what we do
we create meaningful opportunities to connect through creativity all year round
Year round creative projects and events
Since 2016 we have worked to ensure that creativity is for everyone in east Belfast. Our community engagement programme aims to better connect individuals and communities, provide opportunities to be creative and show the positive impact of the arts in everyday life.
The community engagement programme features 2 strands of work:
1. Open to All
Projects and events that give anyone living in the area a chance to get creative on their own terms in a fun environment.
2. Special Focus
Projects that tackle specific needs in the area which focus on bettering wellbeing, creating new relationships and improving inclusion.
EastSide Arts Festival
Annual showcase of arts and culture
In 2012 a group of like-minded east Belfast residents who are passionate about arts and culture came together to run a festival on their own doorstep; the East Belfast Arts Festival. After several very successful years, the event was rebranded the EastSide Arts Festival in 2015 and the headline event that year was Van Morrison on Cyprus Avenue.
The festival continues to grow and develop each year, encompassing a wide variety of artforms in a diverse, innovative and quirky programme that is unique to this part of the city. EastSide Arts Festival takes place each year for 11 days in July/ August, presenting a showcase of the extraordinary artists, venues, spaces and communities of east Belfast for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
The 2023 festival ran from 27 July – 6 August in venues across east Belfast. Watch this space for 2024 festival dates and information…
Who We Are
EastSide Arts Manager
Rachel is Director of the EastSide Arts Festival and is responsible to the board for the overall vision and strategic direction of EastSide Arts. She is passionate about creative collaborations with artists to deliver really exciting and unique events for residents of and visitors to the east. Rachel is Chair of Terra Nova Productions, Belfast’s intercultural theatre company, and a Director of Dumbworld, an artist-led creative production company.
Before joining EastSide Arts, Rachel was Arts Officer with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, running the live programme at Down Arts Centre for almost ten years, and was a Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2012/13.
Aimee Consiglia Conway
Community Engagement Officer
Aimee is the Community Engagement Officer for EastSide Arts, having joined the partnership in April 2020. Originally from Newtownards, she spent almost ten years studying and working in London, graduating with a BMus from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and a MA from the Royal Academy of Music.
Having moved from a previous career of professional flute playing within orchestras and instrumental teaching, Aimee has been focussing on Arts Engagement for non-profit organisations. For the past few years she worked for organisations like Roundhouse and Centrepoint, and has much experience of the value of the arts for positive change, particularly around work with young people and in the homeless sector, where she developed multi-genre programmes to nurture creativity and wellbeing through music, film and spoken word.
Aimee is passionate about bringing people together through arts.