Decade of Commemorations Creative Writing and Art Project Concludes with Book Launch

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Decade of Commemorations book launch
Artist Renee Smith with the book, Decade of Commemorations, which was launched at the end of a creative writing and art course funded by ABC Council’s Peace IV programme.

Two cross-community groups from across Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough have successfully completed a creative writing and art project aimed at building positive relations through creative exploration of the Decade of Commemorations.

The programme participants gathered at Brownlow House, Lurgan to mark the launch of a book capturing aspects, thoughts and emotions arising from the Decade of Commemorations. The project used creative approaches to explore this period of history, encouraging a greater and shared understanding of the national and political identities, with a focus on exploring the social aspects around that including how people lived at that time.

The project was funded by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, a cross-border initiative, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for the project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

The two programmes with twenty participants from across the ABC Borough were facilitated by Beam Creative Network. The first course focused on creative writing, while the second one focused on art.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Glenn Barr said:

“The Local PEACE IV Action Plan has opened up opportunities for people, groups and communities to engage and explore our different histories, identities and cultures through a wide variety of projects.

“The Decade of Commemorations has allowed us to look back through the lens of time to a turbulent and fascinating period that has helped to shape much of the century since then. While most of this programme has engaged participants through talks, lectures and study visits, the Writing and Arts Course was a unique way in which some local people could explore that time and its legacy in a creative way.”

The PEACE IV Programme has been designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. In addition to supporting peace and reconciliation, the Programme also contributes to the promotion of social and economic stability, in particular through actions to promote cohesion between communities. 

The overall objective of the local PEACE IV Programme is to provide opportunities for engagement across community boundaries, and to promote mutual understanding of the different cultures and identities among those whom may never have previous contact within shared activity.