Friday, 26 September 2008

Active citizenship !!

It's great to be an active citizen is it not ? What is an active citizen? Some one who actively takes part in there surroundings and volunteers at something. Want to be see change, why not like Gandi, be the change you want to see in the world.

Sometimes people say Bronagh why do you do so much? I feel like saying why do you do so little? but I don't I usually say I do not have a television or Children. Which in a way is the easy way out of having a deep and meaning full conversation. But the real reason is that I want to feel that I have participated fully in life and helped Northern Ireland on it's way, where is that way going to ? I'm not sure but the wheels are turning. Sometimes they grind to a halt but they are turning.

So today was the start of WEAVE or Women Enterprise and Voluntary Education at Intercomm funded by TWN but now DEL. It's was something I helped set up when I was business development manager at I still stay involved as I really enjoy working with the women and they make some fantastic products.But mostly it is to help people see a way out of their present situation, give them some restbite and support to unleash their creativity and perhaps improve their economic situation.

Women's lives are not straight forward they often go in zig- zags and sometimes that zig-zag needs a bit of help to work its way around so it does not fall off the edge.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

a creative apprenticeship anyone?

Did you know that from September 2009 you will be able to apply for a creative apprenticeship?
Interesting way to go about things? Creative and cultural skills have been working away on putting things together and I think the work that they are doing at a policy level is well overdue. As a creative person its difficult to get clarity in a number of areas.

Visual arts contribute £2.1 billion to the UK economy
32,160 people currently work in the visual arts industry
95% of the workforce is white
21% of the workforce are freelance,and 63% self employed.

But my favourite statistic is over 1 million people are studying a creative or cultural course in the UK. But they are competing for around 6,500 jobs a year.
Stats from

Interesting, I only hope that creative people actually get involved in this more and all the innovative ideas do not get thrown out with the suits.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

3D off the page

BPW exhibition opened and although I do have some work in it so you would think I was biased I think it's a good exhibition. Members were asked to think off the page and inappropriate print in some way in their 3D piece. The result is robots, fairy cake jigsaws, flying birds ,butterfly's and much more.

The exhibition continues for a while yet and is worth having a look as is the exhibition in the Golden thread gallery and the Engine room. Although I've not caught up with them yet it's just through the grapevine. Details on Last Thursday there was a bus load of press going around the different galleries for First Thursday, one of they asked me with so many galleries is their really enough local artists to show in them? Well it's a good question and the answer is, their are loads of artists out there looking and working on shows. Northern Ireland has boundless talent its just not marketed and handled with in the right way.

Chaos at the Cresent

Monday was registration day at Crescent Arts centre temporally moved to Ormeau Road, I have tried to register in the past for classes but never managed it. So this time I went early, no 7 in the Q by the time they opened the doors I was number 20 with all the Q jumpers. People were Queuing around the block. There was some discussion about the state of adult education the provision is very much cut this year. WEA have very few classes and a lot of projects that were funded through Peace have been cut. I have in the past been in meeting with Del where the minister and Del officials have stated that their is no evidence to show that people from non accredited courses move into accredited courses and eventually into contributing to the economy.While I can see their logic I think it's very short sighted. I have been a trainer and tutor on courses over the last 12 years and many of the people would not have come forward if the courses were all accredited, as it would have been seen as too much of a scary step.

Many people use adult/community education as a first step in improving their health either mentally or physically and I think it's a shame that that benefit it not taken into consideration.

However I also noticed in the Cresent Q that many of the people had already completed the classes before and were coming back again, so their is an argument about why should these be subsidised? as people were not moving on and giving others the place.

One last word about the Cresent, I hope that in getting their building renovated that they are also going to have a new booking system. I have never expereinced such a paper based archaic system in a long time. But I suppose it means that everyone has a fair chance of getting a place if their legs can stand the wait/weight.

Bye for now.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Sunshine and traffic

So it's the 1st Sept and this morning in Belfast we had both the things that we have come to expect, sunshine and traffic. Who would imagine that everyone going back to school would have such an effect on the traffic. There were a lot of very happy women at the gym this morning, no longer wondering when the summer holidays were going to end. There were a lot of women smiling as they were going through their workouts. However just to make sure we were not getting too complacent it did rain this afternoon.

Anyway something to look out for it's European open days in a couple of weekend, I always like to make sure I get inside a building I have not visited before you can check it out by picking up a brochure from the library visit for news and updates.

Dont forget it's first Thursday this week why not support your local artists.