£3.3million to re-imagine..

Initial reports of the £3.3million fund announced today by the NIO focused on how the money would be spent replacing loyalist paramilitary murals, but subsequent to the statement released by the Dept Culture, Arts and Leisure the BBC, which initially followed the earlier line, has shifted to the official version, quoting Culture Minister Maria Eagle [whose department appears to have no say in the actual funding programme – Ed] “New murals and public art [which] will transform parks, housing estates and built-up areas across Northern Ireland, celebrating the aspirations of the whole community and helping people feel part of their own local community.” – although the Minister also states “The purpose of the ‘Re-Imaging Communities Programme’ will be to engage local people and their communities in finding ways of replacing divisive murals and emblems with more positive imagery.” A three year funding programme according to the Arts CouncilAccording to the DCAL statement:

The new programme will support a wide range of community led projects with grants of up to £5,000 for small projects and up to £50,000 for larger projects. It builds on the success of the Arts Council’s previous ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme.

Let’s hope we get a breakdown of where exactly the money is being spent…

Also tucked away in the statement is this:

The Minister also announced a new £100,000 ‘Place, Identity and Arts’ small grants programme, aimed at fostering arts projects promoted by groups which have difficulties on religious and moral grounds with accessing funding from the National Lottery. This programme is also one of the actions in the Renewing Communities Action Plan.

Interestingly, despite the appearance of the Culture Minister Maria Eagle, and the quotes attributed to her, the Note to Editors in the statement does not mention the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure as being involved in the project:

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) leads in the project and other partners include the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM); the Department for Social Development (DSD and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

The Re-Imaging Communities Programme will be managed by a Shared Communities Consortium made up of the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM); the Department for Social Development (DSD); the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI); the Community Relations Council (CRC); the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and; the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

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  • Stephen Copeland

    Memo to self: Buy shares in Dulux.

  • Pete Baker

    Stephen

    You seem to be under the mistaken belief that the money will be spent mostly on paint..

  • Stephen Copeland

    Pete Baker,

    Not all of it, of course, but you’re not going to cover up a mural any other way, are you? Virginia Creeper?

    Clearly the vast bulk of the money is going to pay the ‘community representatives’ who will, um, ‘oversee’ the painting work, which will itself probably be done for nothing by the fools of the UYM or whatever.

  • loftholdingswood

    “Clearly the vast bulk of the money is going to pay the ‘community representatives’ who will, um, ‘oversee’ the painting work, which will itself probably be done for nothing by the fools of the UYM or whatever.”

    Not at all. When my local community group applied for funds to begin the process of having a UFF mural removed strict financial controls were set in place and the money was only released when an outside auditor approved the costings. The vast bulk of the money went to the artist himself ( not from our area but from Newry), a small amount to the community centre and a smaller amount to organise a special “unveiling”, inviting the great and the good and laying on tea and biccies. The only dealings with the “fools” was hours of consultation, negotiation and, finally, congratulations that a mural depicting a hooded military figure was replaced with a mural depicting the history of a town. Not one “fool” was paid a single penny.

    But I am sure Stephen does not want to hear this as it disrupts his ingrained thought processes with a dose of reality.

  • At this time of year it’d be good to set up “kitchens/free food for kids” in some of the working class Loyalist areas. I remember visiting an area in Tullycarnet over the 12th and was surprised when a neighbours child came into the house I was visiting. The neighbours were on a “binge drinking session” and I’d never seen a child eat as much and so quickly ever before in my life.Her parents had obviously forgot to feed her.

    I’m sure this is still happening, each and every 12th,all the food these kids get is from the ice cream van or the local sweet shop, that is if they can get money to buy any.

    Re-imaging should involve more than just a lick of paint and shouldn’t be just funding to keep the so called community representatives happy.

  • Peking

    Surely a slap of undercoat and a few tins of paint doesn’t run to £3.3 million.
    Going by how much it is going to take to paint these new murals, you have to wonder who paid the millions of pounds it took to put the old ones up in the first place.
    Another laughable paying off of thugs by the government.
    All our emergency services and vital infrastrucure are crying out for extra funding, but instead of investing in those the NIO thinks it’s a great idea to throw money at gangsters.
    What will be the next demand, I wonder.
    New outfits for all the lads because they can no longer wear their combats and hoods?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Peking: “Surely a slap of undercoat and a few tins of paint doesn’t run to £3.3 million.
    Going by how much it is going to take to paint these new murals, you have to wonder who paid the millions of pounds it took to put the old ones up in the first place. ”

    Depends on how crooked your contractor is for the former and as to the latter — the populace paid for the murals of both sides, one way or the other — cash, blood, sweat or extorted paint.

    Peking: “Another laughable paying off of thugs by the government. All our emergency services and vital infrastrucure are crying out for extra funding, but instead of investing in those the NIO thinks it’s a great idea to throw money at gangsters. ”

    Hey, with few exceptions, the European way has been appeasement — from Vikings, down through to Barbary Corsairs to the Nazis to the North Koreans, Iranians and now the chavs. Throw money / resources at the problem and maybe it will go away.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Initial reports of the £3.3million fund announced today by the NIO focused on how the money would be spent replacing loyalist paramilitary murals, but subsequent to the statement released by the Dept Culture, Arts and Leisure the BBC etc etc ‘

    Wonderful news and just what the paint shops need no doubt. ‘£3.3 million ‘ might sound like a lot but as per the report below this sum represents the total net assets of 33 citizens of the Irish Republic or 0.000008% of the total net assets of the Irish Republic’s 4,200,000 citizens .

    Ireland second oly to Japan in net worth

    ‘A decade of house price inflation has catapulted Ireland into second place in the global wealth league, according to a new report from Bank of Ireland Private Banking.

    The report published today shows that when the value of housing is taken into account Ireland’s privately owned assets are now worth an average of €150,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. The report says that the bulk of this wealth has been created in the past decade alone.

    The Japanese are the only people in the world wealthier than the Irish, according to the report, which values our houses and financial assets – like pensions, shares, and other investments – at almost €800 billion.

    If €115 billion owed to banks for mortgages and other loans is subtracted, the result, is €680 billion. Property, however, accounts for three-quarters of this amount, a higher proportion than any other country. The massive property boom has resulted in a massive 350% increase in wealth in a decade.

    Bank of Ireland says that even when the value of principal private residences is excluded, Ireland now has 30,000 millionaires. It estimates 300 of these have more than €30m each, while 2,700 people have between €5m and €30m apiece.’

  • Moochin photoman

    This can only be a welcome development.
    This initiative reckonises the effects that the built environment has upon its inhabitants.
    The projects that this money will fund will involve a great deal of dialogue and consulting by the various community artists who will be involved. This dialogue is part of the overall process to produce a piece of work that is acceptable to all and not just territorial.
    The community artist will work with the group to engender a sense of ownership of the resultant art piece. This takes time and the facilitation of such projects should not be underestimeted in terms of the complexity and difficulty in helping groups and individuals to move forward in a constructive and creative manner.
    It should also be noted that as stated by loftholdinsworth there are vigourous financial checks and procedures in place ensuring that the money isnt misappropriated.
    Heres a link to New Belfast Community Arts Initiative that will involved with some of the projects that will come about as a result of this welcome funding stream.

    http://www.newbelfastarts.org/
    The Community Arts Forum is also heavily involved in projects throughout NI
    http://www.caf.ie

  • Rory

    Honestly, Dread Cthuhlu, you really do need to read a bit more. This appeasement nonsense you’ve just spouted above is simply that – sheer nonsense – historically and today. The exact same simple rant about appeasement could be applied to Woodrow Wilson or FDR, or indeed even to great Lincoln himself for his attempts to avoid war. Some in the US, whose vested interests lay in war, even tried to apply it to Eisenhower. Even bloody Nixon for his Vietnamese withdrawal and rapprochement with China. And last but not least, the sainted Ronald Reagan himself for the SALT agreement.

    But they would remain just that – simplistic uninformed rants from those too lazy to attempt to know more.

    We try and often fail, maybe even mostly fail, on this site to involve each other in the dialogue of engagement – but we do try – and I would encourage you to join in that spirit.

    I have nothing positive, or indeed even interesting or deflationarily or upliftingly lightly witty to add to this thread. I really don’t know that much about living in a loyalist area and either enjoying or enduring the gable-end murals painted there. So I don’t see much value in adding anything to the discussion and certainly I can’t see how a misinformed opinion on European appeasement throws any light upon it.

  • pith

    Hurrah! It’s painting for numbers now.

  • Idunnomeself

    I’m presuming that Republican areas can apply for these grants too?

    Pete, DCAL is responsible for the Arts Council, so their Minister will attend Arts Council events and speak on their behalf

  • Pith,
    That reminds me Mrs Levee came up with a link to the next best thing than painting by numbers here
    ENJOY!

  • pith

    Cybez,

    That’s lovely. I’m more a nail picture man myself (ships mostly and the occasional guitar) but I’ll certainly be trying the online dot to dot for a day or two. Thanks.

  • Pete Baker

    idm

    DCAL does appoint the Arts Council board members.

    “All Arts Council policy and funding decisions are taken by a board, who were appointed by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure following public application.”

    The point I was making was that there are several other NIO Departments, amongst others, with a direct involvement in the running of this arts funding programme.

  • Greenflag

    Where else in the world do people paint murals on gable walls ?

    Defacing private and public property is what ‘mural painting ‘ should be called. Art my foot ! Why can’t they use a canvas like everybody else and hang their ‘murals’ in places where people will pay to see them ?

    Another 3 million down the drain. I suppose on top of the millions wasted on the farce of an Assembly it’s just another example of how a ‘failed entity’ continues to fail 🙁

  • idunnomeself

    Pete,

    If the Arts Council is managing the scheme then DCAL is directly responsible for the funding. It will hand over the grant, deal with Parliments questions about it, check it is properly spent and ultimately their accounting officer will appear in front of the PAC if it all goes pear shaped. Arts Council money is DCAL money, and the DCAL Minister often goes to ACNI events (and also Sports Council or Museums events and so on)

    I just thought that you seemed to be implying that they were piggybacking on someone elses work the Arts Council’s work is their work

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Rory: “The exact same simple rant about appeasement could be applied to Woodrow Wilson or FDR, or indeed even to great Lincoln himself for his attempts to avoid war. Some in the US, whose vested interests lay in war, even tried to apply it to Eisenhower. Even bloody Nixon for his Vietnamese withdrawal and rapprochement with China. And last but not least, the sainted Ronald Reagan himself for the SALT agreement. ”

    In no particular order…

    Roosevelt did everything he could to get into the war, including permitting an undeclared naval war between the German Navy and the United States Navy as early as 1940. He spent some 50 billion dollars arming Britian, Russia and China as a “neutral,” getting back something on the order of twenty cents on the dollar. As a matter of policy, the United States, rather than appease the Japanese, cut off their access to critical materials necessary for their war effort, including steel and petroleum.

    Lincoln had little time to appease anyone, the war starting so soon into his presidency. Were one to have bothered to read his writings, one would know he was not some radical abolitionist. The Emancipation Proclamation was primarily a move to keep Great Britian and, by extension, France out of the Civil War by changing the context of the war from self-determination for the Confederate States to a war about slavery, placing the English in moral checkmate.

    In the case of Wilson, one has to differntiate between leading an isolationist country and appeasement — who, pray tell, did Wilson “appease,” other than public opinion? World War I was not seen as an American war. Contrary to your thesis, he pushed several matters to impose his will on the Germans, or did you think they stepped down from unrestricted submarine warfare on their own?

    Nixon appeased no one, save the American electorate. He was elected on a policy of decreasing the American involvement in Vietnam. As for opening relations with Communist China, that was far more in gaining advantage over the Soviet Union than appeasing the Chinese.

    Rory, your effort in appreciated, if inadequate. First, words mean things and if you are unsure of the definition, you ought to look it up, rather than trying to brazen your way through. Words have meanings, I think you will find. I alluded instances of paying off aggressors — the Danegeld, the tribute paid to the Barbary pirates, the dismantling of Czechoslovakia despite prior treaty agreement with the Czechs to the offering of “incentives” to rogue states. The closest you came with Reagen, not for the SALT treaty, which was not an act of appeasement, but for his weapons for hostages, which, while not appeasement (it was not payment to an aggressor not to act, it was a simple “business transaction”) was fairly reprehensible and nearly equally as stupid.

  • Peking

    Moochin photoman
    Thanks for reminding me of the meaningless, long-winded drivel that some people spout when trying to defend the indefensible.
    The built environment indeed. Catch yourself on!