Today I had a meeting with Brenda Kent and Pauline Matthew from Voluntary Arts Ireland and received an update on some of their initiatives as well as hearing about the concerns of the voluntary arts sector.
Laura O'Hare and Nelson McCausland
It was particularly encouraging to hear about their efforts to engage young people in setting up and running arts events for themselves and their peers. Pauline is the project coordinator for the Larne Young Arts Cooperative and Laura O'Hare, who is one of the participants in the project, told me about how the young people in the cooperative had benefited from the project.
VAI, which is part of the Voluntary Arts Network, seeks to promote a passion for participation in art, to lobby and advocate on behalf of the sector, and to provide support for voluntary arts groups. This is a large and important arts sector and yet it is one that is sometimes overlooked.
Brenda has been the chief officer of the VAI for a number of years and has provided valuable service but she is now leaving and moving on to another post dealing with arts and disability. I wish her well in her new role.