Creative Citizens Programme

We are delighted to have been awarded £317,000 funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts Access and Participation Fund to support a new research and engagement programme in east Belfast entitled ‘Creative Citizens’.

The Creative Citizens programme will take place over 4 years and will have three main elements; the first will involve extensive research into what is currently available creatively in east Belfast and to identify the barriers to participation in arts and creative activities in the area. The second will use the research to inform the ‘Everyday Creativity’ project, a project which will encourage people across east Belfast to enjoy moments of creativity as they go about their daily lives. The third element of the programme will be the development and implementation of a training programme which will provide professional development opportunities and support creative career paths for people in east Belfast.

EastSide Arts’ overall mission as an organisation is to create an east Belfast that is a thriving cultural hub, where the arts are valued, and people are connected to each other and the wider world. We want to make sure that everyone in east Belfast has access to culture and creativity every day of the year and to help local artists make more work. Paul Hamlyn Foundation funding will go a long way to support the achievement of this mission.

Rachel Kennedy, Manager, EastSide Arts said:

“We recognise that there are barriers that currently prevent people from being as creative as they would like to be, or people who feel that arts and creativity are not for them. We hope to address these issues through the programme, making creativity accessible to as many people as possible, by connecting with local communities.”

“Long-term investment in arts and culture is both vital and rare, and we believe that by running Creative Citizens across four years we can make real and lasting impact on people’s lives in east Belfast. We want to thank Paul Hamlyn Foundation for their support and shared belief in this exciting opportunity for the residents and artists of east Belfast.”

Emma Coleman, Grants Manager, Paul Hamlyn Foundation commented:

“Creative Citizens has real potential to strengthen the creative ecosystem in east Belfast. We hope this programme will inspire local communities to take an active part in the arts and to build their capacity to design and deliver creative programmes – making a lasting and meaningful difference. We’re delighted to support EastSide Arts to deliver this vision, and we look forward to sharing what they learn.”

To find out more about the Creative Citizens programme please email

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