Cultúrlann and Musicians Without Borders first collaborated in the
production of Singing the Bridge, a festival of community music and music therapy in Derry-Londonderry in May 2013. Singing the Bridge attracted community music professionals, local musicians and community workers and organizations to explore music’s potential to contribute to reconciliation and bridge-building in Northern Ireland’s divided communities.
Following the success of Singing the Bridge, a year-long community music training program (2014-2015) was implemented for local musicians, followed by two year-long training cycles (2015-2016, 2016-2017) to train new cohorts as well as to offer additional training for graduated trainees.
- Over 50 people trained in community music leadership: “I experienced the power of opening up – to music and collaboration and trust. It’s not an easy process, but it’s an affecting one.”
- Over 200 community music workshops reaching more than 2,200
participants: “It takes long to come out of conflict. The problems may be still the same as before, but you can promote understanding and tolerance. Musicians Without Borders attracts me because their program is based on respect and tolerance.”
- Long-standing relationships formed with various local and cross-community organizations in Northern Ireland, including Model Primary School, a progressive integrated school in Derry-Londonderry: “I’m seeing such deep and personal connections being made, deep enough that when they greet you in the street it is with a smile and a hug. I look forward to the work we do in the areas that need these connections the most.”