Epic Awards 2016 shortlist unveiled
The premier awards for voluntary arts organisations based in the UK and Republic of Ireland have unveiled their shortlist for 2016, with 5 projects from Northern Ireland making the list.
The awards, now in their sixth year, are run by Voluntary Arts with the support from Spirit of 2012 and the Arts Councils of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and many of the 60,000 voluntary arts groups eligible in UK and ROI have put themselves forward for the Awards.
The public now have the opportunity to vote for their favourite on the shortlist for the People’s Choice Award with shortlisted groups also voting for each other for the Peer Award for Excellence. Epic Awards has two additional categories – Disability and Youth – which celebrate groups working with young people and disabled people. All groups are judged on their own merits and from the perspective of the group itself, which means assessing whether what the group has achieved is truly epic for them. Their impact on communities and members is measured against EPIC qualities (Engagement, Partnerships, Innovation and Creativity).
Kevin Murphy, Voluntary Arts Ireland Chief Officer said: “Each year the Epic Awards bring to light some of the finest examples of community-based voluntary arts projects that involve people across Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom every day. We are extremely proud to be able to celebrate their stories with these Awards.
The shortlisted projects from Northern Ireland brilliantly showcase the skill, innovation and hard work that goes into keeping the creative spirit of local communities alive. Each one of these shotlisted groups is truly EPIC - join us in thanking them by voting in the People’s Choice Award.”
The projects which have made the shortlist are outlined below. The public can now vote here for their favourite shortlisted group for the People’s Choice Award here.
The Epic Awards ceremony will take place in Cardiff on 2 April 2016.
Northern Ireland puts a spotlight on a multi-ethnic community dance festival Next Door. The project was devised by and with DU Dance’s Youth Steering Group and focused on bringing groups from different cultural backgrounds together to celebrate difference as a positive element of community life.
The Social Sofa is a creative project which worked with people suffering from dementia to create a stunning mosaic sofa. Using the canvas of a 1750 kg concrete sofa, people identified, drafted and agreed a design which could be applied to the Sofa and then led the process of cutting and applying thousands of mosaic tiles to it to bring their design to vibrant life.
PUSO (Philippines Unified Support Organisation Northern Ireland) means ‘heart’ in the Filipino language. The group came together in 2015 to celebrate the Philippines Independence Day and is organised mainly by members of the Filipino community who work in the health sector. The celebration wanted to showcase the widely undiscovered Filipino cultural heritage, not only to the community’s children and younger generations but also to the wider community of Northern Ireland.
Lighthouse Yarns, arts and crafts supply show, decorated the community orchard of Diamond Jubilee Wood (Whitehead, Northern Ireland) with beautiful woollen creation, establishing the first Woollen Woods in Northern Ireland at the same time. The aim of this project was to combine the arts and environment to draw new audiences and encourage them to craft and learn about conservation and biodiversity.
- Organised by Echo Echo Dance Company based in Derry/Londonderry, the Body Wisdom programme engaged seven highly committed participants aged 50+ who have taken their movement practice to the next level working alongside professional dancers from Echo Echo. The programme challenges the notion that dance is a selective art form that favours young people,¬ and was developed in response to the wealth of research confirming the health and wellbeing benefits of engaging older people in the arts.