Nelson McCausland MLA, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, today (Thurs 9th Dec) attended a special event at Play Resource in Belfast to learn more about the successful arts organisation that is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland.
Minister Nelson McCausland MLA, today (Thurs 9th Dec) attended a special event at Play Resource in Belfast. The event is one in a series to celebrate Play Resource’s 25 year partnership with the Arts Council and to highlight the importance of public funding for the arts.
Pictured are (from left): Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council; Nelson McCausland, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure; and Anne O'Donoghue, Director, Play Resource
The event is one in a series to celebrate Play Resource’s 25 year partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and to highlight the importance of public funding for the arts in delivering valuable services to local communities.
Play Resource is a North Belfast based arts resource centre which provides free arts materials, training and support services for people working with children, young people and community groups throughout Northern Ireland.
The Minister met with some of the users of this unique service, Primary 7 school children from Seaview Primary School, who used waste materials, donated by local businesses, to create their very own works of art. Working with artists Sally Young and Anne Quail the school children created artwork from scrap materials such as foam, plastic, fabric, cardboard and foil, donated to the Play Resource Scrapstore by over 140 local businesses.
Celebrating the successful business model, which has benefitted from public funding from the Arts Council over the past 25 years, Minister McCausland congratulated the staff and artists from Play Resource on their achievements to date.
Speaking at the event the Minister said: “My Department champions the promotion of Creativity and Innovation, and it is clear from my visit today that Play Resource has embraced these qualities. Over the years they have established many high quality creative experiences that promote the development of self esteem, personal growth and lifelong learning.”
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Over the past 25 years Play Resource has grown from a small creative resource to a successful artistic enterprise which delivers thousands of projects to children every year.
“Today’s workshop is a celebration of the partnership between Play Resource and the Arts Council. However, it is important to remember that creative projects like this are about more than just entertainment; they provide a basis for learning, promoting creativity and helping young people acquire the valuable life skills required for a successful future.”
Anne O’Donoghue, Director, Play Resource, said: “We are delighted that Minister McCausland was able to join us today to celebrate 25 years of public funding from the Arts Council.
“During that time, Play Resource has become a major arts infrastructure organisation in Northern Ireland. Last year alone, we worked with 143 donor businesses to gather the materials to deliver arts resources and projects to thousands of children and young people throughout the province.
“Over the past 25 years we have developed a highly successful social economy enterprise which accounts for over 50% of our income making us less reliant on government funding and providing real value for money for funders.
“Play Resource is looking forward to a future where we will continue to, with the support of our members and funders, deliver a stimulating and exciting programme.”
Play Resource is the largest creative resource facility in the UK and the only organisation of its kind in Northern Ireland. It opened its doors in 1983 with just 50 members, but this number has now grown to 2,500 members with an estimated 300,000 children benefiting from the arts resource every year.