Community Innovation Practitioner Pilot Programme
The week beginning 27 November saw our Community Innovation Practitioner (CIP) Pilot programme, co-created with our partners in the Market Development Association (MDA), gathering pace.
The CIP pilot, funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Creative Communities programme, seeks to explore the potential of cultural intervention to break cycles of silence which serve to perpetuate negative health outcomes in communities.
The first phase of the CIP pilot programme came to life with groups of young people and adults from the Market community in Belfast taking part in the first in a series of photovoice workshops. The photovoice workshops will continue over the next days, weeks and months and see the co-curation of a public exhibition reflecting community perspectives and lived experience of complex health related issues.
Áine Brady (Community Innovation Practitioner) highlighted the energy and different perspectives the Market residents brought to workshops:
“It was great to see people coming together to share their stories about life in the Market, what it is like to grow up here, to live here or to raise their families here. The young people and the adults from the community turned out and took part in Arts based activities that helped them to open up and discuss important local issues. It was great to see people from different generations get involved”.
Dr Karen McGuigan (QCAP Community Health and Wellbeing) reflected on the potential of the programme:
“The CIP pilot programme seeks to empower communities to address the stigma and silence around important issues such as intergenerational trauma, deprivation, and substance use. The programme utilises Arts based approaches to amplify community voice and recognises the importance of culture in responding to important public health issues. Working with our partners in the programme, we hope the Creative Communities approach will serve not only to empower the Market community, but that the associated learning has relevance and reach within other communities who face similar place-based challenges”.