|10 years of Blue Drum
Community arts organisation Blue Drum this year celebrates 10 years working with families and communities. Thousands of community workers have been trained in the arts and Blue Drum has developed a volunteer programme and an arts and health programme.
“Gone are the days when art is put in its box as a tool, therapy or trophy,” said director Ed Carroll. “Our work continues to be ambitious and precarious.” Traditionally, community arts work has been dogged by poor facilities, materials and skills – which made attracting the support of local arts organisations and offices vital.
Funded by the Family Support Agency and receiving €80,000 in funding, the organisation works with 107 Family Resource Centres (FRCs). Over the next decade Blue Drum sees its role as an advocate of artwork in and by communities, promoting local art practices and expressive life.
“A core part of our work will be to convince others about the public value of this work,” said Mr Carroll. The organisation is committed to promoting cultural rights. Recently, Blue Drum, in response to thousands of requests, organised hundreds of artist workshop days for FRCs, to showcase the work of Travellers, children and women.
Like many other community projects, the organisation faces cutbacks. “This work won’t just get cut-back but cut-out,” added Mr Carroll. “We need advocates who are loyal supporters of making more artwork happen in local communities.”
Blue Drum is registered as a charity and managed by five part-time project leaders and three volunteers.