Catholics Need Not Apply

This month’s Lisburn Partnership Funding Newsletter is headlined with a story entitled “Arts Council: Place, Identity and Art.” The article refers to a new scheme the Arts Council is offering to help provide funds for community groups to engage with professional artists within their local communities. Sounds straightforward and non-contentious enough? But wait, there is one major proviso: this £200,000 programme is strictly for protestants only.

The full text has been included below:

“The Arts Council has opened a new scheme modelled on the Awards for All scheme, but not funded by the National Lottery, for Protestant communities. Place, Identity and Art is a £200,000 programme.

The programme has been established by the Arts Council as a result of the Renewing Communities Report. The report has identified groups who experience rural isolation and those who cannot accept Lottery funding as being in need of additional support.

The aim of the £200,000 programme is to help small groups in Protestant working class communities to engage with professional artists to promote culture and the arts within their local communities.

The programme will give priority to applications for projects which:
deliver the arts in areas of social and economic deprivation;
address cultural diversity;
address needs of victims/ survivors.

Any group wishing to apply to this fund under the criterion of not being able to accept Lottery funding, must provide a statement from the most senior person within the organisation stating your objections to accpeting Lottery funding. If you are a member of a larger body, ie, a youth club associated to a Church, this statement should come from the most senior person within your Church.

You cannot apply for an award if you are able to accept Lottery funding. If you can accept Lottery funding you should apply to Awards for All at www.awards forall.org.uk.

This is a rolling scheme and applications will be accepted at any time. The final closing date for applications is 4pm on Thursday 27th March 2008.”

One major irony of note relates to the assertion that funding will give priority to applications which deliver the arts in areas of social and economic deprivation; in Lisburn, the three most deprived wards (according to the NOBLE index) are the catholic areas of Twinbrook, Poleglass and Collin Glen.

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    You’re misplaced in your anger.. from the Arts Council Guidance Notes on the Place, Identity and Art scheme[pdf file] – “Small grants programme for faith-based organisations”

    Place, Identity and Art has been established by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as a result of the Renewing Communities Report, published in 2006, which is the Government’s response to the report of the Taskforce on Protestant Working Class Communities.

    Possibly the ‘good’ UDA has a part to play..

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    No I haven’t. I made clear that, while the story is carried in the Lisburn Partnership bulletin, it is clearly an Arts Council initiative. I’ve certainly no beef with the Partnership over this, I was simply motivated to post the thread after reading the piece in their newsletter.

    The Arts Council have clearly been provided with direction from the British ministers on this one.

    btw

    I recommend you read the Renewing Communities report and, particularly, Minister Hanson’s foreword.

    Hanson concedes that “disadvantage and poverty are still greater in catholic areas” before continuing with the old mantra that “there is a better developed capacity at community level to take advantage of the opportunities offered by government funded programmes and services to support those communities.”

    Which poses the obvious question: if the catholic communities are allegedly better at obtaining government funds, then why do they remain so decisively more deprived than protestant areas?

    AND why is this not the subject of a similar single identity government strategy?

  • George

    “Which poses the obvious question: if the catholic communities are allegedly better at obtaining government funds, then why do they remain so decisively more deprived than protestant areas?”

    You don’t get rich from handouts, you get rich by controlling the means of production.

    As for a Protestant-only initiative, I wish them luck. Sad that it has to be divided in this way.

  • JR

    George if it was the other way would you be so forgiving?

  • JR

    How many fecking million is this that the Loyalist commuities have got with no new money going into Nationllist areas? Fecking joke!

  • Pete Baker

    “The Arts Council have clearly been provided with direction from the British ministers on this one.”

    Yes, Chris, so direct your anger at the NIO et al.

    Where it may do some good.

  • ciaran damery

    This kind of carry-on is not a surprize. Given the propensity of Unionsts to refuse to cooperate with SF or engage in the Irish Peace Process and GFA.

    Yet they have the audacity to creat a show exclusively for protestants, in otherwords an exclusive event free from croppie interference. Meanwhile, at Féile na Pobail in Belfast (mar shampla) Unionists are invited to engage, and do. Yet they cannot shed this supremacist sectarian attitude.

    If a sectarian event like this was held anywhere else in the Western world it would be considered fascist and apartheid. And fellow reader those attributes are very common amongst the descendants of Orange Planters in the occupied zone.

  • paddyjoe

    jesus, am i reading a 50 year old post here? but why am i not surprised at this.

  • heck

    One can imaging you working class nationalists thinking that maybe it’s time to go back to war!!!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    I am not really directing my anger at anyone in the post, rather simply bringing this issue to the attention of our readers.

    George
    You don’t get rich from handouts, you get rich by controlling the means of production.

    If that is true, then it surely applies to each community. The point I am making is that, by conceding that catholic areas in the north remain the most disadvantaged, then David Hanson should be as concerned about why that funding is not having a real impact on levels of soci-economic deprivation in nationalist areas as he is with addressing the funding concerns of unionist areas.

  • Alan

    Read the small print, folks.

    Over the next three years, the Big lottery fund will distribute £ 90 million in grant aid in Northern Ireland. This small grant regime is for groups that cannot access that funding for genuine religious reasons – and come from deprived areas.

    The problem is that these groups have a genuine religious objection to the use of funds raised through gambling.

    When assessing grants for other organisations this is one issue that has been raised with me again and again. Ignoring the problem simply leaves the community to fester.

    You can’t ignore the difficulties of one group of people in poverty simply because another group of equally poor people is bigger.

    You also discriminate directly against that group when you provide assistance which, in its core form, cannot ever be accessed by that group.

  • DK

    Thanks Alan for clearing it up. But can it be guaranteed that the money will go to the anti-gambling group if it is an open grant for any protestant group, even those who like a flutter.

  • londonderry_loyal

    This funding may only be for Protestants, just like the PSNI is just for Catholics these days!!

  • londonderry_loyal

    Without taking this thread od topic, a reply to Post 7 “This kind of carry-on is not a surprize. Given the propensity of Unionsts to refuse to cooperate with SF or engage in the Irish Peace Process and GFA.”

    Unionsits have made it clear that cooperation with SF will happin once the party step up to the mark on several issues, such as accepting the PSNI, getting rid of the IRA etc…

  • Martin

    Folks, a slightly different take: the money involved (£200k) can make absolutely no difference to the levels of deprivation in any district or community, and will not go far in hiring the services of a bunch of professional artists for even medium-term (6 months?) work in the community.

    The faith-based anti-gambling groups (Islamic as well as evangelical protestant?) will need to put forward a successful arts-based bid. What will these artists be commissioned to do, is there the cultural infrastructure in place to make this meaningful? Will faith-based anti-gambling groups even WANT to work with artists?

    I suspect the answers to these questions is No.

    So what we’re seeing is a sop on the part of the NIO, and an act of desperation on the part of ACNI, and just goes to show that arts funding mechanisms have been twisted to fit instrumentalist political agendas to the point of absurdity.

    We should ask why this is being spun (by NIO, ACNI, AND by Slugger) as cash-for-poor-prods…

    In a year’s time, when the inevitable £30k report from the consultants appears and says that most of this money lay unclaimed, or went to finance workshops in church halls to no tangible public good (at least in instrumentalist terms)I bet my next Arts Council grant that the only benefactors will have been a few arts workers and arts administrators who have no objection to gambling whatsoever.

  • Pete Baker

    I thought as much.. we’ve actually noted this before.. when the ‘Re-Imaging Communities Programme’ was announced

  • Fanny

    My wife and I argued all the time about religion. She was an atheist, I was an agnostic. We couldn’t agree on which religion not to bring the children up in. — Woody Allen

  • dantheman

    “This funding may only be for Protestants, just like the PSNI is just for Catholics these days!!”

    Except for the 80% who are Protestant.

  • BogExile

    ‘…And fellow reader those attributes are very common amongst the descendants of Orange Planters in the occupied zone.’

    Yes, the news direct and true from our on-the-spot reporter in er, New Jersey.

    It’s like a green version of George Seawright. More please, more!

  • Actually, just a litte factual information on lottery. The Big Lottery Fund money is seperate and quite distinct from the lottery money that Arts Council would distribute. And, by faith-based groups, it actually includes more than Protestants. There are certain faith-based groups that will not accept lottery funding. Not all are Christian. I do know of a Muslim group that turned down the lottery funding it was offered because they could not accept it. The issue of faith-groups not accepting lottery funding is actually a bigger issue that a simple Catholic-Protestant divide.

  • rapunsel

    Martin

    I’m with you on this. The Arts Council has no balls. I think the issue of access to funding from groups that are anti gambling needs to be addressed, this is not however the way to do it. The way to do it is to have different and flexible funding initiatives with priority within them in terms of project assessment and scoring. A fund does not need to be exclusive — simply just that applicants must demonstrate that they could not source funding elsewhere. The wider issue here is the significant and ongoing creation of seperate initiatives, strategies and funding streams ( almost exclusively for the protestant community) and the lack of challenge to it that is taking place from within the community and voluntary sector. This is anti community development practice and principles and is about shoring up certain organisations and buying them of with a few quid to keep certain people in gainful employment no matter of the track record or ability of the organisations or individuals involved. This is having and will have a corrupting influence right across the sector. We are already seeing the emergence of protestant only community networks both in urban and rural areas some in direct competition with existing and inclusive cross community initiatives, some of this is sold on a spurious argument to build capacity to enable future engagement. Unbelievably the programme for peace and reconciliation is seriously guilty of this ( almost as bad as funding allocated to the arms company Thales) This will not happen because you can be assured of one thing — once organisational momentum takes over and gatekepeers get into place the focus will be on sustaining the divisive and sectarian structures into the future. Unfortunately there will be e raction to all of this. the failure of the representative community and voluntary sector organisations to challenge what is emerging is shameful. Unless they do , I ultimately predict the emergence of catholic only community organisations and networks and catholic only funds. Surely the strategists within DSD especially and the voluntary and community unit in particular have engaged in some future planning and predicted where we might all end up. Perhaps this is what they want to happen in the context of the proposed super councils.

  • Yokel

    More funding for arms companies good high paying jobs in a very important sector, electronics.

    More money for Prod murals on big bits of wood stuck up on walls. I think parity of esteem is important. Prods must have the same number of murals in their areas as on the entire stretch of the Falls Road. In addition Catholic areas must match up to the Falls Road levels.

    Thats proper parity that is. They brighten up bare Brown walls, remind people of those who served their communities…the Prods are behind on the grand mural count (and standards) thus the money should go to the Prods. They are a large majority in the area and also need more education and support to catch up on muralling.

    See Chris, parity of esteem thats all it is. You want equality don’t ya?

    Still no-one wants to work with me on the cat in the hat style Basher Bates story for children as the counterbalance to the Bobby Sands story. Don’t you people care about equality? tut tut. I’m open to forming a community collective to get this project underway.

  • ciaran damery

    “L/derry” loyal kindly outlines Unionist requirments, “Unionsits (sic) have made it clear that cooperation with SF will happin (sic) once the party step (sic) up to the mark on several issues, such as accepting the PSNI, getting rid of the IRA…blah blah blah. It beats me why SF want to have anything to do with Unionists. A return to Stormont would be a waste of time. As for the peelers? If the mainstream republican movement and SF accept SS/RUC as an impartial police service they will lose their republican support base. It is incumbent on both governments to govern occupied Ireland together. Paisleyites are incapable of engaging in a democracy.

  • simple answer

    all dis bitchin about who gets da johnny cash. There is a simple solution. Loyalists get all the british handouts, and the screamin pikeys go to dublin with their begging bowl. simple really.

    Ciaran d’nubery

    “SS/RUC” – yes cairan being so smart you know all about Nazi SS connections

    enjoy-

    ‘In his first Presidential Address at the Sinn Fein Ard
    Fheis in 1927, Sceilg spoke of “Jewish Plots”. This was a
    theme to which he returned in his Presidential Address to
    the 1933 Ard Fheis, where he proclaimed that: “In the
    design of the Anti-Christ, England is today the prey of rival
    groups of unscrupulous Jews fighting for their own hands”
    (The Sinn Fein Outlook, 1930). And, nine years later, in
    Brian O’Higgins’ Wolfe Tone Weekly (16.9.1939), Sceilg
    addressed an “Open Letter” to Britain in which he denounced
    “the diabolical schemes with which your Jewish masters,
    through you, menace the world’s peace once more”.
    In the Catholic Bulletin during 1939 Sceilg enthusiastically
    supported the rise of Hitler and German expansion into
    Eastern Europe. And he hoped Germany would defeat Britain
    in the coming war.
    On 9th December, 1939, he delivered a lecture in Cork
    City Hall, which he later disseminated as a pamphlet called
    Stepping Stones. Sceilg told the audience that, “…
    Neville Chamberlain, at the behest of the Jews, who hold
    England in their pocket, has embarked on a new essay to
    crush Germany…
    …”.
    In the Sinn Fein headquarters on January 21st, 1940, Sceilg
    accused Britain of “helping to extend the Semitic stock in
    our midst” for the purpose of a “future coup d’etat”…

    …Sinn Fein condemned De Valera for his policy of neutrality
    when war broke out in 1940 as an inadequate nationalist
    response. Sceilg demanded an alliance with Nazi Germany.’

    from:
    “Irish Republicanism And Socialism
    – The Politics Of The Republican Movement
    1905 To 1994”
    by Pat Walsh
    publisher Athol Books, 10 Athol Street, Belfast, BT12 4GX. UK.
    ISBN 0 85034 071 3
    (C) 1994.

    put that in your pipe bitch