Obon gets £15k for music, dance and Manga projects

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The Obon Japanese cultural outreach project in Londonderry has received £15,000 from the Arts Council for a number of forth coming music and dance projects and a Manga art programme.

Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Community and Participatory Arts at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to announce the latest five recipients of Intercultural Arts Programme funding.

“At the heart of the programme is a commitment to help build Northern Ireland’s social capital through the arts.

“It is heartening to make lottery funding available for this, following the very successful previous 3-year programme and we look forward to seeing the new projects come to life.”

The project will build on the success of the on-going outreach work of Obon across Northern Ireland and the very successful inaugural Foyle 0bon Japanese Festival, held in 2015.

The project will include cross-community outreach workshops in rural Derry and Mid & East Antrim, a festival event in 2017 and the commissioning of a traditional Bon Odori piece of music and dance to be presented at the festival.

Obon will also partner with Void Gallery to develop a Manga art programme and work with the North West Regional College to develop the traditional Soran Bushi Dance.

The £15,000 is among £69,000 being allocated through the Arts Council’s Intercultural Arts Programme (ICAP), for five intercultural arts projects taking place across the region.

The ICAP programme has made great strides in helping to achieve many of the NI Executive’s goals on building social cohesion, tackling inequality and racism and developing integrated community planning since its introduction in 2015.

The previous, ICAP programme, which ended in 2015, was the first of its kind to launch in the UK or Ireland and was aimed at providing opportunities for minority ethnic communities.