The Black Box has been delighted to partner with Belfast Harbour this year for it’s Creating Connections for Older People project, which uses arts and creativity to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness in older people living with dementia and learning disabilities. The project has previously been funded by the Big Lottery and takes place every Tuesday afternoon. Recently the project received new funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation to open a new outreach space – Moon Base and all the participants will be creating amazing performances and pieces on Royal Avenue.
Jenni Barkley, Belfast Harbour’s Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, said:
“The arts play a vital role in many areas including education, tourism, community cohesion and promoting wellbeing. They also help define Northern Ireland as a vibrant destination to live and work in, and that’s a message we’ve heard again and again from firms considering locating in our office development at City Quays. Investing in the arts is, therefore, not only good for society, it also makes good commercial sense.”
Rachael Campbell-Palmer, Co-Director, The Black Box, said:
“We believe strongly that the arts are being side lined in a case of ‘either/or’ and that there is a damaging narrative being propagated of funding for the arts being at the expense of vital front line services. The arts are essential in any society, but especially a society like ours recovering from conflict and trauma.
“Participation in the arts builds self-esteem and combats loneliness for children, young people and marginalised groups. The decline of support for the arts is saddening and alarming.
“We thank Belfast Harbour for their support and encourage other businesses to consider partnerships with arts organisations which can be mutually fulfilling and beneficial. Financial support and sponsorship is always welcomed, but it can also take the form of operational advice, expanded networking opportunities and governance support. In return commercial organisations can fulfil community objectives and enable their staff to gain valuable and rewarding volunteering experience.”