Catalyst Arts was formed in 1993 in response to what was seen as a cultural vacuum. It is Belfast’s primary artist-led organisation. In accordance with its constitution it is run by unpaid volunteers, and seeks to adopt a poly-vocal strategy towards the promotion of contemporary art practices by large selection of artists and projects from the widest possible range of disciplines.
Catalyst Arts is always a gallery, but has also been a 24 hour cinema, a recording studio, a publishing house, a skip, a radio station, a jumble sale, a wrestling ring, a sauna, a distillery, an agnostic chapel, a banquet hall, a darts team, a leisure centre, a night club and most recently a shop.
The most important factors about Catalyst are that it is non-profit and a members-based organisation to whom the present committee is responsible to. Catalyst Arts welcomes anyone who wishes to get involved by volunteering their help, sending in proposals for exhibitions / projects and most importantly by applying to become a director. A directorship lasts two years only, in order to ensure Catalyst remains vibrant with new energy, never learns from its mistakes and thus completely avoids stagnation.