Art is about connecting with another human being.

1263f76a-a680-4833-ae02-ebf06fdb29ffBelfast was a whirlwind –  meetings and visits with more than 20 people working in a variety of arts, education and community-based organizations. I don’t know where to begin, there are so many take-aways. The people are genuine, passionate and determined. The city has a beautiful grit and colorful character, but enough polish and shine to mark their optimistic outlook. When you reflect on the decades of violence and conflict that they experienced, you come to fully appreciate the magnitude of the statement they are making with their harbor – lined with new, gleaming glass buildings. The glass may be fragile, but the city seems unbreakable. They are not the city they once were, and they are ready to move forward. Continue reading


Belfast: community engagement + arts = holy grail


3,981 miles, 3 hours of sleep, 4 cups of coffee, and we made it to Belfast, Northern Ireland. We hit the ground running. Day 1 was filled with conversations, walking, sunshine and a pan European rock-n-roll band. Not a bad start. I am instantly struck by the authenticity and warmth of the people in Ireland. After a 2-hour conversation with my extraordinary in-country coordinators (and now friends!) Siobhan McGuigan and Esther Haller-Clarke from type AB to review my robust itinerary for my time in Ireland, I was off for my first meeting. First up, I had the pleasure of talking with Emma Jordan, Artistic Director, Prime  Cut Productions. An accomplished actress and director, Emma recently received 2015 Spirit of Festival Award at the Belfast International Arts Festival and her production of Scorch was the 2015 winner of the Irish Times Best New Play. Quite impressive. Continue reading