David Hill is Chair of the Crescent Arts Centre
in Belfast. This is a voluntary position, and was arranged
through the Board Bank programme run by Arts & Business NI
The Crescent website can be accessed here
. On the website you can find full details of all classes and activities as well as details of special events, download the
latest programme and add yourself to the mailing list.
The Crescent has a history of over 30 years as
a community arts centre, and has been hailed as the "busiest arts centre in Northern Ireland" by the BBC National
Lottery programme. The Crescent's permanent home at 2-4 University Road recently underwent a £7m refurbishment,
which has restored and rejuvenated a Grade B+ listed building with a rich history (it is the former home of Victoria College,
a pioneering school for girls) and an exciting future. The refurbishment has been recognised with a William McKeown
Trust award for accessibility
.The centre won the overall RICS NI Project of the Year 2011 as
well as the Community Benefit award, and also received a commendation at the RICS awards in London.
Crescent is thought to have the largest swift colony in Northern Ireland, and protecting the birds was an inherent
element of the refurbishment project. Swifts (apus apus)
are increasingly disappearing due to modern building techniques and the Crescent building now incorporates swift
boxes - bricks with cavities specially designed to provide a summer home for these fascinating birds - to ensure that the
swifts were able to return again in 2010 and will do so for many years to come.The Crescent and its partners
in the refurbishment were awarded the UNESCO "Man and the Biosphere" award in 2010 in recognition of the steps
taken to secure the future of the swift colony in the building.