Creative Connections is a cultural, arts-based project whose aim is to work creatively with a wide range of groups in order to promote discussion and debate on issues facing local communities today and to promote shared visions for the future. The group are currently running free online workshops and are looking for community, youth or arts-based groups to take part in this special project.

Creative Connections is implemented by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality. The Centre are reaching out to new groups from all traditions who wish to be involved in the programme to share their visions for a more inclusive society and a shared future for all.  

The workshops, which last a duration of 60-90 minutes cover a range of creative topics. The “Writing for Equality Workshop’ explores themes of equality, diversity and shared futures. Participants take part in discussion and creative writing exercises designed to prompt a creative response to social and cultural issues. Students will then have the opportunity to create a piece of flash fiction that can shine a light on an issue close to them. A selection of the work may be published for the Smashing Times online magazine Creative Connections.  

The ‘Creative Arts for Peace’ symposium features artist discussions, a film screening, and the engagement of local communities in discussion on how to remember a legacy of conflict in Northern Ireland. Participants will explore how to continue to build new visions for the future, identifying collective, shared solutions for bringing communities together to create a more inclusive society for all. As part of the symposium day Smashing Times are presenting an online panel discussion ‘Arts and Human Rights – Creative Voices for Diverse Narratives’ with contributions from artists and diverse communities. Panel member for the symposium include: 

  • Mary Moynihan, a writer, director, theatre and filmmaker and artistic director at Smashing Times.
  • Noelle McAlinden, a visual artist, creative advisor and mental health campaigner, curator and cultural broker.
  • Richard Edgar an author and historian.
  • Dave Randall a musician and writer. 
  • Dr Stephen Herron a researcher, academic, cultural anthropologist, and community relations facilitator. 

The ‘Arts and Human Rights – Creative Voices for Diverse Narratives’ panel discussion will take place via Zoom on Monday 22nd March at 7pm. Booking is available through the Imagine Belfast website. If you would like to take part in any of the workshops or events or for more information you can contact the Smashing Times office on projects@smashingtimes.ie or visit www.smashingtimes.ie