Sir Ken Robinson was a leading thinker in education and creativity whose inspirational TED talks motivated an entire generation of teachers across the world to pursue new approaches to creativity in the classroom, not least in Northern Ireland.
Martin Melarkey, director of the Nerve Centre, said: 'Thanks to Ken’s pioneering work on the NI government’s Unlocking Creativity strategy, the Nerve Centre, alongside Northern Ireland Screen, was able to establish Creative Learning Centres in Derry and Belfast in 2003. These centres have upskilled thousands of teachers and young people in film, animation, music, coding and other digital literacies over the past 17 years.
''Ken Robinson was a stalwart supporter of the Nerve Centre and of our model for promoting the creative use of digital technologies in the classroom. His wonderful legacy endures today and we are privileged to be part of it.'
Sir Ken passed away in 2020 and the Unlocking Creativity Awards were set up to support inspirational individuals, organisations and schools who are empowering others through creative learning. The awards are funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, which also funds the Creative Learning Centres.
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen said: ''We are delighted to support the Unlocking Creativity Awards in memory of Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken was a leader in creativity and education for young people, especially during the establishment of Northern Ireland’s Creative Learning Centre, and his support has enabled many to acquire essential digital skills, assist learning in schools and develop creative workforces. We wish all of the nominees the best of luck.'
Nerve Centre will announce the winners live on their Facebook and YouTube channel on Friday 5th March 2021 at 11am – the day after Sir Ken’s birthday and the launch of the Robinson family’s global ‘Imagine If’ campaign. ‘Imagine If’ is a week-long online celebration of Sir Ken’s life and work through performances, discussions, talks and videos. For more information visit https://imagine-if.com/
Kate Robinson, Daughter of Sir Ken Robinson said: 'We are so excited by the Nerve Centre’s Unlocking Creativity Awards in honour of my Dad, Sir Ken Robinson, and were blown away by the recipients'
'Northern Ireland has long embodied the core of a lot of my Dad’s work, and these individuals and organisations truly encapsulate his message. We are looking forward to what they go on to do, and to continuing our relationship with the Nerve Centre and their incredible work.'
The awards ceremony is also part of the Nerve Centre’s ‘Spring into the Creative Industries’ campaign – a series of workshops, talks and events throughout March that will champion emerging creators, give marginalised voices a platform, and inspire and support young people in the creative industries in Northern Ireland.