Newtownabbey artist to showcase ‘Peace Programme’ on global scale

Cllr Jim Montgomery discusses peace, diveristy and shared future with artist Lise McGreevy at Mossley Mill
Cllr Jim Montgomery discusses peace, diveristy and shared future with artist Lise McGreevy at Mossley Mill

An artist from Newtownabbey aims to showcase her Peace and Reconcile Arts and Cultural programme not just in Northern Ireland but on the global stage.

The main ethos of visual artist Lise McGreevy’s programme is “to highlight the importance of our peace process and keep it in the minds of politicians and in the hearts of the public”.

With the current second stage of the three phase programme, Abandoned; Not Forgotten?, Lise aims to “strip away the politics that divide our society and promote and celebrate the arts, languages, cultures and heritages that unite us traditionally”.

Lise said: “My programme is unique in Northern Ireland and in Ireland for two reasons. It aims to promote ALL of NI’s traditional languages and cultures.” Secondly, all artistic genres are represented by it through her cultural events.

“NI Opera have been involved since they first performed at my Mossley Mill hosting last year. But many Irish/Ulster Scots singers, poets, dancers and musician of all kinds have also now come on board with my peace programme during its tour in three cities and North and South of the border these past few years.”

Lise is delighted with the support she has received for it so far. MLAs, councillors and other VIPs attended the flagship launch of her exhibition at The Flax Gallery, Mossley Mill last year. Lise will also be hosting her programme at The Oriel Gallery, Clothworthy House, Antrim, in May. As for going global, Lise revealed she is currently in talks with three potential funders who are interested in helping her to tour in America.

“Working with diaspora communities therein, I want to showcase and promote Northern Irish and Irish languages and cultures and help promote #BrandNI on a global stage.” she said.

“I have also met with the CEO of an events organisation, which showcases 40 plus international festivals in over 30 cities throughout the world. They have asked me to put a provisional proposal together for Peace and Reconcile, for them to consider it being hosted in India. So, fingers crossed.”

“Many of our local MLAs and councillors have supported the programme since its conception back in 2016,” said Lise. “I would like to thank MLAs Steve Aiken, Paul Girvan, John Blair and Nichola Mallon; former MLA David Ford and also councillors Jim Montgomery, Noreen McClelland and Julian McGrath for all their support. It is brilliant to have cross party support of this peace programme.”

Cr Jim Montgomery said: “It is amazing how from one strong concept; such an amazing legacy project has been created by Lise.”