Category Archive: News

  1. ‘Nearness of Ice’ collated by Kate Newmann

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    ‘Nearness of Ice’ – a new book on men from Northern Ireland who took part in the Second World War Arctic Convoys was launched in Belfast on Thursday 8th December.  ‘Nearness of Ice’ can be purchased at Waterstones book stores.

  2. Sourcing Voices – Book Launch

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    Sourcing Voices 2The Duchess of Abercorn, Chairman of the Pushkin Trust launched ‘Sourcing Voices’ in the presence of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Alexander Yakovenko in Titanic Belfast on Thursday 30th October 2014.  The book is a resume of nearly 30 years work enabling primary school children from both the North and South of Ireland, and increasingly those in schools in Russia and further afield to find their ‘voice’.

     

     

     

     

     

  3. Pushkin Trust’s 25th Anniversary Dinner

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    The Duchess and Mr. Alexander Kramarenko

    The Duchess and Mr. Alexander Kramarenko

    The Duchess of Abercorn, founder of the Pushkin Trust, welcomed 100 guests including guest of honour Mr. Alexander Kramarenko, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Russia to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to the Pushkin Trust’s 25th Anniversary Dinner. The event for supporters and benefactors was held in Titanic Belfast to celebrate the success of the Northern Ireland-based charity’s work in the field of creative education and learning. Entertainment was provided by a traditional Irish band and Mazaika, a Russian band playing a variety of cultural folk, gypsy and operatic musical pieces.

    The Pushkin Trust was founded in 1987 by the Duchess of Abercorn, a direct descendant of the acclaimed Russian laureate, Alexander Pushkin. It has inspired over 50,000 children, teachers and student teachers through its creative education programmes, including Snow Patrol singer, songwriter and musician, Johnny McDaid. Earlier this year the Pushkin Trust celebrated their silver jubilee year with a musical event, led by Belfast-educated singer Katie Melua, at the Grand Opera House.

    To see more photos from the evening please visit Belfast Telegraph.

  4. Pushkin Trust Celebrates 25-years of Creative Learning

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    The Pushkin Trust has announced the start of its Silver Jubilee Celebrations with a concert featuring the musical talent of Belfast-educated Katie Melua. Over the last 25 years the Trust, founded by the Duchess of Abercorn, has provided educational programmes to support creative learning to over 50,000 pupils and teachers across the island.

    Named after Alexander Pushkin, one of Russia’s greatest literary figures, and a direct ancestor of the Duchess, the Trust began in 1987 as a creative writing competition for children.  Since then it has evolved into an educational programme involving many areas of the school curriculum including music, art, writing and the environment.

    Katie Melua, a supporter of the Pushkin Trust, will headline a one-off concert – ‘The Spirit of Pushkin in Ireland’ – at Belfast’s Grand Opera House on May 13th.  Among other items she will perform a specially commissioned song ‘The Story’s Magic’ and will be joined on stage by pupils from both sides of the border.

    The Duchess of Abercorn, founder of Pushkin Trust, said:

    “Over the past 25 years, the Pushkin Trust has made a positive impact on over 50,000 pupils and teachers by helping them unlock their creativity.  Our school programme helps children explore their thoughts and imagination, giving them motivation and confidence that boosts their enjoyment and interest in learning. 

    “The Trust also works closely with Teacher Training Colleges to help teachers provide creative and stimulating lessons.  

    “Too many of our children fail to live up to their abilities – the Trust is an innovative and practical way of helping pupils see education in a different light and encourages them to aspire to make the most of their natural talents.”

    Katie Melua, singer and songwriter, added:

    “I am delighted to be involved with the Pushkin Trust in this important anniversary year. The need for inspirational learning from a young age is vitally important and will help children to engage with their imaginations and find their voice. 

    “The Pushkin Trust helps unite people, both children and adults, in this shared bond of creativity – I have already been inspired by the unique talents of the Pushkin pupils that I will be performing with on stage at ‘The Spirit of Pushkin in Ireland’, and I know they and I will take away something from this that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

    The Pushkin Trust, funded by grants and private donations, is supported by the local arts community, with patrons including renowned Northern Irish poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley.

    Many past pupils in the programme have been inspired to work in a creative way in their future careers, most noticeably Snow Patrol singer, songwriter and musician, Johnny McDaid, who said:

     “I was writing and reading all the time as a child, but for someone to listen was the most important part. I was lucky enough to have been involved with the first Pushkin Prize when I was 11, and I was really inspired as a child by the idea that writing was something that I could do with my life. The Pushkin writing competition gave me a vehicle for creativity at that time.”

    The Pushkin Trust is a cross-cultural education programme and is seeking to expand internationally; it has already initiated a number of joint projects between schools in Moscow and Derry/Londonderry.  Its programmes have been particularly useful at helping children who have suffered educationally for reasons of communal conflict or social deprivation.

    Other Pushkin Trust anniversary events include a ‘Midsummers Evening’ experience for Pushkin participants and supporters, a five-day ‘Summer Camp of the Imagination’ for children, teachers and parents, and the launch of an anniversary book dedicated to the Trust, its history, its success and its future.

    Tickets for ‘The Spirit of Pushkin in Ireland’ are available from www.goh.co.uk or calling 028 9024 1919.

  5. Katie Melua Stars in ‘Magic’ Concert with Local School Children

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    The Pushkin Trust has celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a one-off concert ‘The Spirit of Pushkin in Ireland’ featuring the musical talent of international singer and songwriter Katie Melua.

    Belfast-educated Katie took to the stage at Belfast’s Grand Opera House (Sunday, 13th May) to perform a number of songs from her well known albums including ‘Call of the Search’, ‘Piece by Piece’ and 2012 release ‘Secret Symphony’. The BRIT Award-winner was joined on stage for her final song, a specially commissioned piece ‘The Story’s Magic’, by 85 Primary School pupils from both sides of the border.

    Georgian-born Katie said:

     “I was so excited to return to Belfast, my second home, and perform on stage with these wonderful young singers. This city inspired me to become the person I am today, and I know that the Pushkin singers will forever be inspired by their experience of taking part in this anniversary concert. 

    “Through Pushkin, children are able to explore their imaginations and stories, helping to unlock their creativity and inspiration. Creativity in children is so important, particularly for our future artists, and I am delighted to be able to support a cause that continues to strengthen the bonds between educations and the arts.”

    The school children who sang with Katie performed a variety of dance, song and verse as they retold the Pushkin story, based on Alexander Pushkin, one of Russia’s great literary figures who is regarded as the ‘Russian Shakespeare’.

    Over the last 25 years the Pushkin Trust has provided educational programmes to support creative learning to over 50,000 pupils and teachers across the island.  The Trust, founded by the Duchess of Abercorn, is named after her direct ancestor, Alexander Pushkin.

    The Duchess of Abercorn, added:

    “I started the Trust in 1987 as a way of enabling creative and personal growth of both children and adults. It all began with a creative writing competition which has now evolved into an educational programme involving many areas of the school curriculum including music, art, writing and the environment. 

    “Over the last 25 years the Trust has grown and branched out in directions that I had never imagined and I am delighted with the positive impact it has had on so many children, teachers and student teachers throughout all of Ireland.”

    Other Pushkin Trust Silver Jubilee celebratory events include a ‘Midsummers Evening’ experience for Pushkin participants and supporters, a five-day ‘Summer Camp of the Imagination’ for children, teachers and parents, and the launch of an anniversary book dedicated to the Trust, its history, its success and its future.

  6. Looking towards the Future

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    Pearl Stewart

    The closing months of our celebratory year has seen young saplings emerge of a new direction for the Pushkin programme involving the Secondary School Sector.

    Aptly named the Pushkin Pathway, this innovative and unique scheme will involve in its first year two secondary schools, one rural and one urban, one controlled and one maintained. These forty-four young teenagers will initially follow the traditional Pushkin process as they work together with our environmentalists using Nature as their creative force to enable them to unlock their voice. They will explore the theme of Source on every level through Writing, Music and Drama workshops on three Baronscourt Days.

    However, at Pushkin we feel that some of our young people need a sense of direction, a map for living as it were and so we intend to add another branch to the already flourishing Pushkin tree to incorporate and embrace an element of citizenship. It is at an embryonic stage but this pilot scheme will allow both schools to avail of the excellent resources and staff at the Nerve Centre (Londonderry) and use digital technology to record and share their experiences. They will also participate in exciting and stimulatory team and physical challenges in the fresh and inspirational air of Baronscourt with the hope and aspiration that our citizens of the future will embark on their journey through life with a mutual respect, affection and understanding of and for each other.

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