A month-long programme of events, workshops and conferences to celebrate creativity and the Creative Industries got underway on Saturday at a host of libraries and cultural venues across Northern Ireland.
The first day of Creativity Month 2014 saw a range of activities for children and adults, including a 'Planet Aliens' puppet show; a workshop on how to make a film with your mobile phone; and a masterclass with crime author and writer-in-residence Brian McGilloway.
An initiative of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, in partnership with Culture Northern Ireland and the Nerve Centre, Creativity Month aims to stimulate new thinking and new collaborations to help creative people, creative ideas and creative organisations and businesses to emerge and flourish.
The full programme of 150 events is available via the Creativity NI website. As part of this year’s campaign, organisers are offering the public the chance to win an iPad Air in a Creative Moments competition.
David Lewis, director of communications & digital content at the Nerve Centre, said: 'Get involved by simply taking a picture of yourself, friends or family getting creative and upload it via the Creative Moments app on www.facebook.com/creativityni.
‘This can be anything from taking part in a Creativity Month event, showing something you've created or taking part in a creative activity with the kids.'
Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister of DCAL, said: 'Creativity involves the generation of new ideas or more effective ways to address problems. The creative and cultural sectors can act as a catalyst to tackling challenges in the economy, education, health and the environment. They have a key role in helping to promote equality and tackle poverty and social exclusion.'
The Minister added: 'Creativity Month is about inspiring and helping creative people, creative ideas and creative organisations and businesses to emerge and flourish. Derry City of Culture has demonstrated the power of the creative and cultural sectors to transform communities. Creativity Month aims to showcase the potential of creativity to inspire and deliver social change across this part of Ireland.'
Creativity Month will also showcase the work of organisations across government, business, education and the community and voluntary sectors, who are developing innovative solutions to societal challenges. This year's programme has a particular focus on tackling poverty and social exclusion.
More information about the events can be found at Creativity NI. The DCAL supported website, developed by the Nerve Centre in Derry, will also profile support for the creative industries and ways to stimulate a more creative economy and wider social innovation.
View the full Creativity Month 2014 programme here.