Being & Belonging

February – April 2014

Being & Belonging is an early years arts project that places 4 artists in 4 parent & toddler groups in the border counties of Ireland. This project is delivered in partnership with Early Childhood Ireland and Early Years – the organisation for young children, Northern Ireland, and is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Reconciliation Fund.

In the second phase in 2014, artists worked with parents and very young children over a six-week period in each location. Through a creative and exploratory process, the project celebrates creativity, diversity, inclusion and family learning. Being & Belonging aims to build a north-south interagency framework that will support a culture of mutual respect and understanding, both within family homes and within the wider community.

In 2014, artists Maree Hensey and Naomi Draper engaged with parent and toddler groups in Castlefinn, Co. Donegal and Beleek, Co. Fermanagh; Kate Wilson and Jess Reed with parent and toddler groups in Cavan & Derrylinn, Co. Fermanagh.

The project will culminate in an early years publication for parents & children, to be launched in 2015.

The first phase of Being & Belonging culminated in the publication of Opening the Door, a research and process document, sharing learning and outcomes of the project, which was supported by additional funding from the Arts Council of Ireland. This book is available to buy from the Kids’ Own Online Bookshop.