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BuildaBridge International Make Music Day programme in Northern Ireland.

For Make Music Day 2018 Beyond Skin partnered with Make Music UK and their #ArtsDialogue friends BuildaBridge International (Philadelphia) to deliver workshops and events in Bangor, Millisle & Omagh.

BuildaBridge International Executive Director Ami Yares & Darren Ferguson (Beyond Skin) reminisce…

“Make Music Day left an indelible mark on the developing relationship between Beyond Skin and BuildaBridge International. For a great many years, unbeknownst to the two organisations, both Beyond Skin and BuildaBridge had been advocating and enacting programming to activate the intrinsic power of music-making in many communities across the world. This June, the two organisations partnered and facilitated a series of workshops that epitomised the world Beyond Skin and BuildaBridge envision through music-making.

At the Millisle Youth Club, BuildaBridge facilitators who also happen to be the Executive Director of BuildaBridge, Ami Yares and Dr. Janelle Junkin, Director of Community Programming and Research, worked with Beyond Skin Artists Greek Bouzouki master Nikos Petsakos & French singer Hajer Messaoud. Together, the musicians helped the youth group of rather inexperienced music-makers to make music. Some of the youth had never touched an instrument, letalone receive supportive instruction. The youth took to the activities with great fervour and together with the facilitators managed to write a piece of music, play in ⅝ time, improvise and perform at Bangor Castle, the home of Bangor’s municipality leadership. The trust formed between the BuildaBridge, Beyond Skin facilitators and the youth synthesized an unique and formative experience that would be wonderful to recreate in the future. Helping people see beyond their present worldview by virtue of making music is a deep and fundamental need in society.

May we have the wisdom and support to continue such sacred work. Thank you to Make Music Day for helping inspire through music-making.”  – Ami Yares.

Make Music week had many successes and for all it was a very enjoyable learning, sharing and creating experience. All the children and young people involved were fabulous and worked as a intergenerational team with Ami, Janelle and Beyond Skin #ArtsDialogue colleagues Nikos, Hajer, Lata, Mark and Jan.  As it turned out the slow careful process of steaming potatoes was the metaphor for successful Building Bridges – it is the healthiest way to cook potatoes as the nutrients do not leak into the water.”  – Darren Ferguson

The BuildaBridge Make Music Refugee Week programme was supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council, Fermanagh & Omagh Council, Ards & North Down Council and Community Foundation.