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24/03/2004

Ideasfactory to launch in Northern Ireland

Ideasfactory Northern Ireland, a Channel 4 (4Learning) initiative to assist young people (16-34 year olds) in creative industries is to launch on Tuesday 30 March at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast.
The organisers believe the scheme is not only is it a celebration of the arrival of Channel 4’s Ideasfactory initiative in Northern Ireland, it’s also an opportunity to showcase some of the vital creative talent that abounds in Northern Ireland. Ideasfactory is a “blended initiative”, combining on-line and on-the-ground activity and resources.
Online, Ideasfactory hosts a dynamic combination of in-depth articles, games, information and database resources, online workshops and special master-class modules. Users can access a series of zones covering the creative industries, including: music & sound; new media; film & television; performance; writing; and art & design; or use the ‘opportunities zones’: funding & awards; business; careers; and training & courses; for practical information on the creative industries.
Offline Ideasfactory is centred on ‘Lives’, an extended series of on-the-ground events focusing on a particular creative industry theme, usually including a competitive element and resulting in a concrete, real-life output such as a short film, website or performance. These events draw on the talents of outstanding creative with insider knowledge of how to get ahead who contribute to workshops, masterclasses and competitions. These events are then disseminated in the form of eLearning modules and master-classes to a national audience at www.channel4.com/ideasfactory and its Northern Ireland incarnation www.channel4.com/ideasfactorynorthernireland.
“Ideasfactory offers the tools and resources you need to get into the creative industries – realistically and in one place,” said James Estill, Ideasfactory Senior Producer. “Online, Ideasfactory brings together aspiration and experience with straight-talking information. Creativity isn’t just about being a film producer or writing a book, it can also be about working as the software engineer, product designer or press officer for a creative business. Ideasfactory is a virtual project anchored in real-life experience and that’s what makes it so different.”
With initial funding from the Creativity Seed Fund administered by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Ideasfactory Northern Ireland is being delivered through The Nerve Centre, Derry’s multimedia arts and creative learning centre.
The NIO Permanent Secretary for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Dr Aideen McGinley, said: “My Department is delighted to be associated with the arrival of this imaginative initiative as we believe that the creative industries have the potential to make a significant contribution to the future economic prosperity of Northern Ireland.
“People, particularly young people, are our most important resource and we must give them every encouragement to allow their creative ideas to surface and to flourish, not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of the entire community.
"I am confident that this initiative will prove to be an invaluable source of assistance for all our budding talent and one which can help to turn their dreams into reality.”
Peter Logue, Channel 4’s Director of Learning, Northern Ireland, added: “We all know that there is untapped talent and creativity aplenty in our young population of school-leavers, students and lifelong learners. Most of us know someone who is a brilliant musician, painter, actor or dancer. We know people who have talent to burn in areas of design, technology, craft and new media but they don’t always have the necessary support and confidence to develop those skills. Ideasfactory will provide some of this vital support to help young creative types get in and get on in their chosen area of industry.”
(GB)
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