to be selected out of 1,400 nominations. It has been a difficult and slow process, but it is still ongoing, primarily because we are such a small organisation and already stretched to capacity. The programme, to be aired in May, will promote Northern Ireland and, in particular, north Belfast to a national audience as a positive, forward-thinking, outward-looking community.

Our work is growing to include work across north Belfast with unionist communities, such as Mount Vernon and Westland. Recently, we completed a cross-community project called Tell Me Your Story. It involved young people from Westland and the Limestone Road, and it focused on the Waterworks Park. Our future plans include growing our annual youth arts festival, Celebrate New Lodge, into Celebrate North Belfast, to include Mount Vernon and Westland this year and roll out further next year.

The idea for Celebrate New Lodge did not come from New Lodge Arts, but from residents from Mount Vernon who, after attending one of our arts events, asked if they could be included in future programmes. They see the impact that our work has on the young people we work with and on the wider community. Again, the difficulty arises when attempting to match the potential of expanding the work of New Lodge Arts with the capacity of the organisation and the limited short-term funding streams. For instance, Belfast City Council’s community festivals fund, which is supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), is vastly oversubscribed. In the last tranche of applications, six out of 22 organisations were successful, and the council estimates that seven or eight of 34 festivals will be funded in the next tranche. Such funding streams, which are small pots of money, are extremely important to small organisations, but they are difficult to access because of the great strain on resources.

Over the past six years, New Lodge Arts has received funding from a wide variety of sources. The Arts Council has been the most consistent, providing three-year funding through its lottery project funding from 2004 to 2007 and since then on a year-by-year basis. In 2008, we received core funding for the first time, when Belfast City Council gave us £3,000, and it has awarded us the same amount for 2009-2010. In the past financial year, in addition to funding from the Arts Council and Belfast City Council, we have received money from seven further funders and partnerships. Applications are pending with five funders, and we will submit several more over the next few weeks and months.

That reflects the level of fund-raising that is required to sustain our programmes of work, the cost of which totals approximately £120,000. It also reflects the amount of time spent on fund-raising in an organisation with one full-time and two part-time members of staff. A major challenge for New Lodge Arts is to sustain the level of work that it delivers while actively sourcing funding. Young people need the consistency that long-term, quality programmes provide. However, current funding does not allow for such consistency, and that leaves organisations such as New Lodge Arts struggling to make ends meet, with staff working well above and beyond their set hours.

A recent attempt by New Lodge Arts to secure Arts Council Annual Support for Organisations (ASOP) funding was unsuccessful, despite scoring highly in the application process. We were told that the application was unsuccessful because of standstill funding within the Arts Council and that funding had to be targeted at organisations that were seen to be more strategically important in the sector. In the last financial year, community funding through ASOP accounted for less than 9% of our funding. As I mentioned, our aim is to support young people in becoming more confident and well adjusted, like Danielle and John Paul. They are optimistic about and ambitious for their future. I would like to read to the Committee a letter received from a parent:

“I am the mother of two children aged 10 and six. My husband and I separated three years ago, and myself and my daughters moved into my mother’s house in the New Lodge. The trauma of the separation had a huge impact on my children’s confidence and sense of stability, which in turn affected their behaviour and attitudes, especially my eldest daughter. She didn’t go out to play, had no friends, she was distant, was slipping at school and quite impolite, and she just wanted to be on her own all the time.

I found out through the Ashton Centre about dance classes provided by New Lodge Arts. My daughter was very apprehensive about going as she had never danced before. Three years later, and she is still attending and budding with every workshop. She has done numerous public performances and is extremely talented, something I don’t feel would have been recognised if it were not for New Lodge Arts.

Since then she has joined other programmes run by New Lodge Arts, including drama and the choir and has sang at the launch of the New Lodge Festival and in Xmas Factor. Her schoolwork has dramatically improved, and her teacher has said her attention to detail is amazing and her confidence and public speaking and meeting and greeting visitors is somewhat astounding. This I owe to New Lodge Arts.

My daughter has gone from being an introverted child hiding behind me to a child that wants to be on stage and the centre of attention. She is now a confident, unwavering child that I am very, very proud of. I could not describe the gratitude and admiration for the work of New Lodge Arts. They have given me back a relationship with my daughter and have given back my daughter her life.”

The Chairperson:

Thank you for your presentation.

Mr McCarthy:

I congratulate you on the work that you have done. I also congratulate the young people; keep it up.

Ms Newell:

Thank you very much.

Mr McCarthy:

Not at all. In your submission, you state that it has always been more difficult for community arts groups to access sponsorship and financial support from the private sector. Could the Department or the Arts Council do anything to encourage and increase the level of sponsorship from the private sector, thereby giving you access to more funding and enabling you to continue your good work?

Ms Newell:

An increase in the lobbying of potential funders might help. Perhaps the Department could meet prospective funders and provide opportunities for them to meet representatives of the sector to find out more about the potential benefits to them. It has been extremely difficult for us as a small organisation. Our time is consumed by trying to make things happen and attempting to secure funding. When we are seeking sponsorship, we tend to write letters.

For instance, we wrote to Tesco at Yorkgate, asking for funding for our Xmas Factor, and we were given two £5 vouchers as sponsorship towards the event, which is not to be sneezed at. It is difficult, but there is a lot of work that could be done around lobbying sponsors and making them aware that we are providing opportunities for young people who will join their workforce.

The Chairperson:

Are you aware of an organisation called Arts and Business NI?

Ms Newell:

Yes, I am; we have done some training with that organisation.

Lord Browne:

What percentage of your funding comes from the private sector?

Ms Newell:

Very little — about 0·5%.

The Chairperson:

It is negligible.

Mr Shannon:

You applied to Tesco, and you got more money from it than I did for a charity event. I never even got a letter back. You are £10 up. I wrote to Tesco to see whether it would give any help, or even provide drinks, for an event to raise money for the air ambulance. I was not even looking for money, only orangeade, and it would not even provide that. However, that is by the way.

The Chairperson:

Are you angry about it?

Mr Shannon:

No, I am not angry. The target, as you know, Mr Chairman, as the ambulance will be located in Omagh, was £200,000 for that charity.

The Chairperson:

Thank you. What is your question?

Mr McNarry:

Is this another presentation?

Mr Shannon:

I am always encouraged to see young people getting involved. Your confidence came through in your submission and in the examples that you gave. It is good for character-building. You said that some of the people who were involved in other activities — and I will leave it at that — have moved away from that, which shows the good work that you do.

After that preamble, my question relates to your application for funding that was unsuccessful due to standstill funding in the ASOP scheme. Do you feel that the Arts Council is doing enough to identify alternative sources of funding for community arts organisations like yours, and to recognise the good work? Perhaps I know the answer, but I would like to hear what you say.

The Chairperson:

Before you answer that, Mr McNarry wants to accentuate the point.

Mr McNarry:

I would really like to hear the answer before —

The Chairperson:

I though that you wanted to come in on the back of Mr Shannon’s question.

Mr McNarry:

I do want to come in on the back of his question.

Mr Shannon:

I am always carrying him.

The Chairperson:

OK.

Ms Newell:

More could be done to find additional funding. The Committee has probably heard this before on countless occasions, but we should look across Departments to see where other funding can be made available, especially when we are meeting so many of the targets around educational attainment and bringing people together, rural development or whatever. More could be done, perhaps looking for European money or whatever is available.

Mr Shannon:

The Arts Council was unable to give you funding — has it indicated that it will try to fund you in other ways or by other methods?

Ms Newell:

We have an application in for project funding. We heard about ASOP before the application round opened for the project funding, so we are going in for that again. It makes things difficult as we are always chasing our tails. However, fingers crossed, the project funding will come through for us.

Mr Shannon:

It has been a recurring theme through this inquiry that people spend a lot of time filling out applications to try to get money. It is almost a full-time job. There should be some recognition of what they do, and some sort of funding would be a great encouragement.

Mr McNarry:

Your enthusiasm and energy is obvious, and long may it continue. What you have related to us personally about your daughter —

Ms Newell:

She is not my daughter.

The Chairperson:

A young girl.

Mr McNarry:

What you have related to us about the young girl stands out. Did you say how long your organisation has been in operation?

Ms Newell:

Six years. We have been an organisation since August 2007, but we started off as a project delivered by the Ashton Community Trust on 1 May 2003, which was when I joined the organisation.

Mr McNarry:

During that time, how much funding have you received?

Ms Newell:

I cannot give you an exact figure. I would need to check that out and get back to you.

Mr McNarry:

Will you have a stab at it?

Ms Newell:

We have received in the region of £400,000.

Mr McNarry:

It identifies the types of projects that your organisation runs and where it draws its funds from. Following on from Jim Shannon’s positive question, perhaps you will now be able to seek another channel for funding having been knocked back. Can you relate to us how the group felt after that? What was the impact? Just in case your language goes a bit haywire, I remind you that this session is being recorded by Hansard.

Ms Newell:

Have you got any tissues?

Mr McNarry:

It is important that we hear about your experience. You were looking forward to receiving that funding — depending on it — then, wham, it hits you. What impact did that have, and how did you recover from it?

Ms Newell:

I went on holiday. In this job, I take things personally. I put a lot of extra time into it, and I tend to write funding applications at home, at night, because I have so much to do during the day. I put a lot of time and effort into writing these applications. It almost becomes like a thesis; they are so thick, especially with all the supporting information. I know that I had written a good, strong application, so when I heard that the organisation did not get the funding, I was pretty demoralised.

Mr McNarry:

You were demoralised. Did you share that with the like of Paul and Danielle — and well done, it is not easy to sit in front of us monsters and other people in the organisation? Was that feeling widely shared?

Ms Newell:

The feeling was shared. At the same time, we are about encouraging young people, so we did not want them to see how down we were about the funding. I told them that we did not get it, because I had to be realistic about it and the fact that there is a big bad world out there. However, it is also about looking to the future. I was down in the mouth for two weeks, but I picked myself up again and looked for the next opportunities.

I know that this happens to organisations across the sector. I wanted to emigrate after it happened, because it is so difficult to work in this sector. I give so much of myself and get very little back. I get a lot back from the young people with whom I work, but I get little back from the funding process, because it is really difficult. That is one of the issues facing the sector. It will lose people who are committed and passionate about making a change through the arts, because they are either burnt out or getting nowhere fast.

Mr McNarry:

Finally, how much money was involved in that setback?

Ms Newell:

The application was for just over £50,000. It was for core funding — my salary, my administrator’s salary and overheads. That would have enabled us to go for project funding for the programme. However, now we have got to go for project funding for salaries, as well as for the programme, for which I then have to find additional match-funding. You know how it goes.

Mr McCausland:

Can you clarify a few things about that 9% funding that the Arts Council gives to community arts? Did you, the Arts Council or someone else produce that figure?

Ms Newell:

I got that figure from the community arts forum.

Mr McCausland:

Perhaps it is unfair to ask this: do you know what amount that 9% is?

Ms Newell:

I do, actually. That is explained in my submission.

Mr McCasuland:

Is that based just on the ASOP programme? Does community arts receive lottery funding and so on?

Ms Newell:

Community arts receives funding through lottery projects.

Mr McCausland:

Have you any sense of what the overall figure for that might be?

Ms Newell:

No.

Mr McCausland:

It would be useful for us to get some information directly from the Arts Council on percentages and so on. What is your definition of “community arts”?

Ms Newell:

Community arts is about providing opportunities for a community — whether that is a community of interest or a geographical community — to participate in the arts, regardless of what kind of art that might be.

Mr McCausland:

That is a perfectly acceptable definition, with which I agree. It is a good, broad and inclusive definition.

Ms Newell:

We try to be as inclusive as possible.

Mr McCausland:

Sometimes, others try to be exclusive.

Mr McNarry:

Can we have Nelson’s comments recorded three times? [Laughter.]

Mr P Ramsey:

Is there any chance of getting your Xmas Factor party piece before you go? [Laughter.]

Mr McCartney:

David McNarry does a mean Simon Cowell impersonation. [Laughter.]

Mr P Ramsey:

This Committee scrutinises DCAL’s allocation of money, and we believe that not enough money is going into projects such as yours. For example, your project carries out a lot of social-education work, peer-education programmes, and alcohol- and drug-prevention work for young people. Therefore, although we scrutinise a particular Department, we also recognise that other Departments — such as Education, Social Development and Health — could be sharing and distributing money. In order that we can tell those Departments that this is money well spent and ask them for more, what can you tell us about how people, particularly young people, have benefited from the core work and confidence-building measures of those projects?

Mr McBride:

You would be able to tell them that we are doing education and health. A lot of our projects involve dancing, which is our main interest. Therefore, we are putting across a health message. You could tell those Departments that we should get more money because we do not get enough funding to promote the health side of things. We are only getting funding for arts; it would be nice to have health funding and to be able to promote it more, because we probably have a bigger interest in that area.

Ms Fields:

That is why we run alcohol- and drug-awareness things to tackle obesity. We try to get kids out more, instead of them always being in one place.

Mr K Robinson:

Your enthusiasm comes across well, so I congratulate you all. Moreover, I congratulate you on the lack of clichés. Over the years, this Committee has been submerged in clichés, but you have used plain language, which helps us to understand the difficulties that you face.

I was told to ask how you think local government might be persuaded to invest more money in the arts, and whether the Arts Council has a role in that. However, I am much more interested in finding out how you relate across interfaces. I worked in north Belfast for a fair period and know the Westland community: how were you able to reach across the Waterworks to make the initial contact and what, if any, long-lasting benefits will there be as a result of that contact?

Ms Newell:

How much longer have we got?

Mr K Robinson:

Actually, I was suggesting earlier that you should get less time. [Laughter.]

Ms Newell:

We describe ourselves as “doers” — not dour. It is all about actions; delivering activities from which people benefit directly. In the Waterworks, we have just finished the Tell Me Your Story project, which involved young people from the Holy Family Youth Centre, on the Limestone Road, and the Westland Community Group creating a film. The project was funded by Belfast City Council’s good relations unit. Instead of just bringing young people together to sit down and talk about the interface and the divide, in order that they might begin to dispel some of the myths that they have about each other, we put a camera in their hands and sent them out to interview park users. Some of the stuff that came out of that exercise was fantastic. For example, the young people began to appreciate that if someone thought that people were coming to attack his or her house, in the same circumstances, they would probably throw something at them as well. A penny drops, and they realise that they are young people with similar interests.

Those relationships have continued, and that is why Westland will be involved in Celebrate North Belfast. We are also involved with Creative Youth Partnerships and have delivered a cross-community project with Cavehill Primary School, Cliftonville Primary School, Star of the Sea Primary School and Edmund Rice Primary School in the New Lodge. That was fantastic and, as I said, it is all about doing.

We are a small organisation, and we are frustrated because we want to do more. For example, people from Mount Vernon asked us whether we will do something with them during the summer and change the Celebrate New Lodge festival to Celebrate North Belfast. We would love to do that, but it is all about capacity. The long and short of it is in the doing and in making things happen. Politics falls by the wayside and people come together to, for example, make Christmas decorations around a table. That is when the proper conversations start.

Ms Fields:

We could write a funding application that funding bodies could read to help them understand what we are about, but those funders need to come and see what we actually do. That has not happened. They reject our funding applications because they have just read what is on paper rather than coming to see our work, and they do not appreciate how much time and effort people put into their work. That is demoralising, because people do not recognise our blood, sweat and tears.

Ms Newell:

In defence of the Arts Council, it has funded us for the past six years. We appreciate that funding and have a fantastic relationship with our arts officers, who support our work completely. However, their hands are tied on the issue of the limited funding.

Mr P Ramsey:

You could use a few extra pounds.

Ms Newell:

Yes, we could. However, everyone must put their heads together to find more money that can be distributed.

Mr K Robinson:

I thank Ms Newell for the commercial on behalf of Cavehill Primary School; it saves me doing that. I declare an interest as a former principal of that school. You work with groups from the other side of the community. Have you noticed a difference in the capacity of your community and that of those other groups? How can we address that problem?

Ms Newell:

There is a difference in capacity, and that comes from different groups having started at different times. Infrastructure for community groups already exists in the New Lodge, and several groups in that area have been consulted with. We need to work with and support groups in other communities. As part of our Xmasfest, we held a winter wonderland event at Christmas. A couple of busloads of people from Westland travelled right into the heart of the New Lodge and participated in the event. Indeed, when the venue had become a little grubby from all the paper and glitter that had got everywhere, those volunteers lifted a brush and shovel and helped to clean up. It is helpful that people come together to do such practical tasks.

Mr K Robinson:

Do other groups ask you how they can reach the status that your group has reached? Do they simply engage with you on a day-to-day basis, or do they see that there is a process that they can become engaged in and that you can help them to raise their expectations?

Ms Newell:

I think that they see that there is a process. In particular, groups from Mount Vernon recognise that. Billy Hutchison has requested that I visit Mount Vernon, because that group wants to establish a programme that specifically uses the arts to engage with young people in the wider community. Therefore, they recognise that there is a process.

In some instances, it is about providing activities and bringing people together — in areas such as Westland, for example. We have to move from a situation in which people go in with all guns blazing to complete a large project and then say goodbye. New Lodge Arts was set up because so many arts organisations arrived, completed a six-week project and left. That left people high and dry. Long-term, sustained provision is needed on the ground so that people can feel comfortable and confident in their own communities and can then go and access things elsewhere.

Mr McCausland:

An application was made to the good relations fund, which is an example of your moving away from seeking only arts funding and becoming aware of other opportunities to fund the arts. Is that the first application that you have made to that fund?

Ms Newell:

Yes. Hopefully, the second one will go in tomorrow, if I can get it written tonight.

Mr McCausland:

How much was that for?

Ms Newell:

The cap was £10,000, so the application was for £9,920.

Mr McCartney:

I am surprised that your application was not for £9,999. [Laughter.]

Lord Browne:

It is very refreshing to have three young, dynamic and enthusiastic people here this morning. In your previous answers, you indicated that you are somewhat disappointed with the Arts Council funding that you receive. In your submission, you recommend that the arts sector, DCAL and the Arts Council should develop and implement a transparent policy and procedure for reviewing the decisions that are made by the Arts Council. If there were such a policy, what benefits would accrue to your organisation?

Ms Newell:

I am happy with the project funding that we receive from the Arts Council. I am disappointed that we did not receive ASOP funding, which would have been the first time that we received core funding from the Arts Council. I found it frustrating that, although we had scored highly, we did not get that funding. I do not know what other organisations have been awarded funding — that is not yet listed on the website.

I write applications to meet the criteria. There are times when we could be beating the criteria, but it does not really matter because there is no additional funding. Perhaps there could be more transparency around which organisations are funded and whether they are funded according to how well they meet the criteria or whether they are deemed to be more strategically important in the sector.

I think that we are very important in the sector. We are very important in north Belfast. I could go on, but I have probably said it all before.

Mr McCartney:

Thank you very much. Well done for your presentations. Nelson asked you for a definition of “community arts”, and I agree that you gave an excellent definition. Do you think that your definition matches that of the funders, or do they have a different view? Are they content that, as long as art is done by a community, it meets their definition, whereas your definition is a bit more specific?

Ms Newell:

To a certain extent, they probably see it as the same. However, they talk more about targets and meeting the objectives of the targeting social need strategy. For us, community arts is more defined because we do work on the ground. If funders got out more to see the impact of community arts and some of the workshops and activities that are involved in it, they may get more of an insight.

Mr McCartney:

Do you think that community arts should be based in a community, or can it be based in a city centre location? Do you think that it should be on the ground, which is where your definition is assisted or not assisted?

Ms Newell:

I see where you are coming from. There can be community arts in a city centre. There are organisations that work across the city and beyond, such as the Beat Initiative, which is very good in relation to its ethos and how it works with communities. We have partnered it on several occasions, and it has a fantastic ethos around community arts. Community arts is core to what that organisation does.

There are other organisations that get funding to undertake community arts programmes, but that funding may simply be plugging a hole. Such organisations may not necessarily have the same ethos. They tend to have predetermined and predefined programmes and projects, and young people in the community will have no say in how those projects are developed. Community arts can happen outside a community, but there needs to be a connection and a relationship with the community. It is not good enough for organisations to simply come into a community and, in a slightly patronising way, say “there’s a wee bit of arts for you”.

The Chairperson:

I thank Katrina, Danielle and John Paul for attending the Committee.

Mr McCartney:

You will have to go straight back to school now.

Ms Newell:

Danielle has an art exam tomorrow.

Mr McCartney:

It is sixth birthday of New Lodge Arts tomorrow.

Ms Newell:

Yes, that’s right — we had our fifth birthday party last year. Thank you very much.

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