Voluntary Arts Week 2014, Blogs and Coverage

Creative Citizens Programme Launch Ballymena by Kevin Murphy

“Ballymena – The Creative Borough” is what greeted me as I went into the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena last Saturday, along with a chocolate box selection of creative activity from bands, to choirs, to resident artists and children’s arts activities. Of course I hadn’t stumbled upon the launch of the Creative Citizen’s Programme, I had been invited on behalf of Voluntary Arts Ireland, a key partner.

What was terrific about the event was the clear enthusiasm amongst local citizens – should they be the leading citizen in the form of the Mayor or creative citizens who participate and organise local arts activities every day in Ballymena. The feel-good factor and creative buzz was evident and there is much to look forward to in the next 3 months as the programme rolls out.

Colour, Creativity & Craftyness by Tony Carlin

When it comes to Voluntary Arts Week and particularly CraftBomb’s, I’m like a big kid at Christmas, I can’t just sit back and let other people have all the fun, I want to play too!  So when local woman Margaret Crabtree invited me to join their CraftBomb group I was there quicker than you could say pompom.

Doreen Armstrong of the Salvation Army, Ballymena

Today we caught with Doreen Armstrong, shop manager at the Salvation Army in Ballymena. Doreen and her team of knitters helped Ballymena explode with colour during the CraftBomb for this year’s Voluntary Arts Week. As she and all her ladies did a fantastic job helping us with our crafty plan, we wanted to give Doreen the opportunity to tell us more about her and what she does, in her own words.

Finn McWool at the Launch of Voluntary Arts Week, Ballymena

When I heard that the Creative Borough were kicking off the Voluntary Arts Week launch at the Braid, Ballymena, my immediate thought was “clearly, they have forgotten to invite their celebrity guest”. I’m a pretty big deal around here, so I was shocked. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. 

Thank you from Colin for your donation to ‘Get Colin to Summer School’ by Colin Dardis

On Friday, 2nd May, I officially found out that I had been accepted into the Poetry Summer School at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University. Seven weeks previously, I had seen the call for applications on their website, and just on the last possible day, I sent in four poems for consideration. At the end of April, I was informed that I was on the reserve list; first foot through the door, at least.

Drawing in Circles, Voluntary Arts Week 2014 by Emmet Mulgrew

Set up in a mobile art venue (The Artú) outside the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, I caught up with Artlink Buncrana’s Rebecca Strain to find out more about her Drawing in Circles workshops and even try my hand at her intriguing concept, despite my complete lack of drawing ability.

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Voluntary Arts is the operating name of The Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) which is registered in Scotland as Company No. 139147 and Charity No. SC020345. Registered Office: The Creative Exchange, 29 Constitution Street, Edinburgh EH6 7BS.