Back to Belfast: Part 2

a Go & See revisit…

If you didn’t see Part 1, this is a second post about a recent visit to Belfast – and reunion of sorts.

This was my second trip to Belfast in the last few years, so I took the opportunity to revisit an exciting inclusive arts organisation, Open Arts, who I first met in 2013.

Diljeet OA
At the Open Arts office back in 2013!

Flashback to 2013 – where it all started

To give you a bit of background on the first trip, around the time I was freelancing with Paragon and getting ready for the first Play On session, we applied for a Go & See grant (administered by engage Scotland and supported by Creative Scotland).  In November that year, I spent a week in Belfast, Dublin and Cork looking at inclusive arts practice.  This was my first freelance research experience, and the work I saw during my trip has really shaped what’s happened since.  I had the chance to meet lots of stakeholders in inclusive arts, from freelance practitioners and arts organisations, to agencies who work to promote accessibility and inclusion. You can see the full report here

Did I really write that?

It’s been an interesting experience to re-read work from a very different point in my research life – in hindsight, there are lots of things I would do differently, and it wasn’t easy to read myself or share with the internet, but it’s interesting to use this to reflect on how I’ve changed, how my practice has been influenced in the last few years.

Continuing the conversation

Excitingly, Open Arts are coming to visit Play On this weekend!  I’m looking forward to catching up again and sharing practice.  These exchanges between arts organisations are really important – it’s hard to find time to talk to other organisations sometimes, and it’s difficult when everyone is so busy trying to get things done.  Paragon’s relationship with Open Arts goes back to way before I was involved, so it’s really cool to see this long-term dialogue continue as both organisations continue to grow.


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