Fane Valley in creative partnership with local schools

Fane Valley, one of Northern Ireland’s leading agricultural companies has given three local schools the opportunity of working together to design their business calendar for 2019, in a creative educational project in association with Arts & Business NI and in conjunction with Arts Care.

Fane Valley, a Food NI member, relocated its head office to Moira in 2016 is now a significant employer within the greater Craigavon/Lisburn Borough. As part of a new strategic ‘Reach Out’ project with the objective to engage with their local schools, the farming cooperative secured the services of Arts Care artists Grainne Kielty and Lucy Turner to deliver several screen-printing workshops, interacting with over 100 GCSE pupils from St Ronan’s College, Lismore Comprehensive and Friend’s School, Lisburn with an educational focus on their business interests, history and the ever increasing wider group career opportunities, while discussing the Northern Ireland agricultural sector in a creative and colourful way.

Trevor Lockhart, Fane Valley Group, chief executive, said: “This specific ‘Reach Out’ project in conjunction with Arts & Business NI, and Arts Care is a first for Fane Valley and one we have thoroughly enjoyed. Our brief was simply to reach out to our new communities in which we are operating and to engage with future generations through art, while telling our story.

“We invited the schools to work together to design our company calendar and the results have been very impressive. They demonstrated a collaborative and sharing approach during this activity, which actually was very inspirational. There was real evidence of collective responsibility and joined up ownership for the project. The calendar initiative is one of three arts related projects planned for our wider ‘Reach Out’ programme.”

Mary Nagele, Arts & Business NI chief executive, added: “We are delighted to see Fane Valley activate their Arts & Business NI membership so effectively. They embraced our suggestion of partnering with Arts Care to deliver key CSR and staff engagement projects. It is highly impressive to see them embed creativity within their corporate strategy so effectively, enabling Fane Valley to creatively connect with the local community around the new headquarters in Moira. We look forward to seeing the next stage take shape where they have exciting plans to use the Arts as a tool to creatively engage their staff.”

Dr Jenny Elliott, Arts Care chief executive continued: “Arts Care have really embraced the partnership with Fane Valley and Arts & Business NI for this innovative Arts & Well-being project that has outreached into local schools in the Moira and surrounding area.

“The pupils from three schools worked with our Arts Care’s professional artists to create a stunning set of contemporary art works contributing to the Fane Valley 2019 Calendar. What has been outstanding about this first phase of the project has been the education value for the pupils who through arts participation have learnt through their creativity and imagination about a vital local business established over 100 years ago. Our artists are now looking forward to the next phase of this creative partnership project with more exciting outcomes anticipated for the young participants.”