In Tune is for children with autism or who are blind/partially sighted, including children with complex additional needs. It started as a pilot project with one year funding from BBC Children in Need in 2015. The success of the first year, working with our partners Angel Eyes NI and Autism Initiatives NI, led to securing 3-year funding for the project. In 2019 we were successful in securing another three years from BBC Children in Need.
The project provides children and young people the chance to learn new skills in different art forms and experience the joy of group creativity. Participants have the chance to work with a high-quality team of artists who have numerous specialties including music, dance, visual art, and drama.
Our partners assist the project by recruiting participants from their client base, delivering specialist training for our artists, and supporting the children and young people during the sessions.
Reminiscence in Song
In this project, artists engaged groups of older people from Abbeyfield Belfast Society houses in reminiscence and song writing workshops. These led to the creation of a piece of creative writing and two new songs “When I was a child” and “Happy Landings”. You can listen to these two songs in the videos below.
Zoom Fest 21!
From 22nd March until 1st April 2021 we hosted a series of workshops on Zoom. The workshops were for anyone over 18, with a disability and did not currently attend any of Open Arts activities. All the workshops were free, but some of the workshops happened over two sessions.
Song and Dance for Dementia
Working with three care homes Rose Court, Ballymena; Carrickfergus Manor and The Brook, Coleraine, Song and Dance for Dementia engages older people in care homes within the Northern Trust in singing and dance, promoting positive mental and physical health and emotional wellbeing through social interactions and creative activity The project also engages staff within the care homes as well as carers and family members who come to visit their loved ones.
In 2019 we completed a project with Mae Murray Foundation as part of the ACNI Articulate funding programme and piloted Arts Awards with the young people, an accredited qualification from Trinity College, London. Young people worked across three art forms (music, dance and drama) and developed skills as peer educators for non-disabled young people.
Larger than Life!
Our arts & older people project, Larger Than Life, was a great success. We worked with 5 groups in a series of drama & illustration workshops: Beyond Words (Cruse Bereavement Care), Holywood Men’s Shed, Newington Day Centre, The Wednesday Club, Hemsworth Court
The project ended with the launch of the ‘comic book’, Larger than Life on 28th April in The Duncairn Centre. It was really well attended by the participant groups and received amazing feedback from everyone involved. The project was supported by The Arts and Older People’s programme, which is jointly funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure, Public Health Agency and the Baring Foundation.