About Us

what we do

we create meaningful opportunities to connect through creativity all year round

ICONS OF PEOPLE

Creative Engagement

Year round creative projects and events

Since 2016 we have worked to ensure that creativity is for everyone in east Belfast. Our creative 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 in 3 ways: 

1. Skills

Bespoke training and support for professional artists including facilitation training, diverse awareness sessions, the ‘business’ of arts masterclasses and regular networking events. This pillar also aims to support creative capacity building by supporting local community leaders with training and knowledge on how to run their own creative activity on their own budgets.  

2. Sprinkles

More creative events and activities, in more places, for more people. Open, accessible and affordable, this pillar is all about giving the opportunity to experience creativity as an individual on your own terms, no strings attached. 

3. Society

Creating a space for connection and socialising through regular, structured creative activity like our Big Kid’s Society and the EastSide Choir. 

BUNTING ICON

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…

our team

Who We Are

Rachel Kennedy

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.

Email: rachel@eastsidepartnership.com

Aimee Consiglia Conway

Creative Engagement Officer

Aimee is the Creative Engagement Officer for EastSide Arts, having joined the partnership in April 2020. Originally from Newtownards, she spent ten years  in London, and has an MA from the Royal Academy of Music.

Previously a professional orchestral flute player, Aimee has worked in the cultural sector for 12 years, focussing on arts for social justice since 2017. Previously she worked for organisations like Roundhouse and Centrepoint, where she developed multi-genre programmes for young people and those effected by homelessness to nurture creativity and wellbeing through music, film and spoken word.

Aimee is passionate about equitable access to arts and creativity.

Email: aimee@eastsidepartnership.com

Niki Browne

Production & Admin Assistant
Niki is the Production & Admin Assistant for EastSide Arts. She joined the team in 2022.
 
Having grown up loving music, theatre, and crafts, she found herself pursuing a creative career studying Broadcast Production at Queen’s University Belfast. Working on various theatre and television productions within and outside of her studies, she discovered the potential and importance of the Northern Irish arts scene. Now graduated and living in Belfast, she is passionate about showcasing local talent, as well as providing connection, community, and entertainment through the arts.
 

What's On

Big Kid’s Society – Macramé & Macaroons
Big Kid’s Society – Clay & Cake
Big Kid’s Society – Paint and Pastry