Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sligo-Omagh Community Arts

Puppets for Peace

The Sligo LEADER Partnership Company secured a PEACE 111 Small Grant for The Sligo Omagh Cross Border Intercultural Community Arts Project.

The project aims at engaging young people around the themes of respecting difference, combating sectarianism, racism and conflict in a series of art workshops in a Sligo school leading to two performances, one in Sligo and one in Omagh.

Last December, the children from the Sligo School Project from 5th and 6th class undertook a project to design and make their own puppets and to put on a show around the theme of Diversity. The show was attended by all children in the school and by parents and gave an opportunity to many children to display their art.

This April, they travelled to Christ the King Primary School in Omagh to put on their puppet performance and to watch the art exhibition from the pupils of Christ the King. The children gave their best performance, which was followed by a presentation from the children from Christ the King on their work. This presentation showed how much enthusiasm marked their work and explained the approach they took in producing the large mural and the individual pictures. The school visit was followed by a trip to Mr Tumbles Fun House for lunch and play activities. Below are some of the puppets that the children really enjoyed making in Sligo and some of the pictures produced by the children of Christ the King. All enjoyed the day where they had an opportunity to meet children from a different background.

Youth Work Across Cultures

In February, Anne Walsh and Elaine Mahon, two trainers from the National Youth Council of Ireland came to Sligo to deliver Intercultural training to Youth Leaders. The first day was devoted to Intercultural Awareness and Practical Supports for doing Intercultural youth work.  10 participants explored their views of other cultures and issues around difference, sectarianism and racism.  The second day was focussed on designing and delivering an inclusive youth project.

Ten youth leaders were allowed to dream their ideal project and were guided into making it a reality.  This PEACE III project will give participant youth leaders a small grant to put into practice their learning around interculturalism and help them introduce this topic to the young people they work with. On the 9th of April, 20 young people from both sides of the border will get together in Corralea Adventure Centre in Belcoo and share the experience of challenging activities like canoeing, climbing, archery and orienteering.

The last strand of the project will be a series of consultations with young Irish and International people and their parents to find out how different cultures get on together and what activities young people like to engage in. This will be the start of an understanding of how to welcome new communities and build a lasting peace.

For further information, please contact Josette Newman at