Local community representatives came together last Wednesday night to celebrate the official launch of a new two year cross community, cross border project ‘Across the Line’, administered by The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton.
Funded by the International Fund for Ireland under its Peace Impact Programme, the project will address the deficit of community participation in local development in the greater Manorhamilton and border area.
The overall aims of the programme are to engage individuals in positive projects that improve individual quality of life, and support the creation of an inclusive and coherent community.
Planned projects include:
· Cross Community Youth Drama Project ‘The Other Side of the Tracks’ – 15 young people will research and dramatise north south journeys, informed by the SLNC railway line which linked the two counties in the past. Their work will be showcased in Leitrim and Fermanagh.
· Cross Community ‘Song lines Across The Border’ Project - A choral spectacular about the border, its history and mythology. This project will involve Leitrim and Fermanagh based Community and or School Choirs and guest artists, leading to performances in Leitrim and Fermanagh.
· Women’s Development Project - ‘She Can Be Anything’ - This project brings diverse women on both sides of the border together to learn new creativity skills. It is being delivered with North Leitrim Women’s Centre and networks across a number of women’s and cultural organisations.
· Men’s Development Project – ‘We are Strong’ - A participative writing, storytelling, video and song writing programme delivered with The North Leitrim Men’s Group partnering with groups in Fermanagh. It will culminate in a Seminar Event addressing Men’s issues.
· Creative Industry Skills - This programme will support young people seeking careers within the Creative Industries and support those individuals already active, to further develop their skills focusing in particular on sound production, live streaming, other music and theatre production skills, and Events Management.
· Capacity Building – Across the Lines Forum Project - A programme of practical training, capacity building activities and discussion based arts/cultural events.
Speaking at the launch of the programme Catherine Ryan, Programme Manager, IFI said, “This project is designed to address the legacy of conflict, current social and economic realities facing many rural communities, such as isolation and youth emigration, along with the uncertainties of Brexit.
“In particular, the project aims to increase people’s involvement in their local community and to encourage them to explore the differences and similarities of living in different states but only a few miles apart.”