Long attends launch of East Belfast Arts Festival

Naomi Long MP has attended the launch of a new festival designed to showcase the best of the local creative arts scene.

The inaugural East Belfast Arts Festival will take place between the 5th – 9th September, and will see performances and events in fields such as music, literature, comedy and the visual arts. It will culminate in a special homecoming performance from East Belfast’s own Van Morrison in Aircraft Park on 8th September.

Alliance MP Mrs Long said she was delighted to support the festival and that it would showcase the best of East Belfast.

“It perfectly captures everything that is great about this area – of course we have arts legends such as Van Morrison and CS Lewis but we also have members of the community keeping that same flame alive today. Artists such as author Glenn Patterson and singer Brian Houston, who performed at the launch of the festival, are to be celebrated as well.

“We have been trying over recent years to highlight the positive work going on in East Belfast and this festival is another way of doing that. It is also a chance to showcase the work of sculptors, painters and other people such as the East Belfast Arts Collective that some may not be aware of.

“I would hope the East Belfast Arts Festival would encourage those who maybe have a bit of creative flair and have never thought about doing anything about it, as well as people who maybe don’t have any – they can still come along and enjoy the events just as much as everyone else.”

Mrs Long said she hoped the festival would encourage those from East Belfast and beyond to see what the area had to offer.

“East Belfast has seen a lot of positivity over the past few months thanks to the anniversary of the Titanic and the associated tourism, so I hope this festival can build on that and keep the momentum going in order to showcase how wonderful, diverse and artistic East Belfast is.”


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