A major new initiative to boost Belfast’s cultural engagement with the public has been launched through the combining of two existing programmes at Queen’s University and Belfast City Council.
The very popular Literary Belfast project and Belfast Soundwalks will combine to enhance cultural engagement with citizens and tourists alike. In a unique twist this new initiative will engage the public through novel ways of disseminating creative writing and sonic arts associated with the city.
The Literary Belfast project (http://www.literarybelfast.org/) already showcases the city’s exciting literary scene through an interactive website and locative media app developed in association with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s. While Belfast Soundwalks, led by Professor Pedro Rebelo from the Queen’s Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), provides an open platform for communities and visitors to explore the city through sound. (www.belfastsoundmap.org)
Lord Mayor Alderman Gavin Robinson said: "Belfast City Council is delighted to partner Queen's University in this important Creative Arts initiative. This is an exciting opportunity that will undoubtedly lead to a better visitor experience, not only for tourists to the city but also those who live in the city. This initiative builds upon past collaborations between the city council and Queen's and emphasises the importance of ‘town and gown’ working together for the common good of Belfast."
Commenting on the new collaboration Professor Rebelo said: “This is a major cultural boost for the city at a time when it needs it most and as we approach the beginning of the main tourist season. Through the appointment of Dr Sarah Bass, a recent SARC graduate, we will develop an effective strategy for delivering new content in association with the Belfast City Council’s Cultural Strategy and tourism priorities of building cultural tourism, developing tourism products, supporting the evening economy and delivering an authentic European city experience.”
This exciting new project has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the newly created Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, at Queen’s, directed by Professor John Thompson alongside consortium partners for BGP2, Newcastle University (through Cultural and Heritage Studies) and Durham University (through Durham Book Festival).