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Creative Schools
Deadline: 2 April, 2021

Creative Schools is forming a panel of Creative Associate Regional Coordinators across the country. It is envisaged that the Arts Council will engage the services of 8 Regional Coordinators. Both individuals and organisations (who nominate a particular representative) may apply to provide these services.

The main tasks of the Creative Associate regional coordinators are:

– Work closely with the Arts Council’s Creative Schools’ team to support and assist in coordinating the work of the Creative Associates at a regional level.

– Liaise with and support up to twenty Creative Associates and their assigned schools across each region.

– Be required to carry out services for around seventy days per annum, with a minimum of one day per week between the months of September to June.

Deadline for applications: Friday 2nd April, 2021

For more information, see www.etenders.gov.ie/ (select Arts Council in ‘authority’ field of an advanced search on etenders).

Creativity & Change Programme 

Dates: April – May 2021

Short deep-dives into the methods and mindsets of the Creativity & Change programme.

Deep Dive Training (formally masterclasses): action-focused workshops to unleash your imagination and creativity. Leading to a collective day of creative hopeful action across the country at our Paste-Up Blitz.

This Spring-Summer training programme is centred around the idea of the “Awesome Solution”. This concept is based on research conducted at the COP21 conference about the impact of art on audience engagement and perceptions of the world’s big problems.

Researchers found that:

Artwork that presents an awesome solution to a problem was the most effective at engaging the audience and inspiring them to change their attitudes to take action on a local or global justice issue.

The workshop series offers a deep-dive into the idea of the awesome solution, exploring the concept across a range of disciplines, methodologies, and facilitators, bringing you through a variety of processes that can be adapted and integrated into your own work. Exploring development education topics and global and social justice means covering complex issues, discussing interconnected systemic BIG world problems, things that often feel outside of our control can be overwhelming.

How can we use the arts to inspire hope, to nurture that longing for the brighter future we all know is possible and engage our communities in action?

Are you an educator, youth worker, artist, activist, advocate looking for a new inspiration? Join us to:

The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.

Where: Zoom and online

Who: These workshops are for anyone working in a non-formal learning context with others- youth workers, community workers, artists, activists, educators, dreamers, changemakers.

Commitment to all the workshops is essential

There are five different options for participants to join this workshop series. These five “streams” will run simultaneously from April 10th until May 22nd. All groups will be invited to take part in a national “paste-up” day to bring their ideas into public space. To view the five options and register go to www.creativityandchange.ie/non-accredited-training-previously-masterclasses/

Each group will experience the same workshop flow:

1: HOPE with Chriszine Backhouse

2: IMAGINE with Eimear McNally

3: CREATE with Helen O’ Keeffe

4: ACT with Claire Coughlan

5: TOGETHER All

Price: €50 (subsidised by Irish Aid)

For further information go to www.creativityandchange.ie/non-accredited-training-previously-masterclasses/

Please contact us if you are unwaged or have financial constraints or with any other questions at: claire.coughlan@cit.ie

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI)

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) has launched its spring/summer 2021 programme of online workshops, activities and resources for schools.

The Museum is inviting schools all over Ireland to enjoy, engage and learn with culture in the classroom this spring and beyond.

From the Crazy Life of Crows to pop-up talks on the Easter Rising, the spring/summer programme explores a diverse range of topics and themes, all inspired by the National Collections across four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo.

The NMI usually welcomes some 90,000 primary and post primary students on classroom visits each year. Due to COVID-19 public health advice, the Museum has now moved its schools programme online with imaginative workshops, virtual tours and classroom activities, delivering meaningful learning experiences for students.

Some highlights from the spring/summer programme include a family tree workshop with the NMI – Country Life; a virtual tour about the 1916 Rising from the NMI – Decorative Arts & History; an Ogham Code challenge from the NMI – Archaeology; and special virtual classroom sessions exploring extinction with the NMI – Natural History.

All events are offered free of charge.

For further infromation go to –  www.museum.ie/en-IE/News/National-Museum-of-Ireland-invites-schools-to-lear

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
Event Date: 23 April 2021

Baboró are delighted to present their Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture project, RISE.

Children in Galway are dancing, leaping and learning with local and international artists this spring, thanks to the RISE programme from Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in partnership with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. This March children aged 8 to 13 years are taking on starring roles in two “RISE” projects, combining parkour, circus skills, performance art, sport and more. Making the most of digital opportunities to connect across the globe, the young people are participating at school and at home.

Projects include:

St. Pats Lockdown Olympics: A whacky series of four weekly videos, accompanied by props delivered to students’ homes, to guide them through the creation of their own spectacularly zany sports.

The Streets Are Ours: A collaborative project to create a promenade performance by Galway children combining parkour, contemporary dance and circus skills. The dance performance will be recorded in April and shared with the public as soon as safely possible.

The Veiled Ones: The final element of the RISE programme will be The Veiled Ones, a new dance theatre production highlighting the powerful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, created by renowned Irish company Junk Ensemble.

This immersive work, currently in development.

In Conversation with Junk Ensemble & kabinet k

On April 23, Baboró will host the digital event, ‘In Conversation with Junk Ensemble & kabinet k’, exploring both companies’ development processes in making work with and for children, and the challenges to creating dance in a global pandemic.

For more information, www.baboro.ie/galway-2020.

Creative Ireland Programme

Dates: 13, 15 April & 13 May 2021

The Creative Ireland Programme has announced details of the Creative Youth Conference 2021.  The conference – Creativity: the connection to our future, now – will be hosted online and will comprise three separate events in April and May discussing questions surrounding provision of opportunities for creative engagement by young people both within the school and their community.

As part of a wider deliberation on the Creative Youth Plan – which was published in December 2017 – the Conference is an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on progress to date and input their views concerning the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The conference will commence with Creative Youth in the Education System, which will take place on Tuesday 13 April, from 12:30 to 2pm. This will be followed by on Thursday 15 April (also from 12:30 to 2pm) by Creative Youth in the Community.

These two events will feature contributions from a range of people involved in Creatives Youth initiatives – such as the Creative Schools programme and the Local Creative Youth Partnerships – and provide an insight into the roll-out of the Creative Youth Plan to date.

These events will also feed into a high-level conference to be held on Thursday 13 May from 12 noon to 2pm.

This event, which will be opened by the Taoiseach, and will also include contributions from the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, the Minister for Education, Norma Foley and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman.

The main conference will also feature two panel discussions with contributions from a national and international guests including Andreas Schleicher (OECD), Michelle Cullen (Accenture), Arlene Forster (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment), Bo Stjerne Thomsen (The LEGO Foundation), author Roddy Doyle, Helene Hugel (Helium Arts) and Prof Linda Doyle (TCD).

Registration for the event is now open at

Further details are also available here – www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/news/the-creative-youth-conference-2021/

 

A selection of some of the fantastic digital arts in education activities and programmes available for children and young people which support learning at home.

The Ark @ Home for Teachers

To support teachers delivering arts-based learning to children remotely while they are home due to the COVID-19 restrictions, The Ark have a variety of classroom and at-home activity packs relating to different areas of the curriculum, as well as a selection of recorded shows available to stream for your class privately.

For more information: ark.ie/projects/details/ark-home-teachers

The Glucksman: Creativity at Home

Join The Glucksman online for on daily live art sessions and creative activities you can do at home. A team of facilitators delivers daily art classes and discover a range of art making skills and techniques. These free online sessions will keep children engaged as they learn about drawing, painting, constructing and printmaking using basic art and household materials.

For more information: www.glucksman.org/exhibitions/creativity-at-home

IMMA: Explorer at Home

With your family, you can explore specially selected artworks from the IMMA Collection online and their temporary Exhibition Programme, as well as suggested starting points for creative activities related to those artworks. These free online resources cover themes such as abstract painting, collage, land art and more.

For more information: imma.ie/whats-on/explorer-at-home-abstract-painting/

National Gallery of Ireland at Home

Stay connected with the National Gallery of Ireland online, with lots of different ways to engage with their collection – virtual tours, videos, podcasts, downloadable resources, activities for children, online workshops, blogposts, and much more.

For more information: www.nationalgallery.ie/national-gallery-ireland-at-home

 

 

Due to popular demand the Portal Team is delighted to announce details of our Online Creative Workshops Winter Programme taking place this December. This series of hands-on creative sessions aims to support artists and teachers to explore new ideas, approaches and techniques to support their own professional development through creative practice.

We’re delighted to confirm that illustrator Wayne O’Connor and interdisciplinary artist Kate Wilson will be joining us again to facilitate another series of ‘A Dive into Digital Art’ and ‘Sensing into Action’. Digital Artist John D’Arcy will also be facilitating a new workshop entitled ‘You’re Muted’.

Each workshop involves two ninety minute closed zoom sessions taking place over two days. Booking a ticket for these workshops will automatically reserve your place at both creative sessions. Participants must attend both sessions. Ticket bookings will open at 12 noon Wednesday, 2nd December 2020These workshops have limited capacity so make sure to book your place early!

Please note: Tickets for both ‘A Dive into Digital Art’ and ‘Sensing into Action’ will be offered to those on the waiting list from the November sessions first.

Sensing to Action
Dates: 7pm, Friday 11 & 11am, Saturday 12 December

Kate Wilson has a fine art degree from Slade School of Art and MA with Independent Dance; her practice is both interdisciplinary and collaborative. Sensing to Action offers practical and theoretical insight into creative movement and holistic approaches to dance and theatre practices in the classroom.

Book Tickets Here

A Dive into Digital Art
Dates: 11am, Saturday 12 & 12pm Sunday 13 December
Wayne O’Connor is an illustrator, storyteller, writer and arts educator. Using free digital drt software, participants will be introduced to the basics of using digital software to draw and paint. Participants will need to download the free Autodesk Sketchbook art software.

This session is now fully booked but please click through the link below to add your details to the waiting list. 

Book Tickets here

You’re Muted
Dates: 3pm, Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December
Digital artist and researcher John D’Arcy invites participants to explore the problems and potentials of creative engagement online. This workshop contains a mixture of interactive activities that test the limits of online video conferencing, helping to reflect on the nature of online connectivity, communication and creativity.

Book Tickets here

For enquires please email events@artsineducation.ie

National Museum of Ireland

From hieroglyphics to harvest knots…the National Museum of Ireland launches a new programme of online events, activities and resources for teachers to bring the Museum to the classroom.

Each year, the NMI welcomes some 90,000 primary and post primary students to its four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo, providing engaging, hands-on, curriculum linked and creative learning opportunities that underpin classroom teaching.

This year, due to COVID-19 guidelines, the NMI has had to rethink how schools, teachers and their students can engage and learn with the national collections and, in response, has developed a range of virtual programmes to be used in the classroom. The first strand of the new programme is available now including arts in education activities.

The new schools programme 2020/2021 blends live online sessions with Museum educators, and a range of pre-recorded video and printable resources available from the Museum’s website.

Arts in Education programme highlights include:

Leaving Certificate Art History Presentation
Archaeology

In place of Leaving Certificate Art History Tours, Museum educators have developed a presentation containing high-resolution images of the artefacts on display at the Museum that are linked to the Leaving Certificate Art History curriculum. The presentation can be used by teachers as an in-class resource and the notes pages can be used by students as a revision tool.

Arts, Crafts and Design Activities
Decorative Arts & History

Explore a range of art and design activities suitable for primary students and art at post primary junior cycle, through short videos and downloadable activity sheets. Students can take a design challenge inspired by Eileen Gray, make their own musical instrument, design and build a Thaumatrope or build their own bird helmet inspired by a Samurai costume.

Nature School Storytelling
Country Life

Join storyteller Fiona Dowling on the grounds of the NMI – Country Life at Turlough Park, Co. Mayo, to hear some nature based stories and some intriguing tales connected to our fairy trail ‘Of Fairies and Fairy Folk’.

For a further information and link to the full programme go to www.museum.ie/en-IE/News/From-hieroglyphics-to-harvest-knots-the-National-M.

 

 

The Four Dublin Local Authorities

Deadline: 5pm, 11 December 2020

The four Dublin Local Authorities (Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council) are delighted to invite submissions for: Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2020.

The Bursary Award will support individual professional artists to develop their artistic practice working with and/or producing work for early childhood arts. It is open to individual professional artists who wish to develop their practice in early childhood arts, artists practicing in all artforms, artists resident in Ireland.

Bursary range: €500 – €5,000

The closing date: 5pm, 11th December 2020

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

For more details please click on ‘Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2020 Criteria & Guidelines’.

 

 

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Dates: 5 – 18 October

The Baboró team are delighted to announce their 2020 Delegate Programme which this year has moved online. They look forward to continuing to create opportunities to share insights and make new connections at home and abroad.

This year Baboró is a partner in ‘Talking TYA 2020’, a 3-day virtual conference that will bring artists and scholars from across Ireland and the world to discuss participation in theatre for young audiences. Baboró are also partnering with Culture Ireland, TYAI and NUI Galway.

Baboró’s online discussion series will give opportunities to meet some of the artists taking part in the festival. To register for delegate events listed below go to www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/event-type/foradults.

Baboró Insights 
Wed 7 Oct at 13.00

Making regional connections: Pathways to production artists meet presenters (By Invitation)
Mon 12 oct | 12.00

Diversifying performance for young audiences
Wed 14 oct | 14.00

Talking TYA 2020
Thu 8 – Sat 10 Oct

Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable

Dates: October 2020

Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable team are proud to present a superb programme of events for their annual Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival this October.

Every child deserves access to the performing arts. As always, the aim of the festival is to ensure we continue to inspire children and their families by the safest and most creative means possible.

To achieve this in 2020, the programme has both live and online shows, creative workshops and even a family mystery trail around the Georgian quarter of the city. Plenty for all our small citizens to interact with.

Our schools programme is completely online, this will ensure schools in Limerick and the mid-west region can access our festival programme without travel costs as a barrier.

Louise Donlon, Director of Lime Tree Theatre|Belltable said “We are so glad to be able to announce this year’s Bualadh Bos festival as there were times during the past 5 months when our hopes for it seemed to be dashed.

“We have put a lot of thought into how we can continue and have been so heartened to see that performers and audiences alike are so keen to take part. The wonders of digital technology allow us to present our school’s programme online.

“Indeed, the advantage of online programming means that every school in Limerick can access the wonderful work being created – there are no barriers to all the children in the city and county enjoying the best that is on offer.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Arts Council, Limerick City & County Council and the JP McManus Foundation, without whose help and support none of this would have been possible.”

Our festival highlights include Michael Ford and Bairbre Ni Chaoimh’s beautiful show The Wilde Garden Adventure, the opening show of the festival on Sunday Oct 4th in Belltable. The show is based on two famous Oscar Wilde books The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant.

We are thrilled Emma Martin’s Birdboy will tour to the Lime Tree Theatre on Wednesday Oct 7th. This engaging family show premiered earlier this month in the Dublin Fringe Festival to fantastic reviews. We feel so lucky that they tour to Limerick first and then go to 4 other venues in the country.

Cahoots NI have spent the summer converted units in a Belfast shopping centre into various magical rooms for a real live virtual experience with their new show The University of Wonder and Imagination.

Music Generation Limerick presents a new programme of interactive livestreams for schools featuring award-winning Limerick actor Myles Breen, the amazing rapper Denise Chaila, trad star Zoe Conway, guitarist and singer Sean O’Meara and classical violinist with the ICO Diane Daly.

Also, Branar Téatar have an online puppet workshop, Children’s Books Ireland go online with their book clinics for all book worms,  Jean McGlynn gets creative with Halloween ideas, there is something for every child this year, now all we need is you to ensure they can join us and have some fun!

A full programme of festival events with dates/times/age groups etc are available at – www.limetreetheatre.ie/show-category/bualadhbos/

The Irish Museums Association (IMA)

Deadline: midnight, 6 October 2020

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) invites teachers to assist them in supporting your work by completing a short survey and enter their raffle to win an Echo Dot (3rd Gen.) smart speaker with Alexa.

As we all adapt to new ways of working, learning and socialising, the museum sector across Ireland is increasing efforts to not only continue to support schools in the delivery of learning but also develop and pilot new resources and services.

Your participation in this survey is extremely important. It will inform and guide the association and its members, allowing them to deliver programmes that complement your work and are both educational and enjoyable.

From your responses, an anonymised report with recommendations will be produced and circulated to museums and stakeholders.

Link to online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/ r/IMA-teachersurvey

Closing date of survey: midnight, 6 October 2020.

Draíocht & Fingal Arts Office

Deadline: 5pm, 18th September 2020

Fingal Arts Office, in collaboration with Draíocht, is delighted to announce an Open Call for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity, five new Research and Development (with mentoring) Awards for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.

The call is open to artists from all disciplines across the visual and performing arts.

The artists will demonstrably be either:
(a) currently involved in socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county
OR
(b) have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county .

The Award will support the research and development of a pertinent project with attendant mentoring support.  The Award does not cover the realisation of a project at this point.  In undertaking the researching and development of a project at this point, its realisation may however be envisaged for a gallery, theatre or site-specific space  in Dublin 15/Fingal.  Subject to resources, Fingal Art Office and/or Draíocht may consider future support for the realisation of one or more of the projects developed through a HOMEGROUND Award.

There are five Research and Development Awards (with mentoring). One award of which will be available specifically for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background.

The timeframe of the HOMEGROUND Award is November 2020 – April  2021.

For further information and application details go to www.draiocht.ie/blog/entry/homeground_open_call_fingal_arts_office_draiocht

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Calling young people in Sligo/Leitrim with an interest in LGBTQI+ issues…

Do you want to be part of a new art and writing project that explores gender and sexuality?

Do you want to stimulate dialogue and capture the imagination of your local community through the creation of strong messages and powerful imagery?

Kids’ Own in partnership with SMILY – offers an exciting creative process in summer/autumn 2020 with a writer, artist and graphic designer that will support you to have a voice and influence on the issues that matter to you.

Weekly workshops will take place in Sligo.

This programme is FREE and open to young people aged 13–18.

No previous art or writing experience is necessary.

For further information and to sign up go to www.kidsown.ie.

To find more information about SMILY, visit: facebook.com/SMILY.LGBT.Northwest

The Ark in collaboration with Dublin Fringe Festival

Dates: 5 – 20 September 2020

Take a rain walk accompanied by the voices of children from across Ireland and the UK in The Ark’s first ever collaboration with Dublin Fringe Festival.

With their guidance, the rainfall will become your own private theatre, a space in which to observe, imagine and play.

Because The Ark’s team are no better at predicting when it might rain than you are, everything you need to experience the show is contained within a little box that will be delivered to you when you purchase a ticket. Keep it safe until the weather turns.

Then, whether in a drizzle or a deluge, alone or with friends or family, the team invite you to step outside, feel the rain on your face, and think about your place in a world that is changing so swiftly around you.

As a leader in child participation practice, The Ark is excited to join forces with artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington, whose imaginative performance projects are all about enabling children to interact with adults and voice their feelings about the world they live in and how they would like it to change for the better.

Now, with support from The Ark, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and The Place, London, Andy and Beckie will collaborate with children from across Ireland and the UK, setting challenges that involve thinking, imagining, writing and recording their voices. The results will be combined to create an audio track that will guide you on your interactive walk in the rain as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2020: Pilot Light Edition.

Recommended for families with children aged 6+ and grown-ups of all ages

For further information and ticket booking go to ark.ie/events/view/a-rain-walk.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

October 2020

The organisers of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children are delighted to confirm that the 24th annual festival will take place this October. The festival’s innovative programme for 2020 will bring live performances, creative artistic experiences, visual art installations and interactive digital experiences to theatres, classrooms and homes over an extended period of two weeks, with Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan’s new family show The Electric Kazoo announced one of the highlight live events. Full programme details will be revealed in early September.

Galway-based Baboró is Ireland’s flagship international arts festival devoted exclusively to young audiences, their families and schools, enabling them to experience the transformative power of the creative arts. The festival will be an opportunity for families to celebrate together, to find creative expression for the upheaval of the past few months and most importantly, to have fun. At its heart will be a recognition of how much has been sacrificed by children and families in recent months and the promotion of kindness to self and to others.

Festival organisers, artists and partner venues have been working together passionately to imagine and co-create innovative ways to deliver meaningful artistic experiences to children and their families.

Aislinn Ó hEocha, the festival’s Executive Artistic Director, says, “So much has been asked of children this year and we want to take a moment to celebrate them through this festival. We have been separated from our friends, teachers, coaches and extended families but yet have found new ways to come together while staying apart. Many of us have found a new appreciation for the people and places close to us and I hope this year’s programme will offer a chance for celebration and expression. The festival will be an opportunity to celebrate the togetherness that has been lost and found in this challenging time. We can’t wait to meet our audiences and share the joy of Baboró once again.”

The festival is delighted to announce that the 2020 programme will include a brand new live music gig for families of all ages, Paul Noonan Presents: The Electric Kazoo, commissioned by the TRACKS Network of Dublin Fringe Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. Noonan developed online concerts during his own lockdown at home in Dublin, supported by his own children and a legion of big and small fans who tuned in online from all around the world. Tickets for the Electric Kazoo and Baboró’s full programme will be available when the programme is released in early September.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will launch its programme in early September, when tickets will go on sale. For the latest programme announcements follow Baboró on social media, subscribe to their newsletter or go to www.baboro.ie.

For Schools: Please sign up to Baboró’s newsletter for updates on school dates here – bit.ly/baboronews.

 

Crawford College of Art & Design (CIT) 

Course Starts Early October 2020

The Arts in Group Facilitation Certificate (level 8, 10 credits) focuses on the practical skills of planning and running creative workshops with groups in a range of non-formal contexts. Participants learn these skills through experiential learning processes, taking part in visual arts, drama, dance and music workshops and reflecting on the experience. The focus is on acknowledging the individual within learning, recognizing the importance of play and the need for learning to be engaging. There is a strong emphasis on engaging with diversity and learning to adapt a range of arts approaches to meet the varying needs within a group. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online.

What will you be doing?
Exploring ways of working with the Arts through experiential workshops where you will experience firsthand approaches and techniques. Peer working will enhance your learning – exploring planning, design and evaluating working with groups. We are adapting to Covid-19 restriction and see the potential of learning in outdoor environments for participants in the programme and for those participants may work with in the future.

We are inviting participants to join us with a bicycle to access outdoor learning environments. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online. The programme will be delivered through blended learning, involving face to face experiential learning and online learning. The face to face learning is being designed to maximise the potential of creative learning in outdoor environments.

Why do this course?

Who is it for?

Of particular interest to those interested in;

Applications are recorded on a rolling basis and will close once the course is full so early applications are advised. The course will start in early October 2020.

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/group-facilitation/

Or contact Jessica Carson at jessica.carson@cit.ie or +353 21 433 5256

 

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Creative Schools team has developed an online support for learners and their families during school closures – Creative Schools TV.

CSTV will bring the work of the Creative Associates right into homes while attendance at our schools is limited by the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and educators with an understanding of the arts and creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people.

Each week a different Creative Associate will introduce a new lesson on YouTube. Lessons will explore an area of creativity, from photography, to dance, to drama, to music – depending on the speciality of the Creative Associate.

And Creative Schools want children and young people to share their creativity with them and show them what they’ve learned from each lesson. They can share their creative work to the Creative Schools team using a CSTV Submission Form available at www.artscouncil.ie/CSTV/.

Each week  show off all the creativity inspired by last week’s lesson! You can view all the episodes of CSTV on the Arts Council’s YouTube channel. Further supports will be developed in the coming weeks and shared on CSTV.

Fore more information on the submission process go to www.artscouncil.ie/CSTV/

You can view all the episodes of CSTV on the Arts Council’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArtsCouncilDemos.

The Creative Ireland Programme

Date: 13 June 2020

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is Ireland’s national day of free creative activities for children and young people under the age of 18. Over the past 2 years Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key point in the calendar for children and young people to try something creative, develop an appetite for discovery and acquire new skill, 2020 will be no different. 

In light of ongoing public health restrictions the Creative Ireland Programme are inviting young people to celebrate our culture and creativity and to take part in a virtual Cruinniú on Saturday 13th June. 

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is a collaboration between the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities and RTÉ.

There is an amazing array of 300 + events that will be happening in the run up to and on the day itself, all of which can be accessed on cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie

There are a number of creative “calls to action” which young people – indeed entire families – can create in their own homes and gardens.

Céilí in the Kitchen – A collective call to action for young people and their families to create a Céilí in their kitchen for Cruinniú, with Áirc Damhsa, who will guide us through the Irish tradition of these communal social events that take place in houses. 

On the 13th of June you won’t have to leave the house to join a Céilí, you can have one right there in your own home.  All you have to do is push back the kitchen table, put the chairs against the wall and you’re good to go. Creative Ireland with the help of choreographer Edwina Guckian, singer Cathy Jordan, musician Thomas Johnston and storyteller Mikel Murfi are putting together weekly video workshops from May 18th that will make sure you have all you need for a great night of traditional music, song, dance and storytelling. 

Let’s Go Fly a Kite – A collective call to action for children, young people and their families to make and fly a kite for Cruinniú.

The Design and Crafts Council Ireland have joined forces with Creative Ireland to design a kite that anyone can make at home. All you need is some sticks, some newspaper, some string and a whole lot of imagination. Why not decorate in your county colours, or decorate it with pictures of your favourite pop star? From the 15th May, a series of webinars and videos will guide you and your family through fun ways to make a kite.

Create a Video Game App – If you could click your fingers and create a video game app, what would it be? A racing game or a coin collector? A target game or a platform? The choice is endless and it’s time for you to decide.

In addition, local authorities will also be hosting a range of cultural and creative activities and online events for Cruinniú na nÓg – full details of the 300+ events available on the special Cruinniú website cruinniu. creativeireland.gov.ie/events/

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership are delighted to announce that Open Space, the action research report on the Virtually There arts in education project, researched and written by Dr Bryonie Reid, is now available to read online!

Open Space was launched last month by Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast, at the opening of our Virtually There exhibition at Ulster University, Belfast.

This publication is the result of two years of independent action research conducted by Dr Bryonie Reid, commissioned by Kids’ Own, and made possible by funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The aim of the research was to explore the impact of the Virtually There on all its participants: artists, teachers, and children. One of the wonderful things about this research is that it tells the story of the project, of those involved in the project, and in the relationships and collaborations that were so central to the project’s success. As Bryonie notes in her introduction: “These stories give a much fuller, more comprehensive picture of how the project worked and what the project has meant than could statistics”. Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, commended Bryonie’s approach to the project, saying “Kids’ Own’s work is about recognising all children as individuals with their own uniqueness of experience, and as such, a homogenised statistical analysis of the project would make no sense. This offered space for real richness of detail and allows the reader to come — in my view — to a closer understanding of how the project was experienced by those involved.

To read the full publication click here.

For further information go to kidsown.ie/read-new-kids-own-publication-open-space-online/

Children’s Book Ireland

Children’s Book Ireland in partnership with An Post invites you to join the #ImagineNation campaign which brings together leading Irish children’s authors and illustrators and YOU!

The #ImagineNation playbook is overflowing with activities for primary school children in drawing, writing and mindfulness exercises from leading creatives including Oliver Jeffers, Chris Haughton, Sarah Crossan, Don Conroy, Niall Breslin, Niamh Sharkey and many more, the book will be accessible to all children to download as well as being delivered free by An Post to thousands of houses around the country.

As part of the campaign, a live draw along Facebook event with Don Conroy will encourage children to get involved.

Children from all over the country are encouraged to get creative using the ImagineNation playbook downloadable at www.anpost.com/ImagineNation and https://childrensbooksireland.ie/resources/imaginenation/. Also post their creations on social media using the #ImagineNation hashtag and tag An Post and Children’s Books Ireland.

An Post and Children’s Books Ireland believe that everyone can be creative – no one more so than children – and that every child can be a reader.

Right now, so much is being asked of families who are staying home and staying safe.

The playbook has activities, puzzles, poems and short stories from some of Ireland’s best children’s writers and illustrators that they hope will delight, entertain and spark creativity. 90,000 copies of the playbook for 6 to 10-year-olds will be distributed to homes in the coming days and also to family hubs and centres of Direct Provision.

For more information go to childrensbooksireland.ie/resources/imaginenation/

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Update:  In light of the COVID-19 situation, this deadline has been extended further to 25 June http://www.artscouncil.ie/available-funding/

Deadline: 25 June 2020

The Creative School Team is delighted to announce an opportunity for schools and Youthreach centres to be part of the next phase of Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Creative Schools aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives and this year 150 new schools/centres will join the programme. Participating schools will work alongside a Creative Associate who will help them to develop their own Creative Schools plan to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in their school.  Schools will be awarded a once-off grant of €4,000 (in total) to implement their plans over the two school years 2020–21 and 2021–22.

The deadline for submitting applications is 25 June 2020. The window for submitting applications opens on 18 February.

Further information and applications details go to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/schools/

To apply go to www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Creative-Schools-Initiative/

The Ark

The Ark are delighted to announce details of The Ark @ Home, a selection of at-home activities and experiences that provide opportunities for children aged 2-12 to discover and love the arts in their own homes.

Sadly, like so many other arts organisations, The Ark has been forced to close our doors and cancel a number of programmes due to take place over the coming month due to the current COVID-19 crisis. But while our building may remain shut for the time being, The Ark @ Home will offer children daily opportunities to explore and discover the arts in their own homes over the next few weeks.

Speaking about The Ark @ Home, The Ark’s Director Aideen Howard said, “At The Ark, we believe in every child’s right to art and culture. Generally, this means visits to our beautiful building in Temple Bar to see shows, exhibitions and concerts, or to take part in our hands-on workshops. Now though, while our audience of children, parents and teachers are all at home, we want to share the work of some of our brilliant Ark artists online. The Ark @ Home is a way for children who are home from school to connect with some of those performances and workshops. Check out ark.ie and The Ark Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.”

Each day, different creative content and resources will be made available on ark.ie. Enjoy a taste of some of the programmes which have been cancelled including Fly Me To The MoonBIG BANG Dublin! and more. You might like to kick back and watch a filmed performance of theatre for children, or get up and make some moves to an archived music performance. You might get creative with a hands-on worksheet or let your imagination soar as you dream up worlds far away. From activity sheets to streams of live performances, The Ark invites children right across the country to take part.

Each Thursday, a different videoed performance of a show commissioned and presented by The Ark will be available to stream online, including acclaimed theatre productions such as The Haircut! by Wayne Jordan & Tom Lane and Peat by Kate Heffernan, as well as wonderful musical experiences such as the magical Tracks in the Snow featuring The Henry Girls.

The Ark is delighted, in this way, to continue offering children exciting creative opportunities across the arts, and to celebrate the work of some of the amazing artists that we have worked with, commissioned and continue to support through these very challenging times.

Each Monday we’ll announce our schedule for the coming week online here – ark.ie/projects/details/the-ark-at-home-weekly-schedule. Take a look at some of the fantastic activities, resources and virtual events they have got in store here now – ark.ie/projects/the-ark-at-home

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Ongoing

Uillinn Connect – A new programme from Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre responding to the current global situation. The programme seeks to find new ways to connect artworks, artists and the public. Focusing on the Uillinn’s regular programme and also creating new ones that reach out to everyone keeping safe at home.

A selection of activities for children and young people below:

Uillinn Connect – Daily Art Activity

Posted daily on Uillinn’s Facebook event, follow this link
An online connecting activity for primary school-age children and their parents, every morning at 11am from Monday to Friday with Public Engagement Assistant Kate McElroy and intern Stella Gilfert (now interning remotely from Germany).

Taking inspiration from Uillinn’s primary schools exhibition Connecting, Gabhann Dunne’s exhibition Committed to Falling and William Bock’s exhibition Land Walks Land Talks Land Marks, we are sharing a daily art activity for families to create at home.

‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop playing’
George Bernard Shaw

Use the hastag: #UillinnConnect on social media or email photographs of your work to info@westcorkartscentre.com so we can connect the work together! The team will compile all the images at the end for an online exhibition of the work! Shared on social media and archived on the web here.

Uillinn Connect: Play on words, Play onwards
Wednesday Art Club artists have devised a wonderful way to keep the programme running with a postal project designed with each child in mind. Artists Pól Ó Colmáin and Marie Cullen have prepared a special envelope for each child containing a unique poem written for the child by the artists; a selection of art materials; and a letter from Pól and Marie inviting the children to make a visual response to the poem.

The children are asked to return their artwork in the stamped, addressed envelope provided to Pól and Maire, who will then compile a limited edition book with a copy for each child.
Here’s the first verse of one of the poems to give you an flavour:
The Little Earwig
There was a little earwig, I think his name was Liam,
but it didn’t really matter, ‘cos he’d answer just the same.
He lived in the back garden shed in a cosy little house,
a ball of leaves and twigs that he shared with a wood louse.
He loved to go spelunking in each tunnel, cave and hole,
exploring every hollow stem when he was on patrol.
And then, he’d head back homewards and, as cosy as you please,
he’d tell of his adventures and his discoveries.

Uillinn Connect: And We’ll All Fly Together
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre’s Curiosity project connecting pre-school children with the residents and staff of West Cork Community Hospitals during COVID-19. Sarah Ruttle along with Uillinn’s Programme Manager: Education and Community and Arts for Heath Coordinator Justine Foster, devised a project to connect children with the community hospitals. See here for more information on this project.

For further information and a full listing of activities go to https://www.westcorkartscentre.com/uillinn-connect

The Glucksman

Join The Glucksman online for creative activities you can do at home.

The Glucksman may be closed but the team will be online during gallery opening hours to help you to get creative at home.

Every day, they will share new art activities on their website, and facebook, instagram and twitter accounts. With video tutorials on their YouTube channel.

Share your images and they will post them to their online galleries.

To get involved go to www.glucksman.org/events

 

The Ark

If you’re looking for some creative ideas for educational activities (primary level) at home during the school closure then check out some of The Ark’s classroom activities & resource packs. These have been have created to accompany some of The Ark’s programmes, including their ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ season which has been curtailed due to the current closure.

Lots of them work even without having seen the show or exhibitions so do take a look – they are available to download for free and use at the link below:

ark.ie/schools/classroom-resources

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the first recipient of the 2020 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award. We are very excited to be working with each recipient in the coming months to document their projects. These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project title: The Lonely Traveller (Brenda’s Voyage)

The Lonely Traveller began as a Teacher Artist Partnership (TAP) between teacher Jacintha Mullins and composer Fiona Linnane in collaboration with pupils at the Mid-West School for the Deaf, Limerick, with support from Dr. Carmel O’Doherty director of Limerick Education Centre. The initial aim of the project was simple; make the primary music curriculum more accessible to deaf pupils and explore paths of engagement with music for profoundly deaf children.

The Lonely Traveller is an ongoing project which has grown both legs and wings since its inception. The project drew inspiration from the Immram tradition and, in particular, The Brendan Voyage (however the children gave the story a 21st century update by renaming the main protagonist Brenda).

During this project Brenda, the lonely traveller, has explored the length and breadth of the music curriculum. She has wandered along a cross-curricular path through Music, History, English, Irish Sign language, Science, SPHE, Maths, Drama, ICT and Visual art. She has reached out to both world-famous artists (Dame Evelyn Glennie) and local artists (Puppeteer Emma Fisher) alike. She has challenged teachers to walk behind while she takes the children by the hand and brings them on exciting adventure into the world of creativity. She has given us valuable insight into the amazing creative abilities of children with SEN and shown us how to explore the potential and possibilities that exist in the field of arts in education.

Brenda will take the lead role in a short film which will be written, directed and produced by the children of the middle and upper primary classes at the Mid-West School for the Deaf. Our short film will encompass original song writing, soundscapes, vocal and musical performance as well a shadow puppetry. We will also be introducing the children in our school to digital filming, video editing and sound engineering.

Teacher:  Jacintha Mullins

Jacintha qualified from the Limerick School of Art and Design with a degree in Fine Art. She went on to complete a Master of Arts in Interactive Media after which she qualified as a primary school teacher and completed specialised training and qualification as a teacher of the deaf. Jacintha currently teaches children aged 8-12 years at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick.

As a teacher of children with a wide variety of hearing impairments and special needs Jacintha is constantly employing her artistic skills to deliver the curriculum in a way that is active, engaging and relevant to the children in her classes. Jacintha understands the importance that the visual environment holds for deaf children. She is also acutely aware of the need that these children have to find ways in which they can express themselves.

Jacintha endeavours to provide an arts rich approach to teaching and learning at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick. In 2019 she undertook the TAP summer course and trained as a TAP facilitator later that same summer. She will be delivering CPD to teachers on the TAP summer course in July 2020 and is also currently working as a creative associate within the creative schools initiative.

Artist: Fiona Linnane

Fiona Linnane is a composer based in County Limerick.  Fiona has been working with Primary schools for over 15 years including projects under the Artist in Schools schemes for Tipperary, Clare and Limerick Arts Offices.  In 2020 she was appointed to the Heritage Council’s Panel of Specialists for the Heritage in Schools scheme.  Her workshops are enthusiastic, energetic and fun while aiming to give students a new perspective on sound, music and composition.

Fiona is very active in community music and is widely sought after for commissions and to lead projects. In 2013 Fiona was appointed composer in residence for Bells Across The Burren, an Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community project, which included an exhibition and music trail at the Burren College of Art and commissions for locals music groups.

Fiona was awarded the Limerick City and County Council Individual Arts Bursary in 2018, and again in 2019, for work in the field of opera and Art song.   Current projects include development of an opera inspired by No.2 Pery Square, Limerick in collaboration with Opera Workshop and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Update

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

The Arts Council will shortly begin the tender process for a panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of the Creative Schools programme for the academic year 2020-21 onwards.

The Contract Notice, 2020 application forms and all relevant documents will be available to download from 13th February 2020 on www.etenders.gov.ie/

The Arts Council of Ireland will tender for a panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of Creative Schools/ Scoileanna Ildánacha for the academic year 2020-21 onwards. The Arts council will publish relevant tender documents in February 2020.

This is an exciting opportunity for artists, creative practitioners and individuals working in organisations in the arts and cultural sector.
Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Further information about the programme and the work of Creative Associates can also be found here www.artscouncil.ie/ creative-schools/, including information Booklets and FAQs.

 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: 11 – 20 February 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre invites toddler groups, playschools, junior and senior infants to a guided experience of Art in Action. An interactive exhibition where artists have used images, objects, actions to communicate with their surrounding world.

An interactive, multimedia exhibition for children with work by Basia Bańda + Tomasz Relewicz, Ewa Bone + Ewa Kozubal, Tomasz Madajczak, Krzysztof Matuszak, Aleksandra Ska and Hubert Wińczyk. Curated by Bartosz Nowak in collaboration with MOS: Municipal Art Centre, Gorzów Wielkopolsk, Poland. http://www.mosart.pl/ wystawy-2019/detail,nID,6164

This exhibition is a meeting of children and artists. The eight visual artists included in the exhibition have created interactive artworks that involve children in the co-creation of the works presented in the gallery. Encouraging children to participate in their construction and reconstruction allows them to experience artistic processes in action.

The exhibition and accompanying events are focused on enabling children to develop creativity, self-confidence and curiosity, explore the world, to communicate and to think critically, demonstrating that art is primarily a way of experiencing and building mutual relations with the environment, other people and oneself

Your group can book a guided experience led by one of the exhibiting artists Tomasz Madajczak. Group bookings are free of charge and can be made by telephone on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

 

Arts in Education Portal 

Date: Saturday, 28 March 2020

The Arts in Education Portal Team are delighted to announce that the 2020 Spring Regional Day will take place in VISUAL Carlow on Saturday, March 28th 2020 from 10.30am to 3pm.

We invite regional audiences to connect with us during a series of events, where practitioners can learn more about the Portal and what it offers, tell us about their work, connect with the community at regional level, share practice and find out what opportunities or events are available in their local area. We welcome teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free event.

Stay tuned for the full schedule to be announced in February.

To book tickets for this free event go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/arts-in-education-portal-regional-day-carlow-tickets-86804088365

On November 9th the fourth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day took place at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in partnership with ILAS and Babóro. The national portal day is building momentum as a very significant event in the arts and education calendar in Ireland, and this year the portal day coincided with the Creative Schools week-long celebration of arts and creativity in schools.

With over 150 artists, teachers and arts in education professionals in attendance with 20 workshops and lectures across the day by a range of presenters from the sector. An opening address from Professor Pat Dolan and inspirational insights from our guest speaker Professor Bill Lucas exploring the importance of creativity in schools. Thanks to all involved in making day a huge success!

Speaking at the event, Minister Kyne said, “This annual event presents a wonderful opportunity for teachers and other creative practitioners to come together to explore the area of arts in education. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, along with the Department of Education and Skills, are working together to promote creativity among our children and young people”.

To view Professor Bill Lucas’s presentation from the Portal Day click below:

Creativity in Schools: What It Is, Why Is Matters and How to ‘Teach’ It by Professor Bill Lucas

 


The Four Dublin Local Authorities

Deadline: 5pm, 4 November 2019

The four Dublin Local Authorities invite submissions for: Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2019.

The Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award will support individual professional artists to develop their artistic practice working with and/or producing work for early childhood arts. This award is open to individual professional artists who wish to develop their practice in early childhood arts, artists practicing in all artforms, artists resident in Ireland.

Bursary range: €200 – €10,000

The closing date:  4th of November 2019

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities – Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

Please find the Application Guidelines & Criteria in the attached document.

Download the Application Guidelines & Criteria here

For further information and queries contact Orla Scannell, Arts Officer, South Dublin County Council, E: oscannell@sdublincoco.ie

The Irish Forest School Association (IFSA) was founded in 2016 and is engaged in the promotion and development of the Forest School (FS) movement in Ireland.  We bring Forest School practitioners together to inspire inclusive, playful learning for all, in nature.  We want to build resilience and relationships, through our connection with each other, and the natural world, while inspiring creativity and supporting wellbeing. More information can be found on our website www.irishforestschoolassociation.ie.

This final blog post is from Joan Whelan, the Chairperson of the Irish Forest School Association. She  reflects on the opportunities  within Forest School for adults to reaffirm their own creativity in their approach to teaching, drawing on her experience of introducing Forest School to the primary school where she was principal and on her current PhD research on the distinctiveness of Forest School as a pedagogical approach.              

“Lie down, lie down, that way is best” – Blog 4

Participating in a Forest School (FS) session recently with a group of senior infants, I had one of those ‘light-bulb’ moments that happen every now and again and give pause for thought. Our eyes had been drawn towards the tree canopy by the fleeting sight of a grey squirrel bounding up the trunk of a scots pine.

‘Lie down, lie down,’ urged one of the children in a commanding but quiet voice. ‘That way is best’.

And we did. We lay down. Three 6-year olds and myself, flat out on the damp slightly muddy floor of a small and not very loved corner of woodland in Dublin city.  And there was quiet, as we searched the tree canopy for the elusive squirrel, for perhaps a minute. Later that same day, having made charcoals from the leftover embers of the fire, a child asked to finger paint stripes on my face…and I had no hesitation.  The experience remained with me.
I realised that in 36 years of teaching, I had never fully encountered this kind of immersive, embodied, child-initiated experience that felt very powerful and right.  And I thought myself progressive and innovative as a teacher.  What made this possible? Was it being in nature? Was it being suitably attired? Was it the small group? Was it the opportunities for child-led activity? Was it the leadership of the FS leader? Was it the safety that the session provided to explore and to ‘be’? Was it all of these?

It seems to me that a very profound opportunity exists for adults to reflect on their practice through participation in FS.  We cannot promote creativity in children without being open to making new connections for meaning as adults. FS gives us permission to take a step aside, unlocking a more playful approach to learning which in turn promotes curiosity, exploration and innovative cross curricular connections that surely comprise the possibility for deep and creative connection and meaning making across the curriculum. FS seems to enable us to move from being teachers and pupils to being learners together.

In the context of the Arts in Education, FS provides a foundational, cross curricular pedagogical approach. The woodland provides the tools to enable risks to be taken safely, curiosity to be satisfied and boundaries to be tested. The transformative nature of this kind of learning for wellbeing, creativity and innovation is not easily accessible elsewhere in formal learning contexts. In an era of increasing focus on outcomes, rather than process, FS can help re-position children and adults, not the curriculum, at the core of deeper learning in the primary school.  FS pedagogy can help to promote a deeper understanding of the relationship between the human world and the natural world, a theoretical thread that can be traced back to Rousseau, who regarded a connection to nature as fundamental to optimal human functioning.  However, FS must be approached within a theory of change perspective. In other words, the importance of school communities articulating a vision for their pedagogical approach, based on their educational purpose, is non-negotiable.

And when was the last time you placed your hands in wet mud?

The Ark 

Dates: 4 & 5 October 2019

Get cosy for the autumn in this early years drama workshop for little ones aged 2-4 led by The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence, Joanna Parkes.

Autumn is here, leaves are falling and the animals in the woods are preparing for their long winter sleep. But Howie Hedgehog is not ready. He has no food supplies and no shelter to sleep in. He will need some help from the wood elves to collect food and build himself a warm and cosy den.

Join in to discover, explore and find out if you can help Howie build his den in this delightful workshop adventure.

Combining drama, story, play and props, this interactive drama workshop invites little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy imagining together. So if you’re a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunty, godparent or carer, come along with a 2 to 4 year old and join in the fun.

Dates & Times: 

Friday 4th October, 10.15am & 2pm
Saturday 5th October, 10.15am & 11.45am

For ages 2- 4

45 minutes

For more information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-howie-the-hedgehog

The Ark

Date: 9 October 2019

Are you an artist with an interest in creating work with or for children?

The Ark invites you to pop in for a welcoming cup of coffee or tea and meet with other like-minded artists.
Suitable for artists new to work with children and those with more experience with this unique audience, this event will be very relaxed – and there may even be cake!

There will be time to chat to other artists as well as some of The Ark team.

No booking required. Just turn up – the kettle will be on!

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/artists-coffee-morning-oct-2019

The Glucksman

Date: 19 October 2019

Join curators, academics and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our responsibility towards the environment.

Current issues of education and communication of climate change and sustainability are complex, multi-faceted and potentially overwhelming unless the problems can be scaled down and re-framed. This masterclass focuses on peatlands, an important part of our biodiversity and an example of ways that individual and collective effort can be valuable for climate action.

Date & Time: Saturday 19 October 2019, 10am -1pm

Places are Free but booking is required.

For further information and booking go to www.glucksman.org/events/art-teachers-masterclass

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Initially in 2017, Cleo Fagan, curator of Superprojects, approached Maeve Mulrennan, curator of Galway Arts Centre about doing a project for children that explored the body and consciousness.  Out of this conversation, the idea for working with the artist Siobhan McGibbon emerged, who had previously worked with young audiences as part of GAC’s Red Bird Collective. Siobhan’s work very much centres on the human body and she has extensive experience working with children and young people. Galway Arts Centre have worked with Scoil Chroí Íosa previously and the close proximity to GAC, combined with their enthusiasm for working on arts projects and the efforts and skills of the students themselves, made the school the ideal partner to work with.

Working over 9 sessions, Siobhan and the students have used collage and sculpture to explore transhuman themes, resulting in an exhibition (15th – 27th October 2018) in Galway Arts Centre for Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.

Siobhan McGibbon’s own practice combines arts practice, narrative and scientific research to imagine the future of the human species. In 2015 she created the world of the Xenothorpeans, a hybrid race of post-humans who were able to enhance their anatomy and genetic make-up with medical therapies. This fictional narrative evolved from research undertaken by her whilst on residency in the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM). Through the development of hybrid figures she articulates her hopes and fears concerning medical technology and the future of the human.

With this in mind, she has worked collaboratively with the pupils from Scoil Chroí to develop a speculative science fiction. This work was exhibited in Galway Arts Centre in October 2018. As a way to further expand on and explore the ideas in Siobhan and the children’s work, Education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Professor of Education Aislinn O’Donnell worked with Siobhan to develop a series of creative, experiential workshops in response the exhibition at Galway Arts Centre. These were supported by the children-artists from Scoil Chroí Íosa who were joined by  2nd and 5th Class students from another local Galway school – Claddagh NS. The Art & Philosophy workshops developed an experimental range of exercises that were centred on the voice, ideas, experiences, and imaginations of children as they responded to work in the exhibition and the ideas provoked by that encounter.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

As a starting point, I introduced the students to my practice. I talked about the origins of my ideas, explaining how I take inspiration from the biological sciences and use narrative and animal metaphors to think about what this research means.  I told the class that a scientist would host a workshop about the regenerative capacity of sea animals and together we would respond to the science through storytelling.

In the initial stage, we talked about domestic animals and thought about the way dogs and cats live in the world. We thought about how these animals are similar and different to humans. As many of the students have cats and dogs as pets, they had lots to contribute. It was an accessible model to think about different ways of being in the world.

Following this, the scientist from CURAM hosted an interactive workshop, in which the students learnt about emerging science inspired by animal biology. The workshop involved lots of discussions, including all the students, class teacher Rachel and me. In the workshops after this, we thought about how this new science could change their lives. Through drawing and storytelling, we thought about the consequences of regeneration and immortality through speculative scenarios.

As the project developed, we explored case studies of more unusual animals that contribute to medical research, through a presentation of video clips, images and facts we thought about what life would be like if we were a hybrid of this animal. Each student explored this through drawing, collage and storytelling, which they presented it to the class. Following this, the class asked questions about the story and, together with teacher Rachel, we teased out the ideas that arose from these artworks. These group discussions led the workshops in new directions, new insights from each animal study contributed to the next, and in each workshop, we delved deeper into speculative ways being.

The Art and Philosophy Project involved working with Katy and Aislinn to respond to the rich and complex range of ideas and imagery that was generated through the school’s residency.

Education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Professor of Education Aislinn O’Donnell

Through diverse arts-based, sensory, and philosophical methodologies, the children and their teachers: experienced the exhibition through a range of lens. These ranged from VTS and inquiry based philosophical approaches, considering the key concepts within the work, to children putting themselves imaginatively in the shoes of a chosen hybrid, generating choreographies to express that identity, engaging in sensation, touch and blind drawing exercises, debating whether it’s better to be a jellyfish that is immortal or a human who dies, and doing meditation exercises imagining the sensory experience of being starfish or a frog. The exercises supported a deeper engagement with the exhibition and opened up their imaginations and thinking. It was important to involve the children who had created the work in the school project, to describe their engagement in making the work, but also to co-facilitate and actively take part themselves, in particular in facilitating the philosophical conversations about ‘big questions’.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Cleo Fagan, Curator

I think Siobhan as an artist who has such an imaginative and research-based art practice, works really well in the primary educational context. Siobhan’s research includes the analysis of animal biology and behaviour and then makes big imaginative leaps that lead to strange but fascinating speculative conclusions. The way children think is highly imaginative and they often love the peculiar, so what better people to go on an artistic journey into the world of transhumanism! I think it’s very exciting to engage children in such a complex and rich area of research. Not only does Siobhan have these highly relevant research interests, but she also has strong interpersonal skills and a good sense of humour – very useful qualities for working with  children.

The Art & Philosophy programme in Galway Arts Centre, worked with students from Claddagh NS, as well as some of the original Scoil Chroí Íosa students (co-creators of the exhibited artworks and in this instance they supported in a co-facilitation role). This enquiry was another project in itself. The programme used a number of different learning methodologies, to provide students the opportunity to develop their own considered responses to the artworks, as well as the ensuing big ideas that led from this process of engaging with the artworks. This excellent and intricate programme took the students on a dynamic intellectual and creative journey, a process that is well illustrated in the documentation film.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

‘Explorations of hybrid configurations from mythology to science fiction underpin my practice. I’m interested in the symbolism and metaphor embedded within the iconography and the hybrids endless mutability to think about ways of being in the world and alternative ways of being in the future.

This was the first time I explored this ‘framework for thinking’ with children. Each student created hybrids that embodied their ideas and speculations about the emerging science that they learnt in the workshop with the scientist.

I was amazed at how quickly the students grasped the concept and I was delighted by their dynamic hybrids. It was fascinating to listen to their science-fiction narratives, in which they placed their own experience at the centre and imagined the future. Each student had different approaches to thinking with their hybrids; some created hybrid languages while others thought about what it would be like to move with these re-configured anatomies.’

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

At the moment I am in a phase of Phd research, so until I go back into the studio I won’t know the answer to this!

Cleo Fagan, Curator

Yes, working in the combined classroom and gallery context has resulted in some insights on making work for the public, that I think may enhance future work in this area.

In reading research studies on art education over the years, it has come to my attention that children and young people can get more meaning from artmaking activities when they exhibit the resulting work in public. As mentioned, as part of the project, the children had their work exhibited in the main space at Galway Arts Centre, and they took evident pride in this.  I believe that the Art & Philosophy programme further enhanced the meaningfulness for the participating children in having their work exhibited publicly, in that it allowed them to collectively and discursively investigate the potential experience of art for the viewer and the type of intellectual and creative journey that encountering an artwork can stimulate. The fact that some of the Scoil Chroi Iosa children had an active facilitation role with the children from Claddagh NS, was also significant.

The danger of working towards an outcome such as a public exhibition, is that the focus can be on the product, and not on the process. However, as Siobhan had 9 full sessions with the students in which to develop a significant creative enquiry, and perhaps because the children didn’t have clear ideas about what an art exhibition was, they remained engaged in the creative process in each session.

In my work as a curator, I would like to continue to work with this balance between quality of process, co-creation between artists and children, and public outcome.

 

 

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Dates: 14 – 20 October 2019

Baboró are delighted to announce that their Schools Box Office is now open for this year’s festival, which takes place in Galway 14-20 October. To plan your school visit take a look at the dedicated schools section of their website to find everything you need to make your booking request.

How to Begin

Recommended performances and events have been identified as suitable for groups or schools with additional needs. Baboró have developed an information pack to accompany these shows, which includes information about the venues, access, and what to expect during the performances regarding light, sound, etc. You can find this pack and more helpful information online on the Baboró website (www.baboro.ie )from 2 September.

Ticket & Subsidy Information

Important Dates
Wednesday 11 September: First Round Booking Deadline.
Requests after this date are considered, however, likelihood of attending one of your top 3 preferences is greatly reduced.

Week of Monday 23 September: Notification of Allocation.
Schools will be notified of their allocation with a Baboró schedule, invoice, and a pre-engagement pack including venue information via email. Please do not call for information on your booking before this date, as it takes one week to complete the allocations for all schools.

Wednesday 9 October: Payment Due in Full.
Cash is not accepted. Payment methods will be outlined with notification of your allocation. Bookings are not considered complete and confirmed until full payment has been received.

For school enquires or further information please contact Kirsty on 091 562642 or email schools@baboro.ie.

 

Dublin City University 

Deadline: Wednesday 4 September 2019

Practicing professional artists are invited to apply for a residency opportunity at DCU Institute of Education for the academic year 2019-2020. Applications are welcome from individual artists who work in an interdisciplinary form, or from an ensemble of artists. The closing date is Wednesday September 4th 2019 at 5pm.

The residency is hosted by DCU Institute of Education’s School of Arts Education and Movement. This opportunity is one of a number of artist residencies supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in the context of Initial Teacher Education. Each residency aims to:

For more information on this opportunity and how to apply, go to DCU Institute of Education’s website at – www.dcu.ie/arts_education_movement/news/2019/Aug/Call-for-Artists-Residence.shtml

If you have any queries please contact regina.murphy@DCU.ie

 

Galway Educate Together National School

Dates; deadline for application for Stage One is Friday, September 20th 2019 at 12 noon

Galway Educate Together National School invites proposals for the commission of an artwork/artworks to be funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme in connection with Galway Educate Together National School, Thomas Hynes Road, Newcastle, Galway. Artists are invited to tender for the project in a two-stage process outlined in the attached brief. Proposals are welcome from both individuals and collectives, and from those working in any creative media/discipline and across a broad scope of creative approaches. The overall budget for this commission is €35,000 including V.A.T.

Deadline for application for Stage One is Friday September 20th 2019 at 12 Noon. Please see the attached Brief and Expression of Interest Form

National Gallery of Ireland

Date: 14 November, 2019

Save the date! Join the team at the National Gallery of Ireland for a day of inspirational talks, activities and practical advice to get you thinking about what a creative career might mean for you!

Meet gallery staff members and learn about careers in areas such as curatorial, conservation and education. Special guests from other creative fields will also talk about their work and how they got to where they are today.

Suitable for post-primary students (4th Year – 6th Year).

More details to follow, and tickets available from September.
Contact codonnell@ngi.ie for more information.

National Gallery of Ireland

Dates: Thursday 10 October 2019, 4pm – 6pm

The National Gallery of Ireland work with all teachers – to encourage confidence and agency in using art as a tool for learning. To support this they collaborate with DES and teaching practitioners to run accredited CPD courses, study days and conferences, and provide a wide variety of resources online.

Join Catherine O’Donnell, Education Officer for Teachers, Schools & Youth, for an evening exploring three very different exhibitions: Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios, Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, The Zurich Portrait Prize, and The Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2019.

Learn more about their current schools programme, how you can utilise the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions for cross-curricular learning, and network with colleagues. Attendees can avail of a free ticket to a lecture about Sorolla by Christopher Riopelle, Neil Westreich Curator of Post-1800 Paintings, the National Gallery, London.

This event is free, but booking is required. To book, follow this link or contact education@ngi.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sinéad Ní Bhrádaigh has worked in Galway Educate Together since 2002. She has a life long interest in the arts, primarily in the musical side of the arts. She plays classical piano to Senior Certificate level and has been involved with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as a piano and fiddle player and tutor in Dublin and Galway. In 2001, Sinéad completed a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration and gained great experience volunteering with the Town Hall Theatre and Galway Arts Centre. Sinéad established the GETNS school choir in 2004, and now collaborates with another teacher to run a choir with 100 students in the school. The GETNS choir has performed at several Peace Proms, at the Town Hall Theatre and at community events.

Reflecting on the first year of Creative Schools – Blog 4

Alongside the workshops that we held during May and June, the Creative Schools Teacher committee had come up with a Menu of Activities to accompany the workshops. The Children’s Panel also came together to add their suggestions for the Menu. This Menu was designed to be a list of easy classroom activities that the teachers could engage in at times and days of their choosing, to compliment activities that they may have been thinking of doing anyway. All of the activities were based on our theme of Food, Cooking and Nature. Some of the activities included links to Food Science websites; inviting parents into classroom to engage in cooking activities; ideas for nature based art; healthy shared lunches and forest and beach picnics. A copy of this Menu was delivered to each classroom for a four week period and all teachers were encouraged to engage with the programme.

During the last week of term, we invited our children’s panel to come and give us some feedback on the programme and how it was for them. Yvonne laid out big sheets of paper and had specific questions to provide information she was looking for. This proved a very fruitful if not a humbling experience. Each classroom and each class level had experienced varying levels of engagement with the programme, depending on each classes packed schedule. Therefore, the children all had varying feedback. As we all know children to be, the feedback was honest, and some of it wasn’t all that flattering!

As a whole jigsaw piece, the Creative Schools programme was successful in its aims and objectives for this year. But when you break the jigsaw into individual pieces, it didn’t feel that that success had filtered down to all of the children in all of the classes. This was disappointing for both myself and Yvonne, as there had been a huge investment in the programme all year. It’s all about the children at the end of the day, and if the children didn’t benefit, well then there were questions to be asked. Myself and Yvonne had a good chat about it all, and agreed that if we had decided to focus in on one class grouping for example, and showered all of our Creative Schools programme on just those children then undoubtedly the feedback may have been different, but that is not what we chose to do. Instead, we needed to focus on the whole completed jigsaw, celebrate the success and look ahead to how we can build on it next year.

We intend our focus next year to switch to teachers professional development in creative practices. We see a great opportunity next year to spend our time researching cross curricular creative practices, as we feel that in order for maximum children to benefit from the Creative Schools Programme, we need to up skill our own practices and thus all children will benefit. We feel very excited about this new aspect to the programme and we are looking forward to continuing this creative journey next year

Dublin City Council Arts Service

Closing date for receipts of tenders: 12 noon, Friday September 6th

Dublin City Arts Service has just announced an opportunity to tender for multi-party framework for Programming & Coordination of Children’s Art in Libraries.

Dublin City Arts Service is working to increase opportunities for children and young people to access quality arts experiences through partnerships with city departments and complementary arts and cultural organisations. The Children’s Art in Libraries Programme (CAL) seeks to provide innovative high quality arts experiences for children of all ages. Since 2010, the CAL Programme – an initiative of the Dublin City Arts Office – has worked in partnership with Dublin City Public Libraries to deliver innovative programming for children across a broad range of art forms.

In more recent years the CAL Programme began to develop its Creative Hub initiative. Creative Hubs seek to sustain high quality arts experiences for children, schools and families, enabling access in their library and locality through the development of enhanced educational, community and cultural partnership. In 2017 CAL began to develop its first Creative Hub in Ballyfermot Library this has been followed by a second Hub in Cabra Library in 2019.

Interested parties can find the e-tender notice on www.etenders.gov.ie , tender reference: RTF ID 155564

Creative Clusters

Deadline Date: 10th May 2019

Minister McHugh invites applications from schools for second year of Creative Clusters initiative as part of the Creative Ireland programme. 

Participating schools will help students learn through a lens of creativity

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. this week invited applications for Creative Clusters, an initiative taking place as part of Creative Ireland and under the Schools Excellence Fund.

Each school will enjoy access to a specialist facilitator, artist or creative expertise in whatever their own chosen area of interest or theme might be. These resources will help the schools build a programme of learning and activities tailor-made for their students. In addition, clusters will receive up to €7,500 funding to help bring their plans and ideas to fruition.

Making the announcement, Minister McHugh said: “This is another fantastic opportunity for schools to work together on a project of their choice. Schools are given complete freedom to design and develop their own project, with support from a local facilitator and their local education centre.

“I hope that this initiative will help schools enhance creativity in their classrooms. It is important that our children are allowed to express themselves and learn to adapt and collaborate. Opportunities such as Creative Clusters are perfect to give students the opportunity to develop these skills.”

The first year of the Creative Clusters initiative has seen schools around the country work together to develop creative projects and collaborate on new ideas based on their local experience and unique perspective. In Kilkenny, St John’s Senior School, St John’s Junior School and Loreto Secondary School are working together using coding to develop innovative projects and support the transition from primary to post-primary school. This project involves students learning a variety of different coding methods and working on coding projects to develop their problem-solving and logical-thinking skills.

St Michael’s Post Primary and St Joseph’s Secondary School in North County Kerry are also collaborating on an interesting project exploring “the hidden history of North Kerry” using modern technology. This project tasks students with investigating and researching the main tourist sites of the North Kerry region. The students will use modern technology including drones to gather footage which will then be used in a documentary regarding the history of North Kerry. Students will be trained in the appropriate use of technology in the classroom and will also be able to learn valuable skills in the making of the documentary including directing, photography, narrating and producing.

The Schools Excellence Fund is an initiative in the Action Plan for Education. It sets out to encourage and recognize excellence and innovation in our schools. This initiative will help deliver on the Creative Youth pillar of Creative Ireland, which sets out a commitment that every child in Ireland has practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, arts and coding by 2022.

Applications are available from the Department’s website at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/ Schools-Colleges/Information/ Curriculum-and-Syllabus/ creative-youth.html

The closing date for applications is May 10th 2019.

 

Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP)

Deadline dates vary per region – please contact Local Authority Arts Service 

Announcing a wonderful opportunity for Artists to broaden their practice, receive training and project fees, develop creative partnerships with teachers, and transform the lives of children in every County in Ireland

The Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD programme (TAP) is a Creative Ireland, Department of Education and Skills led and approved Summer Course offering training and in school residency opportunities for artists.

Artists must 

Artists can apply to be part of the programme in the first instance via the Arts Officer of the Local Authority in which the full-time Education Centre is located. Expressions of interest should then be sent to the relevant address of the Local Full-time Education Centre.

Expressions of interest should be in the form of a letter of max 600 words, accompanied by a CV or short Bio with links to images or samples of relevant work. The letter should set out:

  1. Where you trained
  2. A very brief description of your practice
  3. Why you might wish to work in partnership with a teacher and with children in a school setting
  4. What you think qualifies you to take up this opportunity.

Places on this national Creative Ireland CPD initiative, taking place in the local full-time Education Centre training programmes, are limited to four artists per year – 4 Artists per Summer Course. Final decision on offers of places will be taken by the Director of the local Education Centre in collaboration with the Local Authority Arts Office.

For further information including the relevant deadline date for applications contact your Local Authority Arts Service – a list and contact details are available on the Portal Directory here.

All completed Expressions of Interest/Applications must be returned to your Local Education Centre – Education Centre contact details can be found here.

 

The Glucksman

Date: Friday 29th March 2019

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to join them to mark the culmination of ‘The Classroom Museum’ a project with rural schools in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford on Friday 29th March at 11am. The celebration will be marked by Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar at University College Cork and will be followed by a meet and greet with the participating school students, teachers and with artists Billy Foley, Fiona Kelly and Dara McGrath.

The Classroom Museum initiative enables school children in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers have the opportunity to interact with art in their own surroundings and to develop the skills and confidence to express themselves in educational and public contexts. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and develops the presence of this original work through a structured programme of activities with the schoolchildren overseen by the Glucksman’s Senior Curator of Education + Community.  The programme includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

This event is an opportunity to recognise the creativity of the young participants and to hear about their journey of creative learning.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

A partnership project by Fingal County Council & Superprojects

Date: 1st – 5th July 2019

The Artful Classroom is facilitated by Aoife Banim, Anne Bradley, Clare Breen, Catriona Leahy and Beth O’Halloran

This CPD programme The Artful Classroom facilitates primary school teachers to enrich their work in the classroom by exploring contemporary art and architecture, as fascinating resources ripe for use as inspiration and departure points for creative enquiry. Together, the group will explore the national and international practices of artists and architects, through imagery and discussion, and playfully consider how they can be applied to the primary school classroom. Workshop sessions will take place in Draíocht Arts Centre Blanchardstown and The Irish Museum of Modern Art Kilmainham where participants will have an opportunity to explore the work of exciting contemporary artists.

The learning focus will be on processand creative thinking; rather than producing fixed outcomes. Facilitated by Clare Breen, Catriona Leahy, Beth O’Halloran, Anne Bradley and Aoife Banim, the course draws on the expertise of both teachers (with experience of art/architecture) and artists (with experience of education). Each day will be led by a different course facilitator who will share their experience of working creatively with children and demonstrate how they translate their own creative/artistic interests into classroom practice in visual art, and other areas across the curriculum. Participants will creatively explore these practices daily, through a diverse range of hands-on activities.

Schedule and session descriptions

Dates: Monday 1st – Friday 5th of July 2019
Time:  10am – 3pm daily

Locations:
Mon/Thur/Fri: Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Tues/Wed: The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-artful-classroom-tickets-46498361852
There are only 20 places so please book early to avoid disappointment!

Cost €45 plus booking fee
This programme is financially supported by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office & Superprojects.

 

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the second two recipients of the 2019 Portal Documentation Awards. Starting next month, these projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project – Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin with contemporary dance artist Lisa Cliffe

Lisa Cliffe (Cahill) is a contemporary dance artist, movement facilitator and educator. Lisa is working with Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin in Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Lisa and class teacher Sinéad Joy and school principal Máire Uí Shé are interested in creative engagement and active learning in and with the natural environment of a school site.

In October 2018, Lisa received an Arts Council Bursary Award to examine frames and methods of facilitating ‘experiential engagement’  with the natural environment through active exchange and performance appreciation. This research is taking place in partnership with Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin.

In partnership with the staff, children and wider community of Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin, they have developed a seasonal programme of activity, exchange and performance at the school site. A seasonal approach feels important to the partners in this project as they wish to slow down their engagement in the ‘artist/ teacher/ children’ partnership over the period of a year. The intention of this seasonal approach is to offer time to learn about, respond to and engage creatively with the changing environment of the school site in each season.

Developing the body’s sensory attunement through engagement with the natural environment is a key element of Lisa’s performance and facilitation practice. In partnership with Sinéad and Máire, Lisa wishes to make visible the processes, moments of joy and learning as part of this arts in primary education engagement.

Project – Creative Cluster Initiative – Bee Creative 

This project stemmed from the Teacher and Artist Partnership and the “Creative Cluster Initiative”.  Four schools in Kerry; Firies N.S, Killahan N.S, Dromclough N.S and Lenamore N.S, have come together to form a creative cluster. Each school has been paired with one of the following artists; Silke Michels – visual artist, Zoe Uí Fhaoláin Green – dance artist, Nicholas McLachlan – Writer and Fiona Ladden Loughlin – Textile artist; under facilitator Nikki Roberts.

The children’s work will be showcased in the national folk theatre, Siamsa Tíre on 3rd April 2019. There are 94 children involved in the project.  The stimulus for the project is bees and each school has used different forms of art to portray the importance of bees in our world.  The partners aim is to develop the creative potential of every child and to give participating children a high quality experience working with an artist and expert in their fields leading them to an appreciation of the interaction between artistic genres.

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Deadline: 1st April  2019

The Arts Council of Ireland is seeking to expand its panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative. Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and teachers with a deep understanding of creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people. They come from a range of creative professions, such as artists, designers, teachers and craftspeople.  Whether from the arts, culture, heritage, creative industries, education, science or other sectors, they challenge, support and sustain new practice in schools in the field of the arts, culture and creative learning.

Creative Associates will match the needs of schools to arts and creative opportunities in their locality. They will identify potential areas for improvement and will inspire, energise and drive schools forward in addressing these. Through this pioneering initiative Creative Associates will have the chance to shape the place of the arts and creativity in Irish schools.

Creative Associates can be:

Creative Associates work in partnership with participating schools/Youthreach centres to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in their schools, putting the arts and creativity at the heart of the lives of children and young people.

How to apply:

Step 1 – Visit our website and read their relevant Information Booklet today

Step 2 – Check if you are eligible as an individual artist, organisation nominee or teacher working in school

Step 3 –  Complete and return the correct application form by 5pm on Monday April 1st 2019.

For more information and application details go to www.artscouncil.ie/Creative-Schools/Creative-Associate-Opportunities/

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Creative Schools, formerly Arts Rich Schools/Arís, draws on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter.

The Portal Team are delighted to announce that we have been in a position to award four Documentation Awards in 2019. Here we announce the first two recipients of the award.  These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project – Táim (Trail of Art in Midleton)

We are two visual artists based in Cork who have joined forces to collaborate with children and staff at Midleton College under the initiative entitled TÁIM. TÁIM (Trail of Art in Midleton) is also the Irish expression for ‘I am’. As such, we seek to instigate a collaborative and participatory conversation with students, which not only situates, but also explores and expands upon the theme of identity and place within our locale. 

Belinda Walsh, Visual Artist

Belinda is one of the founders and coordinators of Midleton Arts Festival, which is a celebration of creativity in the community where she lives. She enjoys the surprises and wellbeing benefits of bringing together artists and community groups in participatory projects. One of her special interests is the use of stop motion animation techniques to encourage both children and adults to communicate stories, ideas and concepts in a creative and original way.
She graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2012 and lectures on Arts in Education and ICT in the Early Years in St Nicholas Montessori College.
She also works part time as an arts facilitator with East Cork Music Project.

For more information go to scribblemore123.simplesite.com

Lucia Parle, Visual Artist

Lucia is a social Entrepreneur with excellent communication and administration skills. She has over 20 years experience of community arts facilitation, engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals and groups. Her strong coordination skills are underpinned by a strengths based, person centered approach. She is highly committed to the core principles of community development and the arts. She graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2003, after which she received a research and development award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. In 2015, she co coordinated an Erasmus+ project to take twenty five young ECMP course participants to Sweden to take part in a music and arts project.

In 2016, herself and Belinda Walsh received an award from Cork county Municipal districts Creative communities Scheme to co-ordinate an art project entitled RAW in the local area of Midleton – view the video.

She is currently working in East Cork Music Project as an assistant coordinator leading the art department.

Project – Future Forms Activate Citizenship

Future Forms is a creative engagement project that invites Cork schools, third-level students and community groups to work with artists to create artworks that imagine what their city and urban environment might look like in 200 years time. Participants will explore future visions of Cork through a focus on active citizenship, encouraging all of us to think about ways in which we can get involved in positively influencing the form of our own city.

The Glucksman

The Glucksman is a contemporary art museum in the historic grounds of University College Cork. It was opened by President Mary McAleese in October 2004 and since then has won numerous awards for its architecture and creative programmes. The Glucksman presents ambitious exhibitions of Irish and international art in tandem with a wide range of events and activities designed to encourage participation from all visitors, whether an art professional or first time gallery-goer.

The Glucksman is a place of creative connections between people and disciplines, and is committed to providing world- class art and architecture for all ages and abilities. Enabling access to, and creative engagement with, contemporary art is one of the central pillars of our work, and the team has a strong record of arts in education at every level from primary to postgraduate to professional development. The beautiful setting of the museum in the historic lower grounds of the university as well as a dedicated education space and restaurant, mean that the specific provisions necessary to provide a fully supported experience for people of all ages and abilities can be delivered directly on site.

For more information go to – www.glucksman.org/

 

 

 

 

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Deadline: 21st March 2019

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Opportunities for schools

If your answer is yes to any or all of these questions then read on…

Creative Schools aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives.

Participating schools will understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with the arts, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work. They will draw on the range of resources within their school and wider community, developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on student learning, development and well-being.

Schools will be allocated a Creative Associate, who will support the school for a maximum of nine days over the 2019–20 school year. The Creative Associate will support the school to develop a Creative School Plan and will assist in creating or developing links between schools and with artists and arts and cultural organisations locally and/or nationally. In addition, schools can avail of a grant of €2,000 to implement their plans in 2019–20.

All Department of Education and Skills recognised primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres are eligible to apply. 150 new schools will be selected to participate in the initiative in the 2019–2020 school year.

For further information, guidelines and to apply go to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/schools/

Deadline for online applications 21st March 2019

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Making Connections – Blog 2

Since our return to school in the New Year, we have begun the next stage of our Creative Schools journey, which is developing our school plan. In mid-January, I met with Naomi Cahill (Creative Schools Associate) to discuss our aims and objectives for the near future as a creative school. Using the framework provided, we were enabled to assess our current strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: Teaching and Learning; Leadership and Management; Children and Young People and Opportunities and Networks.

The process of writing the school plan has renewed our school’s commitment to the creative arts and also has highlighted the areas we would like to develop in the near future. We have committed to providing CPD (Continued Professional Development) for teachers in the next academic year. We will receive training on how best to use drama as a teaching methodology which can be integrated with all subjects across the curriculum.

Scoil Bernadette has a strong focus on the arts already and is involved in a number of extra-curricular creative projects including, dance, music, and theatre. In keeping with our overall objective, which is to enable all students to access a broad range of creative activities whilst in school, we have decided to organize additional visual arts workshops this year.

As Scoil Bernadette is a special school it is vital that all activities are accessible and inclusive for all students. Naomi has been invaluable in providing the school with links with a variety of organisations and practitioners that have experience in working with students with disabilities. It is important for us a school to expand our community network and provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to participate in activities that will aid their journey as lifelong learners.

We have made links with Mairead O’Callaghan in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. Mairead facilitates visual arts workshops with a number of supported artists each week. (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists.html)

On 14th February 2019 Naomi, Mairead and I met to develop a plan where a series of six art workshops could be run in Scoil Bernadette during March and April. The workshops will be led by Mairead and co-facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, two supported artists that attend the Crawford each week.

It is envisaged that this project will be collaborative and student-led. A group of ten to twelve students from Scoil Bernadette, one from each class, will attend each Friday in the school. The workshops will also involve a visit to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City. Together the students will decide on how the project will take shape. We hope to document the process with photographs which can be used to form part of an exhibition to be held in the school.

The workshops will begin on 8th March. We are looking forward to welcoming Mairead, Ailbhe, and Rosaleen to our school and beginning this new adventure.

We are excited to make new links with our local community which hopefully will expand both current and future possibilities for students in Scoil Bernadette.

 

IMMA

Date: 2nd March 2019, 10:00am to 12:30pm

Explore contemporary art, particularly construction, during a studio workshop and enjoy a guided tour of IMMA Collection: ‘A Fiction Close to Reality’.  Artist Rachel Tynan will lead this practical workshop during which primary teachers will discover multiple links to the visual art curriculum.

This workshop is free. Booking is essential. Places are limited; booking is on a first come, first served basis. No prior knowledge or experience of art-making is needed. This is the final CPD workshop for primary teachers at IMMA during this academic year.

For bookings go to imma.ie/whats-on/for-primary-teachers/

For more information about the exhibition ‘A Fiction Close to Reality’ go to imma.ie/whats-on/imma-collection-a-fiction-close-to-reality-exhibition/

Fiona Lawton Profile Image Fiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Creative Coordinator – Blog 1

My Name is Fiona Lawton and I have been teaching in Scoil Bernadette for the last ten years. Scoil Bernadette is a special school in Cork that caters for students with mild general learning disabilities. The school aims to make each student be as independent as they can be.

We do this by providing a secure, caring and supportive environment through the provision of a broad curriculum of social, personal, academic, sporting, vocational and relevant life-skills programmes.

I teach a range of subjects in Scoil Bernadette and have a keen interest in drama, I am a graduate of the Masters in Drama and Theatre at UCC. My learning there has taught me the value of creativity in an educational setting. As teachers in Scoil Bernadette we are consistently looking for new ways to engage our students and make learning fun.

We have a strong focus on the arts in Scoil Bernadette. We have a choir that performs in school, at fundraising events and in an annual Christmas Concert each year. Our students are involved in a Samba drumming group and they participate in the Music Mash Up community arts programme where they learn instruments and singing. We have an annual visit from GMC rapper who works with our final year students in creating their own rap. We are also very involved in the dramatic arts. We are good friends with the Everyman Theatre in Cork and attend their musical theatre productions each year. We also regularly attend workshops and performances with Graffiti Theatre and Cyclone Productions. Our Fifth years create their own drama production where they devise, produce and perform their own show over a period of four months.

This is just a small selection of the creative activities that we are involved with. As you can imagine we were delighted to be chosen to participate in the Creative Schools programme. For us, it provides us with a forum to celebrate and consolidate the work we have been doing and it also gives us an opportunity to take stock, evaluate and plan how we can develop our school as a creative learning community.

Attending the in service for the Creative Schools Coordinators was an exciting and encouraging start to the year. It was great to meet all the other teachers and youth workers who are involved in the programme. The day was informative, hands on and great fun. The enthusiasm showed by the facilitators and participants was infectious. It was a great reminder of how we learn best when we are active and collaborating. This belief is one of the core teaching methodologies that we would like to promote in Scoil Bernadette as a creative school.

I did my best to recreate the days learning (albeit a condensed version) at our own staff planning day. We all did the envelope activity which required us to think ‘outside the box’ and engage with our creative sides. We don’t always have the opportunity to consider these things together so it was nice to discuss and share ideas about what creativity means to us as a staff. We also did an inventory of the creative activities that we are currently doing. It was great to acknowledge the many creative activities we are involved with already.

It was a pleasure to finally meet our Creative Schools Associate, Naomi. Naomi came up to meet with a group of our students and did a fantastic workshop with them where they were given an opportunity to consider what creative activities they are currently involved with and what they would like to do in the future. Naomi also distributed surveys to the staff so that we could give our thoughts on our current strengths, challenges and hopes for Scoil Bernadette as a creative school. Naomi’s enthusiasm for the project is evident and we are delighted we have her expertise to guide us through the planning process.

I feel that the wheels have been set in motion and we are off to a good start. I am looking forward to the next stage of the process where we can start planning and making decisions about where to go next.

It will be exciting to make links with other schools and expand our thinking and share experiences. We are delighted to be involved with this project and are looking forward to the rest of the year.

Read Naomi Cahill, Creative Schools Associate blog series at the links below:

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 1

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 2

The Four Dublin Local Authorities in association with the NCH

Date: 24th January 2019

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

The project partners made a successful application for Arts Council funding under the Invitation to Collaboration Scheme 2016. The joint proposal focused on commissioning and touring new artwork to the four Local Authority areas with local engagement programmes, in arts and non-traditional arts venues.

The Exploring and Thinking framework culminated in the commissioning of two unique projects:

Anna Newell, I Am Baba – A new immersive theatre piece for babies aged 0-12 months. A full commission for the development, creation and tour of I Am Baba to the four Local Authority areas.

Helen Barry and Eamon Sweeney, Sculptunes – A modular interactive music-producing sculpture. A research and development commission, which supported the artists to develop one piece of the original sixpiece Sculptunes proposal and test this musical sculpture with children and early childcare practitioners.

The Local Authority partnership in association with the National Concert Hall (NCH) now wish to share the commissioned work and invite you to hear from the commissioned artists. A publication capturing a review of the commissioning process, outputs and impacts of the collaborative framework, alongside additional research conducted among the artists and key personnel will be presented on the day. Dr. Michelle Downes has been invited as keynote speaker to share some of her insights and findings on brain and behaviour development in the first years of life.

The inclusion of a space for reflection and discussion is included in the day’s events in the form of a focus workshop. Attendees are invited to communicate their experience of working in the early childhood arts sector with the local authority partners.

for more information and to view the full event schedule go to www.nch.ie/ExploringandThinking/

This is a free event but booking is required.

Bookings through NCH boxoffice at www.nch.ie or phone +353 (0)1 417 0000

Creativity & Change, CIT

If you are hoping to inject some creative change into your 2019 then look no further than the Creativity & Change Masterclass programme. They start off next month, Feb 9th and 10th with a weekend of creative writing.

Creativity and Change masterclasses are an opportunity for inspirational, intensive and in depth engagement over one or two days. Delivered by facilitators with specific expertise and experience, the programme is designed around the identified gaps and expressed interests of practitioners. Each masterclass is a deep dive into a specific method that can be used to explore change-making, global citizenship and social justice. Fees are subsidised by our partner Irish Aid in order to make these courses affordable and accessible to all. They will all take place in inspiring locations around Cork City.

Explore all the masterclasses and register online here: https://www.creativityandchange.ie/master-classes/2019-masterclass-programme/

 

 

Make Create Innovate

Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday, January 23rd 2019

Make Create Innovate is an exciting educational start-up working with creative technology across many education sectors. We offer learners the opportunity to make, build, create and explore in hands-on workshops. We are passionate about developing high quality STEAM- based education experiences for learners of all ages in both formal and non-formal educational settings.

They are now inviting expressions of interest to join a panel of freelance facilitators from which we will draw upon for our upcoming series of workshops 2019-2020.

Role Specifics:
Job type: freelance / contract – paid hourly or by the day
Location: Usually Dublin, occasionally outside Dublin
Availability: Usually Monday – Friday, sometimes weekends
The successful candidate must have easy access to Dublin and have own transport

For more information and application details go to makecreateinnovate.ie/jobs
Or email hello@makecreateinnovate.ie

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm, Wednesday, January 23rd 2019
Interviews will commence the following week

The Glucksman 

Date: 12th January 2019, 10am – 1pm

Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate personal experiences and challenge mental health stigma.

Join curators and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators – Art and Mental Health. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our mental health using artworks from the University College Cork art collection.

The new toolkits are designed for educators from Primary to Third level and uses the artworks of The Project Twins to look at projects about art and mental health that can be re-imagined in the classroom.

The Art Teachers Masterclass is run as part of the First Fortnight 2019 programme. First Fortnight utilises arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting some of Ireland’s most vulnerable people through creative therapies.
Cost €25 – Booking required. For online booking go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-art-mental-health-tickets-52432269329

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers or www.firstfortnight.ie/

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

The Ark

2 – 3 November, 2018

Early Years Artist in residence Lucy Hill presents ‘Seedlings’ a series of workshops for children as part of the The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency. The Seedlings workshops offer opportunities to explore materials and the world around them through playful and engaging activities – ideal for getting little ones (and their grown-up!) imagining and creating together.

Join Lucy Hill for ‘Plaster Caster’

Plaster is amazing! Its transforms from powder to liquid to solid, it warms up as it transforms and it can take as many shapes and forms as we ask it to. It’s a messy but exciting business!

To start, we will press things into brown clay to leave an impression (toys, fingers, shells), then we mix the lovely powder plaster with water and pour it onto the clay.

The plaster warms and then ‘sets’ (goes hard), we then peel the clay away from the plaster, to find a new plaster impression of our objects to paint and to take home! We can also try using other things as ‘moulds’ like orange peel, avocado skins, chestnuts.

Lucy Hill is the inaugural recipient of The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency and will be devising and delivering an exciting workshop programme for children in the early years at The Ark from May 2018 until April 2019.

For further information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-early-years-workshops-november

 

Narrative 4

Narrative 4 is inviting post-primary school teachers in the Mid-West to take part in their innovative story based CPD training, enabling teachers to run their creative wellness and storytelling module “The Story Exchange” in their classrooms. This module has already been delivered in 18 schools in the region, and has been piloted in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh for the last 2 years. It was developed in the USA as a means of building empathy and breaking down social boundaries through personal stories, and is now also in schools Mexico, Canada, the UK, Palestine, Israel and South Africa.

Funded by the Creativity Fund Programme from Creative Ireland.

Training Location: Narrative 4, 58 O’Connell Street, Limerick.

Proposed dates:

4th and 5th February (Two full days)

April and July TBC

Additional dates in the coming months to be scheduled

To book your place or to find out more information please email community@Narrative4.ie or phone 061-315656.

Or go to narrative4.com/ireland/

The Ark

Deadline: 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018

The Ark is delighted to invite professional artists from the fields of dance, theatre or music to apply for their second 12 month Early Years Artist Residency, running from May 2019-April 2020.

This artist residency opportunity has been established in honour of John Coolahan, who sadly passed away earlier this year. John was a longstanding member of The Ark board and a leading champion for arts education in Ireland.

Beginning in 2018, this residency aims to honour the legacy of Professor Coolahan by providing the selected artist with a yearlong opportunity to develop his/her early years arts practice in association with The Ark.

This opportunity recognises the importance of the arts in early childhood and aims to nurture and support the development of professional artists working in this emerging sector of arts practice.

The inaugural John Coolahan Early Years Artist in Residence at The Ark is visual artist Lucy Hill who will be in post until April 2019. As The Ark wishes to establish the residency as an annual opportunity, we are now seeking a new artist from the fields of dance, theatre or music who will take up the residency for a year from May 2019 when Lucy’s tenure comes to an end.

The selected artist will have a strong vision for how they would like to deepen the range of their experience, knowledge and practice with this age group through the unique context of this residency in collaboration with The Ark.

For further information including application guidelines and to access the online application go to ark.ie/news/post/open-call-john-coolahan-early-years-artist-residency-2019-20.

Completed applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018

Baboró International Arts Festival

Dates: October 15 – 21 2018

This year’s Baboró International Arts Festival for Children takes place in Galway in just over two weeks’ time (October 15-21) and there are a number of cultural experiences for school children to enjoy. Whether you’d like to bring your class to see a show, take in a workshop or visit an exhibition, Baboró has it covered.

One of the cornerstones of Baboró’s foundation is the right of each child to enjoy arts and culture. Baboró believes the encouragement of creativity from an early age is one of the best guarantees of growth in a healthy environment of self-esteem and mutual respect.

Baboró enables children to experience first hand the transformative power of the creative arts, while at the same time developing their creative, problem-solving and collaborative skills; skills that are necessary for developing fully rounded young people.

Artists and companies from Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland and England will present shows at this year’s festival. Full schools programme is here https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/event-type/schools

For full details of how to apply to bring your school to Baboró see here

https://www.baboro.ie/schools-1/schools-2

WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS

Are you a teacher who would like to explore ways of connecting theatre back into the classroom or would you like to learn some tricks of the trade on how to foster an environment of imagination in the classroom? The following workshops might be of interest to you:

Creative Learning

https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/creative-learning

Creativity in the Classroom

https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/creativity-in-the-classroom

For further information and bookings go to www.baboro.ie

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Dates: Saturday 13 October 2018, 10am -1pm

Join artist Clare McLaughlin for a non-visual exploration of art at The Glucksman, University College Cork. This masterclass for educators of all backgrounds will provide entry points to the understanding of artwork for students who are visually impaired or blind.

Cost €25. Booking required.

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers 

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org.

Online ticket bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets-49381187461

 

 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership are delighted to announce the publication of “A Strong Heart – A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”.

Over five weeks, in April and May 2018, the group of children, who live in communities in County Mayo, came together with artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and writer Mary Branley at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, to develop the body of work that was to be brought together in their book.

Initiated and developed by Kids’ Own – and supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, Mayo County Council and South West Mayo Development Company – the project was part of a vision to offer a space for migrant children to develop their creativity and self-expression through an artistic process, and to publish a book that would foreground and give credence to their voices, lives and experiences.

In relation to the project, Kids’ Owns Acting Director, Jo Holmwood, says:

“Kids’ Own is deeply committed to publishing and developing children’s work in Ireland. We believe that children’s contribution to our culture and our society, as artists and writers, needs to be more widely valued and recognised. Kids’ Own is delighted to publish this brand new book, which is such a rich celebration of children’s resilience, ambition and cultural identity.

Image copyright Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership – Minister Zappone presenting ‘A Strong Heart’ to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration.

In July, Kids’ Own were thrilled when the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone shared the stories from ‘A Strong Heart’ at her UN Security Council address on ‘Children in Armed Conflict’.

“As Minister I am particularly proud that half of the 1,883 persons accepted into Ireland under resettlement and relocation programmes are children fleeing war and conflict.

In addition Ireland is providing care for 79 children who arrived alone at our ports and airports.

All of these children, from countries experiencing conflict such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, are making Ireland their home.

They speak for themselves in a collection of stories and art created by Syrian and Palestinian children now living in Mayo in the West of Ireland.

Through the book ‘A Strong Heart’ they tell of the beauty of their new home-towns, the local rivers, mountains and even the world famous salmon.

They express their passion for Irish sport, their sense of fun and their hopes and dreams.

12-year old Khaled in Claremorris writes, “My Dream for the future is to be a footballer first and play for Ireland. When I’m thirty-three I will be a teacher and go back to Syria to teach English.” 

Khaled and his classmates, Irish, Syrian and Palestinian, are flourishing. They are our future”.

Minister Zappone also presented the publication to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, following a discussion on child migrants.

For more information and to purchase the publication go to kidsown.ie/shop/theme/by-kids/a-strong-heart/

 

 

Solstice Arts Centre

Date: Thursday 11th & Friday 12th October

As part of the Patrick Hough exhibition programme at the Solstice Arts Centre, primary school students are invited to take part in an intriguing exploration of the exhibition. Students will investigate the meaning of art, object and replica whilst touring the exhibition and examining The Bronze Age Handling Box, based on the Museum of Archaeology’s Bronze Age collection. This workshop is designed to promote curiosity, understanding and discussion about visual art and history.

A curriculum linked Primary School resource and activity will be available to download.

For more information and booking go to www.solsticeartscentre.ie/schools/handling-histories.2704.html or email ecox@solsticeartscentre.ie

 

Solstice Arts Centre

Date: Friday 28th September, 9.30am & 1pm

As part of the Patrick Hough exhibition programme at the Solstice Arts Centre, post-primary schools are invited to take part in a curriculum linked visual arts workshop. Join Creative Arts Facilitator and Prop-Maker Caitriona McGowan for an intriguing tour of the exhibition and create a 3-Dimensional bust using a variety of techniques such as templating and plaster casting. Caitriona will provide students with a unique insight into the model-making industry and her own career as a prop-maker working in film, theatre and street performance.

This workshop comes with an additional resource that covers the Gallery Question of the Leaving Certificate, Art Appreciation course and can be downloaded from the Solstice Arts Centre website.

For further information and booking go to www.solsticeartscentre.ie/schools/exploring-patrick-hough-through-prop-building-design.2703.html

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Chosen from over 400 applicants, 150 schools across Ireland will participate in the new Creative Schools pilot which aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The schools chosen include primary schools, secondary schools, Youthreach centres, special schools, DEIS schools, co-educational schools, rural, urban, single-sex and Irish-language medium schools. Their work will begin in the new school year and run through to the summer of 2019.

The enthusiastic response to the call for applications suggests just how vital the arts and creativity are within schools across the country. In their application, schools had to explain how their participation would support learning and development in the arts and creativity, their capacity to engage as a school and their plans for ensuring that children and young people play an active role in developing, implementing and evaluating their work as a Creative School. Through the programme, the Arts Council is engaging with children and young people across the country to develop their creativity and linking them to  the arts and creative infrastructure in their locality and nationally.

Schools selected for the pilot will benefit from a package of support which includes funding and expertise from a Creative Associate to help them to understand, develop and celebrate the impact of the arts and creativity on school life. With the support of their Creative Associate, schools will develop a Creative School Plan and design a unique programme that responds to the needs and priorities of their school. This process will support children and young people to challenge themselves in new ways, to gain in confidence and to take a more active role in learning.

The Creative Schools team within the Arts Council will be travelling the country in September and October training and inducting Creative Associates, School Co-ordinators and other teachers from each of the 150 schools.

This innovative pilot is a cornerstone of the Creative Youth Plan, an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, led by the Arts Council and in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Education and Skills.

Future opportunities for Creative Schools will be included in the Arts Council’s newsletter which you can subscribe to at the following link: www.artscouncil.ie/about-us/newsletter/. They will also be posted on their website where a full list of the 150 schools participating in the pilot can also be found: www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/pilot-schools/

Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

Primary School Links – Blog 3

School Links is a programme run by Dr. Michael Flannery which brings students from local DEIS primary schools into the Marino Institute of Education to participate in a visual arts project.

I worked with 4th class students from St Joseph’s Primary School, who came to MIE for four two-hour sessions. As the students had been exploring the use of food in art, I screened two excerpts of my films that deal with this topic. The first was a scene where a young woman eats a flower, and the students responded to this by creating their own flowers through collage and assemblage.
The second clip I screened was a scene where a performer emerges from a large fake cake with a hat of fruits on her head, and then another scene where she sifts flower onto her own head. The students responded to this by sculpting their own fruit, vegetable and other foods from memory out of modrock, which will be painted the next week. The students will decide if they wish to appropriate these materials to make their own hats and costumes, or if they would like to make another sculptural form with them.

In between these activities, students from the class interviewed me about the life and work of a contemporary artist:

Student: Why do you think art is important?
KG: For me, art is like music or literature, and I think going to the an art gallery or museum is like going to the library. We are always expected to be so productive and busy, and art allows us to be quiet and reflective…  it’s a different way of thinking. But, do you think it’s important?
Student: Yes, I think art is important because it brings so much colour to people’s lives.

Student: Do you make mistakes?
KG: Yes, all the time! On my newest film, I spent so long making one scene… the art department spent ages on the set, there were a lot of props and it actually cost a good bit of money. But, then, when editing I realised it wasn’t working. It wasn’t fitting with the rest of the film at all… so I had to cut it out, and that’s so disappointing. It wasn’t anyone’s fault except mine!

Student: How long does it take you to make a film? Do you have people helping you?
KG: Yes I have lots of people helping me! It’s impossible to be good at everything, and I’ve accepted the things I can do well and the things that I definitely can’t!

Student: How do you know if something you make is especially good?
KG: It’s hard to know… sometimes you make something you really believe in, but it doesn’t connect with people. And sometimes the opposite happens. I just try to follow me intuition and not worry about what everyone else is thinking or doing… but I know you can’t really do this in school.

Student: When you’re making a film for a gallery, do you feel very pressured?
KG: Yes, it’s a lot of pressure and it can be very distracting. On one hand, you are trying to be very sensitive and focused on what you are making, but then there is a professional pressure that seeps in. And it’s taken me ages to learn how to deal with that.

Ombudsman for Children’s Office

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office is celebrating 25 years since Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child making a promise to all children and young people to prioritise their rights and hear their voices.

To mark this significant anniversary a national invitation has been extended across Irish society including schools and their communities of staff and students to join with in the celebrations, raising awareness and understanding of children’s rights and listening to children and young people ensuring their voices are highlighted and heard. The aim is to provide creative and innovative ways to mark the 25th Anniversary and to enable educators to start the ‘Rights’ conversation in school – across many subject areas.

How to Get Involved 

Get Animated About Rights
The OCO has teamed up with the Irish Animation Industry in a unique way to invite young people to create an image of the right that means most to them and have the opportunity to have it animated by one of Ireland’s leading animators.

Five winning artworks will be chosen by a panel of judges (including Oscar nominee 2018 Nora Twomey ‘The Breadwinner’, Best Animated Feature) for animation and winners will be offered an exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the hugely successful Brown Bag Studios (home of Give Up Yer Aul Sins, Doc McStuffins, Angelas Christmas and Octonauts). The animations will feature permanently on the OCO website.

Closing date is 16th June. 

The Rights Museum
A cross-sector collaboration between OCO, National Museum of Ireland and Collapsing Horse Theatre. From September 2017 the OCO has been piloting this new education resource with Larkin Community College in Dublin (the first Rights Museum exhibition launched in March 2018 in the National Museum, Collins Barracks and runs until 29 June 2018). The Rights Museum resource will be available online on www.oco.ie from September 2018 inviting Junior Cert students to explore the UNCRC, choose and curate objects representing rights to exhibit in a pop-up Museum in school or in the local community.

The process of creating a Rights Museum offers schools opportunities for co-curricular co-operation, increased professional collaboration and students possibilities to apply learning in different contexts, engage in research, be creative and learn new skills. Collapsing Horse and Larkin’s pilot of the resource will be available as a short video piece.

Exhibition runs until 29th June

Check out Dan Colley, Collapsing Horse Theatre director guest blog series for the Arts in Education Portal on the project Rights Museum Project – artsineducation.ie/en/guestblog/dan+colley

Act Your Rights

Take part in the national ‘Act your Rights Drama’ competition in partnership with The Abbey Theatre.

Running until 30th May the OCO invite teachers and students to complete the ‘Act your Rights’ online resource. Make a short play, email a 3 minute taster and enter the competition to get the opportunity to perform on stage in the Peacock in September 2018.

The ‘Act your Rights’ online resource available here is a joint collaboration between the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and the Abbey Theatre. Act Your Rights aims to help children to become more aware of their rights and explore how rights are reflected in their everyday lives. It offers an innovative and enjoyable way to talk about rights with 4-6th class students through discussion, drama and art activities.

Closing date is 30th June

For more information go to www.abbeytheatre.ie/act-your-rights-competition/

Children’s Rights, Children’s Writing

The OCO were delighted to collaborate with Fighting Words and The Irish Times on a 25th Anniversary publication inviting 25 young people from a variety of ages and backgrounds to choose a right and respond to it. The pieces reflect their views of their ‘rights in reality’ and are available for research (or inspiration!) at www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/projects-we-are-working-on/

The OCO have also created a special 25th Anniversary Information pack with materials to help organise your own events and activities, including a summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, suggestions, a ready-made presentation and the 25th logo go to www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/celebrate-the-uncrc-with-us/

For more information on all the events go to www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/projects-we-are-working-on/

Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

Diorama construction and collaborative filmmaking – Blog 2

In the first semester of my residency at the Marino Institute of Education, I worked with the first years on the Professional Masters in Education programme. I had previously given workshops and lectures at university level at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Kyung Hee University in Seoul, and taught art classes for children at Taipei Artist Village and at primary schools in Roscommon as part of the Art School project run by Jennie Guy. However, this was my first time working with preservice teachers and, so, was the first time I was not just teaching art but also trying to impart how to teach art from the point of view of a contemporary artist.

I devised a workshop that would introduce the class to the process of filmmaking, and that could be replicated in a classroom with few resources. Students worked in groups, collaborating to make a film concept, visualize it, and realise this through constructing a diorama which would show the set/location of their film idea, the characters and any scene changes. I wanted to focusing on the storytelling and visualisation aspects of filmmaking, and my overall aim was that, from doing the workshop, students would have learnt that filmmaking is an enjoyable and achievable process, reliant more on imagination and communication than it is on expensive equipment.

In order to contextualise this project, I showed examples of contemporary animation sets, maquettes for theatre set design, and artists whose work uses collage or photomontage (John Stezaker, Hannah Hoch, David Hockney, Peter Kennard), and contemporary Irish artists working with animation techniques (Aideen Barry, Vera Klute).

To begin the project, each group had to select four random words that designated:  (a) a genre; (b) a location; (c) a main human character; (d) an animal character. Then, together, they had to knit these into a coherent concept. After deciding on how to combine the elements, each group works on making a diorama. In a collaborative effort to realise their visualisation, decisions are made on colour palette, mood, materials and scale.

After their sets were made, students began to make their characters from armature and plasticine. We then began a simple stop-motion animation process using free apps on the students’ phones and school ipads. The result was that each group created a short silent animation using readily available materials and technology and each group created a unique project that can be appraised in relation to the concept they created and the parameters they set for themselves.

 

 

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Date: 10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. The course offers a blend of art appreciation, art interaction and art making exercises and participants will have the opportunity to work with professional artists and curators throughout the week.

10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

€75. Booking essential. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/learning-through-creativity-summer-course-for-primary-teachers-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

 

Creative Engagement

Deadline October 25th 2018

The Arts and Culture Committee of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is once again launching its annual arts-in-education scheme for second level schools. The Creative Engagement programme 2018-19 begins in October 2018.  Funding has been secured for the 2018-19 school year from both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council.

At the core of the Creative Engagement scheme is the collaboration between student, teacher and artist as set out in Artist~Schools (Arts Council 2006). It’s about tapping into the imagination of the young person while giving both an incentive and a framework for the work to thrive.

Application Forms and further information can be downloaded from www.creativeengagement.ie

What is our aim:

The selection criteria:

Financial considerations

Partnerships:

Since 2005 NAPD has established working partnerships with The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Poetry Ireland, The Heritage Council, Poetry Ireland, The National Museum, The National Gallery, IMMA, Amnesty International, Local authority Arts Officers and Cavan Monaghan ETB local arts in education Partnership.
Deadline October 25th 2018

 

Department of Education and Skills & Creative Ireland Programme

Deadline 11th May 2018

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, led by, and in partnership with, the 21 full-time Teacher Education Centres (ATECI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters Initiative.

Creative Clusters is an important initiative of Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person (View the full Plan here), which was published in December 2017 as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Creative Youth Plan aims to give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.

A Creative Cluster will typically consist of between three and five schools collaborating on the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of an innovative arts and creative learning project which supports them to address a common issue or challenge.

Each Creative Cluster will receive funding of €2,500 for one year to implement their project in the 2018-2019 school year. It is anticipated that all schools in the cluster will have a say in how the budget is allocated and spent to support the implement of the project

Paid substitution will be provided for the Regional Cluster Training event and two/three local cluster meetings.

How To Apply

Schools can apply as part of a cluster which may be an existing network of schools or a potential cluster.   Each cluster must nominate a lead school and a Creative Cluster Coordinator. Substitution costs to the equivalent of 1 day per term for the duration of the pilot project will be provided for the Lead School Creative Cluster Coordinator

Schools can apply individually and if successful, they will be placed in a cluster with other applicant schools. The local Teacher Education Centre will have a key role in identifying and supporting a Creative Cluster for their local area.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 11th May 2018

To download the application from and guidelines go to www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/creative-clusters.html


Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

 

Art on Campus – Blog 1

In September I began my role as artist-in-residence at the Marino Institute of Education (MIE), an initiative for artists to work in institutions that provide initial teacher education funded by the Arts Council. The aims of the residency are: for the artist to develop their skills and work in a supportive education setting; for preservice teachers to have a meaningful engagement with the arts; and to support preservice teachers in developing confidence and skills in passing these meaningful experiences onto their students.

Working closely with Dr. Michael Flannery (Head of Art & Religious Education at MIE), we decided on a programme of formal inputs into courses and ways to disseminate my work to students and staff.  In the first few months of the residency, I then set about on a mission to ‘activate art’ on campus with a programme of talks, exhibitions and screenings, alongside giving formal inputs into classes.

I decided to turn the lobby and windows of the Nagle-Rice building into an exhibition space where students and staff could spend a few moments looking at my work. During October I exhibited two films here: Everything Disappears which I made in Taiwan, and is in Mandarin with English subtitles; and Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands which I made in South Korea and is in Korean with English subtitles. Photographic prints in the window space deconstructed the films into still images and accompanying scripts in English.

I then gave a lunchtime artist talk discussing these projects, the research behind them and the process of making them. As well as making the campus aware of my work as the new artist on campus, I also wanted students to encounter the work in a way similar to when they are installed in a gallery, before we began to work together in a lecture.

In October, I brought a group of 12 students on an excursion to my studio at Fire Station Artist Studios on Buckingham St, Dublin 1, and then continued on to see an exhibition that dealt with mediating art to primary school groups at Dublin City Council’s The LAB gallery on Foley St. My aim was for students to become aware of the visual art spaces in the North city centre, and also for them to see ‘behind the scenes’ of an artists studio and sculpture workshop, and then a final installation in a gallery.

For a number of evenings in November and December, I held a series of screenings to introduce video art and experimental filmmaking. As the series spanned from the beginnings of video art (Nam June Paik) to surrealism (Luis Buñuel and  Salvador Dalí) to current practices (Hito Steyerl), I gave the context of the works and topics in art history and then led informal discussions following the screenings. I hope the series encouraged students to engage with artist film and experimental film, and to feel confident discussing such works on school trips to galleries and museums in the future.

Next year I’m looking forward to continuing this work on campus and being involved with the Masters in Education Studies (Visual Arts).

 

 

We are delighted to announce the guest speakers for the third annual Arts in Education Portal National Day on April 21st in Maynooth University in partnership with Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education. Our day begins with a welcome from Professor Gary Granville, Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) & Dr. Katie Sweeney – National Director for the Integration of the Arts, Department of Education and Skills (DES).

We welcome Josepha Madigan T.D, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to speak on the day along with guest speaker Paul Collard, Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). The full line-up which will be announced shortly includes a broad range of practical workshops and skills sharing as well as theoretical and critical thinking in the area from artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector.

This event brings together members of the arts in education community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired, and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

To book your place go to arts-in-education-portal-national-day-2018-tickets.eventbrite.ie

Josepha Madigan T.D, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

Josepha Madigan was appointed as Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht on 30th November 2017.  She is an award-winning Family Lawyer, a qualified mediator and is passionate about mediation. She published a book entitled “Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Ireland” and served as Specialist Liaison Officer for Family Mediation with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, lectured in the area of family law and has written newspaper articles on this subject.

The Minister believes in a society that is progressive and creative, and is passionate about using both her business and legal skills in assisting citizens.

Professor Gary Granville, Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD)

Gary Granville is Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin. He served as Interim Director of NCAD after spending some sixteen years as Head of School of Education.  The School of Education NCAD is the leading centre of research in art education in Ireland, with graduate programmes in arts leadership, in socially engaged art and in doctoral research in arts education.

He was formerly Assistant Chief Executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in Ireland. In that capacity, he oversaw the design and introduction of national programmes, including the Leaving Certificate Applied, the Junior Cycle Schools Programme and initiatives in citizenship education, in enterprise education and in the arts.  In recent years he has chaired the NCCA Development Group for Art at junior cycle and more recently, the design of a new programme for Leaving Certificate Art.

Dr. Granville has been a member of the Higher Education Authority and of specialist committees of the Teaching Council, NCCA and other national and international bodies. He has worked on international projects in Europe and Africa. His research interests are in the fields of education policy, art and design education, curriculum and assessment, and educational evaluation.

Dr, Katie Sweeney, National Director for the Integration of the Arts, Department of Education and Skills (DES)

National Director for the Integration of the Arts in Education (DES) – appointed by Minister for Education and Skills Ruaraí Quinn T.D. in 2013. Previously Katie has worked as a Research Scientist, Senior Lecturer in Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institute of Health Sciences Stockholm in Sweden. She was a former Head of GMIT @Castlebar, CEO of Mayo VEC and CEO of Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board.

Paul Collard, Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE)

Paul Collard is Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) an international foundation dedicated to unlocking the creativity of young people in and out of formal education.  CCE was established to design and  manage the delivery of the Creative Partnerships (CP) programme in England from 2002-11. The success and impact of the programme attracted considerable international attention and CCE now supports the delivery of programmes modelled on CP across a wide range of European countries including Norway, Lithuania, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.   In Wales, CCE is advising the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government on its £20 million Creative Learning through the Arts Plan, which now has over 550 schools enrolled and in Scotland, it is piloting its Art of Learning programme in partnership with Creative Scotland and Education Scotland.

 

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

We were looking for a primary school in the area local to programme sponsors Central Bank of Ireland and were delighted to find O’Connell School. It is a really interesting school with a rich history, and a very supportive learning environment, which was fantastic to work with. Artist Maria McKinney was a natural choice for working on this project. Her practice is often focused around ecology and I thought this would be a good fit for the primary school age range. Maria brought with her a wealth of experience in working collaboratively with diverse fields of inquiry and a sensibility to materials which made her very suitable for this residency.

Maria McKinney, Artist

I was aware of the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios education programme from seeing some of the previous projects on social media and speaking to the artists that took part. I was very happy when Jean then approached me to do their autumn 2017 session in O’Connell School. I had only recently moved into my studio in Temple Bar and was excited to be involved in their programme so early on.

One of the first things I was told about O’Connell School, in addition to it being a boys’ primary school, was that is was directly below Croke Park. The seating of the stadium almost hangs right over the school. This in itself made it very unique. Then I remembered seeing a news article about birds of prey that are put to work in Croke Park to keep away other animals such as rats and pigeons who might eat the freshly sown grass seeds on the pitch. I wondered whether the boys at the school knew that these very special birds existed right next door to them. I also realised this would be a good opportunity for the boys to learn a little about ecology and habitats of birds and nature in general. I was cognisant of this being an urban school, and wanted to open up a space for the boys to think about other animals.

Around this time I was also involved in an artist-in-school project in Maynooth with Kildare Arts Office and Art School. I decided I would use both opportunities to make work in relation to Birds of Prey. I think this made for a richer project overall as it developed over a longer period of time.

Pupil C

It started by going to Temple Bar Gallery. Her [Maria’s] studio was very neat. She had everything organised. Then we spent weeks making origami. It was great fun and a great experience.

Pupil D

First we went to visit Maria in her studio and we learned more about her. It was about us having fun and working together. Maria, Jean, 4th class in O’Connell, Barry [the falconer], Kayla [the Harris hawk] and teachers were involved. In class we started drawing and learned origami.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

We got involved through a member of staff that was in contact with Jean and Maria. The children were making origami pieces to have as a sculpture that a hawk could land on. The two 4th Classes and teaching staff were helped by Maria and Jean.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

The residency began with pupils visiting Maria in her TBG+S Studio to see where she works, and get an insight into her methods, motivations and inspirations as an artist. From there, Maria began an enquiry into birds of prey with the children, through various exercises in drawing, origami, movement/performance and inhabiting the psyche of the bird. This developed into creating a collaborative sculptural piece which functioned as a bird stand, for the Harris hawk, Kayla, to land on. A final photograph was taken by Maria to document this process. The pupils were extremely open and inquisitive about the hawks and worked really hard to make the origami pieces which made up the base for the sculpture. All the school staff were very encouraging and accommodating throughout the residency.

Maria McKinney, Artist

The project started off by the boys coming to Temple Bar to visit the gallery, and then up to my studio on the first floor. Myself and Jean introduced ourselves and I went on to show them some images of my work on a monitor. I told them just the name of the work, and then asked them to name all the different materials and objects they could see (I use a lot of different materials and everyday items). I then emptied a box of objects that I had made to allow them to handle some of my work. A lot of them were long strand type objects made by weaving straws. These very quickly became lightsabers which made me laugh.

The following sessions in the school consisted of teaching the boys how to make claws and beaks with paper and origami. It was well timed around Halloween so the boys could re-appropriate the claws for scary costumes. The teachers would help the boys make them, though once they had gone through the process a couple of times they needed no more help and could make loads.

We also looked at some other artists’ work that involved birds, including Marcus Coates Dawn Chorus, and Sean Lynch’s work Peregrine Falcons visit Moyross. In the latter, we see the footage from a camera attached to the back of a Peregrine Falcon, who then flies around Moyross Estate. At a certain point, the bird lands on a lamp post, looks around for a while, then takes off again. The boys lined up in pairs, and I asked them to close their eyes and imagine they were the bird on top of the lamp post, to think about their claws, wings and beaks, and prepare to take off again. The boys would then swoop through the room with great direction and style. Through making the different body part (claws and beaks) and then the boys using them, I was coaxing them to think about the anatomy of the bird, and in relation to their own physicality.

Pupil K

Ideas were developed through using different materials and also looking at Maria’s work. The teachers and Maria helped us make origami. Maria worked with bulls before this and we worked with a hawk.

Pupil B

We wore hats and wings and put together the claws and beaks and made a hawk stand. So the hawk can stay on it.

Pupil A

We all folded the paper and we got help from our friends, teachers and SNAs who showed us how to do origami and it was fun.

Pupil C

We worked together making origami and drawing pictures of hawks. We then put the origami onto the stand.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Two 4th classes came together to complete the six-week course. The artists had use of the art room where they had tables set up for each activity. They also had great powerpoints set up here.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

Two 4th classes did the course together. The artist had tables set up and the resources provided for the children. The children all got involved as they were enjoying it. The teaching staff helped to keep the children on task.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

I felt this was a very successful project in terms of engagement and pitching to primary level students. Sessions in the school were active and fun with all children participating enthusiastically. Maria brought the pupils on an incredible journey of inquiry and art-making which culminated in meeting the Harris hawk, Kayla. As a result, pupils had the most imaginative and interesting questions for the hawk handler Barry and the experience no doubt left them with a new-found appreciation for the wildlife that is in their local urban environment.

Maria McKinney, Artist

I felt it was important to leave enough room for the participants’ input into the work, as well as for the unexpected occurrences that often come about through process-led engagement. However, I also had to make sure I had prepared enough activity for each session, so that we would not all be standing around looking at one another not doing anything. It is a fine balance to try and strike.

The success of the project was most definitely the boys’ energy and enthusiasm for doing something different. I really looked forward to my time with them. The staff were also really fantastic and got fully involved in what we were doing. It makes a big difference when the teachers are fully engaged and supportive of what you are doing, as this is unconsciously communicated to their students, and really affects how they respond to you, the visitor.

Another great success was Barry the falconer, whose birds work in Croke park, agreeing to take one of his birds to visit the boys in the school. This really made for a special day and everyone was so excited. As the artist this was also the most stressful time, as I was hoping everything would go to plan.

The boys and the birds behaved perfectly. However I have realised my own skill in group photography needs a lot of work. I had hoped to pose the boys as a group around the bird, while they were wearing the large paper wings/claws/beaks they had made. However I couldn’t organise them well enough, and it was a cold windy day. The boys worked really hard but I think I could have planned this part a bit better.

Pupil A

My favourite part was when we were wearing the art and I was like a hawk.

Pupil D

My experience of the project was amazing. I never got to see a hawk in real life, I loved it. My favourite part was when I saw Kayla because I never got to see a hawk in real life.

Pupil K

My personal favourite part was when we wore the wings and started to dance around with them on.

Pupil F

My favourite experience was building the sculpture. The teachers helped us and the boys came up with brilliant ideas that we put on the sculpture. The sculpture became a success but coming up with the ideas was a bit of a challenge.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Children really enjoyed the course. It was a new experience, one which won’t be forgotten. The trip to the artist’s gallery was an eye opener for the children. Challenges – would be the amount of time taken for each session, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

Children all enjoyed it and are still talking about the experience. Something different for them rather than us teaching all the time.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

This was a project where the unexpected was encouraged and allowed to unfold. Pupils had an experience of artmaking which gave them an expanded view of what art can be. Maria guided pupils calmly through this process, beginning with the more familiar terrain of drawing, through to the introduction of a live hawk. Students themselves became part of the artwork in the wearing of large origami pieces to flank the bird on her perch for the final photograph of the residency. The reception to the project was palpable within the school,  with pupils and staff excited about the final event of the residency, and meeting the hawk.

Maria McKinney, Artist

While I talked to the boys about ecology and habitat, we were referring to the food chain of these birds in their natural environment.

However, I realised the working bird that was to come into the school to visit them, is involved in a very different network – one that is entirely at the behest of humans and our culture of sport, entertainment, cultivation, media, security (these birds are also used to keep drones away)…

Pupil F

I had a great experience of being a great young artist.

Pupil E

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Pupil C

The experience of touching and seeing a hawk. I loved it from start to finish!

Pupil J

Having fun and learning new skills with origami and our drawing improved. It was an unusual exciting experience – I would tell other schools to do it.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

It was great working with an artist. Children may have never visited a gallery or got an insight into the life/ideas of an artist. Origami is also an area we would not have thought about too much in school. This was new and exciting.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

The children got to experience what a gallery was/looked like. They were making origami pieces that they would not have learned otherwise. They got to see and understand what an actual artist does and could ask questions. Great experience for the children and very enjoyable.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Maria McKinney, Artist

It has made me think more about the human–animal relationship, in particular working animals. In an urban context the only working animal I would have been able to name before this project is a guide dog or sniffer dog at the airport. I am looking up more these days.

Pupil K

I feel I can follow more steps and am better at drawing and following things, and my imagination has grown. I have signed up for art club in my school now that I like art more. I feel like I can listen more.

Pupil D

I got better at following instructions and my drawing got better. I am starting to get into art. I can now work as a team.

Pupil A

I can listen in class and fold stuff and I signed up for art club because of the project.

Pupil F

I feel a lot better at doing step by step projects and I’ve improved on my drawings and I got better at working as a team. I enjoyed the art experience so much I signed up for the school’s art club.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Teachers’ and childrens’ outlook on art had changed since taking on this project. We got to see that art is a lot more than just painting and drawing. We also got to see at first hand how art can be used in the environment around us.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

We are a lot more aware of using our environment for art purposes. It is not simply painting a picture. Origami pieces have been brought into other sections of our school life, i.e. the school play etc.

Make Create Innovate

Date: March 24th & 25th
An introductory workshop to electronics for creative projects

In collaboration with The Digital Hub, Make Create Innovate offer this hands-on, jargon-free two day workshop that will introduce you to physical computing using conductive materials, MaKey MaKey and Arduino with some basic sensors. Our artist-maker-educator approach is all about tinkering with art, electronic and everyday materials to learn through experimentation and discovery.
By the end of the weekend you will have a basic understanding of the principals involved in easy-to-make light and sound responsive systems and the materials required. You will also have collaborated with other workshop participants to create an electronically triggered soundscape or an interactive environment/artwork.

This workshop is for creative people (professionals and non-professionals) and educators, who want to do something different; whether it’s programme a touch-activated sound effects on the theatre stage or design a cross-curricular STEAM project at school. It is especially suitable for anyone involved in engaged arts that support arts participation and/or invite audience interaction.

For more information and to book your place go to www.makecreateinnovate.ie/a-maker-approach-to-art-and-interactivity

We are delighted to announce that the recipients of the Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award are playwright and actor John McCarthy and Visual Artist Clare Breen. We are very excited to be working with them in the coming months to document their projects, the Young Playwrights Programme (Cork) and Breadfellows’ Chats (Wexford). These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

IMG_0001_edit2John McCarthy, Playwright & Actor

I am a playwright and actor who works with young people in theatre and writing. I work as a facilitator with Activate Youth Theatre and Fighting Words Cork, as well as Creative Learning coordinator with Graffiti Theatre Company.

I was part of the Next Stage at Dublin Theatre Festival this year, and am currently the recipient of an Arts Council Theatre Bursary for playwriting. Finished Once, and Ready, a new work in development with Arts Council project funding was performed in recent showings in Cork (School of Music) and Dublin (Irish Theatre Institute). I wrote Stage Irish, which won the Writers Guild of Great Britain Playwrights Progress Award 2014 and and co-wrote Hollander, nominated Best Production at Irish Theatre Awards 2010. I write and direct the online audiodrama `In Darkness Vast’.

For more information go to www.hammergrin.com

Clare Breen, Visual Artist

Clare_Breen_compaions_yellow_brick_edit_sq_smI am an artist and arts educator working in a variety of contexts. In my practice I conduct Breadfellows’ Chats. I have developed this artistic research methodology to adapt to many different environments. It is based on dialogical and relational artistic processes, considering conversation and collaborative making as constructive learning methodologies. I produce ceramics, meals, exhibitions and workshops collaboratively with other artists, curators, arts educators, historians, conservators, teachers and children. Talking and making together, followed by the sharing of food, are foregrounded in my practice as intimate gestures of care.

I obtained a BA in Fine Art from NCAD, Dublin in 2011 and a Masters in Education in the Arts from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2016. In 2017 I moved to Athens to work as part of the documenta 14 education team and completed a residency at Yellow Brick Project Space. I am currently artist in residence at Castlebridge National School through the Living Arts Project run by Wexford Arts Center. I have developed a programme over 15 weeks with 3rd and 5th class beginning from the Breadfellows’ Chats methodology. I am also working in collaboration with Katy Fitzpatrick and Aislinn O’Donnell at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in response to the work of Otobong Nkanga and with Jennie Guy’s Art School as part of the EVA International education programme.

For more information go to www.clarebreen.net

Creative Ireland

On the 7th December Creative Ireland delivered on one of it’s key promises by publishing Creative Youth: a Plan to enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person.  This now represents the core work programme for Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland Programme. Michael O’Reilly from Creative Ireland discusses the plan development and implementation.

Michael O’Reilly – Creative Ireland 

Developing the plan was an interesting and not entirely pain-free process: it is no secret that the 2018 budget didn’t allow as much scope for new investment as had been hoped.  But in the end, a creative engagement between the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs produced a plan with a long-term vision – cultural and creative education for all – a strategic approach to the further development of pillar 1, and 18 implementation actions.

The two headline actions are implementation of Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools – an Arts Council led project, which is a development of the Arts in Education Charter initiative, Arts Rich Schools – ARIS, and the extension of Music Generation countrywide during the lifetime of the Programme.

There are several entirely new ideas in the plan but in the main it builds on existing initiatives.  For example there will be a significant research project, and a culture and creativity-mapping project, but both will build on existing work.

From our point of view the most encouraging aspect of the plan is the acceptance of the long term vision of cultural and creative education for all: Cultural education that enables young people to explore and understand their own and other people’s cultural assumptions, viewpoints, beliefs and values, and Creative education that uses the innate creative skills of children and young people as a powerful instrument of learning.

The plan is not static.  A Pillar 1 expert advisory group will be appointed shortly which will guide the further development of pillar 1 and also monitor the implementation of Creative Youth.  A cross-departmental working group and a senior officials group will ensure that implementation stays on track.

We now have a clear agenda and cross-government support for its implemenation.  The next few years will be both testing and exciting.

Click here to download the full report

Creativity and Change programme

2018

For 2018 the Creativity & Change programme have an exciting line up of masterclasses for educators and artists including:

Street Art – March 24th -25th

Street Art-Using creative expression in the street to communicate justice messages and to practice active citizenship with artists Claire Coughlan and Helen O’Keeffere from ‘Splattervan’.

Theatre  – April 21st and 22nd

Theatre workshop, from the Personal to the Public: using theatre to explore understand issues of power from the micro to the macro, local to global with Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of Crooked House and Kildare Youth theatre.

The Creatively & Change training opportunities bring creative methodologies and energy to Global Citizenship/ Development Education. The programme is based in CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, in the Department of Arts in Health and Community Practices and is supported by Irish Aid.

For the full programme, profiles of the facilitators and registration links go to www.creativityandchange.ie/masterclass-programme-2018/

Mind the Gap

Workshops to take place between January – March 2018

Mind the Gap‘ is a development education arts project based in Cork offering fully funded arts based workshops for post-primary schools and Youthreach programmes exploring global justice issues such as Human Rights, refugees, interdependence and Intercultural understanding. Offering performances, workshops and residencies in schools.

‘Mind the Gap’ is funded by Worldwise Global Schools, a sector of Irish Aid and is managed by ‘Head, heart & hands Ltd’.

Interested teachers please email us at gapmindthe@gmail.com.

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jane Hayes, Artist 

The ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’ project is a programme for early years and their parents that focuses on the creative exploration of the five senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight, and like all my projects was developed to enliven children’s disposition for wonderment, excitement, curiosity, and perseverance.

I designed and developed the programme for Scoil Chroí Íosa with the aim of engaging the children in an immersive, child-centred, art-rich learning environment that would aid their early learning and development, and complements the school’s Aistear and Síolta Frameworks.

Scoil Chroí Íosa is known in Galway for its commitment to delivering a rich creative arts programme and aiming to provide the children in the school with an education that is rich in creative thinking, learning and activity. They provide a holistic approach to education and give each child an opportunity to express themselves creatively through a range of arts activities and programmes. For these reasons I approached the school directly with the project, which was instantly received with enthusiasm.

Colin Barry, Principal

Scoil Chroí Íosa is a growing school of roughly 110 children who come from a variety of multi-cultural backgrounds. This gives our school a distinctly vibrant feel and makes it an important hub for the local community. We aim to provide for the holistic education of all our students through a variety of modern, research-based methodologies. One of the most effective teaching methodologies we have found is to teach children through the medium of the creative arts. We believe this transcends cultural differences, language barriers and academic aptitude. We, as a whole school community, decided to proactively move in this exciting new direction about 4 years ago.

In this challenging endeavour, we sought guidance and support from many fantastic arts organisations and individual creative practitioners based in and around Galway City. Jane Hayes was one such artist and educator who we were delighted to have work with our students. Jane’s project “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” was designed specifically for our younger pupils to engage actively with over a sustained period. The children were not engaged with a template-based approach, but rather were encouraged and supportively facilitated to use their own ideas creatively to make wonderful visual art.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jane Hayes, Artist

The title was obviously inspired by the classic children’s story, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, but the ideas for the project came from my experience of young children’s ability to see the world around them from such a unique perspective, for example how they explain sounds, how they draw smells, how they talk about textures. While introducing them to activities designed to stimulated their senses, I wanted to allow them the space to explore the theme of the senses in a very open way, that would facilitate their natural creativity.

Each week I would facilitate 50 minute workshops with the three youngest classes in the school, where teachers and parents of the children were also encouraged to participate. The weekly workshops involved a range of interesting indoor and outdoor arts experiences, many of which took place in the school’s unique garden classroom. I developed these activities as a means to channel the children’s attention to the world around them, to encourage them to recognise the power of their senses, and to help them explore those senses creatively.

Students were encouraged to actively explore their world, gain independence by working independently, and also develop a sense of team work through group projects. Some of the activities undertaken included; making “tools” to see and hear, sensory play in the garden, largescale projection for storytelling, creating collaborative large-scale paintings with unexpected tools, nature walks with observation and creative reporting, creating visual landscapes of the senses, and constructing “musical instruments”.  Key to the process was encouraging children to take the lead and develop their own understanding of “the brief”. This was a little difficult at first, as children naturally turn to adults for instruction, especially in an educational setting. However, as the project progressed the young children became much more confident in making their own decisions.

There was an interesting dynamic between all the participants; the children, myself, parents and teachers. In the beginning teachers felt the need to guide the students, and parents the need to do things for the children, however, my role was to facilitate child-led engagement, and to model that interaction as a means to encouraging and enabling teachers and parents to do the same. It was a gradual process, with the adults needing time to adapt to a very open approach.  The children on the other hand easily adapted to their role as ‘leaders’ and showing their parents how to do things. The role reversal really worked, and a partnership approach to the projects really began to develop.

Sue Doherty, Teacher 

As a school, we had decided to promote all aspects of the creative arts in education and this project, ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’, was a perfect match for our new direction.

The project centred on the involvement of parents in their own child’s experience of creating and participating in collaborative art. We encouraged parents to come in to the school during Jane’s visits so that they themselves could also participate in the creation of art and work with their own child, exploring their senses, their world, and their feelings about art.

The actual process was a hugely positive experience for all.  It allowed parents and teachers to engage actively with the children’s imaginations and innate creative abilities, using immersive child-centred activities to create and explore art. Although the exhibition in June 2017 was an impressive celebration and showcase of the children’s work, the real success of the project was defined by the qualitative value of the social, emotional, educational and artistic aspects of the children’s experiences.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be involved in ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’, such an approach to art in education cannot come more highly commended.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jane Hayes, Artist

Central to my approach is educating parents, teachers and the community about the importance of creativity in our lives and the lives of our children. I work to remove the fear and feelings of inadequacy that many adults have around creativity, and so this programme also worked to encourage and empower parents and teachers to engage in creativity with their children by including them in the process.  There were some really positive results.

Parent

I love the projects you have done with the children, they are actually quite easy, but I can see how much she enjoys this, and how much she loves when I work with her too.

As current research highlights, creative engagement from an early age is the most effective way to break down gender imbalance in creativity, is a powerful tool in improving children’s wellbeing, and helps aid personal development and build self-esteem.  However, in the school system anecdotal evidence suggests to me that it is older children that are often those selected for participation in arts in education projects. As I am especially committed to working within the early years remit I was dedicated to focusing on the youngest students in Scoil Chroí Íosa something that Principle Colin Barry was very positive about.

Colin Barry, Principal

“We are lucky to have lots of opportunities to collaborate with artists here, however, oftentimes when artists work in collaboration with schools they gravitate towards the older classes, 3rd and 4th for example.  The younger groups are often not as well catered for, so this is exactly what we need”.

It was clear that being gifted a significant time period to deliver the project resulted in a very rich experience for students, parents, teachers and myself the artist.  The fact that the workshops ran over an 11-week period meant that trust could be formed, greater understanding gained and richer engagement accomplished.  It was noted by the principle that having projects that allow for more meaningful engagement has greater long term effects, and that this approach allowed Teachers themselves to learn activities and approaches that they would be able to implement in the classroom themselves.

Ailbhe O’Donnell, Teacher

Jane was a great facilitator and allowed the children to experiment independently as much as possible, which they love to do. What was most exciting for the children is that their parents were invited along. Watching the children interact with parents was very interesting, as you usually only get to see them in the classroom environment. It was lovely to see parents getting stuck in helping, and also creating some Artwork themselves.

It was great to see the class work on collaborative pieces in a respectful, encouraging and creative way. The children had so much fun creating the large scale pieces together. Having the children focus on process rather than product kept them engaged and in control over their own work. I particularly liked the length of this project, which ran for 11 weeks in total. The children got into a creative routine every Thursday morning, which was great. They really took control over their own creativity. So much so, in fact, that they would be planning a week ahead in their minds what it was they would be creating the following Thursday.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Jane Hayes, Artist

One of my key objectives of “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” was to prioritise process over product. It can be challenging to shift teachers’ and parents’ focus away from finished pieces of art, but this project was successful in demonstrating how powerful, and creative, simply letting children explore, discover and enjoy the process can be. As a compromise to an exhibition of the children’s work, we ended the series with a Showcase, which was supported by the NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Institute (CKI) and Arts Office. The Showcase, mainly feature photos documenting the children’s experience, but also included a small selection of finished and unfinished pieces and research material.

Since completing the project I am more cognisant of how rich and valuable the process of making art can be, and have been working to shift my focus away from what the end product might be or do. I have commenced a new series, which is inspired by the “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” project and working with the children of Scoil Chroí Íosa, and am dedicating more time to exploring, discovering and enjoying. I am also working in a variety of settings, getting outside more, having seen what a positive impact that had on the children of Scoil Chroí Íosa and their creativity.

Participating Child

It’s just fun to play around, I really like this kind of art!

Participating Child

I love looking for flowers in the garden, it’s fun out here, it makes me happy.

Participating Child

I never knew you could make pictures with stones, that’s cool.

Participating Child

I love how the rice feels, it makes me feel relaxed

 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

8th & 9th November 2017

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, as part of its 20-year anniversary celebrations, will host 2 days of sectoral activities, in partnership with Dublin Book Festival and The Ark, exploring the value of publishing with children, and interrogating how we can support children to be seen and heard within our literature, culture and society. With the ambitious vision of current policy to reach all children through cultural tuition by 2022, Kids’ Own seeks to ask how we make space for quality and depth of engagement to support children as cultural makers and creators in their own right.

8th November 2017
Round table discussion (10.30am – 4pm)
Chaired by Martin Drury

Through a series of presentations and discussions hosted by Kids’ Own Creative Director, Orla Kenny and Kids’ Own co-founder Victoria Ryle, the day will involve explorations and case studies of the Kids’ Own archive, followed by discussions involving a chaired panel of guest speakers, and focused conversations, where participants will be invited to explore and interrogate how we make space for quality and depth of engagement, the role of the professional artist working with children and young people, and how we give children’s work greater visibility and recognition within mainstream culture.

This event is free but booking is essential.

9th November 2017

A day of practical exploration and creativity
Workshops for artists, teachers and arts education practitioners

11am – 1pm
All That We Are: An artist-led public participatory workshop with Simon Spain (Australia)
Kids’ Own co-founder and artist Simon Spain returns to Ireland to share his practice with Irish artists, teachers and practitioners. Through this practical workshop where participants will make figures from wood and plaster that will be joined to create a gathering, Simon will discuss key elements of his current practice-based PhD enquiry about working as a socially engaged artist. The work is centred around a strong theory of collaborative making environments that create liminal spaces for individual input while leading to a shared outcome celebrating difference.

Workshop fee: €10

2pm – 5pm
Print and book-making workshop with Alain Regnier (Belgium)
In this workshop, printmaker and art teacher (and founder of Motamo International Biennial of Children’s Books) Alain Regnier shares his way of working and will support participants to make books that include print and text, inspired by the work of his second-level students in Belgium. Copies of the books made during this workshop will be taken back to Belgium to be shared with a European audience.

Workshop fee: €10

For all bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/childrens-voices-are-we-listening.

For more information go to kidsown.ie/childrens-voices-listening/

Tom Dalton headshotTom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.

A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country.

Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture.

Collaborative Mural Project at Terrence McSwiney Community School, Cork

The Kabin Studio at Knocknaheeny is a much loved and utilized building. Tucked inside the grounds of Terrence McSwiney Community School, this little hut is home to GMC Beats, the creative initiative of Garry McCarthy. GMC Beats deliver workshops in creative songwriting, rapping, singing and music production. Working mostly with schools and youth groups, these workshops give people the confidence and skills in putting their own thoughts, words and voices into action through performing and recording their own songs. Over 600 tracks produced by various community groups have come out of this space over the last 5 years, often garnering local and national radio and media attention.

Although a hive of activity on the inside, the exterior of the building had begun to look a bit tired and was in dire need of some sprucing up. Norrie Louise Ross, Art Teacher at Terrence McSwiney Community School Art got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts Centre with the idea of working with her students to breathe new life into the building. The school was looking for a mural, created by the students and staff, that would reflect the energy and output coming from this small cabin.

Walking through the hallways of Terrence McSwiney Community School, its clear that staff and management there understand the value an engagement with art has on the life and learning of their students. Perched on an elevated site overlooking the city, light fills the building, illuminating walls filled with student work. A spirit of collaboration and partnership between the school community and various local artists and groups has produced much of these works.

The school was approaching the end of the academic year and Ms Ross was keen to introduce an element of teamwork and fun into the school’s activity in order to maintain student engagement at a time when attendance can wain. A group of seventeen 2nd year students were selected to be part of the project, many of whom Mayfield Arts Centre had gotten to know over the years through other projects. Mayfield Arts staff Wayne Ford and I were joined by Ms Ross, JCSP Librarian Anne Masterson, Garry McCarthy and SNA staff in carrying out the mural alongside the students.

Every Wednesday for three weeks our team of staff and students gathered at the cabin, donned our white painting jumpsuits and got to work. Given the short time frame for the project we devised a framework whereby the mural would be designed ‘on the go’ and carried out by our team from the moment we stepped onsite.

The first part of this plan involved geometric ‘drawing’ on the wall surfaces using masking tape. Each team member was handed a roll of masking tape and a single line of tape was ran diagonally across the cabin wall. From here the group used their rolls of tape to divide up the space into intersecting shapes of triangles, lozenges, diamonds and rectangles. Members spread out over three of the sides of the building, their design growing and changing as more tape was added.

Now and again we would all stand back and as a group, discuss how things were going; how was our design looking? Did it have balance? Did we need to add more lines? Or take some away?

Once a consensus was reached each person was handed gloves, a small tub of paint and a brush. We selected chalky greys, dusty whites and charcoal blacks to give it a graphic aesthetic, but this palette also acted as a neutral ground for other graffiti works to join the wall into the future.

The group moved around the building painting in the shapes made by the tape, swapping colours between themselves. Once all the spaces were filled and the paint had time to dry the tape was peeled back revealing the patterned surface. Over the course of the few days this processes was repeated, adding shapes over shapes, and carving the space up in different ways.

G-MC Mural 0517 (16)_edit

It was wonderful to see both students and staff at the school working shoulder to shoulder. Kitted out in our painting jumpsuits we were all equal members of the same team. The Kabin now stands out in all the right ways, and there is a renewed sense of ownership of the space among the students at the school.

To find out more about the work that goes on at The Kabin visit gmcbeats.com

Mayfield Arts Centre would like to thank Norrie Louise Ross, Anne Masterson, Principal Phil O’Flynn, Gary McCarthy and all the students for their support and commitment to the project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

Make Create Innovate

Date: 7 & 8 October 2017 at The Digital Depot, James St, Dublin 8

In collaboration with The Digital Hub, Make Create Innovate offer this hands-on, jargon-free two day workshop that will introduce you to physical computing using conductive materials, MaKey MaKey and Arduino with some basic sensors. Our artist-maker-educator approach is all about tinkering with art, electronic and everyday materials to learn through experimentation and discovery.

By the end of the weekend you will have a basic understanding of the principals involved in easy-to-make light and sound responsive systems and the materials required. You will work in groups to create an electronically triggered soundscape or an interactive environment/artwork.

This workshop is for creative practitioners and educators, who want to do something different with non-screen based technology; whether it’s programme a touch-activated sound effects on the theatre stage or design a cross-curricular STEAM project at school. It is especially suitable for anyone involved in engaged arts that support arts participation and/or invite audience interaction.

For more information click here

 

Leanne Troy is a primary school teacher based in the Midlands. She told us that she has a great passion for art both inside and outside the classroom. ShLeanne Headshote attended Learning through Creativity educational course at the Glucksman Art Gallery this summer

I am very enthusiastic about visual art and its impact on education. I challenge myself to try and be as creative as possible in all my approaches to teaching each subject area. Thematic teaching allows me to integrate subjects more freely and use more hands on visual methods. An example of this is the Craft Ed project I recently undertook through my local education centre (a fantastic scheme that unfortunately very few teachers know about). For this project I was paired with a local artist who came to my school to complete a six week project. The wood carving artist and I team taught my class in 2 hour blocks. The children from my 1st class were delighted to be handed chisels and pieces of wood! We based the project on a trip to Lough Boora Sculpture park in Co.Offaly, where the children learned all about the local wildlife and the history of the bog . Each child chose an animal to write a report on and also drew an accompanying image. This image was then transferred onto the wood and carved out. The results were amazing. We created our very own ‘Sky Train’ which is proudly on show at the front of our school.

My experiences with Craft Ed have even further heightened my interest in art education and so I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and ways to upskill and develop my artistic abilities. I try to attend as many local art workshops as I can in areas such as ceramics, mosaics as well as art education classes in the Glucksman Art Gallery in University College Cork. A particularly strong influence is the art classes I attend with Hazel Greene in Shinrone Co.Offaly, where we paint mostly landscapes using acrylics. We also complete silk paintings and palate knife paintings. I also gain a lot of experience and inspiration from the childrens’ summer camp I run each year.  I am the co-founder of an art and alternative sports camp, named Da Vinci’s Frisbees, with my partner Liam. Our camp is in its fourth successful summer and it is based in Offaly and Cork. The art activities focus on the process of art making and creativity.

So this week I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend my own summer camp, in the form of the Learning through Creativity educational course run by Tadhg Crowley at the Glucksman Art Gallery. The bright, airy spacious gallery is the perfect space to facilitate our week long voyage of discovery.  Even with the end of the summer holidays looming, I was very excited. Throughout the week we have looked at art and the possibilities for integration with other subject areas on the primary curriculum.  We have explored various examples of artists that could be used to facilitate the creative combination of Art with Maths, English, History, Science and SPHE. Each afternoon we were also lucky enough to work with different artists to put into practice the theory from the morning session.

Initially we started off our discussion on the impact of art on education. Just like when you read a good book, art education allows you to develop empathy, different points of view and it awakens your senses.  Tadhg introduced the concept of creativity to us as an essential part to education and a unique human factor which allows us to show case our individuality. Everybody is creative in some shape or form whether it’s through your sense of fashion or how you hang the clothes on the washing line! Creativity is even fast becoming one of the most desired characteristics for employers who are seeking to employ innovative problem solving employees. Children are the future so let us prepare them as best we can!

I particularly enjoyed the caricature depicted by Ann Bamford, the art educator, which really highlighted the importance of teachers developing creative teaching methodologies in order to differentiate for the children in their class. There is a line of zoo animals in front of a tree.  Maybe there was an elephant, a lion, a monkey, a seal and a zebra. The teacher tells the class, ‘Now climb the tree’.  We discussed how as educators, we sometimes ask all of our class to do the same thing, using the same method, when there are many different capabilities and skills present in every classroom. By making the effort to offer a variety of imaginative approaches we will have a much more beneficial impact on the education of our students. We were also told about the impressive project in Harvard Medical school, ‘Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis’. In this project a group of doctors were split into two groups. Group A received an art education course and group B didn’t.  Both groups were observed during their medical careers and it was found that group A had a much higher diagnosis rate with their patients. We discussed how art education can make you become more aware of your surroundings and awaken your senses and this was clearly evident for the doctors in group A who were demonstrating these skills.

I also thoroughly enjoyed working with Cork based artist, Cassandra Eustace, who outlined numerous invaluable creative activities linking art and language. These simple tasks included drawing simple still life objects using a blinder on the pencil. This took all of the stress out of drawing and some of the control. It really made you focus your attention and become aware of the lines and what you were looking at.  We also used a view finder and an acetate sheet to draw our hands. Both of these tasks took a lot of concentration but they were fun and you did not have to be ‘good’ at drawing. Everyone can find their artist!  Following this we then had to pick an object in the room and write a description about it without giving the name of the object away. For example, I chose a fire extinguisher and described it as a hard, cold, bright metal object with a beak that made me feel safe. These descriptions were then swapped with a partner. Based on the descriptive piece of writing that you received, you then had to create a collage of words and images, which made for some very interesting results! Another appealing activity was highlighting the use of drawing as a way of communicating and expressing ourselves. Using simple notebooks we had to respond to words that Cassandra said, firstly through non representative lines and then using symbols or images.  A series of words were used like, bored, angry, peaceful etc. All of the activities used very little materials and took very little organisation or tidying up, which will make them attractive to a lot of teachers. But also they provided a chance for children to express themselves in very creative ways.

Artists such as, Josef Albers, Sol Lewitt and Bridget Riley provided inspiration for our maths based art activities with artist, Dominic Fee. Dominic has an excellent website which links numerous artists to the world of maths and he outlined links to various strands in the curriculum, especially around the area of shapes, spatial awareness and tessellations. I enjoyed layering 2d shapes using textured wallpaper and ink. This was then passed through a printing press. For most schools, there is not the luxury of a printing press, so Dominic showed us how the taped down acetate sheet and paper can be covered in paper and a poly pocket and then a wooden/metal spoon can be rubbed vigorously on top to create the print.

We then examined the links between art and history. Tadhg outlined how art works can tell us about the clothes, politics, social situations and living conditions at different periods of time. As a cross curricular activity we had to arrange a number of paintings into a time line (which I found very challenging!)  Tadhg went on to highlight William Kentridge, Rita Duffy and Kerry James Marshall as artists who could be used to discuss themes such as conflict and human rights. This approach would be an imaginative visual way of tackling history in a classroom.

Later in the week with the guidance of artist Kevin Mooney, we studied some pictures of ancient artefacts and responded to the various images through painting. It was interesting to mix the various patterns seen in the images and collaborate African statues, the Book of Kells and New Grange into the one piece. One of my favourite activities that Kevin outlined was painting in response to a text. This simple idea could be used with any age group. We underlined the adjectives in a descriptive section about Cuchulainn and then depicted the words through painting and mark making.

As we were in the renowned architecturally designed gallery, it was only fitting that we also had a tour of the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea. I really feel that the pieces of art would mean little to me if I did not get the history and background of them and begin to fully appreciate the process that went in to making the piece of art. I was very impressed by the stories that went with each piece. This led to some interesting discussions for the group, for example, we discussed who decides what art is worthy of hanging in a gallery. I think that an established artist can justify his/her pieces through outlining the process of the production and the idea behind it’s creation which in most cases turns out to be fascinating, even if the end piece sometimes does not seem impressive. Without the tour and information I feel that I could have been staring mindlessly at the art wondering what I was supposed to be looking at! This experience made me become more aware of my surroundings, engaging all of my senses in the process of looking at the art. Perhaps most importantly as a teacher it further developed my sense of empathy for the art making process, as opposed to just the final piece of art. This outlook allows me to appreciate art, (and life more generally) from different viewpoints and perspectives, a skill which I feel would be hugely beneficial for the children in my classroom.

The gallery tour also made me question what is it that can be described as art, the possibilities are endless. I am starting to develop a broader concept of more non-traditional examples of art work. As a very interesting activity we had to choose a piece of art from the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea, and develop a set of questions that could be used with children. This process of really looking at the art, identifying how it was made, the materials used, the colours, shapes and lines present in the piece as well as the whole thought process behind the piece, made me become much more aware of what I was looking at. My list of questions for my class became longer as I thought about what the children might see and how I could broaden their perspectives when studying a piece of art. For example, what is your first impression when you look at this art, how does it make you feel, what is the mood/tone, does it remind you of anything, what is the focal point, what title would you give this piece etc.

Tadhg went on to discuss the benefits of using a 3d object like a sculpture or an artefact to initiate a lesson. An object would make for an interesting starting point for engaging the children in a lesson. A visual stimulus like this could be multi-sensory and accommodate various learning needs in the class. It would also help to develop visual literacy in children as well as their capacity for careful critical observation of their world. I think that I would have to practice this approach myself to build up my confidence before introducing it to my classroom. However, I can see how it would create a buzz of excitement in the classroom to place some strange sculpture on the table and start the journey of exploration through the senses.

A highlight of the course was working with Killian, when we were integrating Art with Science. We developed photograms! In the dark room, I arranged my jewellery on a special sheet of light treated paper and placed a lamp directly above it for about five seconds. The piece of paper was then put in a tray of water with the chemical developer until the image appeared. The paper was then lifted into the water mixed with the chemical fixer for thirty seconds, before being rinsed off. I was both shocked and amazed at how simple the process was to create such a cool piece of art. I was so delighted to realise how cheap and easy it would be to set up a dark room in a school store room.  My third class are in for a treat this year! Bring on September, I can’t wait to try out some of my new ideas!

Tom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participTom Dalton headshotants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities. A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture

‘Parting Memories’: St. Patrick’s Girls National School Mural

Making the move from Primary to Secondary School can be a big deal. In 6th class you’re the big fish in the pond – you know the school like the back of your hand, younger kids look up to you and you have mastery of your environment.  When I meet the 6th Class year group of at St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiners Hill, the countdown to the end of the school year is underway. There is a buzz in the air – mostly of excitement, but with a little trepidation stirred in also. As eager the girls are to be approaching summer holidays there is an understanding that this is the last few weeks of their time within the walls of the school. The girls will surely miss this place – the colourful hallways, the sounds of the playground, the generosity of their teachers, the friendships they’ve formed. While many of the girls will continue on with their education just a short hop across the yard at St Patrick’s College, others are enrolled in other schools across the city – It’s the last few weeks they will all be together as a group.

Principal of St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Mrs Eileen Kelly, got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts to help devise an art project that would engage the 6th class girls creatively in this time of transition in their lives. There is a strong ethos of the holistic development of all children in St. Patrick’s Girls National School; ‘Our school is a happy, active, safe environment where we include, encourage and respect each other.’

Mrs Kelly wished to involve her students in something that would pay tribute to those ‘pupils and staff who have passed through our school, each making a difference.’ Mrs Kelly led me to a light filled corridor in the school and proposed it as the site of our project.

‘Parting Memories’ is a three dimensional wall mural composed of hundreds of origami butterflies individually created by the girls. A key motivation in designing the project was to provide an opportunity for reflection on time spent in the school; to recall, recount and visualize shared memories. It was hoped that this process of shared reflection on time spent together could make this time of change smoother for the girls; the process of remembering acting like a talisman for the crossing into the next phase of their lives.

Arts workers Wayne Ford and I, with support from Cuig artists Ailbhe Barrett and Bríd Heffernan made four trips to the school over the month of May, conducting workshops with Ms Dunne and Ms Conran’s classes of twenty five students.  Each student was asked to design and make two little paper butterflies. Each butterfly contains a memory between its folds – this could be a story, a memory or a wish for the future.

Origami can take a bit of time to get the hang of. Some of the girls mastered the butterfly shapes quickly, while others took more time. Once one or two had gotten the hang of things it was lovely to see the girls offer help to others in the group. The learning of this new skill spread and soon the tables and floor were scattered with little paper butterflies.

Once the technique was learned, each person was handed two squares of thick paper – one lined in either blue or red, reminiscent of copy book paper, the other blank. Instructions were simple; on the lined paper the girls were asked to recount a story or memory from school. Students were encouraged to ‘write outside the lines’, incorporating the lines of the page into their designs. Some stories spiralled through the lines, others fanned out in multiple directions. Once folded into shape the lines of the paper form geometric patterns, with the stories and memories tucked up inside.

On the second sheet the girls had free reign in visualising a memory from the past six years. Some of the work represented their involvement in school activities such as sport, drama and science, others depicted the forming of friendships, the natural surrounding the school or patterned abstraction. Once completed each butterfly was coated in a hardening medium and affixed to the wall. The installation resembles butterflies taking flight, symbolising the girl’s departure from the school – flocking together, yet moving on their own path through life.

The mural was kindly opened by Micheál Martin TD during a visit to the school in June. He told the girls that the mural reminded him that art is for everybody and is a reminder that it is the individuality of each of the girls that makes the school so special.

The real magic in this project for me is in witnessing what emerges when people are provided with time and space for reflection and exploration. There was a hum of conversation throughout the workshops as the girls drew out stories from one another. The success of the mural lies in the collective; the coming together of individual parts to make a whole. Mrs Kelly tells me that ‘every time I look at the mural a new butterfly stands out’. I think that’s lovely.

This project was generously funded by St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiner’s Hill.

Mayfield Arts would like to thank principal Mrs Kelly, and teachers Ms Conran and Ms Dunne for their support during this project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie or stpatricksgirls.net

Claire is a visual artist, curator and arts educator based in Dublin. Over the last twenty years Claire has worked with a range of grouOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAps across many age groups from Primary School children through to Second and Third level students, teachers, community groups, intellectual disability groups and older people. These projects have taken place in a range of settings and contexts including museum gallery based, classroom, library, healthcare, local authority and community settings and over a range of timescales. Claire is represented by Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin and is currently curating Concerning the Other – an artist collaborative project with the gallery in September 2017.

Visual Thinking Strategies with DCC Neighbourhood Schools – St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview

In my last blog post I outlined the DCC Neighbourhood Schools Visual Thinking Strategies project with which I am co-ordinator and VTS Facilitator. The aim and structure of the VTS: Neighbourhood Schools project is to continue to use Visual Thinking Strategies to add to the knowledge of the arts and build on the sense of place and experience that the children in Central Model N.S have and to share that experience with their neighbours through working in close collaboration with two schools (St. Mary’s N.S, Fairview and St. Vincent’s B.N.S, Ballybough) with trained VTS practitioners in each of the schools.

As mentioned previously I completed the VTS Beginners Practicum Training in September 2016 and was very enthusiastic about trying out VTS facilitation with a class group over a number of sessions. With the support of DCC Arts Office I approached St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview. The aim of a series of sessions was for me to practice VTS in its pure form in St Mary’s N.S., Fairview – a school where I have been working as artist in residence for 5 years practicing art making with the children. The purpose of this was to model the VTS method for the class teacher and to evaluate how VTS works for me as practicing artist in education, the children, and the classroom teacher, in order to inform the school Principal and DCC Arts Office.

Eibhlín McGarry, Principal and Evita Coyle, 4th Class teacher were hugely supportive and enthusiastic about the project and from the outset we agreed that at least half of the sessions would be exhibition visits to The LAB, Hugh Lane Gallery and exhibitions of contemporary art.

In a lot of ways this project differs to how the VTS Programme’s are run in the US. And as the project is developing we are encountering these differences and complexities. A VTS Programme in the US with a beginners group would usually comprise six sessions with a class group over 6 months – ie. once a month. The VTS facilitator would work from the “curriculum” of carefully selected images that have been “tested” for VTS facilitation with groups in the classroom and would include just one museum or gallery visit.

With St.Mary’s N.S and the VTS Neighbourhood Schools Project, the emphasis is on exhibition visits and encountering the best of contemporary art by Irish artists and using VTS to look at this work. From the initial sessions where it felt more like a guessing game of “Did we get it right?” with observation and notation of imagery, subject in the artwork and little reading of the work beyond that to sessions now with engaged discussions around content, materials, scale and artists intent. From my initial introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies it was explained that people like to tell stories, people like to tell you what they know, their experiences. With a 4th Class group you might think that they would have limited experience and reference points. But bearing in mind this is a 4th Class group from Dublin 3, mainly living in Eastwall, Summerhill, Ballybough and the inner city with a demographic of 24 nationalities in the school – the social and cultural diversity and extent of their references and experience is far reaching.

As a practicing visual artist it has been hugely enlightening and enriching to experience exhibitions with a group through facilitating these VTS sessions. It has made me reflect on my own artworks in a different light and how I view artworks and exhibitions. I am intrigued by the observations, theorising and discussions that happen in the sessions. Also seeing the development within the classgroup – their oral language, articulation, observations as well as confidence. This has quite naturally spilled over into other subjects in the classroom. Evita (class teacher) has observed that the class are now very naturally using “I agree with” and “I think that because”. More importantly they are recognising acknowledging there can be more than one meaning, and multiple perspectives on a subject.

The wider impact of the VTS Project with this class group is a work in progress. The project is twofold – it is a Visual Thinking Strategies Project but also a project where the class are visiting, experiencing and familiarising themselves with the best of contemporary Irish art in contemporary galleries. They encounter artworks with an engagement and enquiry that is refreshing and inspiring. The exhibitions and works that we are viewing and experiencing are challenging and complex – the girls are undaunted by this and comfortable and confident in discussing works and visiting galleries and meeting artists and discussing their work as recently with Aideen Barry at The LAB.

We are looking forward to meeting with the other class groups, teachers and VTS Practitioners from St. Vincent’s BNS and Central Model Senior School to share and exchange experiences in the next stage of the project commencing in September 2017.

Links:

Dublin City Arts Office

DCC Project 2020

St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview

Claire Halpin

 

Milica Headshot

Milica (Mili) Atanackovic is a Practice and Training Manager with Early Childhood Ireland. Her background in the early years is rooted within a passionate interest in Creative Arts. Mili originally studied Design Communication before moving into Early Childhood Care and Education in Australia.  Considering training and mentoring as a key element of quality in the early years, Mili has worked as an Educator, Service Manager and Trainer, she also combines experience from a range of creative disciplines to her work.

Creativity through materials, space and time 

‘There is no substitute for exploration, unconstrained by rules or expectations when it comes to generating creative solutions to our problems.’ Alison Gopnik

More and more research hints at simple, open-ended objects as ones that are most likely to be used continuously, over and over to stimulate the imagination of children regardless of their age. These are objects such as cups, tubes, fabric, natural elements including bark, sticks, stones, feathers. These are materials that can be used in multiple ways, and are activated and defined by the child’s exploration. Three settings – Creative Kids Walkinstown, Corduff Childcare and YMCA Childcare Kidsworld Creche – were selected to participate in a sensory project with ReCreate* and Early Childhood Ireland, and use open-ended materials within their existing environments. The project was based on the strategic approach of ReCreate and Early Childhood Ireland to support the arts in early childhood education, and focused on the marriage of the arts and pedagogy – the arts as a language of inquiry, a way of communicating, exploring and thinking (Aistear 2009) in early childhood.

The sensory project took reusable open-ended materials from ReCreate to engage children’s senses through play. The artist Deirdre Rogers from ReCreate set up each room with objects intended to spark curiosity, imagination and exploration. The focus was the process of exploration – allowing children to be with the materials, to create without seeking a result. It positioned the environment as the ‘third teacher’ – an ECE environment can bring hope and inspiration to the child and educator, or it can be lack lustre and leave them frustrated. Seeing the environment as a teacher reminds us that our spaces should provoke learning and stretch the mind.

Children need to be given the opportunity to realise their potential as thinkers and creators. Open-ended materials and unstructured play encourage them to devise their own challenges, problem-solve and be immersed in their thoughts. Children in the throngs of self-directed creative play are too often interrupted. Creativity is nurtured when adults master the skill of quiet observation, answering questions from children when requested to. In the sensory project, educators were positioned as observers and co-explorers, not instructors, to support each child’s creative spirit.

One goal was for children to use the materials to develop their own problem-solving abilities through trial and error. Through observation, the educators made additional sensory provocations available and incorporated these into the spaces as extensions of the children’s exploratory processes. Photography was used to document the processes children engaged in. Photographs help boost children’s memories by  revisiting their experiences and reminding them of the process. During the project, the children were confident, resembling scientists in the depths of problem solving and questioning. As Alison Gopnik has discovered, children are like ‘scientists testing theories’, expressing their intelligence through connections with the every day, with people and objects. Explicit teaching can interfere with what comes innately to young children.

By giving the children more time to exhibit their independence and engage with each provocation, and have a say in what was going on around them, they started to develop the sense that their own ideas and opinions matter. The children moved bubble wrap through the space, popping it using their hands and feet, the technique of jumping was applied and the couch was used as a prop to bring more height to the experience. They explored, for example, light and shadow using projectors, tasted the bitterness of lemons, constructed and deconstructed a wide variety of objects. The camaraderie oozed from each small group as experiences strengthened their play communities. Masterful negotiations were witnessed as the children’s play was extended.

We sometimes unintentionally limit children’s ideas and creativity by assuming they are aiming for a specific outcome or result. Our role is to offer encouragement, rather than instructions. The child’s sense of agency was encouraged by welcoming and responding thoughtfully and respectfully to their questions and ideas. One of the best aspects of inquiry-based approaches is that they often lead to unexpected surprises and extended ongoing investigations. One goal of the project was to support educators in using open-ended materials in their environments, to develop sensory spaces that extend beyond one-off activities. However, the overarching goal was to ensure each child is given the space to engage uninterrupted and unquestioned, tuned in to each precious moment in time.

*ReCreate: recreate.ie/Recreate is a thriving social enterprise making art materials and educational supplies affordable and accessible to every sector of the community.

‘Virtually There’ Project – Opportunity for Action Researcher

Kids’ Own is pleased to invite applications from suitably qualified individuals for the role of ‘Virtually There’ Action Researcher.

Kids’ Own seeks an Action Researcher to join the ‘Virtually There’ project, which takes place in Northern Ireland. This is a long-term piece of work, running until 2020. This phase of this project is funded through a ‘More and Better’ Grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts-based Learning Fund.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Weds 23rd August at 5pm. Shortlisted applicants for the post of Action Researcher will be invited to interview on 31st August or 1st September 2017, with a view to starting work in September. The successful applicant will be required to attend a two-day creative planning meeting in Belfast on 28th and 29th September 2017.

More information and a full brief for the role can be found here

 

Jean TormeyJean Tormey is Curator of the Early Years and Families programme of resources, events and projects at Tate Modern and Tate Britain for under 5s, 8-14s and intergenerational audiences. She has worked on Families’ programming in galleries since 2008. Her practice involves working with artists, audiences and colleagues at Tate to develop content and activity through which diverse children and families can be considered as equal and valued visitors to Tate. Jean has worked in gallery learning since 2005 as an intern in New York and as a learning curator in different galleries in Liverpool, Kilkenny and London.

Blog Post 2:

This post looks at some of the key parallels between the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the ‘non-negotiables’ or values of Tate Learning’s Early Years and Families’ programme. It’s worth noting just how different the conditions of each context are before launching into this. While the early years’ schools of Reggio Emilia are formal educational settings, Tate offers an informal, flexible learning setting not restricted by the demands of curricula, but inextricably linked to the Tate collection (sometimes exhibitions) and the buildings artwork is housed within. In Reggio Emilia, the pedagogistas, atelieristas and others who run the schools have an opportunity to get to know children and families well, meeting them daily and going on a journey of at least an academic year with them. At Tate, the Early Years and Families’ team are usually dealing with a transient, fleeting audience who drop in to the programme occasionally – sometimes by accident. Despite this, there are many correlations that can be made between our approaches to learning.

Agency

In the Early Years and Families’ team, we are passionate about treating children as equal gallery visitors and as an audience of the here and now rather than a developmental audience of the future. Similar to Reggio, this is about treating every child as an individual and programming in a way that recognises their unique interests, abilities and motivations.

One of our key values as a team is agency. We aim to design a programme that invites families of all ages from many different backgrounds with a range of experiences and knowledge to participate and find their own personal route through the gallery via our programme. Our resources and events should be an opportunity for families to co-construct meaning together (which also relates to the Reggio approach). In order for this to be successful, activities need to speak to and attract both adults and children in a very open-ended way.

Art and artists

The status of artists on our programme and the way we work with them can be compared to the Reggio approach. When we engage artists in the work we do, it’s about agreeing on where we would like to get to in terms of audience engagement, without knowing exactly how we’re going to get there.[1] This makes it an exciting but often complex relationship that needs to be continually managed and reflected upon.

Like in Reggio, we view artists as experts in their own practice and as having a very particular view of the world which can be very different to ours, but we do not expect them to be experts in working with children or the Tate collection – which is where our expertise comes in. At the heart of this is a discussion about their studio practice and how the materials and processes might relate to engagement with the Tate collection and our audience.

Curiosity

When working with an artist, our approach to the framing of an activity and to the use of materials we employ can be compared to the Reggio approach too. We believe in using high quality materials that relate to artists’ studio practice, ones that cannot be found in conventional educational settings. We aim to present these materials in a way that engages children and families’ curiosity (another of our non-negotiable) and imagination through introducing materials and processes in layers that unfold, rather than introducing everything all at once. This relates to the Reggio Emilia belief in ‘environment as educator’, and we would include the setting and location of our activity in this – the galleries and architectural spaces of Tate.

A social space

By its very nature the gallery environment is a public, social space. It is a space where families have the potential to view each other in a very different light, where they can encounter (and sometimes collide with!) other visitors, and where they can communicate about ideas and issues they may not have explored before. I think this aspect of our work relates to the importance Reggio places in children forming relationships with other people in order to learn. We are keen to make our programme as visible as possible in the gallery so that families and our programme can be seen and heard rather than tucked away in a studio space.

In my next blog post I’ll consider some specific examples of programming for early years audiences at Tate.

[1]   I always find a quote by artist Jeremy Deller useful when thinking about this – “A good collaboration is like going on a long journey without a map, never knowing quite where you will end up.”

http://www.tate.org.uk/about/our-work/learning-at-tate

Carmel Brennan is Head of Training and Practice with Early Childhood Ireland, with responsibility for the organisation’s work in developinDr. Carmel Brennan headshotg curriculum, improving practice and supporting services to work with the national frameworks. Their aim is to push the boundaries of our thinking and practice as we engage with the image of the competent, playful child. Carmel has also worked as an early childhood educator, mentor and researcher. Her research interests are in the areas of curriculum and particularly children’s play – the subject of her PhD thesis. More recently, she focusses on children’s co-construction of stories through play and the relationship between play and the arts in children’s lives. She edited the IPPA publication ‘Power of Play’ and has contributed chapters to ‘Early Childhood Education and Care’ (Mhic Mhathúna and Taylor (Eds), 2012), to the Pen Green publication ‘Using Evidence for Advocacy and Resistance in Early Years Services’ (McKinnon (Ed), 2014) and to two Kids Own reports on arts projects with young children, ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Being and  Belonging’. She is also author of the essay ‘Artistic Enquiry in Early childhood Education’ on this portal.

‘It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self’

‘The strange human urge to shape and share fantasies of action and experience is with us from birth. It is innate, not acquired, but must grow in company’ (Trevarthen, 2001a, 2005, 2009a, 2011a).

The art of play is the art of living life to the full.

I’m a huge fan of Colwyn Trevarthen’s work.  I think he constantly brings us into the real world of the human drives and dynamics and reminds us just how amazing we humans are. I’ve grouped the above photo and quote together because the photo, for me, speaks to the art of sharing fantasies of action and experience. This huge tractor tyre is now the edge of a ravine and the children dare to plunge into its fearsome waters – sharing fantasies of action and experience. Their story draws on other stories, on experiences and possibilities. I’m reminded of what Alison Gopnik describes as the most uniquely human characteristic, the ability to imagine.  I’m thinking about Bruner’s contention that we imagine ourselves into being – that children are in the process of encountering and creating possible selves through the stories they create – possible mothers and fathers, possible big sisters, possible builders, astronauts, teachers, shopkeepers, doctors, dinosaurs and, here, ravine divers. And Carl Jung’s premise that the creation of something new is not achieved by the intellect but by the imagination.  And Winnicott’s (1971:54) who says that

‘It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self’.  

Is it any wonder that play has survived evolution across all species?  Is it any wonder that humans have brought it to such a fine art? There you go – the words play and art in one sentence!  I’m interested in the relationship between play and art.

There is a recognition of this relationship in recent research in Ireland. The ESRI/Arts Council report (2016) ‘Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People: Insights from the Growing Up in Ireland Study’ recognises ‘the mosaic of ways in which children and young people express themselves and interact with the world of culture’ and so their definition of art includes young children’s engagement in creative play and make believe games. There are some interesting findings.  Just as with literacy and numeracy and all forms of development, they find that make-believe play is a precursor to the development of an artistic and creative imagination. I welcome this recognition for play. I don’t like the term precursor – it belongs to that school of giving priority to adult forms of maturity. We need to remind ourselves that children do some things better than adults, among them is play and the easy shift into the imaginary and creative world. Creativity is at its peak in early childhood – not a precursor to better things. Creativity is at its peak because children need to learn so much in such a short time and the innate creative drive makes it possible.

Another interesting finding is that, according to their parents, five year olds engage in pretend play while 3 year olds don’t. How could that be?  I have no doubt that all these parents play pretend games with their children from the moment they are born.  They pretend to be surprised, shocked, overjoyed, lost, found, toe eaters, belly guzzlers.  They look for their children’s lost heads and hands as they pull on a vest or encourage them to wriggle through sleeves.  They drive buggies with engine sounds. They pretend to be dogs and cats and any animal that makes a sound. They play hide and go seek.  They feed teddy and put him to bed.  They do all these things to help children to manage, and to engage, entertain and humour them because nature tells us that the dramatic, emotional, fun filled world of play is the way to bring children into the dynamics of human communication, into the rituals and routines of life, into cooperation and competence.  These are all art-full interactions, full of drama, emotion, movement, big gestures and, of course, creative meaning making.  That’s why people like Stern and Trevarthen call it a dance. It is an art form.

Of course, children do not engage in play to create art. The primary purpose of play, according to Sutton Smith (1997), is simply to enjoy and become better at playing. The baby’s exploratory body movements, exercising vocal cords, moving backwards and forwards, rolling and swinging are all done for their own sake, for the excitement and pleasure of movement itself. And the wonderful trick of nature is that the leap from a rock not only pleases but develops the body and, at the same time, teaches about gravity and, most importantly, exercises the brain so that it stays sharp, flexible and innovative.  Body and brain are being sculpted in play.

Drawing on another art form, children add story to their play.  Adding narrative brings children together and generates companionship, adds excitement, and sustains the play. Play narratives require certain creative skills – ideas, improvisation, role enacting, imagination, plot development, dialogue in keeping with the persona – all very demanding skills.  Players need to present as authentic, convincing, trustworthy as well as innovative and challenging. Being an active participant in play stories is important if your voice is to be included in the view of the world being constructed.  Children, as Stainton Rogers (1995) says, are creating the ‘narratives through which we render ourselves and our worlds intelligible’ – a shared frame for seeing the world. I’m a collector of those narratives and I wallow in them because they speak to me of children’s empathy and kindness, of their fears and consolations, of their experiences of the adult world and its rules, rituals and power struggles.  Gussin Paley tells us that play is like theatre with universal themes such as someone is lost and finds a friend, is unloved and finds love, confronts life and death, is weak and then strong. Think of these themes as you read this play story:

 A group of 5/6 children come running up to me screaming and laughing. I kneel and ask what’s happened. They talk about the Dragon living behind the shed. We go to have a look and once again they all run away screaming. Rob’s suggestion that they get swords and shields to fight the dragon meets with agreement so off they go in search of useful material. They come back with brushes, spades, buckets and bin lids to fight the dragon. Eventually they decide that the dragon is too powerful and they must find another way to fight him. 

Katie then puts her sword down and goes behind the shed, much to the shock and resistance of the others. She returns moments later explaining that “it was a mammy dragon” who was protecting her “baby dragons”. Everything changes. The children decide to keep the dragon as a pet. They name her “Arnold the Dragon”, and have great fun taking turns to fly around with her. Once inside, the children draw pictures of Arnold and even go to the gate at home time to say goodbye to her.  

It seems to me that these children are also working on a very important moral – and that is, that perspective changes everything.  Perspective can change an invincible dragon into a pet to be cared for. And Katie demonstrates that changing perspective takes leadership and courage – and caring is comforting for everyone.  The children have co-constructed an experience, generated strong feelings and developed a story – each element in itself is an artistic experience.

So, is play art?  Does it involve a desire for meaning, curiosity, wonder, feeling, thinking, imagining, relating, expressing?  Does it involve active participation in creating something new? Is it about finding joy? These, according to people such as Ann Pelo, Vea Vecchi and Deb Curtis, are the key indicators of an art experience – and children’s make-believe play ticks every box.   Don’t be fooled by the lure of teaching young children lessons that they can repeat and show off to adults. We can train children to do routine things –say hello, please and thank you, eat with a spoon, dress themselves, recite the ABC, sound out words, count to ten, learn multiple times tables etc. but.. for children to be alert, responsive and intelligent thinkers they must engage in the art of free play. Nothing is as important as the experience of play for the sake of play – for the fun of it – for the very fact that through play we learn the skills needed for play and we get better at them – such skills as the serve and return of interaction, the mind reading, the intersubjectivity, formulating ideas, running with the ideas of others, being fun to be with, being a cooperative, giving team player, generating energy and enthusiasm, problem solving on the hoof. The most important thing that children learn through play is how to play well -they are the traits that make for a healthy and successful life across the social, economic and health spectrums.  Like all the important things in life, they generally only get assessed when they’re missing!  Play is improvisation, drama, design, creative use of materials, symbolism, dance, story-creating and telling, characterisation, fantasy, imagination and real life enquiry. The art of play is the art of living life to the full.

art of play web

Call out to Schools and Artists.

The Arts and Culture Committee of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is once again launching its annual arts-in-education scheme. The Creative Engagement programme 2017-18 begins in October 2017.  Funding has been secured for the 2017-18 school year from both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council. At the core of the Creative Engagement scheme is the collaboration between student, teacher and artist as set out in Artist-Schools (Arts Council 2006). It’s about tapping into the imagination of the young person while giving both an incentive and a framework for the work to thrive.

Application Forms and further information can be downloaded from www.creativeengagement.ie

What is our aim:

The selection criteria:

Financial considerations.

Partnerships:

NAPD has established working partnerships with The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Poetry Ireland, The Heritage Council, Poetry Ireland, The National Museum, The National Gallery, IMMA, Amnesty International, Local authority Arts Officers and Cavan Monaghan ETB local arts in education Partnership.

Deadline October 24th 2017

Dr. Carmel Brennan headshot

Carmel Brennan is Head of Training and Practice with Early Childhood Ireland, with responsibility for the organisation’s work in developing curriculum, improving practice and supporting services to work with the national frameworks. Their aim is to push the boundaries of our thinking and practice as we engage with the image of the competent, playful child. Carmel has also worked as an early childhood educator, mentor and researcher. Her research interests are in the areas of curriculum and particularly children’s play – the subject of her PhD thesis. More recently, she focusses on children’s co-construction of stories through play and the relationship between play and the arts in children’s lives. She edited the IPPA publication ‘Power of Play’ and has contributed chapters to ‘Early Childhood Education and Care’ (Mhic Mhathúna and Taylor (Eds), 2012), to the Pen Green publication ‘Using Evidence for Advocacy and Resistance in Early Years Services’ (McKinnon (Ed), 2014) and to two Kids Own reports on arts projects with young children, ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Being and  Belonging’. She is also author of the essay ‘Artistic Enquiry in Early childhood Education’ on this portal.

The Squashed Apple 2

Living Art with Young Children

‘Accepting – or at least acknowledging all the children offer is a real key into the endless realms of imagination that are only waiting for our bravery’. Martin Brunsden, Musician

We have long known that young children are intent observers of the workings of the world and compulsive meaning makers about everything they see around them but, somehow, we are only beginning to understand their capacity to teach us about life.

The painting tells a story of first encounter. It represents the squashed and decayed apple that he saw on his way to preschool with his mother, according to the artist. It speaks to me of wonder, of beauty, and of sadness – all of which gives food for thought, for some questions. Did the painter set out to paint what he saw? Or was it something that emerged in the encounter with the art materials that subsequently surfaced the story? Maybe his painting started life as another idea or just a series of brush movements and like so many children’s paintings, layered with paint, turns into a brown circle. Maybe the circle evokes a memory of something experienced, something observed. The question is where is the art in this whole experience? Is the art in the representation or in the first encounter with the decayed apple? Is the art in his wondering, in the conversation, in the enquiry with his mother, in that moment of connection, of sharing? We can easily imagine a lovely moment when his mother looks to his wondering – and explains, as you do, something of the cycle of life – apples fall and decay.  We can imagine the questioning and the dawning understanding in the child’s eyes – something significant has landed in his consciousness and leaves an impression that lingers there – so much so that he feels the need to express it with paint. He paints the story. Is the art in what is etched in his memory? Imagine an educator who stops to listen, feels the connection, experiences the beauty and joins in the wondering. Is this an aesthetic experience? The point is that depending on our capacity to see, or the lens we use, we can see art in almost everything children do – because children’s exploits have the key ingredients of enquiry, wonder, awe and emotional connection. The product is just a small part of the art process.

Young children, by the very nature of coming to know the world, live the creative life. They are meeting the world for the first time and creating new perspectives. They bring something new to the world.  Alison Gopnik calls early childhood ‘the research department’ of life, when children, untethered by information and obligations to get it right, are free to wonder and engage with multiple possibilities – not defined by end results. Working with the early years requires us to let go of prescribed expectations and traditional norms, milestones and measurements.  Instead we think of the encounters that allow the new personhood of each child to emerge and register itself in the community. As Educators, we are called on to exercise our sense of wonder, imagination and playfulness. It requires us to be present to – to listen with our eyes and ears and hearts to children’s explorations and discoveries – and with them to see the world anew. The learning is in the listening, the being with, the co-experiencing, the conversation, in the

‘the feeling of being present with one another’ (Trevarthen, 2001:20).

Vecchi’s (2010:5) says that art is  ‘an attitude of care and attention for the things we do, a desire for meaning; it is curiosity and wonder; it is the opposite of indifference and carelessness, of conformity, of absence of participation and feeling…..’.

In the end, that is why what children do is art – they bring a new perspective to the world – a new way of seeing things.

This all came home forcefully to me on a day that I spent with the artist, Maree Hensey and musician, Martin Brunsden on the Lullaby project, an art project with babies, a few years ago. It was all so simple. The scene was set by stacking all the plastic toys in a corner and creating a space in the middle of the room where beautiful materials were introduced, sand, ribbons, boxes, feathers, musical instruments. The children were invited to play with them.  Something descended on that space – an atmosphere that held the experience of a lullaby,

a stillness… this lull…this lullaby essence..…we have achieved it several times and sometimes with such force that the room becomes tender and emotional and yet still safe and supportive’ (Martin Brunsden)

Everything slowed down. We watched with keen interest – so interested in how these babies thought and felt and responded. Nothing was more important than the present moment – the looking, touching, feeling, tasting, wondering, questioning, pulling, pushing, listening, smiling, mouth opened, eyes agog, hands and legs vibrating, and the sounds of wonder, gurgling, hands clapping – just what happens in each moment.

As Educators, we commonly use the term ‘art’ to refer to static objects such as paintings, sculptures and songs but Vea Vecchi (2010) tells us that art can simply be a way of being in the world. Art is in the experience of encounter, the movement of the body, the narratives we create, the beauty we perceive, the eye of the beholder. In the early childhood sector, we think of art as a process to be lived – a process that includes to explore, sense, action, think, feel, express, communicate, create. It’s in the moment.

Were there moments in your experience today?

going through ribbon harp 2 copy

 

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

The Arts Council is establishing a project team to lead Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools – a partnership initiative with the Department of Education and Skills. This initiative is being developed in the context of the Creative Ireland programme 2017–2022 and with the support of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is an ambitious national initiative, which sets out to understand, develop and celebrate the arts in Irish schools, and to foster children and young people’s creativity and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education in Ireland.

The project team will be based in the Arts Council, 70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

The Project Lead will be procured by an EU public tender process and will be responsible for the development and implementation of the first phase of this important national initiative, and future phases, subject to agreement.

In addition, up to two Advisers will be recruited on a secondment basis from the Department of Education and Skills on an initial one year basis. These secondees will be qualified and registered teachers. A Primary and Early Childhood Education Adviser and a Post-Primary Education Adviser will work alongside the Project Lead and will contribute to the design and development of the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative as it relates to primary and early childhood education; and to post-primary education respectively.

Further information

For more information on the Project Lead tender and required services, please visit the Arts Council’s tenders page.

For more information on the roles of Primary and Early Childhood Education Adviser and Post-Primary Education Adviser please visit the Arts Council’s jobs page.

(Note: Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a working title. This initiative was formerly known as ARIS/Arts Rich Schools.)

Are you a teacher in Primary or Post-Primary education?

Are you doing a summer course this July or August?

Then we are looking for you! We would love to hear from teachers who are taking part in a Summer Course and would like to document their learning throughout the week, as part of our Guest Blogger series.

If you are interested in being a guest blogger for the Arts in Education Portal then contact us at editor@artsineducation.ie for more information.

 

The Creativity and Change programme targets educators, change-makers, activists, artists, community workers, adult educators, youth workers, volunteers and anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes.

This is a Level 9 CIT Special Purpose Award offered over 8 weekends of the academic year, September – May.

This course is for you if you can say ‘Yes!’ to these questions.

Find out more about the Accredited award, hear the stories of previous participants and how to connect to CIT online application here

Find out more about the Creativity & Change programme and what else it has to offer with master classes, Creative fairs and training for youth workers here

Room 13 Inquiry is a dynamic investigation into the potential of shared art studio spaces in school settings. It has evolved in two primary schools in Fingal since its inception in 2014 and includes the provision of a dedicated art studio space, an artist in residence and a series of exhibition and artists’ studio visits for the students.

We engaged filmmaker Kilian Waters to capture the activities of the students and artists over the course of six weeks this academic year and commissioned a website  to share some of the intelligent and honest conversations held by the students over the past three years. The website www.room13inquiry.ie  will go live on Tuesday 20th of June at 12noon.

Room 13 Inquiry is an initiative of Fingal County Council Arts Office in partnership with Tyrrelstown Educate Together N.S, Scoil Bhride Cailini N.S., artists Orla Kelly and Anne Cradden, with support from Draíocht and the Arts Council of Ireland

“The arts transformed my love of learning and are the reason I’m standing before you today” Prof. Anne Bamford

On May 6th the second arts in education portal national took place at St Patrick’s Campus, DCU. The portal national day is building momentum as a very significant event in the arts and education calendar in Ireland. Just under 200 people registered to attend the event with 17 workshops and lectures, an inspiring keynote from Prof Anne Bamford and a policy update from the Arts Council and Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys. We are already excited about next years event. Have a look here to see the video from the day. Thanks to all involved in making day a huge success!

 

Teacher/Artist Partnerships: supporting and enhancing Arts Education in Primary Schools

This is a unique summer course offering teachers the opportunity to explore the nature and educational value of partnerships between teachers and artists in supporting arts education in schools.

This course, which has the potential to improve literacy, numeracy and well-being in all schools including DEIS, will be offered across the Education Centre Network in 2017. It is supported by the Department of Education & Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs. Many schools across the country are engaged in projects with artists, in a variety of art forms, ranging from one-off artist visits to longer term projects. If you are currently engaged in such a project, or are planning one for the coming year, then this course will be of interest to you. This course looks at the ways in which working with an artist in school can be enhanced in order to provide meaningful experiences for children and a lasting impact on school practice. Particular emphasis will be on the role of the teacher and artist, their unique contributions to projects and the significant benefits that can accrue from a dynamic teacher/artist relationship in the planning and implementation of projects. Placing the teacher/artist project within the overall Arts Curriculum in schools and exploration of related practical issues will be central to the course.

The course draws on research in the field and looks at practical teacher/artist projects and partnerships that have been undertaken in schools recently. Various art forms will be explored and participants will have opportunities to explore their own creativity throughout the week. Course tutors are teachers and artists who have been involved in such projects and participants on the course will include both teachers and local artists. Artists participating in the summer course are nominated through their local authority arts offices.

Are you looking to improve your understanding of arts education, to improve Arts Curriculum integration in your classroom, to work with a partner in the field of ‘The Arts’, to engage with a professional artist as a way of improving your own arts teaching skills? Would you welcome the input and insight of a practising artist while teaching the children in your care?

Schools Principals might consider this course in the context of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022, featuring “Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child” in Pillar 1 (creativeireland.ie), the upcoming launch of a Creative Children plan in September 2017 and the overall development of arts education your school community. It may be useful to consider more than one teacher attending from a school or even whole school participation.

A Teacher/ Artist Residency programme will be available to a limited number of the schools which participated in this summer course in the school year 2017-2018. While there is no guarantee that your school will have access to a residency in 2017-2018, this course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to support you and your school in your implementation of the Arts Curriculum.

Date & Venue: Please contact your local Education Centre (Teachers will receive EPV days). The course is free.

The Ark presents an engaging selection of arts summer courses for primary school teachers and a concert for school groups.

Concert for School Groups:

Shakespeare’s Music Mix – Fri 23 June @ 10.15am & 12.15pm (1st-6th Class)

Teacher’s Summer Courses:

Creative Writing & Special Educational Needs – 3-7 July 2017

A Visual Arts Approach – 14 Aug – 18 Aug 2017

Creative Music & Drama – 21-25 August 2017

For more information please contact (01)6707788/boxoffice@ark.ie

 

 

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Helen Barry, Artist: During my introductory meeting with the teacher Ms. Smyth, Sharon offered the brief “I would like the children to do something that they would normally never do in the classroom”. The children were in senior infants and aged between 5 and 6 years. The introductory session is extremely important in understanding the context of the school, the previous arts experience of the school and teacher and the schools based experience of the artist. I would like to highlight the word ‘Space’ as used in our title. We literally explored all possible definitions of the word and still continue to do so as we have a few sessions left. It was not an intentional theme but one that grew very organically from the moment I entered the classroom. The children’s classroom was the biggest space that I have ever worked in; it was Autumn and the children were exploring intergalactic space. My first actual workshop with the children focused on spatial awareness creating spaces using huge rolls of metallic foam and moving about in these temporary spaces. I had also brought with me a variety of materials to play with and included four pieces of white polystyrene that formed the main body of our rocket. We cannot give credit to any one being for this decision other than being a something that was on everyone’s mind in the classroom so it just all happened in a split second.

Through designing and building the rocket together the children began to understand structure and stability. With these new skills and a wide range of materials we further explored scale and constructions both inside and outside of the classroom. We built different spaces focusing on dome structures, a dominant shape that frequently appears throughout my work. As we constructed our structures we were met with many challenges. As we were ‘testing’ with materials and designs it was often the children who offered the solutions to building more stable pieces. Again I found that Sharon was really positive when met with these sort of challenges, when things collapsed she felt that this is where the children learnt more as it demanded more from them and often displayed a strong voice from children who often remained in the background. One of our domes has been given a permanent home in the school grounds. We have planted a willow dome that will grow with the children throughout their primary school journey with them. The children will tend to the willow dome in the coming years and I will maintain my relationship with Sharon, the children and the school.

Sharon Smyth, Teacher: The offer of applying for the program was put forward by our school principal. Having read up on the initiative and what was involved I put my name forward to be considered. I felt that it was a great opportunity to offer my class something beyond that which my ability and confidence might allow if I were to tackle such a project on my own. During our initial meeting Helen spoke of construction, incorporating the classroom tables and chairs, rockets flying into space and using the top half of the room (from the ceiling down) to explore ‘Space’. I knew that a truly unique and exciting experience was possible for my girls, it just required a little leap of faith!

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

HB Artist: The immediacy of what we created in the first session provided the impetus for what developed over several months. Each idea rolled seamlessly into the next. We tested a number of ideas that came from discussions with the teacher and the children. Our rocket claimed centre stage as its design was carefully and enthusiastically managed by the children. The process demanded group work and teaming building. Often children as young as this can struggle with group decision-making. This group of senior infants rose to the challenge and seemed to grow in maturity and independence as the weeks progressed. Their teacher Sharon provided the space for the children and I to totally explore the ‘unknown’. Sharon has such a wonderful belief in each child’s abilities and is very open to discovering new ways of learning. She also proved that she was possibly more open than I was at times to leaving structure and routine aside and just going with the flow.

SS Teacher: Helen immediately looked to tie her work in with what the class were already learning about. This gained their attention and focus while at the same time taking their learning in a new and exciting direction. I watched (in awe) from week to week as my class became more efficient in teamwork, understanding of each other’s needs and willingness to take on the ideas of those around them (a very tricky task in the world of the ego centric 5/6year old!)

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

HB Artist: From the outset the scale of the materials we were working with demanded teamwork. Explaining to each team or group what they had to do I initially found challenging but as the work developed the children worked brilliantly in small teams, responding well to each other and supporting each other’s ideas and designs. So much so that when they were working on individual activities the children would automatically offer their assistance when they saw that someone needed it. The class size was large with 30 students. Initially the children seemed very young and the dynamic could heighten very easily but very quickly they became more capable and independent as the project developed.

SS Teacher: Initially I was a little at sea as to my role within the program/sessions. I wasn’t sure how much I was to observe or work hands-on with what the class were engaging with. As the weeks passed I felt that the more I tried the various activities, got involved and even on some occasions offered advice or help, the easier and more confident I became. While I hoped my own teaching would grow in this way through the program I am delighted that I would now have the confidence to try projects and lessons that are larger in scale and ‘space’ than I would ever have dared before.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

HB Artist: The willow dome has provided a new material and timeframe for how I work. Planting willow cuttings has given root to another similar project. Since planting the willow dome with the children in St. Raphaela’s I have planted a second willow dome with children in St. John The Baptist P.S. in Belfast. This experience has demonstrated the openness of the primary school classroom. Sharon, along with so many teachers, has proven time and time again the willingness to engage with and support the arts and creativity in the classroom.

SS Teacher: I honestly don’t know where to begin in putting into words the value and worth of what my class has gained from their (and my) entire experience with Helen. Helen is not only an outstanding artist but she possesses an incredible understanding and appreciation of how her profession and skills can be brought to life within the classroom. While I have always loved to paint and ‘do art’ with classes I have taught I now realize that my vision and understanding of what ‘art’ teaching is has never truly reached its full potential. I sincerely believe that a product is not necessary at the end of a lesson but that the process is what is important but now I embrace this even more wholeheartedly.

Our space rocket, with its initial design, exploration of materials and slow but steady assembly took many weeks to complete before it managed to hang majestically (the word chosen by my class) from the middle of our ceiling. Alongside the many artistic lessons the girls engaged in, it was also a lesson in PATIENCE. I do not mean the patience required until it is your turn to stick or glue, cut or offer an idea. It was the patience of allowing the spaceship to build and come together over time. This required hours of collaboration, compromise and debate as week by week another element was added. Indeed at one point the wings of our spaceship were thought to be stained glass windows for Christmas by those passing by the room! To have rushed this project so as to have a ‘product’ by the end of two or three sessions would have meant missing out on a world of learning and discovery.

From our rocket we moved on quite seamlessly to building domes. Again we took this step by step exploring how best to support them – building foundations, securing poles side by side. It is how this was approached that I was enthralled by. One session saw the class link themselves together and learn how to form strong bonds between each loop. How much deeper is this learning than just ‘let’s build a dome’. What has come of this in the most organic way (planting our own dome) is absolutely fascinating. Over the coming years the dome will grow and develop alongside the girls. Helen has agreed to return to the school each year and work with the class in a number of sessions to shape and maintain the structures. The learning and integration that will occur across the curriculum as both the girls and structures progress will be a very special experience and we are very grateful to Helen for her commitment of time and expertise in the project.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

HB Artist: Experiment and exploring with new ideas and materials naturally results in some things that do not work. At times I find this quite unnerving if somewhat stressful feeling that I let the children down. Sharon is very skilled in demonstrating and supporting ‘mistakes’ that don’t always turn out to have been for the best. I hope to be able to use her perspective in how I deal with challenging situations in the future. Planting willow has been a new departure in using materials. The maintaining of the willow dome will enable or demand that I will be working on a project that will grow and change over many years.

SS Teacher: The biggest thing I feel that has changed in my work as a teacher is that I would now be happy to allow my art lessons carry for a number of weeks without feeling the pressure to ‘have something on the wall’ or ‘a picture to send home on a Friday’. So many of our lessons were tied into building our rocket and yet they splintered off more often than not into lessons of their own, producing space asteroids one week and pasta based constructions another. It has also reiterated for me how paramount it is to allow children engage in as many mediums for learning as possible. What best appeals to one child’s ability to learn will not appeal to another. On so many occasions I witnessed children who struggle in the day-to-day lessons of the classroom excel in the hands-on tasks put before them. Their confidence and self-belief literally grew in front of me as they mastered new skills and understanding

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. Working with the Glucksman Curatorial Team and professional artists, participants will learn practical art making skills across a range of mediums and develop their own art integration lesson plans for use in the classroom.

This course is designed around the 5th/6th class Primary School Curriculum.

Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2017, 10am -2:30pm

€75. Booking essential.

+353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

 www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-tickets-33520592996?aff=es2

Minister for Education and Skills Mr Richard Bruton T.D. officially launched “Exploring Teacher-Artist Partnership as a Model of CPD for Supporting and Enhancing Arts Education in Ireland: A Research Report” on 8th March 2017 in the Clock Tower at the Department of Education and Skills.

Officially launching the Research Report, Minister Bruton said: “I am very pleased to officially launch Exploring Teacher-Artist Partnership as a Model of CPD for Supporting and Enhancing Arts Education in Ireland: A Research Report at such an exciting time for the integration of the arts in education, when there is now a national ‘Creative Ireland’ programme to enable the creative potential of every child.

“The research report we are launching today provides evidence-based recommendations to foster and develop teacher-artist partnerships in innovative ways. I believe this model of teacher professional development has enormous potential to transform approaches to arts education in schools. In particular, it highlights the importance of supporting arts and education partnerships through professional development so as to create high quality arts experiences for children. In the research report, Dr Kenny and Dr Morrissey continually point to the complementary knowledge and skills that both teachers and artists bring to arts education in schools”.

Commenting on the launch, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys T.D. said “Creative Ireland is an invitation to the entire country to get involved in something truly inspirational. This hugely ambitious all-of-Government initiative puts culture and creativity at the centre of public policy. Creative Ireland will ensure that children can participate in the arts from an early age, and it will drive cultural engagement in every county nationwide. This is a bold and ambitious initiative, and it is particularly appropriate and significant that our priority in this first year of Creative Ireland is children and young people.

“We already know that children who engage in the arts are happier and they perform better at school. I welcome the findings of this Research Report on the Teacher-Artist Partnership model and look forward to working with our colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills and the Arts Council of Ireland, both of whom have been instrumental in bringing this piece of work to fruition, on developing the Creative Children plan. This report provides very valuable insights into the importance of this approach to creative learning and contributes to the strong foundations upon which the Creative Ireland Programme is built.”

Minister Bruton finished by saying, “I congratulate Dr Kenny and Dr Morrissey on the quality of this excellent evidence-informed research report. I am delighted that the initiative has continued and is now at a stage where it will be delivered as a Summer Course in each of the 21 Education Centres in summer 2017. I wish the overall initiative continued success and I am now delighted to formally launch the research report”.

The report can be viewed and downloaded at this link.
For more information about the Creative Ireland programme, click here.

We just had our final session of the online course, ‘Documenting Projects and Events’. The five weekly online conversations covered a range of topics surrounding the documentation of artwork and events. The participants on the course included a mixture of artists, educators and organisations working in different media (painting, sculpture, lens-based, performance) and carrying out different processes (workshops, artworks, and live events). Given this variety, the course took a participant-led format that based discussion around individual responses to weekly tasks and provocations.

Week-to-week, participants were asked to populate their own mini-website with their responses to tasks that focused on varying forms of artwork documentation. These included documentation in text, still image, and audiovisual (moving image/sound). In an attempt to broaden and challenge each participant’s approach to documentation in these media, tasks solicited examples of a range of formats with varying intentions and potential audiences.  For example, promotional material for the general public; report for a funding organisation; material for an archive or portfolio; and notation for another artist to carry out a project.

The pace of the conversation really heated up in the last two weeks, darting around the various aspects of capturing and processing still and moving image. The discussion regularly turned to the online presence of artists and organisations and the various functions of their websites and social media presence – portfolio/archive/promotion/journalling. Whilst the chat sometimes took in tech-talk (digital file-types, recording gear, etc.), the diversity of the group led to a most advantageous sharing of ideas and concepts around the intentions and potentials of arts education documentation.

The group related an invigorated enthusiasm and curiosity about the ways in which they might capture their work, encouraged by the interdisciplinary discussion. In exploring what (and how) artefacts might be logged and captured, we have considered more critically how works and events might be preserved, shared and perceived by a myriad of potential stakeholders. I have been taking notes and observations throughout the course and will be sharing these as a resource with the group and other members of the Arts in Education Portal for future reference and inspiration.

Artist, John D’Arcy (Course Leader)

 

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Carmel is a 5th class teacher in Scoil Eoin, Balloonagh, Tralee, Co. Kerry, a large school with three streams of each year group and over six hundred pupils. Carmel and her class, a mixed group of boys and girls, are currently participating in the Virtually There project.

Blog No.2

We as teachers are becoming preoccupied with generating art which looks well on a display board and has no imperfections. In my experience the children aren’t engaging with this routine and are craving more freedom to make mistakes, try things more than once and use lots of different materials. It’s difficult to unearth an exciting art lesson for every week, particularly with older classes as they have made or used many of the lessons with other teachers. When my principal suggested Virtually There to me I was intrigued, yet I was also hesitant to take on such a project due to the need to have good IT experience and how limited our technology is in the classroom.

Virtually There orientation involved an enjoyable day of artist and teacher pair work. This was a fantastic way to become acquainted before we attempted to organise the project itself. Initially, I thought the project was going to be difficult to coordinate as my artist for the project, Lucy Hill, was based in Westport, Co. Mayo while I teach in Tralee, Co.Kerry. With emails and phone numbers exchanged with set about arranging when and how we would do the art with the children in my 5th Class. I needn’t have worried. Lucy was willing and excited to visit us and work around our daily schedule. We trialed Skype a few times before our start date and it worked perfectly. However, throughout the project we had many dropped calls and in particular the last day, being a particularly windy day on the west coast of Ireland,  meant we had to resort to using our phones. In spite of this I felt the project worked brilliantly and both Lucy and I continued with the art while keeping in touch using whatever technology was available.

My class loved the project, mostly exploring new textures and materials, while being given the freedom to use them in any way possible. There was movement, freedom, learning, inventing and fun. Each week there was a novel idea to inspire the children. Lucy would firstly explain the idea, next they would give their responses and suggestions before setting to work. Throughout each element of the lesson the children would approach Lucy on the laptop screen to show their progress, ask questions and get suggestions for any design concepts. This was an effective part of Virtually There which ensured the children were thoughtful in formation and it gave them a guideline as to how they would achieve the goal in the art time. The children also looked forward to hearing Lucy’s interpretation of what they had made each time and her input inspired them further or helped them to see what they had made in a new light.

The opportunity to blog about our experience throughout Virtually There was one of the most appealing aspects of the project for me. Combining some literacy skills to the project and blogging about an important topic relevant to the children was something I had envisaged they would love. However the children weren’t as excited about the blogging process as I had hoped. This may have been due to limited time we could spend doing the blogging due to other classroom subjects and constraints. I also found Word Press time consuming to use in adjusting images etc. and I often had to spend a long time myself formatting the page layout. If we were lucky enough to be involved in Virtually There or another similar project again, I would try to give more time to the blogging and allow the children more freedom to do all the adjustments, possibly with a different group in charge of each weekly blog.

I feel Virtually There has definitely inspired me to allow children to get messy through art, to give them opportunities to use all sorts of materials, to encourage them to use their own imaginations and be creative rather than make a carbon copy of an art piece.

The Arts in Education Portal online documentation course kicked off on January 16th. Digital artist John D’Arcy gives us an update:

“We recently had our first session of the online course ‘Documenting Projects and Events’.  The course brings together artists, educators and organisations in a weekly online conversation about how we document the work we make.

During the first session the course participants introduced themselves, each waving into the webcam of their laptop, tablet or phone from a different corner of the island.  We practice in a diverse range of artforms: painting, sculpture, lens-based, performance, dance, sound – some working as freelance artists and others with arts organisations.

Our conversation revealed that many of us have experience capturing documentation of our own work (and that of others) through still image, video and audio.  However, many of us identified problematic aspects with these processes and are looking for alternative ways to capture documentation whilst in the flow of a workshop or event.  Some of the group are particularly interested in exploring experimental techniques for documenting their work.

We also spoke about some of the issues related to presenting work online in web portfolios and on social media, with some participants hoping to discuss this further in future sessions.

As the conversation came to a close, I gave the group their task for the next session – to create a website or blog where they will host their work for the course from week to week. To kick off the conversation next time we will be discussing some examples of documentation that have particularly inspired us in the past and jump off from there”.

Creative Ireland

Last week the government announced a new five year initiative which places creativity at the centre of public policy,  ‘The Creative Ireland Programme’. Creative Ireland is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement.

Creative Ireland is the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach, the draft cultural policy published by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in July 2016, which sees a vibrant cultural ecosystem as essential to society. Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach states that arts and culture are intrinsic to the Irish State, acknowledges the need to increase access to, and participation in, the arts, boost our creative industries, and preserve our heritage with a particular focus on language, landscape and the environment.

Creative Ireland as a 2016 legacy project is inspired by the extraordinary public response to the Centenary: the thousands of events, largely culture-based, and unprecedented public participation that brought us together in shared reflections on identity, culture and citizenship that combined history with arts, heritage and language.

Creative Ireland will bring coordination and focus to existing culture-based policies and initiatives – and lead to ambitious new actions.

Creative Ireland is a wellbeing strategy for people, but it will also enable a representation of Ireland to the outside world that is well grounded, widely understood and meaningful. Creative Ireland will coordinate and enable the construction of that representation, seeking coherence among all stakeholders and placing a clear focus on our rich cultural heritage and our creativity.

Creative Ireland is underpinned by the key values should be identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach. They are:

For more information go to www.creative.ireland.ie

As part of a review of the Artists~Schools Guidelines conducted by the Arts Council on behalf of the High Level Implementation Group of the Arts in Education Charter, this video has been developed to capture stakeholders’ observations regarding the key principles and information of most relevance to artists and/or schools interested in developing best practice in this area.

Watch the video here.

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you get started?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Our Place was a project that sought to offer a marginalized section of our community a creative and positive experience within a museum environment. Over six weeks in early 2016 the Glucksman hosted art workshops for a group of children from two direct provision centres in Cork City. During the six sessions, the group were encouraged to create artworks that looked at ‘place’ both imaginative and real using a wide variety of materials from film, print, drawing, painting, animation and collage. The workshops were framed within a larger project ‘Once Upon a Place’ run with Laureate na nÓg and Children’s Books Ireland which brought together school and community groups to the Glucksman to create artworks that reflected on their sense of place. This project culminated in a public exhibition at the Glucksman in March 2016 and was launched with a storytelling session by Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer.

Central to the Glucksman’s Education Policy is a commitment to work with community groups, enabling people of all ages and abilities to access different aspects of visual art. We first met with Mike Fitzgibbon and Eileen Hogan at University College Cork to discuss the possibility of an art project with children living in Direct Provision back in the spring of 2015. Even at that early stage, without any funding, clear numbers or dates we were all determined that we would find a way to make this project work. Around the same time the Glucksman was named one of the host locations for a reading by Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer as part of the Once Upon a Place project. Once Upon a Place sought to bring storytelling to children all over Ireland focusing specifically on communities who may not have access to libraries, storytellers, writers in schools etc. These readings were to be held in extraordinary places that would help bring stories to life. The timing of the Once Upon a Place project and the proposed project with children in Direct Provision couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

The art project had its origins in discussions a group of University College Cork staff and students had with staff of the Glucksman. I had described in an earlier email some of the awful experiences of people, and in particular children, living in the Direct Provision system. Staff in the Glucksman responded to this, offering to work with us in putting a programme in place that would offer some relief from the system, some break from the mundanity, and might provide outlets for expression and enjoyment for these children. It took a number of months to organise, but the programme began at the end of 2015, with three workshops before the end of year, and three in early 2016.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Working with partners who knew the residents, the needs of the children and the expectations of a project was crucial. The relationships that our colleagues in UCC have developed over 15 years with residents of direct provision centres meant that they had garnered a trust and understanding that we at the museum would have been unable to achieve in such a short period of time.

Children’s sense of place was the perfect theme for the group but also a delicate topic that needed to be navigated appropriately. Speaking with Mike he gave me an idea of the centres and the living conditions that children were exposed to. Understanding the places where these children lived meant that to ground our projects in real life place had the potential to unearth difficult and complex emotions for the children. The focus of the workshops was to be on joy and to offer a small moment to escape reality. And so we looked at the what if? What place you could be living/visiting? With no restrictions and no limits – where was your place?

We had wanted to ensure that the interests of the children were demonstrated in the projects and activities that we undertook. Alongside a number of shorter activities each week we had three core projects. In each session we completed between five and six activities. We looked to incorporate as many mediums as possible, particularly using materials and techniques that the children may not have been exposed to in school. And also crucially children had an opportunity to bring their colourful creations back to their centres.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

This was a new experience for all of us. Controlling and channeling the children’s dynamism was the most challenging aspect to the workshops. We found that the group’s attention would fall-off very quickly and so having multiple short activities worked best. It was easier to return to our core projects over a number of weeks rather than attempting to see a project through during a single session. Over the six sessions we saw the physical and mental impact that life in Direct Provision was having on these children. On certain days some of the children would be drowsy, despondent and unresponsive to projects. These same children the following week would be full of life and enthuased about everything we were doing. These shifts in mood and energy were apparent across a large number of children. We sought to stimulate the children by undertaking short exercises and involving them in tasks around filmmaking and documenting workshops.

We had two sessions prior to Christmas and during the second workshop we gave each child an art pack with sketchbook and materials. After Christmas when we met back up, one of the older boys showed me his sketchbook that he had been working on. Even in a few weeks there was a marked improvement in his drawing ability, he spoke about his delight at having these materials to create with and how he’d spend time every evening working on his sketches. For this boy and others in the group the opportunity to interact with extracurricular activities and to get creative was having a considerable impact.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

Their enjoyment of the workshops was reflected in their huge enthusiasm to return each week. The exhibition afterward was beautiful – and the pleasure that the children took in showing their work to their parents and others was wonderful. Challenges we experienced with this were quite different to other areas that I work or volunteer in. What seem like simple things, such as finding suitable dates for the workshops came with complications, such as needing to find times that didn’t intersect with other life activities, such as religious events. The flexibility shown by the Glucksman around this was emblematic of their commitment to it, as was the quality of their work and engagement with the children every week.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

The Irish Refugee Council has reported that young people living in direct provision centres are more prone to depression and suicide due to their restrictive and ostracized living situation. Its report also states that Direct Provision is NOT a natural family environment. Our University colleagues have campaigned for the end to DP since its inception.

To have the opportunity to positively impact on these children’s lives was a wonderful opportunity for the Glucksman and one which aligned itself with our education policy and mission statement. Working with partners like Children’s Books Ireland and UCC Amnesty International Society allowed us to develop a project and exhibition that these children would value and remember. The experience of exhibiting their work alongside that of their peer group and for once in their lives to be the centre of attention under a positive gaze provided a special moment for the children living in DP.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

When we first met I remember Mike speaking about that moment after a day’s activities with the children when you have to send them back to the centre and how difficult that can be. Over the weeks I began to realize what he meant, as I got to know the children and the reality of their home lives it became increasingly difficult.

Working with the children living in Direct Provision has been in equal measures some of the most rewarding and yet most heartbreaking work we’ve undertaken at the museum. These children are incredibly brave, generous and kindhearted. Their lives have been ones of struggle, distress and in some cases trauma yet their determination and positivity shines through. These children need some fragments of light in their lives, some moments to be creative, to feel optimistic and to feel good about themselves.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

All of our engagements with the asylum-seeking communities in Direct Provision have had terrific support from students, societies and all areas of staff in UCC, and this was no different. The programme and other events couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without that support. Many staff and students gave up most of their Saturdays for the programme’s duration. UCC Amnesty society sponsored transport, a significant cost each week.

It is worth mentioning that because of our involvement with this, other projects and engagements have come about: one project involved working with women in direct provision on ceramics projects; another is ongoing with women engaging in different activities such as yoga, knitting etc.; we have had another art-for-teenagers project; we will have another young children’s programme. All have happened as a result of the running of this first programme for children by Tadhg and his colleagues. Seeing its success motivates me, and others, to continue to advocate for and work with people condemned to live in Direct Provision. The really hard part each week was seeing these beautiful young people leave to return to their Direct Provision centres.

 

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Cleo Fagan – Superprojects, Curator

‘I think that the teenage years can be an exciting time in people’s lives, when they often have a keen intellectual or creative curiosity and are open to complex ideas, given the right conditions. As a curator who works with young audiences and contemporary art and artists, it made sense to me that certain contemporary artists would work really well with young people to explore ideas related to the rich context of the commemorations of The 1916 Rising. I approached Julie Clarke of Fingal Arts Office with these ideas back in early 2015. Luckily, our objectives aligned with each other, in wanting to work on something that allowed young people to engage with the commemorations in a fresh and creative way.  We took it from there, approaching artists Ruth Lyons, Eoghan Ryan, Sean Lynch and Clodagh Emoe

Julie Clarke – Fingal Arts Office, Youth & Education Arts Officer

‘The opportunity was open to all post-primary schools in Fingal.  We were delighted to receive interest from Fingal Community College in Swords and Hartstown Community School in Dublin 15, as both schools and art teachers were known to us and a strong working relationship existed. Cleo and I met with the art teachers, Siobhan Lynch and Anne Moylan, to discuss the artistic possibilities and to plan for an enjoyable learning experience for the students. Supported by this partnership we were able to give artistic freedom to the artists to design an initial presentation that would introduce the students to contemporary art practices, challenging topics, and invite them to think about the role of art in our society’.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Cleo Fagan and Julie Clarke visited each participating school to talk with the students and teachers about the artists they would meet during the project.  Cleo gave a presentation which included several compelling images and video clips of the artists’ works to ignite curiosity among the students before the artists arrived.

Each of the artists involved – Ruth Lyons, Sean Lynch, Clodagh Emoe, Eoghan Ryan – was invited to devise a set of workshops in response to the context of the commemorations with input from the art teachers. The fascinating workshops that resulted touched on ideas of political and cultural zeitgeist; commemoration; collective power; public art and provocation; humour as protest; personal identity; government and everyday life; time and energy; and representation and nationalism.

Workshops all involved rich discursive, creative and educational elements via opportunities to discuss opinions, to learn about contemporary art practice, to learn new artmaking skills (eg mold making and resin casting). The students created and presented their own artwork to the teachers and artists for an informal critique in front of the school principal and project partners. In some sense, it was an approach that gave a flavour of studying art at third level.

The working group extended to include Distinctive Repetition and writer Sue Rainsford who respectively designed the graphic and wrote a piece of text for the Waves poster which is now available. Jenny Brady filmed the process and the students really enjoyed sharing their work and thoughts on camera.

Clodagh Emoe – Artist

‘My workshops were about ‘people power’ and I began with a presentation showing various examples of artistic strategies and collective power visible in history. The students worked in clusters and amongst themselves identified and debated issues that affect them today. We had a democratic vote to select one contentious issue and using artistic strategies we explored and exposed that specific issue’.

Ruth Lyons – Artist

‘My workshop was on using silicone mold making and resin casting processes to make individual memorial sculptures. The students made these commemorative, decorative artworks by picking an object that represented an essential material in their everyday life. They cast these objects in a clear resin, immortalising this object for hundreds of years’.

Sean Lynch – Artist

‘The workshop I did at Fingal Community College involved looking at how public art works in terms of the spaces we live in, and the times we encounter it nowadays. Many people are familiar with the monuments and statuary of 1916 but there are many different types of artistic methodologies that have come along since then and the idea of the workshop was to share them and celebrate them with the school and the great students involved. We worked with devising a series of speculative proposals. These were based in conversations that were had on the nature of the everyday and the objects that are encountered in the everyday, and what they might become if they were considered a monument to the contemporary times that we live in.’

Eoghan Ryan – Artist

‘When I approached devising the workshop I thought about the question ‘what is holding us together?’. I thought I would focus on flags as they are confusing as a material. Addressing the material culture surrounding flags, what they could mean, if they were important and how to add some kind of individual, subjective importance to update them or undermine them. Everyone was invited to collaboratively make their own flags.  We then destroyed the flags and talked about destroying flags in a demonstrative or rebellious context – what that act means, what you’re doing.’

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

The creative partnership between the teachers, artists, curator, Fingal Arts, and students resulted in great work being made.

The students would like to share their experience:

Student Feedback

‘I really liked taking part in the workshops. I liked learning from people who were actually artists by profession. I liked that we could do whatever we wanted to do without confines – because even though that’s what art is all about we don’t get to do that in school.’

– Student, 17

‘I really enjoyed being able to voice my opinions on issues such as inequality etc. I really enjoyed learning about the apartheid and other monumental issues in history that have helped shape the world today’

– Student, 16

‘We were able to explore something new, which is not in the Leaving Cert programme. We learned many new things from the artists, even that art can be in any shape or form, as shown by different examples in the slideshow. I really liked using the resin and seeing how everyone’s ‘memento’ turned out.’

– Student, 16

‘After the workshops, I feel a lot more comfortable with my art. I like how I can draw, paint or use any form of medium to talk about what I want, how I want, and when I want. The workshops helped me feel at ease with my art. A picture can show a thousand words, I can see what that means now.’

– Student, 15

‘I especially enjoyed learning about the work the artists had already completed. I loved making the items and it really allowed me to use my full creativity and imagination. I am much more observant now…. Art is a broad topic and I can’t wait to learn more about it.’

– Student, 17

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Julie Clarke – Fingal Arts Office, Youth & Education Arts Officer

The film really captures the significance of the project and there is so much to choose from –  the students were challenged by the type of art that they saw and the type of art that they had to produce, but equally the students’ capacity for intelligent dialogue on emotive topics was very striking.  A number of students stated that they would take more of an interest in politics and our society if adults listened to them.  They expressed an interested in lowering the voting age so they too could have their say on issues that matter to them on polling days.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Siobhan Lynch, Art Teacher, Fingal Community College

‘The project has changed the way I as an educator approach teaching and learning within my classes. I have really embraced group work within the art room and have encouraged and allowed students to develop their creativity through risk-taking and experimentation with new media and by looking at how contemporary artists approach problems and find creative solutions to them.’

Anne Moylan, Art Teacher, Hartstown Community School

‘I received a great insight into the students own political concerns and issues that are real and live to them, which often doesn’t happen in a classroom situation.  As their art teacher it was a great opportunity and it will impact on our future work together’.

What was the project about?

This project took place between St. Mary’s National School in Blessington, Co Wicklow (teacher Judy Lawler) and artist Ciara Harrison. Please see attached Appendix for background and further details of the workshops.

The project is part of the CRAFTed initiative run by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. The main media we are working with is fabric and fibre, experimenting with fabric dyeing, tie-dye, embroidery and printed textiles. The project is process-led enabling the children to explore and experiment at their own pace through facilitated workshops. We decided jointly that the project should be documented both with the use of photography and film as well as through the children’s reflections, thus enabling the children’s voice and thoughts to be heard and seen throughout this project. This was done in the form of notebooks or artists journals, including text and drawings as well as samples from workshops.

Who was involved?

It was a collaboration between twenty four senior infants of St. Mary’s National Junior School, Blessington, teacher Judy Lawler, and artist Ciara Harrison.

How did it get started?

The collaboration came about through the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCOI) CRAFTed initiative. This is an arts-in-education programme, specifically for primary schools where a craftsperson is paired with a teacher and students of a primary school.

We initially met at a collaborative evening organised by the DCCOI in the Kildare Education Centre. The evening was facilitated by a craftsperson, who gave us a presentation on the work of CRAFTed, its ethos, aims and objectives. Teacher and Artist were then paired together where we were given time to brainstorm a theme for the project and potential activities which could be undertaken.

The idea is that the craft project theme coincides with the Social, Environmental and Scientific Education curriculum in the school (history, geography and science). We decided to base our theme on native plants, animals, trees, leaves and insects as the students were learning about these throughout the year.

What aspects of the project made you smile?

Ciara:

On the first day of the project I presented a PowerPoint to the students. This included images of my work along with text to describe my processes. I also introduced the children to the land artist Andy Goldsworthy and images of his work. The children’s reaction to his work was of awe and enthusiasm. Their questions and interpretations of the work created huge energy and in turn inspired the children in their activity afterwards. That was a very precious moment for me.

Judy:

Ciara brought along fabric samples of her work, which were passed around the classroom. Touching and looking at the fabrics was lovely for the children and it introduced them to some processes they may encounter during future workshops. The group work went well, children were collaborating and cooperating during the process and they generated many ideas through the discussion.

What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Ciara:

As I had not done these workshops with children of this age before I was unsure of the level of language I could use with them and how in depth I could or should go with terminology.

As it was a large group to be working with it was at some points challenging to give assistance to everyone. We did a stitching workshop one day and as this was a new activity for all the children they required a lot of one-on-one assistance. I found by pairing up the children who were more able with ones who were less so meant they were explaining the process in their own words and I think the children appreciated having that responsibility.

There are certain materials such as bleach, which I use in my work to create effects on fabric. This would not have been an unsafe material to use with the children so we had to brainstorm alternative products that would be suitable. It was very helpful to have Judy’s assistance for this as I was in charge of getting the materials for the workshops.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Judy:

The presentation and talk that took place on the first workshop was a very important time for the students and Ciara to become familiar with each other. It was also very important for the students to air their thoughts and interpretations and ask questions of the work they were being shown. Plenty of time was given to allow this to happen.

The talk and discussion that took place about the work of Ciara and Andy Goldsworthy inspired the children in their activity afterwards. Within the activity the chalk outlines gave form to the children’s temporal designs, using natural materials to collage their designs. The activity itself and the materials used are very accessible to children and many will be inspired to incorporate this art making into outdoor play.

The children also enjoyed the novelty of using special fabric crayons, fabric markers, fabric paint and material dyes. They were very enthusiastic about using these new materials and were very engaged in the process.

Throughout the process the children have learnt descriptive vocabulary to describe both their work and the work of other artists. It has been wonderful to hear this in the classroom. It was very interesting to look for the learning experiences in each art lesson and to learn what the children are gaining from the process.

I think the process was spurred on by the timeline that Ciara and myself were working within. We planned the workshops as we went. We would set certain objectives to achieve for the next one. Workshops were high energy and highly motivated – lots of fun for the children.

Ciara:

Judy and I stayed in regular contact by email in the lead up to the project and we continued this throughout the project. This allowed for evaluating the workshops and learning from eachother what we felt worked and could be improved on. It is also now a source of documentation, which can be used for future workshops as we will both have learnt the best ways to go about the activities from experience. Regular contact has been a very important aspect to the project.

Although Judy and I came up with a structure for the project at our initial planning evening we allowed for flexibility within this. The children’s level of participation and enjoyment was what determined how long each activity was. At the beginning of each session I explained to the class what activity we would be exploring that day e.g. tie-dye, stitching, drawing and we allowed for time for questions and stories from the children. Sometimes this introduction would be accompanied by a PowerPoint. Other times it was simply a conversation. This gave the children an opportunity to express their own ideas in what we hoped was an informal setting.

I think an important aspect of the collaboration between teacher and artist is the respect given to each others’ expertise. As Judy was most familiar with the children she could look after the discipline of the classroom and time-keeping of the activities while I could set up the workshops and assist the children in their making. This was an essential part of this project being such a success.

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Judy:

The children have used the skills they have learnt and developed, in particular with the chalk and natural materials as a form of outdoor play in their own time. The project has been a means of enabling the children to gain confidence in their own ideas and abilities.

This was the first time I ever endeavored making an artist’s notebook ‘woodland diary’ with the children. I thought it was very successful and it was an activity, which integrated totally with the English and SESE curriculum as well as the art curriculum. The children gather lots of natural materials and found objects for the class and the nature table throughout the year, I am more aware of the possibilities of reusing these objects in creating art. This way the gathering and collecting becomes more purposeful and meaningful for the children.


!!!! Opportunity: Creative Schools Regional Co-Ordination Panel

Creative Schools
Deadline: 2 April, 2021

Creative Schools is forming a panel of Creative Associate Regional Coordinators across the country. It is envisaged that the Arts Council will engage the services of 8 Regional Coordinators. Both individuals and organisations (who nominate a particular representative) may apply to provide these services.

The main tasks of the Creative Associate regional coordinators are:

– Work closely with the Arts Council’s Creative Schools’ team to support and assist in coordinating the work of the Creative Associates at a regional level.

– Liaise with and support up to twenty Creative Associates and their assigned schools across each region.

– Be required to carry out services for around seventy days per annum, with a minimum of one day per week between the months of September to June.

Deadline for applications: Friday 2nd April, 2021

For more information, see www.etenders.gov.ie/ (select Arts Council in ‘authority’ field of an advanced search on etenders).

!!!! Deep Dive Training – Methods and Mindsets of the Creativity & Change Programme

Creativity & Change Programme 

Dates: April – May 2021

Short deep-dives into the methods and mindsets of the Creativity & Change programme.

Deep Dive Training (formally masterclasses): action-focused workshops to unleash your imagination and creativity. Leading to a collective day of creative hopeful action across the country at our Paste-Up Blitz.

This Spring-Summer training programme is centred around the idea of the “Awesome Solution”. This concept is based on research conducted at the COP21 conference about the impact of art on audience engagement and perceptions of the world’s big problems.

Researchers found that:

Artwork that presents an awesome solution to a problem was the most effective at engaging the audience and inspiring them to change their attitudes to take action on a local or global justice issue.

The workshop series offers a deep-dive into the idea of the awesome solution, exploring the concept across a range of disciplines, methodologies, and facilitators, bringing you through a variety of processes that can be adapted and integrated into your own work. Exploring development education topics and global and social justice means covering complex issues, discussing interconnected systemic BIG world problems, things that often feel outside of our control can be overwhelming.

How can we use the arts to inspire hope, to nurture that longing for the brighter future we all know is possible and engage our communities in action?

Are you an educator, youth worker, artist, activist, advocate looking for a new inspiration? Join us to:

The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.

Where: Zoom and online

Who: These workshops are for anyone working in a non-formal learning context with others- youth workers, community workers, artists, activists, educators, dreamers, changemakers.

Commitment to all the workshops is essential

There are five different options for participants to join this workshop series. These five “streams” will run simultaneously from April 10th until May 22nd. All groups will be invited to take part in a national “paste-up” day to bring their ideas into public space. To view the five options and register go to www.creativityandchange.ie/non-accredited-training-previously-masterclasses/

Each group will experience the same workshop flow:

1: HOPE with Chriszine Backhouse

2: IMAGINE with Eimear McNally

3: CREATE with Helen O’ Keeffe

4: ACT with Claire Coughlan

5: TOGETHER All

Price: €50 (subsidised by Irish Aid)

For further information go to www.creativityandchange.ie/non-accredited-training-previously-masterclasses/

Please contact us if you are unwaged or have financial constraints or with any other questions at: claire.coughlan@cit.ie

!!!! NMI Invites Schools to Learn and Engage with Culture in the Classroom

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI)

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) has launched its spring/summer 2021 programme of online workshops, activities and resources for schools.

The Museum is inviting schools all over Ireland to enjoy, engage and learn with culture in the classroom this spring and beyond.

From the Crazy Life of Crows to pop-up talks on the Easter Rising, the spring/summer programme explores a diverse range of topics and themes, all inspired by the National Collections across four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo.

The NMI usually welcomes some 90,000 primary and post primary students on classroom visits each year. Due to COVID-19 public health advice, the Museum has now moved its schools programme online with imaginative workshops, virtual tours and classroom activities, delivering meaningful learning experiences for students.

Some highlights from the spring/summer programme include a family tree workshop with the NMI – Country Life; a virtual tour about the 1916 Rising from the NMI – Decorative Arts & History; an Ogham Code challenge from the NMI – Archaeology; and special virtual classroom sessions exploring extinction with the NMI – Natural History.

All events are offered free of charge.

For further infromation go to –  www.museum.ie/en-IE/News/National-Museum-of-Ireland-invites-schools-to-lear

!!!! Baboró’s RISE Project: Children Co-Create Events with Irish & International Artists

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
Event Date: 23 April 2021

Baboró are delighted to present their Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture project, RISE.

Children in Galway are dancing, leaping and learning with local and international artists this spring, thanks to the RISE programme from Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in partnership with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. This March children aged 8 to 13 years are taking on starring roles in two “RISE” projects, combining parkour, circus skills, performance art, sport and more. Making the most of digital opportunities to connect across the globe, the young people are participating at school and at home.

Projects include:

St. Pats Lockdown Olympics: A whacky series of four weekly videos, accompanied by props delivered to students’ homes, to guide them through the creation of their own spectacularly zany sports.

The Streets Are Ours: A collaborative project to create a promenade performance by Galway children combining parkour, contemporary dance and circus skills. The dance performance will be recorded in April and shared with the public as soon as safely possible.

The Veiled Ones: The final element of the RISE programme will be The Veiled Ones, a new dance theatre production highlighting the powerful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, created by renowned Irish company Junk Ensemble.

This immersive work, currently in development.

In Conversation with Junk Ensemble & kabinet k

On April 23, Baboró will host the digital event, ‘In Conversation with Junk Ensemble & kabinet k’, exploring both companies’ development processes in making work with and for children, and the challenges to creating dance in a global pandemic.

For more information, www.baboro.ie/galway-2020.

!!!! The Creative Youth Conference 2021: Creativity – the Connection to our Future, Now

Creative Ireland Programme

Dates: 13, 15 April & 13 May 2021

The Creative Ireland Programme has announced details of the Creative Youth Conference 2021.  The conference – Creativity: the connection to our future, now – will be hosted online and will comprise three separate events in April and May discussing questions surrounding provision of opportunities for creative engagement by young people both within the school and their community.

As part of a wider deliberation on the Creative Youth Plan – which was published in December 2017 – the Conference is an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on progress to date and input their views concerning the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The conference will commence with Creative Youth in the Education System, which will take place on Tuesday 13 April, from 12:30 to 2pm. This will be followed by on Thursday 15 April (also from 12:30 to 2pm) by Creative Youth in the Community.

These two events will feature contributions from a range of people involved in Creatives Youth initiatives – such as the Creative Schools programme and the Local Creative Youth Partnerships – and provide an insight into the roll-out of the Creative Youth Plan to date.

These events will also feed into a high-level conference to be held on Thursday 13 May from 12 noon to 2pm.

This event, which will be opened by the Taoiseach, and will also include contributions from the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, the Minister for Education, Norma Foley and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman.

The main conference will also feature two panel discussions with contributions from a national and international guests including Andreas Schleicher (OECD), Michelle Cullen (Accenture), Arlene Forster (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment), Bo Stjerne Thomsen (The LEGO Foundation), author Roddy Doyle, Helene Hugel (Helium Arts) and Prof Linda Doyle (TCD).

Registration for the event is now open at

Further details are also available here – www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/news/the-creative-youth-conference-2021/

 

!!!! Roundup: A Selection of Arts in Education Online Programmes

A selection of some of the fantastic digital arts in education activities and programmes available for children and young people which support learning at home.

The Ark @ Home for Teachers

To support teachers delivering arts-based learning to children remotely while they are home due to the COVID-19 restrictions, The Ark have a variety of classroom and at-home activity packs relating to different areas of the curriculum, as well as a selection of recorded shows available to stream for your class privately.

For more information: ark.ie/projects/details/ark-home-teachers

The Glucksman: Creativity at Home

Join The Glucksman online for on daily live art sessions and creative activities you can do at home. A team of facilitators delivers daily art classes and discover a range of art making skills and techniques. These free online sessions will keep children engaged as they learn about drawing, painting, constructing and printmaking using basic art and household materials.

For more information: www.glucksman.org/exhibitions/creativity-at-home

IMMA: Explorer at Home

With your family, you can explore specially selected artworks from the IMMA Collection online and their temporary Exhibition Programme, as well as suggested starting points for creative activities related to those artworks. These free online resources cover themes such as abstract painting, collage, land art and more.

For more information: imma.ie/whats-on/explorer-at-home-abstract-painting/

National Gallery of Ireland at Home

Stay connected with the National Gallery of Ireland online, with lots of different ways to engage with their collection – virtual tours, videos, podcasts, downloadable resources, activities for children, online workshops, blogposts, and much more.

For more information: www.nationalgallery.ie/national-gallery-ireland-at-home

 

 

!!!! Online Creative Workshops – Portal Winter Programme 

Due to popular demand the Portal Team is delighted to announce details of our Online Creative Workshops Winter Programme taking place this December. This series of hands-on creative sessions aims to support artists and teachers to explore new ideas, approaches and techniques to support their own professional development through creative practice.

We’re delighted to confirm that illustrator Wayne O’Connor and interdisciplinary artist Kate Wilson will be joining us again to facilitate another series of ‘A Dive into Digital Art’ and ‘Sensing into Action’. Digital Artist John D’Arcy will also be facilitating a new workshop entitled ‘You’re Muted’.

Each workshop involves two ninety minute closed zoom sessions taking place over two days. Booking a ticket for these workshops will automatically reserve your place at both creative sessions. Participants must attend both sessions. Ticket bookings will open at 12 noon Wednesday, 2nd December 2020These workshops have limited capacity so make sure to book your place early!

Please note: Tickets for both ‘A Dive into Digital Art’ and ‘Sensing into Action’ will be offered to those on the waiting list from the November sessions first.

Sensing to Action
Dates: 7pm, Friday 11 & 11am, Saturday 12 December

Kate Wilson has a fine art degree from Slade School of Art and MA with Independent Dance; her practice is both interdisciplinary and collaborative. Sensing to Action offers practical and theoretical insight into creative movement and holistic approaches to dance and theatre practices in the classroom.

Book Tickets Here

A Dive into Digital Art
Dates: 11am, Saturday 12 & 12pm Sunday 13 December
Wayne O’Connor is an illustrator, storyteller, writer and arts educator. Using free digital drt software, participants will be introduced to the basics of using digital software to draw and paint. Participants will need to download the free Autodesk Sketchbook art software.

This session is now fully booked but please click through the link below to add your details to the waiting list. 

Book Tickets here

You’re Muted
Dates: 3pm, Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December
Digital artist and researcher John D’Arcy invites participants to explore the problems and potentials of creative engagement online. This workshop contains a mixture of interactive activities that test the limits of online video conferencing, helping to reflect on the nature of online connectivity, communication and creativity.

Book Tickets here

For enquires please email events@artsineducation.ie

!!!! The National Museum of Ireland Launches New Online Programme for Schools

National Museum of Ireland

From hieroglyphics to harvest knots…the National Museum of Ireland launches a new programme of online events, activities and resources for teachers to bring the Museum to the classroom.

Each year, the NMI welcomes some 90,000 primary and post primary students to its four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo, providing engaging, hands-on, curriculum linked and creative learning opportunities that underpin classroom teaching.

This year, due to COVID-19 guidelines, the NMI has had to rethink how schools, teachers and their students can engage and learn with the national collections and, in response, has developed a range of virtual programmes to be used in the classroom. The first strand of the new programme is available now including arts in education activities.

The new schools programme 2020/2021 blends live online sessions with Museum educators, and a range of pre-recorded video and printable resources available from the Museum’s website.

Arts in Education programme highlights include:

Leaving Certificate Art History Presentation
Archaeology

In place of Leaving Certificate Art History Tours, Museum educators have developed a presentation containing high-resolution images of the artefacts on display at the Museum that are linked to the Leaving Certificate Art History curriculum. The presentation can be used by teachers as an in-class resource and the notes pages can be used by students as a revision tool.

Arts, Crafts and Design Activities
Decorative Arts & History

Explore a range of art and design activities suitable for primary students and art at post primary junior cycle, through short videos and downloadable activity sheets. Students can take a design challenge inspired by Eileen Gray, make their own musical instrument, design and build a Thaumatrope or build their own bird helmet inspired by a Samurai costume.

Nature School Storytelling
Country Life

Join storyteller Fiona Dowling on the grounds of the NMI – Country Life at Turlough Park, Co. Mayo, to hear some nature based stories and some intriguing tales connected to our fairy trail ‘Of Fairies and Fairy Folk’.

For a further information and link to the full programme go to www.museum.ie/en-IE/News/From-hieroglyphics-to-harvest-knots-the-National-M.

 

 

!!!! Opportunity: Early Childhood Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2020

The Four Dublin Local Authorities

Deadline: 5pm, 11 December 2020

The four Dublin Local Authorities (Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council) are delighted to invite submissions for: Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2020.

The Bursary Award will support individual professional artists to develop their artistic practice working with and/or producing work for early childhood arts. It is open to individual professional artists who wish to develop their practice in early childhood arts, artists practicing in all artforms, artists resident in Ireland.

Bursary range: €500 – €5,000

The closing date: 5pm, 11th December 2020

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

For more details please click on ‘Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2020 Criteria & Guidelines’.

 

 

!!!! Baboró 2020 Delegate Programme Announced

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Dates: 5 – 18 October

The Baboró team are delighted to announce their 2020 Delegate Programme which this year has moved online. They look forward to continuing to create opportunities to share insights and make new connections at home and abroad.

This year Baboró is a partner in ‘Talking TYA 2020’, a 3-day virtual conference that will bring artists and scholars from across Ireland and the world to discuss participation in theatre for young audiences. Baboró are also partnering with Culture Ireland, TYAI and NUI Galway.

Baboró’s online discussion series will give opportunities to meet some of the artists taking part in the festival. To register for delegate events listed below go to www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/event-type/foradults.

Baboró Insights 
Wed 7 Oct at 13.00

Making regional connections: Pathways to production artists meet presenters (By Invitation)
Mon 12 oct | 12.00

Diversifying performance for young audiences
Wed 14 oct | 14.00

Talking TYA 2020
Thu 8 – Sat 10 Oct

!!!! Limerick’s Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival Programme Announced

Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable

Dates: October 2020

Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable team are proud to present a superb programme of events for their annual Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival this October.

Every child deserves access to the performing arts. As always, the aim of the festival is to ensure we continue to inspire children and their families by the safest and most creative means possible.

To achieve this in 2020, the programme has both live and online shows, creative workshops and even a family mystery trail around the Georgian quarter of the city. Plenty for all our small citizens to interact with.

Our schools programme is completely online, this will ensure schools in Limerick and the mid-west region can access our festival programme without travel costs as a barrier.

Louise Donlon, Director of Lime Tree Theatre|Belltable said “We are so glad to be able to announce this year’s Bualadh Bos festival as there were times during the past 5 months when our hopes for it seemed to be dashed.

“We have put a lot of thought into how we can continue and have been so heartened to see that performers and audiences alike are so keen to take part. The wonders of digital technology allow us to present our school’s programme online.

“Indeed, the advantage of online programming means that every school in Limerick can access the wonderful work being created – there are no barriers to all the children in the city and county enjoying the best that is on offer.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Arts Council, Limerick City & County Council and the JP McManus Foundation, without whose help and support none of this would have been possible.”

Our festival highlights include Michael Ford and Bairbre Ni Chaoimh’s beautiful show The Wilde Garden Adventure, the opening show of the festival on Sunday Oct 4th in Belltable. The show is based on two famous Oscar Wilde books The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant.

We are thrilled Emma Martin’s Birdboy will tour to the Lime Tree Theatre on Wednesday Oct 7th. This engaging family show premiered earlier this month in the Dublin Fringe Festival to fantastic reviews. We feel so lucky that they tour to Limerick first and then go to 4 other venues in the country.

Cahoots NI have spent the summer converted units in a Belfast shopping centre into various magical rooms for a real live virtual experience with their new show The University of Wonder and Imagination.

Music Generation Limerick presents a new programme of interactive livestreams for schools featuring award-winning Limerick actor Myles Breen, the amazing rapper Denise Chaila, trad star Zoe Conway, guitarist and singer Sean O’Meara and classical violinist with the ICO Diane Daly.

Also, Branar Téatar have an online puppet workshop, Children’s Books Ireland go online with their book clinics for all book worms,  Jean McGlynn gets creative with Halloween ideas, there is something for every child this year, now all we need is you to ensure they can join us and have some fun!

A full programme of festival events with dates/times/age groups etc are available at – www.limetreetheatre.ie/show-category/bualadhbos/

!!!! The Irish Museums Association Teacher Survey

The Irish Museums Association (IMA)

Deadline: midnight, 6 October 2020

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) invites teachers to assist them in supporting your work by completing a short survey and enter their raffle to win an Echo Dot (3rd Gen.) smart speaker with Alexa.

As we all adapt to new ways of working, learning and socialising, the museum sector across Ireland is increasing efforts to not only continue to support schools in the delivery of learning but also develop and pilot new resources and services.

Your participation in this survey is extremely important. It will inform and guide the association and its members, allowing them to deliver programmes that complement your work and are both educational and enjoyable.

From your responses, an anonymised report with recommendations will be produced and circulated to museums and stakeholders.

Link to online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/ r/IMA-teachersurvey

Closing date of survey: midnight, 6 October 2020.

!!!! HOMEGROUND Art, People, Place, Identity Research & Development Mentoring Awards (2020-2021)

Draíocht & Fingal Arts Office

Deadline: 5pm, 18th September 2020

Fingal Arts Office, in collaboration with Draíocht, is delighted to announce an Open Call for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity, five new Research and Development (with mentoring) Awards for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.

The call is open to artists from all disciplines across the visual and performing arts.

The artists will demonstrably be either:
(a) currently involved in socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county
OR
(b) have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county .

The Award will support the research and development of a pertinent project with attendant mentoring support.  The Award does not cover the realisation of a project at this point.  In undertaking the researching and development of a project at this point, its realisation may however be envisaged for a gallery, theatre or site-specific space  in Dublin 15/Fingal.  Subject to resources, Fingal Art Office and/or Draíocht may consider future support for the realisation of one or more of the projects developed through a HOMEGROUND Award.

There are five Research and Development Awards (with mentoring). One award of which will be available specifically for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background.

The timeframe of the HOMEGROUND Award is November 2020 – April  2021.

For further information and application details go to www.draiocht.ie/blog/entry/homeground_open_call_fingal_arts_office_draiocht

!!!! Call Out for young people in Sligo/Leitrim area with an interest in LGTBQI+ issues!

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Calling young people in Sligo/Leitrim with an interest in LGBTQI+ issues…

Do you want to be part of a new art and writing project that explores gender and sexuality?

Do you want to stimulate dialogue and capture the imagination of your local community through the creation of strong messages and powerful imagery?

Kids’ Own in partnership with SMILY – offers an exciting creative process in summer/autumn 2020 with a writer, artist and graphic designer that will support you to have a voice and influence on the issues that matter to you.

Weekly workshops will take place in Sligo.

This programme is FREE and open to young people aged 13–18.

No previous art or writing experience is necessary.

For further information and to sign up go to www.kidsown.ie.

To find more information about SMILY, visit: facebook.com/SMILY.LGBT.Northwest

!!!! Take a Rain Walk with The Ark & Dublin Fringe Festival

The Ark in collaboration with Dublin Fringe Festival

Dates: 5 – 20 September 2020

Take a rain walk accompanied by the voices of children from across Ireland and the UK in The Ark’s first ever collaboration with Dublin Fringe Festival.

With their guidance, the rainfall will become your own private theatre, a space in which to observe, imagine and play.

Because The Ark’s team are no better at predicting when it might rain than you are, everything you need to experience the show is contained within a little box that will be delivered to you when you purchase a ticket. Keep it safe until the weather turns.

Then, whether in a drizzle or a deluge, alone or with friends or family, the team invite you to step outside, feel the rain on your face, and think about your place in a world that is changing so swiftly around you.

As a leader in child participation practice, The Ark is excited to join forces with artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington, whose imaginative performance projects are all about enabling children to interact with adults and voice their feelings about the world they live in and how they would like it to change for the better.

Now, with support from The Ark, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and The Place, London, Andy and Beckie will collaborate with children from across Ireland and the UK, setting challenges that involve thinking, imagining, writing and recording their voices. The results will be combined to create an audio track that will guide you on your interactive walk in the rain as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2020: Pilot Light Edition.

Recommended for families with children aged 6+ and grown-ups of all ages

For further information and ticket booking go to ark.ie/events/view/a-rain-walk.

!!!! Announcing the 24th Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

October 2020

The organisers of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children are delighted to confirm that the 24th annual festival will take place this October. The festival’s innovative programme for 2020 will bring live performances, creative artistic experiences, visual art installations and interactive digital experiences to theatres, classrooms and homes over an extended period of two weeks, with Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan’s new family show The Electric Kazoo announced one of the highlight live events. Full programme details will be revealed in early September.

Galway-based Baboró is Ireland’s flagship international arts festival devoted exclusively to young audiences, their families and schools, enabling them to experience the transformative power of the creative arts. The festival will be an opportunity for families to celebrate together, to find creative expression for the upheaval of the past few months and most importantly, to have fun. At its heart will be a recognition of how much has been sacrificed by children and families in recent months and the promotion of kindness to self and to others.

Festival organisers, artists and partner venues have been working together passionately to imagine and co-create innovative ways to deliver meaningful artistic experiences to children and their families.

Aislinn Ó hEocha, the festival’s Executive Artistic Director, says, “So much has been asked of children this year and we want to take a moment to celebrate them through this festival. We have been separated from our friends, teachers, coaches and extended families but yet have found new ways to come together while staying apart. Many of us have found a new appreciation for the people and places close to us and I hope this year’s programme will offer a chance for celebration and expression. The festival will be an opportunity to celebrate the togetherness that has been lost and found in this challenging time. We can’t wait to meet our audiences and share the joy of Baboró once again.”

The festival is delighted to announce that the 2020 programme will include a brand new live music gig for families of all ages, Paul Noonan Presents: The Electric Kazoo, commissioned by the TRACKS Network of Dublin Fringe Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. Noonan developed online concerts during his own lockdown at home in Dublin, supported by his own children and a legion of big and small fans who tuned in online from all around the world. Tickets for the Electric Kazoo and Baboró’s full programme will be available when the programme is released in early September.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will launch its programme in early September, when tickets will go on sale. For the latest programme announcements follow Baboró on social media, subscribe to their newsletter or go to www.baboro.ie.

For Schools: Please sign up to Baboró’s newsletter for updates on school dates here – bit.ly/baboronews.

 

!!!! Certificate in Arts in Group Facilitation 

Crawford College of Art & Design (CIT) 

Course Starts Early October 2020

The Arts in Group Facilitation Certificate (level 8, 10 credits) focuses on the practical skills of planning and running creative workshops with groups in a range of non-formal contexts. Participants learn these skills through experiential learning processes, taking part in visual arts, drama, dance and music workshops and reflecting on the experience. The focus is on acknowledging the individual within learning, recognizing the importance of play and the need for learning to be engaging. There is a strong emphasis on engaging with diversity and learning to adapt a range of arts approaches to meet the varying needs within a group. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online.

What will you be doing?
Exploring ways of working with the Arts through experiential workshops where you will experience firsthand approaches and techniques. Peer working will enhance your learning – exploring planning, design and evaluating working with groups. We are adapting to Covid-19 restriction and see the potential of learning in outdoor environments for participants in the programme and for those participants may work with in the future.

We are inviting participants to join us with a bicycle to access outdoor learning environments. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online. The programme will be delivered through blended learning, involving face to face experiential learning and online learning. The face to face learning is being designed to maximise the potential of creative learning in outdoor environments.

Why do this course?

Who is it for?

Of particular interest to those interested in;

Applications are recorded on a rolling basis and will close once the course is full so early applications are advised. The course will start in early October 2020.

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/group-facilitation/

Or contact Jessica Carson at jessica.carson@cit.ie or +353 21 433 5256

 

!!!! Creative Schools Television

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Creative Schools team has developed an online support for learners and their families during school closures – Creative Schools TV.

CSTV will bring the work of the Creative Associates right into homes while attendance at our schools is limited by the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and educators with an understanding of the arts and creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people.

Each week a different Creative Associate will introduce a new lesson on YouTube. Lessons will explore an area of creativity, from photography, to dance, to drama, to music – depending on the speciality of the Creative Associate.

And Creative Schools want children and young people to share their creativity with them and show them what they’ve learned from each lesson. They can share their creative work to the Creative Schools team using a CSTV Submission Form available at www.artscouncil.ie/CSTV/.

Each week  show off all the creativity inspired by last week’s lesson! You can view all the episodes of CSTV on the Arts Council’s YouTube channel. Further supports will be developed in the coming weeks and shared on CSTV.

Fore more information on the submission process go to www.artscouncil.ie/CSTV/

You can view all the episodes of CSTV on the Arts Council’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArtsCouncilDemos.

!!!! Unleash Your Creative Spirit – Cruinniú na nÓg 2020

The Creative Ireland Programme

Date: 13 June 2020

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is Ireland’s national day of free creative activities for children and young people under the age of 18. Over the past 2 years Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key point in the calendar for children and young people to try something creative, develop an appetite for discovery and acquire new skill, 2020 will be no different. 

In light of ongoing public health restrictions the Creative Ireland Programme are inviting young people to celebrate our culture and creativity and to take part in a virtual Cruinniú on Saturday 13th June. 

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is a collaboration between the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities and RTÉ.

There is an amazing array of 300 + events that will be happening in the run up to and on the day itself, all of which can be accessed on cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie

There are a number of creative “calls to action” which young people – indeed entire families – can create in their own homes and gardens.

Céilí in the Kitchen – A collective call to action for young people and their families to create a Céilí in their kitchen for Cruinniú, with Áirc Damhsa, who will guide us through the Irish tradition of these communal social events that take place in houses. 

On the 13th of June you won’t have to leave the house to join a Céilí, you can have one right there in your own home.  All you have to do is push back the kitchen table, put the chairs against the wall and you’re good to go. Creative Ireland with the help of choreographer Edwina Guckian, singer Cathy Jordan, musician Thomas Johnston and storyteller Mikel Murfi are putting together weekly video workshops from May 18th that will make sure you have all you need for a great night of traditional music, song, dance and storytelling. 

Let’s Go Fly a Kite – A collective call to action for children, young people and their families to make and fly a kite for Cruinniú.

The Design and Crafts Council Ireland have joined forces with Creative Ireland to design a kite that anyone can make at home. All you need is some sticks, some newspaper, some string and a whole lot of imagination. Why not decorate in your county colours, or decorate it with pictures of your favourite pop star? From the 15th May, a series of webinars and videos will guide you and your family through fun ways to make a kite.

Create a Video Game App – If you could click your fingers and create a video game app, what would it be? A racing game or a coin collector? A target game or a platform? The choice is endless and it’s time for you to decide.

In addition, local authorities will also be hosting a range of cultural and creative activities and online events for Cruinniú na nÓg – full details of the 300+ events available on the special Cruinniú website cruinniu. creativeireland.gov.ie/events/

!!!! Kids’ Own ‘Open Space’ Action Research Report Available Online

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership are delighted to announce that Open Space, the action research report on the Virtually There arts in education project, researched and written by Dr Bryonie Reid, is now available to read online!

Open Space was launched last month by Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast, at the opening of our Virtually There exhibition at Ulster University, Belfast.

This publication is the result of two years of independent action research conducted by Dr Bryonie Reid, commissioned by Kids’ Own, and made possible by funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The aim of the research was to explore the impact of the Virtually There on all its participants: artists, teachers, and children. One of the wonderful things about this research is that it tells the story of the project, of those involved in the project, and in the relationships and collaborations that were so central to the project’s success. As Bryonie notes in her introduction: “These stories give a much fuller, more comprehensive picture of how the project worked and what the project has meant than could statistics”. Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, commended Bryonie’s approach to the project, saying “Kids’ Own’s work is about recognising all children as individuals with their own uniqueness of experience, and as such, a homogenised statistical analysis of the project would make no sense. This offered space for real richness of detail and allows the reader to come — in my view — to a closer understanding of how the project was experienced by those involved.

To read the full publication click here.

For further information go to kidsown.ie/read-new-kids-own-publication-open-space-online/

!!!! Get Involved in #ImagineNation with Children’s Books Ireland and An Post

Children’s Book Ireland

Children’s Book Ireland in partnership with An Post invites you to join the #ImagineNation campaign which brings together leading Irish children’s authors and illustrators and YOU!

The #ImagineNation playbook is overflowing with activities for primary school children in drawing, writing and mindfulness exercises from leading creatives including Oliver Jeffers, Chris Haughton, Sarah Crossan, Don Conroy, Niall Breslin, Niamh Sharkey and many more, the book will be accessible to all children to download as well as being delivered free by An Post to thousands of houses around the country.

As part of the campaign, a live draw along Facebook event with Don Conroy will encourage children to get involved.

Children from all over the country are encouraged to get creative using the ImagineNation playbook downloadable at www.anpost.com/ImagineNation and https://childrensbooksireland.ie/resources/imaginenation/. Also post their creations on social media using the #ImagineNation hashtag and tag An Post and Children’s Books Ireland.

An Post and Children’s Books Ireland believe that everyone can be creative – no one more so than children – and that every child can be a reader.

Right now, so much is being asked of families who are staying home and staying safe.

The playbook has activities, puzzles, poems and short stories from some of Ireland’s best children’s writers and illustrators that they hope will delight, entertain and spark creativity. 90,000 copies of the playbook for 6 to 10-year-olds will be distributed to homes in the coming days and also to family hubs and centres of Direct Provision.

For more information go to childrensbooksireland.ie/resources/imaginenation/

!!!! Creative Schools Opportunity for Schools and Youthreach Centres

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Update:  In light of the COVID-19 situation, this deadline has been extended further to 25 June http://www.artscouncil.ie/available-funding/

Deadline: 25 June 2020

The Creative School Team is delighted to announce an opportunity for schools and Youthreach centres to be part of the next phase of Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Creative Schools aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives and this year 150 new schools/centres will join the programme. Participating schools will work alongside a Creative Associate who will help them to develop their own Creative Schools plan to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in their school.  Schools will be awarded a once-off grant of €4,000 (in total) to implement their plans over the two school years 2020–21 and 2021–22.

The deadline for submitting applications is 25 June 2020. The window for submitting applications opens on 18 February.

Further information and applications details go to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/schools/

To apply go to www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Creative-Schools-Initiative/

!!!! Discover The Ark @ Home

The Ark

The Ark are delighted to announce details of The Ark @ Home, a selection of at-home activities and experiences that provide opportunities for children aged 2-12 to discover and love the arts in their own homes.

Sadly, like so many other arts organisations, The Ark has been forced to close our doors and cancel a number of programmes due to take place over the coming month due to the current COVID-19 crisis. But while our building may remain shut for the time being, The Ark @ Home will offer children daily opportunities to explore and discover the arts in their own homes over the next few weeks.

Speaking about The Ark @ Home, The Ark’s Director Aideen Howard said, “At The Ark, we believe in every child’s right to art and culture. Generally, this means visits to our beautiful building in Temple Bar to see shows, exhibitions and concerts, or to take part in our hands-on workshops. Now though, while our audience of children, parents and teachers are all at home, we want to share the work of some of our brilliant Ark artists online. The Ark @ Home is a way for children who are home from school to connect with some of those performances and workshops. Check out ark.ie and The Ark Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.”

Each day, different creative content and resources will be made available on ark.ie. Enjoy a taste of some of the programmes which have been cancelled including Fly Me To The MoonBIG BANG Dublin! and more. You might like to kick back and watch a filmed performance of theatre for children, or get up and make some moves to an archived music performance. You might get creative with a hands-on worksheet or let your imagination soar as you dream up worlds far away. From activity sheets to streams of live performances, The Ark invites children right across the country to take part.

Each Thursday, a different videoed performance of a show commissioned and presented by The Ark will be available to stream online, including acclaimed theatre productions such as The Haircut! by Wayne Jordan & Tom Lane and Peat by Kate Heffernan, as well as wonderful musical experiences such as the magical Tracks in the Snow featuring The Henry Girls.

The Ark is delighted, in this way, to continue offering children exciting creative opportunities across the arts, and to celebrate the work of some of the amazing artists that we have worked with, commissioned and continue to support through these very challenging times.

Each Monday we’ll announce our schedule for the coming week online here – ark.ie/projects/details/the-ark-at-home-weekly-schedule. Take a look at some of the fantastic activities, resources and virtual events they have got in store here now – ark.ie/projects/the-ark-at-home

!!!! Uillinn Connect – Online Activities for Children

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Ongoing

Uillinn Connect – A new programme from Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre responding to the current global situation. The programme seeks to find new ways to connect artworks, artists and the public. Focusing on the Uillinn’s regular programme and also creating new ones that reach out to everyone keeping safe at home.

A selection of activities for children and young people below:

Uillinn Connect – Daily Art Activity

Posted daily on Uillinn’s Facebook event, follow this link
An online connecting activity for primary school-age children and their parents, every morning at 11am from Monday to Friday with Public Engagement Assistant Kate McElroy and intern Stella Gilfert (now interning remotely from Germany).

Taking inspiration from Uillinn’s primary schools exhibition Connecting, Gabhann Dunne’s exhibition Committed to Falling and William Bock’s exhibition Land Walks Land Talks Land Marks, we are sharing a daily art activity for families to create at home.

‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop playing’
George Bernard Shaw

Use the hastag: #UillinnConnect on social media or email photographs of your work to info@westcorkartscentre.com so we can connect the work together! The team will compile all the images at the end for an online exhibition of the work! Shared on social media and archived on the web here.

Uillinn Connect: Play on words, Play onwards
Wednesday Art Club artists have devised a wonderful way to keep the programme running with a postal project designed with each child in mind. Artists Pól Ó Colmáin and Marie Cullen have prepared a special envelope for each child containing a unique poem written for the child by the artists; a selection of art materials; and a letter from Pól and Marie inviting the children to make a visual response to the poem.

The children are asked to return their artwork in the stamped, addressed envelope provided to Pól and Maire, who will then compile a limited edition book with a copy for each child.
Here’s the first verse of one of the poems to give you an flavour:
The Little Earwig
There was a little earwig, I think his name was Liam,
but it didn’t really matter, ‘cos he’d answer just the same.
He lived in the back garden shed in a cosy little house,
a ball of leaves and twigs that he shared with a wood louse.
He loved to go spelunking in each tunnel, cave and hole,
exploring every hollow stem when he was on patrol.
And then, he’d head back homewards and, as cosy as you please,
he’d tell of his adventures and his discoveries.

Uillinn Connect: And We’ll All Fly Together
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre’s Curiosity project connecting pre-school children with the residents and staff of West Cork Community Hospitals during COVID-19. Sarah Ruttle along with Uillinn’s Programme Manager: Education and Community and Arts for Heath Coordinator Justine Foster, devised a project to connect children with the community hospitals. See here for more information on this project.

For further information and a full listing of activities go to https://www.westcorkartscentre.com/uillinn-connect

!!!! Creativity at Home: Daily Art Activities Online with The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Join The Glucksman online for creative activities you can do at home.

The Glucksman may be closed but the team will be online during gallery opening hours to help you to get creative at home.

Every day, they will share new art activities on their website, and facebook, instagram and twitter accounts. With video tutorials on their YouTube channel.

Share your images and they will post them to their online galleries.

To get involved go to www.glucksman.org/events

 

!!!! Creative Arts in Education Ideas for Primary Level from The Ark

The Ark

If you’re looking for some creative ideas for educational activities (primary level) at home during the school closure then check out some of The Ark’s classroom activities & resource packs. These have been have created to accompany some of The Ark’s programmes, including their ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ season which has been curtailed due to the current closure.

Lots of them work even without having seen the show or exhibitions so do take a look – they are available to download for free and use at the link below:

ark.ie/schools/classroom-resources

!!!! Part 1 – Announcing the 2020 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award Recipients

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the first recipient of the 2020 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award. We are very excited to be working with each recipient in the coming months to document their projects. These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project title: The Lonely Traveller (Brenda’s Voyage)

The Lonely Traveller began as a Teacher Artist Partnership (TAP) between teacher Jacintha Mullins and composer Fiona Linnane in collaboration with pupils at the Mid-West School for the Deaf, Limerick, with support from Dr. Carmel O’Doherty director of Limerick Education Centre. The initial aim of the project was simple; make the primary music curriculum more accessible to deaf pupils and explore paths of engagement with music for profoundly deaf children.

The Lonely Traveller is an ongoing project which has grown both legs and wings since its inception. The project drew inspiration from the Immram tradition and, in particular, The Brendan Voyage (however the children gave the story a 21st century update by renaming the main protagonist Brenda).

During this project Brenda, the lonely traveller, has explored the length and breadth of the music curriculum. She has wandered along a cross-curricular path through Music, History, English, Irish Sign language, Science, SPHE, Maths, Drama, ICT and Visual art. She has reached out to both world-famous artists (Dame Evelyn Glennie) and local artists (Puppeteer Emma Fisher) alike. She has challenged teachers to walk behind while she takes the children by the hand and brings them on exciting adventure into the world of creativity. She has given us valuable insight into the amazing creative abilities of children with SEN and shown us how to explore the potential and possibilities that exist in the field of arts in education.

Brenda will take the lead role in a short film which will be written, directed and produced by the children of the middle and upper primary classes at the Mid-West School for the Deaf. Our short film will encompass original song writing, soundscapes, vocal and musical performance as well a shadow puppetry. We will also be introducing the children in our school to digital filming, video editing and sound engineering.

Teacher:  Jacintha Mullins

Jacintha qualified from the Limerick School of Art and Design with a degree in Fine Art. She went on to complete a Master of Arts in Interactive Media after which she qualified as a primary school teacher and completed specialised training and qualification as a teacher of the deaf. Jacintha currently teaches children aged 8-12 years at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick.

As a teacher of children with a wide variety of hearing impairments and special needs Jacintha is constantly employing her artistic skills to deliver the curriculum in a way that is active, engaging and relevant to the children in her classes. Jacintha understands the importance that the visual environment holds for deaf children. She is also acutely aware of the need that these children have to find ways in which they can express themselves.

Jacintha endeavours to provide an arts rich approach to teaching and learning at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick. In 2019 she undertook the TAP summer course and trained as a TAP facilitator later that same summer. She will be delivering CPD to teachers on the TAP summer course in July 2020 and is also currently working as a creative associate within the creative schools initiative.

Artist: Fiona Linnane

Fiona Linnane is a composer based in County Limerick.  Fiona has been working with Primary schools for over 15 years including projects under the Artist in Schools schemes for Tipperary, Clare and Limerick Arts Offices.  In 2020 she was appointed to the Heritage Council’s Panel of Specialists for the Heritage in Schools scheme.  Her workshops are enthusiastic, energetic and fun while aiming to give students a new perspective on sound, music and composition.

Fiona is very active in community music and is widely sought after for commissions and to lead projects. In 2013 Fiona was appointed composer in residence for Bells Across The Burren, an Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community project, which included an exhibition and music trail at the Burren College of Art and commissions for locals music groups.

Fiona was awarded the Limerick City and County Council Individual Arts Bursary in 2018, and again in 2019, for work in the field of opera and Art song.   Current projects include development of an opera inspired by No.2 Pery Square, Limerick in collaboration with Opera Workshop and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

!!!! Opportunity to be part of the Creative Schools’ Creative Associate Panel

Update

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

The Arts Council will shortly begin the tender process for a panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of the Creative Schools programme for the academic year 2020-21 onwards.

The Contract Notice, 2020 application forms and all relevant documents will be available to download from 13th February 2020 on www.etenders.gov.ie/

The Arts Council of Ireland will tender for a panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of Creative Schools/ Scoileanna Ildánacha for the academic year 2020-21 onwards. The Arts council will publish relevant tender documents in February 2020.

This is an exciting opportunity for artists, creative practitioners and individuals working in organisations in the arts and cultural sector.
Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Further information about the programme and the work of Creative Associates can also be found here www.artscouncil.ie/ creative-schools/, including information Booklets and FAQs.

 

!!!! Schools & Early Years Groups are invited to ‘Art in Action’ at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: 11 – 20 February 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre invites toddler groups, playschools, junior and senior infants to a guided experience of Art in Action. An interactive exhibition where artists have used images, objects, actions to communicate with their surrounding world.

An interactive, multimedia exhibition for children with work by Basia Bańda + Tomasz Relewicz, Ewa Bone + Ewa Kozubal, Tomasz Madajczak, Krzysztof Matuszak, Aleksandra Ska and Hubert Wińczyk. Curated by Bartosz Nowak in collaboration with MOS: Municipal Art Centre, Gorzów Wielkopolsk, Poland. http://www.mosart.pl/ wystawy-2019/detail,nID,6164

This exhibition is a meeting of children and artists. The eight visual artists included in the exhibition have created interactive artworks that involve children in the co-creation of the works presented in the gallery. Encouraging children to participate in their construction and reconstruction allows them to experience artistic processes in action.

The exhibition and accompanying events are focused on enabling children to develop creativity, self-confidence and curiosity, explore the world, to communicate and to think critically, demonstrating that art is primarily a way of experiencing and building mutual relations with the environment, other people and oneself

Your group can book a guided experience led by one of the exhibiting artists Tomasz Madajczak. Group bookings are free of charge and can be made by telephone on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

 

!!!! Date Announced for the Arts in Education Portal Spring Regional Day 2020

Arts in Education Portal 

Date: Saturday, 28 March 2020

The Arts in Education Portal Team are delighted to announce that the 2020 Spring Regional Day will take place in VISUAL Carlow on Saturday, March 28th 2020 from 10.30am to 3pm.

We invite regional audiences to connect with us during a series of events, where practitioners can learn more about the Portal and what it offers, tell us about their work, connect with the community at regional level, share practice and find out what opportunities or events are available in their local area. We welcome teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free event.

Stay tuned for the full schedule to be announced in February.

To book tickets for this free event go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/arts-in-education-portal-regional-day-carlow-tickets-86804088365

!!!! The National Arts in Education Portal Day 2019 Roundup

On November 9th the fourth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day took place at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in partnership with ILAS and Babóro. The national portal day is building momentum as a very significant event in the arts and education calendar in Ireland, and this year the portal day coincided with the Creative Schools week-long celebration of arts and creativity in schools.

With over 150 artists, teachers and arts in education professionals in attendance with 20 workshops and lectures across the day by a range of presenters from the sector. An opening address from Professor Pat Dolan and inspirational insights from our guest speaker Professor Bill Lucas exploring the importance of creativity in schools. Thanks to all involved in making day a huge success!

Speaking at the event, Minister Kyne said, “This annual event presents a wonderful opportunity for teachers and other creative practitioners to come together to explore the area of arts in education. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, along with the Department of Education and Skills, are working together to promote creativity among our children and young people”.

To view Professor Bill Lucas’s presentation from the Portal Day click below:

Creativity in Schools: What It Is, Why Is Matters and How to ‘Teach’ It by Professor Bill Lucas

 


!!!! Opportunity: Early Childhood Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2019

The Four Dublin Local Authorities

Deadline: 5pm, 4 November 2019

The four Dublin Local Authorities invite submissions for: Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award 2019.

The Exploring & Thinking Bursary Award will support individual professional artists to develop their artistic practice working with and/or producing work for early childhood arts. This award is open to individual professional artists who wish to develop their practice in early childhood arts, artists practicing in all artforms, artists resident in Ireland.

Bursary range: €200 – €10,000

The closing date:  4th of November 2019

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities – Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

Please find the Application Guidelines & Criteria in the attached document.

Download the Application Guidelines & Criteria here

For further information and queries contact Orla Scannell, Arts Officer, South Dublin County Council, E: oscannell@sdublincoco.ie

!!!! Guest Blogger: Joan Whelan, Chairperson of the Irish Forest School Association – Blog No.4

The Irish Forest School Association (IFSA) was founded in 2016 and is engaged in the promotion and development of the Forest School (FS) movement in Ireland.  We bring Forest School practitioners together to inspire inclusive, playful learning for all, in nature.  We want to build resilience and relationships, through our connection with each other, and the natural world, while inspiring creativity and supporting wellbeing. More information can be found on our website www.irishforestschoolassociation.ie.

This final blog post is from Joan Whelan, the Chairperson of the Irish Forest School Association. She  reflects on the opportunities  within Forest School for adults to reaffirm their own creativity in their approach to teaching, drawing on her experience of introducing Forest School to the primary school where she was principal and on her current PhD research on the distinctiveness of Forest School as a pedagogical approach.              

“Lie down, lie down, that way is best” – Blog 4

Participating in a Forest School (FS) session recently with a group of senior infants, I had one of those ‘light-bulb’ moments that happen every now and again and give pause for thought. Our eyes had been drawn towards the tree canopy by the fleeting sight of a grey squirrel bounding up the trunk of a scots pine.

‘Lie down, lie down,’ urged one of the children in a commanding but quiet voice. ‘That way is best’.

And we did. We lay down. Three 6-year olds and myself, flat out on the damp slightly muddy floor of a small and not very loved corner of woodland in Dublin city.  And there was quiet, as we searched the tree canopy for the elusive squirrel, for perhaps a minute. Later that same day, having made charcoals from the leftover embers of the fire, a child asked to finger paint stripes on my face…and I had no hesitation.  The experience remained with me.
I realised that in 36 years of teaching, I had never fully encountered this kind of immersive, embodied, child-initiated experience that felt very powerful and right.  And I thought myself progressive and innovative as a teacher.  What made this possible? Was it being in nature? Was it being suitably attired? Was it the small group? Was it the opportunities for child-led activity? Was it the leadership of the FS leader? Was it the safety that the session provided to explore and to ‘be’? Was it all of these?

It seems to me that a very profound opportunity exists for adults to reflect on their practice through participation in FS.  We cannot promote creativity in children without being open to making new connections for meaning as adults. FS gives us permission to take a step aside, unlocking a more playful approach to learning which in turn promotes curiosity, exploration and innovative cross curricular connections that surely comprise the possibility for deep and creative connection and meaning making across the curriculum. FS seems to enable us to move from being teachers and pupils to being learners together.

In the context of the Arts in Education, FS provides a foundational, cross curricular pedagogical approach. The woodland provides the tools to enable risks to be taken safely, curiosity to be satisfied and boundaries to be tested. The transformative nature of this kind of learning for wellbeing, creativity and innovation is not easily accessible elsewhere in formal learning contexts. In an era of increasing focus on outcomes, rather than process, FS can help re-position children and adults, not the curriculum, at the core of deeper learning in the primary school.  FS pedagogy can help to promote a deeper understanding of the relationship between the human world and the natural world, a theoretical thread that can be traced back to Rousseau, who regarded a connection to nature as fundamental to optimal human functioning.  However, FS must be approached within a theory of change perspective. In other words, the importance of school communities articulating a vision for their pedagogical approach, based on their educational purpose, is non-negotiable.

And when was the last time you placed your hands in wet mud?

!!!! Early Years Seedlings Workshops at The Ark: Howie Hedgehog Needs a Home

The Ark 

Dates: 4 & 5 October 2019

Get cosy for the autumn in this early years drama workshop for little ones aged 2-4 led by The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence, Joanna Parkes.

Autumn is here, leaves are falling and the animals in the woods are preparing for their long winter sleep. But Howie Hedgehog is not ready. He has no food supplies and no shelter to sleep in. He will need some help from the wood elves to collect food and build himself a warm and cosy den.

Join in to discover, explore and find out if you can help Howie build his den in this delightful workshop adventure.

Combining drama, story, play and props, this interactive drama workshop invites little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy imagining together. So if you’re a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunty, godparent or carer, come along with a 2 to 4 year old and join in the fun.

Dates & Times: 

Friday 4th October, 10.15am & 2pm
Saturday 5th October, 10.15am & 11.45am

For ages 2- 4

45 minutes

For more information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-howie-the-hedgehog

!!!! Artists Coffee Morning at The Ark

The Ark

Date: 9 October 2019

Are you an artist with an interest in creating work with or for children?

The Ark invites you to pop in for a welcoming cup of coffee or tea and meet with other like-minded artists.
Suitable for artists new to work with children and those with more experience with this unique audience, this event will be very relaxed – and there may even be cake!

There will be time to chat to other artists as well as some of The Ark team.

No booking required. Just turn up – the kettle will be on!

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/artists-coffee-morning-oct-2019

!!!! Primary Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Date: 19 October 2019

Join curators, academics and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our responsibility towards the environment.

Current issues of education and communication of climate change and sustainability are complex, multi-faceted and potentially overwhelming unless the problems can be scaled down and re-framed. This masterclass focuses on peatlands, an important part of our biodiversity and an example of ways that individual and collective effort can be valuable for climate action.

Date & Time: Saturday 19 October 2019, 10am -1pm

Places are Free but booking is required.

For further information and booking go to www.glucksman.org/events/art-teachers-masterclass

!!!! Human Being and Human Becoming

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Initially in 2017, Cleo Fagan, curator of Superprojects, approached Maeve Mulrennan, curator of Galway Arts Centre about doing a project for children that explored the body and consciousness.  Out of this conversation, the idea for working with the artist Siobhan McGibbon emerged, who had previously worked with young audiences as part of GAC’s Red Bird Collective. Siobhan’s work very much centres on the human body and she has extensive experience working with children and young people. Galway Arts Centre have worked with Scoil Chroí Íosa previously and the close proximity to GAC, combined with their enthusiasm for working on arts projects and the efforts and skills of the students themselves, made the school the ideal partner to work with.

Working over 9 sessions, Siobhan and the students have used collage and sculpture to explore transhuman themes, resulting in an exhibition (15th – 27th October 2018) in Galway Arts Centre for Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.

Siobhan McGibbon’s own practice combines arts practice, narrative and scientific research to imagine the future of the human species. In 2015 she created the world of the Xenothorpeans, a hybrid race of post-humans who were able to enhance their anatomy and genetic make-up with medical therapies. This fictional narrative evolved from research undertaken by her whilst on residency in the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM). Through the development of hybrid figures she articulates her hopes and fears concerning medical technology and the future of the human.

With this in mind, she has worked collaboratively with the pupils from Scoil Chroí to develop a speculative science fiction. This work was exhibited in Galway Arts Centre in October 2018. As a way to further expand on and explore the ideas in Siobhan and the children’s work, Education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Professor of Education Aislinn O’Donnell worked with Siobhan to develop a series of creative, experiential workshops in response the exhibition at Galway Arts Centre. These were supported by the children-artists from Scoil Chroí Íosa who were joined by  2nd and 5th Class students from another local Galway school – Claddagh NS. The Art & Philosophy workshops developed an experimental range of exercises that were centred on the voice, ideas, experiences, and imaginations of children as they responded to work in the exhibition and the ideas provoked by that encounter.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

As a starting point, I introduced the students to my practice. I talked about the origins of my ideas, explaining how I take inspiration from the biological sciences and use narrative and animal metaphors to think about what this research means.  I told the class that a scientist would host a workshop about the regenerative capacity of sea animals and together we would respond to the science through storytelling.

In the initial stage, we talked about domestic animals and thought about the way dogs and cats live in the world. We thought about how these animals are similar and different to humans. As many of the students have cats and dogs as pets, they had lots to contribute. It was an accessible model to think about different ways of being in the world.

Following this, the scientist from CURAM hosted an interactive workshop, in which the students learnt about emerging science inspired by animal biology. The workshop involved lots of discussions, including all the students, class teacher Rachel and me. In the workshops after this, we thought about how this new science could change their lives. Through drawing and storytelling, we thought about the consequences of regeneration and immortality through speculative scenarios.

As the project developed, we explored case studies of more unusual animals that contribute to medical research, through a presentation of video clips, images and facts we thought about what life would be like if we were a hybrid of this animal. Each student explored this through drawing, collage and storytelling, which they presented it to the class. Following this, the class asked questions about the story and, together with teacher Rachel, we teased out the ideas that arose from these artworks. These group discussions led the workshops in new directions, new insights from each animal study contributed to the next, and in each workshop, we delved deeper into speculative ways being.

The Art and Philosophy Project involved working with Katy and Aislinn to respond to the rich and complex range of ideas and imagery that was generated through the school’s residency.

Education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Professor of Education Aislinn O’Donnell

Through diverse arts-based, sensory, and philosophical methodologies, the children and their teachers: experienced the exhibition through a range of lens. These ranged from VTS and inquiry based philosophical approaches, considering the key concepts within the work, to children putting themselves imaginatively in the shoes of a chosen hybrid, generating choreographies to express that identity, engaging in sensation, touch and blind drawing exercises, debating whether it’s better to be a jellyfish that is immortal or a human who dies, and doing meditation exercises imagining the sensory experience of being starfish or a frog. The exercises supported a deeper engagement with the exhibition and opened up their imaginations and thinking. It was important to involve the children who had created the work in the school project, to describe their engagement in making the work, but also to co-facilitate and actively take part themselves, in particular in facilitating the philosophical conversations about ‘big questions’.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Cleo Fagan, Curator

I think Siobhan as an artist who has such an imaginative and research-based art practice, works really well in the primary educational context. Siobhan’s research includes the analysis of animal biology and behaviour and then makes big imaginative leaps that lead to strange but fascinating speculative conclusions. The way children think is highly imaginative and they often love the peculiar, so what better people to go on an artistic journey into the world of transhumanism! I think it’s very exciting to engage children in such a complex and rich area of research. Not only does Siobhan have these highly relevant research interests, but she also has strong interpersonal skills and a good sense of humour – very useful qualities for working with  children.

The Art & Philosophy programme in Galway Arts Centre, worked with students from Claddagh NS, as well as some of the original Scoil Chroí Íosa students (co-creators of the exhibited artworks and in this instance they supported in a co-facilitation role). This enquiry was another project in itself. The programme used a number of different learning methodologies, to provide students the opportunity to develop their own considered responses to the artworks, as well as the ensuing big ideas that led from this process of engaging with the artworks. This excellent and intricate programme took the students on a dynamic intellectual and creative journey, a process that is well illustrated in the documentation film.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

‘Explorations of hybrid configurations from mythology to science fiction underpin my practice. I’m interested in the symbolism and metaphor embedded within the iconography and the hybrids endless mutability to think about ways of being in the world and alternative ways of being in the future.

This was the first time I explored this ‘framework for thinking’ with children. Each student created hybrids that embodied their ideas and speculations about the emerging science that they learnt in the workshop with the scientist.

I was amazed at how quickly the students grasped the concept and I was delighted by their dynamic hybrids. It was fascinating to listen to their science-fiction narratives, in which they placed their own experience at the centre and imagined the future. Each student had different approaches to thinking with their hybrids; some created hybrid languages while others thought about what it would be like to move with these re-configured anatomies.’

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Siobhan McGibbon, Artist

At the moment I am in a phase of Phd research, so until I go back into the studio I won’t know the answer to this!

Cleo Fagan, Curator

Yes, working in the combined classroom and gallery context has resulted in some insights on making work for the public, that I think may enhance future work in this area.

In reading research studies on art education over the years, it has come to my attention that children and young people can get more meaning from artmaking activities when they exhibit the resulting work in public. As mentioned, as part of the project, the children had their work exhibited in the main space at Galway Arts Centre, and they took evident pride in this.  I believe that the Art & Philosophy programme further enhanced the meaningfulness for the participating children in having their work exhibited publicly, in that it allowed them to collectively and discursively investigate the potential experience of art for the viewer and the type of intellectual and creative journey that encountering an artwork can stimulate. The fact that some of the Scoil Chroi Iosa children had an active facilitation role with the children from Claddagh NS, was also significant.

The danger of working towards an outcome such as a public exhibition, is that the focus can be on the product, and not on the process. However, as Siobhan had 9 full sessions with the students in which to develop a significant creative enquiry, and perhaps because the children didn’t have clear ideas about what an art exhibition was, they remained engaged in the creative process in each session.

In my work as a curator, I would like to continue to work with this balance between quality of process, co-creation between artists and children, and public outcome.

 

 

!!!! School Box Office Now Open for the 2019 Baboró International Arts Festival for Children!

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Dates: 14 – 20 October 2019

Baboró are delighted to announce that their Schools Box Office is now open for this year’s festival, which takes place in Galway 14-20 October. To plan your school visit take a look at the dedicated schools section of their website to find everything you need to make your booking request.

How to Begin

Recommended performances and events have been identified as suitable for groups or schools with additional needs. Baboró have developed an information pack to accompany these shows, which includes information about the venues, access, and what to expect during the performances regarding light, sound, etc. You can find this pack and more helpful information online on the Baboró website (www.baboro.ie )from 2 September.

Ticket & Subsidy Information

Important Dates
Wednesday 11 September: First Round Booking Deadline.
Requests after this date are considered, however, likelihood of attending one of your top 3 preferences is greatly reduced.

Week of Monday 23 September: Notification of Allocation.
Schools will be notified of their allocation with a Baboró schedule, invoice, and a pre-engagement pack including venue information via email. Please do not call for information on your booking before this date, as it takes one week to complete the allocations for all schools.

Wednesday 9 October: Payment Due in Full.
Cash is not accepted. Payment methods will be outlined with notification of your allocation. Bookings are not considered complete and confirmed until full payment has been received.

For school enquires or further information please contact Kirsty on 091 562642 or email schools@baboro.ie.

 

!!!! Opportunity: Call for Artists in Residence – School of Arts Education and Movement DCU

Dublin City University 

Deadline: Wednesday 4 September 2019

Practicing professional artists are invited to apply for a residency opportunity at DCU Institute of Education for the academic year 2019-2020. Applications are welcome from individual artists who work in an interdisciplinary form, or from an ensemble of artists. The closing date is Wednesday September 4th 2019 at 5pm.

The residency is hosted by DCU Institute of Education’s School of Arts Education and Movement. This opportunity is one of a number of artist residencies supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in the context of Initial Teacher Education. Each residency aims to:

For more information on this opportunity and how to apply, go to DCU Institute of Education’s website at – www.dcu.ie/arts_education_movement/news/2019/Aug/Call-for-Artists-Residence.shtml

If you have any queries please contact regina.murphy@DCU.ie

 

!!!! Per Cent for Art Scheme Commission Call for Proposals

Galway Educate Together National School

Dates; deadline for application for Stage One is Friday, September 20th 2019 at 12 noon

Galway Educate Together National School invites proposals for the commission of an artwork/artworks to be funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme in connection with Galway Educate Together National School, Thomas Hynes Road, Newcastle, Galway. Artists are invited to tender for the project in a two-stage process outlined in the attached brief. Proposals are welcome from both individuals and collectives, and from those working in any creative media/discipline and across a broad scope of creative approaches. The overall budget for this commission is €35,000 including V.A.T.

Deadline for application for Stage One is Friday September 20th 2019 at 12 Noon. Please see the attached Brief and Expression of Interest Form

!!!! Creative Careers Day for post-primary students at National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland

Date: 14 November, 2019

Save the date! Join the team at the National Gallery of Ireland for a day of inspirational talks, activities and practical advice to get you thinking about what a creative career might mean for you!

Meet gallery staff members and learn about careers in areas such as curatorial, conservation and education. Special guests from other creative fields will also talk about their work and how they got to where they are today.

Suitable for post-primary students (4th Year – 6th Year).

More details to follow, and tickets available from September.
Contact codonnell@ngi.ie for more information.

!!!! Upcoming Teacher Network Evening at National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland

Dates: Thursday 10 October 2019, 4pm – 6pm

The National Gallery of Ireland work with all teachers – to encourage confidence and agency in using art as a tool for learning. To support this they collaborate with DES and teaching practitioners to run accredited CPD courses, study days and conferences, and provide a wide variety of resources online.

Join Catherine O’Donnell, Education Officer for Teachers, Schools & Youth, for an evening exploring three very different exhibitions: Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios, Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, The Zurich Portrait Prize, and The Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2019.

Learn more about their current schools programme, how you can utilise the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions for cross-curricular learning, and network with colleagues. Attendees can avail of a free ticket to a lecture about Sorolla by Christopher Riopelle, Neil Westreich Curator of Post-1800 Paintings, the National Gallery, London.

This event is free, but booking is required. To book, follow this link or contact education@ngi.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Sinéad Ní Bhrádaigh Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher- Blog No. 4

Sinéad Ní Bhrádaigh has worked in Galway Educate Together since 2002. She has a life long interest in the arts, primarily in the musical side of the arts. She plays classical piano to Senior Certificate level and has been involved with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as a piano and fiddle player and tutor in Dublin and Galway. In 2001, Sinéad completed a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration and gained great experience volunteering with the Town Hall Theatre and Galway Arts Centre. Sinéad established the GETNS school choir in 2004, and now collaborates with another teacher to run a choir with 100 students in the school. The GETNS choir has performed at several Peace Proms, at the Town Hall Theatre and at community events.

Reflecting on the first year of Creative Schools – Blog 4

Alongside the workshops that we held during May and June, the Creative Schools Teacher committee had come up with a Menu of Activities to accompany the workshops. The Children’s Panel also came together to add their suggestions for the Menu. This Menu was designed to be a list of easy classroom activities that the teachers could engage in at times and days of their choosing, to compliment activities that they may have been thinking of doing anyway. All of the activities were based on our theme of Food, Cooking and Nature. Some of the activities included links to Food Science websites; inviting parents into classroom to engage in cooking activities; ideas for nature based art; healthy shared lunches and forest and beach picnics. A copy of this Menu was delivered to each classroom for a four week period and all teachers were encouraged to engage with the programme.

During the last week of term, we invited our children’s panel to come and give us some feedback on the programme and how it was for them. Yvonne laid out big sheets of paper and had specific questions to provide information she was looking for. This proved a very fruitful if not a humbling experience. Each classroom and each class level had experienced varying levels of engagement with the programme, depending on each classes packed schedule. Therefore, the children all had varying feedback. As we all know children to be, the feedback was honest, and some of it wasn’t all that flattering!

As a whole jigsaw piece, the Creative Schools programme was successful in its aims and objectives for this year. But when you break the jigsaw into individual pieces, it didn’t feel that that success had filtered down to all of the children in all of the classes. This was disappointing for both myself and Yvonne, as there had been a huge investment in the programme all year. It’s all about the children at the end of the day, and if the children didn’t benefit, well then there were questions to be asked. Myself and Yvonne had a good chat about it all, and agreed that if we had decided to focus in on one class grouping for example, and showered all of our Creative Schools programme on just those children then undoubtedly the feedback may have been different, but that is not what we chose to do. Instead, we needed to focus on the whole completed jigsaw, celebrate the success and look ahead to how we can build on it next year.

We intend our focus next year to switch to teachers professional development in creative practices. We see a great opportunity next year to spend our time researching cross curricular creative practices, as we feel that in order for maximum children to benefit from the Creative Schools Programme, we need to up skill our own practices and thus all children will benefit. We feel very excited about this new aspect to the programme and we are looking forward to continuing this creative journey next year

!!!! Opportunity: Programming and Co-ordination of Children’s Art in Libraries Creative Hubs

Dublin City Council Arts Service

Closing date for receipts of tenders: 12 noon, Friday September 6th

Dublin City Arts Service has just announced an opportunity to tender for multi-party framework for Programming & Coordination of Children’s Art in Libraries.

Dublin City Arts Service is working to increase opportunities for children and young people to access quality arts experiences through partnerships with city departments and complementary arts and cultural organisations. The Children’s Art in Libraries Programme (CAL) seeks to provide innovative high quality arts experiences for children of all ages. Since 2010, the CAL Programme – an initiative of the Dublin City Arts Office – has worked in partnership with Dublin City Public Libraries to deliver innovative programming for children across a broad range of art forms.

In more recent years the CAL Programme began to develop its Creative Hub initiative. Creative Hubs seek to sustain high quality arts experiences for children, schools and families, enabling access in their library and locality through the development of enhanced educational, community and cultural partnership. In 2017 CAL began to develop its first Creative Hub in Ballyfermot Library this has been followed by a second Hub in Cabra Library in 2019.

Interested parties can find the e-tender notice on www.etenders.gov.ie , tender reference: RTF ID 155564

!!!! Schools invited to work together on Creative Projects – Creative Clusters Initiative

Creative Clusters

Deadline Date: 10th May 2019

Minister McHugh invites applications from schools for second year of Creative Clusters initiative as part of the Creative Ireland programme. 

Participating schools will help students learn through a lens of creativity

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. this week invited applications for Creative Clusters, an initiative taking place as part of Creative Ireland and under the Schools Excellence Fund.

Each school will enjoy access to a specialist facilitator, artist or creative expertise in whatever their own chosen area of interest or theme might be. These resources will help the schools build a programme of learning and activities tailor-made for their students. In addition, clusters will receive up to €7,500 funding to help bring their plans and ideas to fruition.

Making the announcement, Minister McHugh said: “This is another fantastic opportunity for schools to work together on a project of their choice. Schools are given complete freedom to design and develop their own project, with support from a local facilitator and their local education centre.

“I hope that this initiative will help schools enhance creativity in their classrooms. It is important that our children are allowed to express themselves and learn to adapt and collaborate. Opportunities such as Creative Clusters are perfect to give students the opportunity to develop these skills.”

The first year of the Creative Clusters initiative has seen schools around the country work together to develop creative projects and collaborate on new ideas based on their local experience and unique perspective. In Kilkenny, St John’s Senior School, St John’s Junior School and Loreto Secondary School are working together using coding to develop innovative projects and support the transition from primary to post-primary school. This project involves students learning a variety of different coding methods and working on coding projects to develop their problem-solving and logical-thinking skills.

St Michael’s Post Primary and St Joseph’s Secondary School in North County Kerry are also collaborating on an interesting project exploring “the hidden history of North Kerry” using modern technology. This project tasks students with investigating and researching the main tourist sites of the North Kerry region. The students will use modern technology including drones to gather footage which will then be used in a documentary regarding the history of North Kerry. Students will be trained in the appropriate use of technology in the classroom and will also be able to learn valuable skills in the making of the documentary including directing, photography, narrating and producing.

The Schools Excellence Fund is an initiative in the Action Plan for Education. It sets out to encourage and recognize excellence and innovation in our schools. This initiative will help deliver on the Creative Youth pillar of Creative Ireland, which sets out a commitment that every child in Ireland has practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, arts and coding by 2022.

Applications are available from the Department’s website at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/ Schools-Colleges/Information/ Curriculum-and-Syllabus/ creative-youth.html

The closing date for applications is May 10th 2019.

 

!!!! Call Out for Artists: Teacher Artist Partnership CPD & Residency 2019

Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP)

Deadline dates vary per region – please contact Local Authority Arts Service 

Announcing a wonderful opportunity for Artists to broaden their practice, receive training and project fees, develop creative partnerships with teachers, and transform the lives of children in every County in Ireland

The Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD programme (TAP) is a Creative Ireland, Department of Education and Skills led and approved Summer Course offering training and in school residency opportunities for artists.

Artists must 

Artists can apply to be part of the programme in the first instance via the Arts Officer of the Local Authority in which the full-time Education Centre is located. Expressions of interest should then be sent to the relevant address of the Local Full-time Education Centre.

Expressions of interest should be in the form of a letter of max 600 words, accompanied by a CV or short Bio with links to images or samples of relevant work. The letter should set out:

  1. Where you trained
  2. A very brief description of your practice
  3. Why you might wish to work in partnership with a teacher and with children in a school setting
  4. What you think qualifies you to take up this opportunity.

Places on this national Creative Ireland CPD initiative, taking place in the local full-time Education Centre training programmes, are limited to four artists per year – 4 Artists per Summer Course. Final decision on offers of places will be taken by the Director of the local Education Centre in collaboration with the Local Authority Arts Office.

For further information including the relevant deadline date for applications contact your Local Authority Arts Service – a list and contact details are available on the Portal Directory here.

All completed Expressions of Interest/Applications must be returned to your Local Education Centre – Education Centre contact details can be found here.

 

!!!! Invitation to Celebrate The Classroom Museum Project at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Date: Friday 29th March 2019

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to join them to mark the culmination of ‘The Classroom Museum’ a project with rural schools in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford on Friday 29th March at 11am. The celebration will be marked by Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar at University College Cork and will be followed by a meet and greet with the participating school students, teachers and with artists Billy Foley, Fiona Kelly and Dara McGrath.

The Classroom Museum initiative enables school children in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers have the opportunity to interact with art in their own surroundings and to develop the skills and confidence to express themselves in educational and public contexts. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and develops the presence of this original work through a structured programme of activities with the schoolchildren overseen by the Glucksman’s Senior Curator of Education + Community.  The programme includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

This event is an opportunity to recognise the creativity of the young participants and to hear about their journey of creative learning.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

!!!! The Artful Classroom – CPD for Primary School Teachers

A partnership project by Fingal County Council & Superprojects

Date: 1st – 5th July 2019

The Artful Classroom is facilitated by Aoife Banim, Anne Bradley, Clare Breen, Catriona Leahy and Beth O’Halloran

This CPD programme The Artful Classroom facilitates primary school teachers to enrich their work in the classroom by exploring contemporary art and architecture, as fascinating resources ripe for use as inspiration and departure points for creative enquiry. Together, the group will explore the national and international practices of artists and architects, through imagery and discussion, and playfully consider how they can be applied to the primary school classroom. Workshop sessions will take place in Draíocht Arts Centre Blanchardstown and The Irish Museum of Modern Art Kilmainham where participants will have an opportunity to explore the work of exciting contemporary artists.

The learning focus will be on processand creative thinking; rather than producing fixed outcomes. Facilitated by Clare Breen, Catriona Leahy, Beth O’Halloran, Anne Bradley and Aoife Banim, the course draws on the expertise of both teachers (with experience of art/architecture) and artists (with experience of education). Each day will be led by a different course facilitator who will share their experience of working creatively with children and demonstrate how they translate their own creative/artistic interests into classroom practice in visual art, and other areas across the curriculum. Participants will creatively explore these practices daily, through a diverse range of hands-on activities.

Schedule and session descriptions

Dates: Monday 1st – Friday 5th of July 2019
Time:  10am – 3pm daily

Locations:
Mon/Thur/Fri: Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Tues/Wed: The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-artful-classroom-tickets-46498361852
There are only 20 places so please book early to avoid disappointment!

Cost €45 plus booking fee
This programme is financially supported by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office & Superprojects.

 

!!!! Part 2 – Announcing the 2019 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award Recipients

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the second two recipients of the 2019 Portal Documentation Awards. Starting next month, these projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project – Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin with contemporary dance artist Lisa Cliffe

Lisa Cliffe (Cahill) is a contemporary dance artist, movement facilitator and educator. Lisa is working with Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin in Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Lisa and class teacher Sinéad Joy and school principal Máire Uí Shé are interested in creative engagement and active learning in and with the natural environment of a school site.

In October 2018, Lisa received an Arts Council Bursary Award to examine frames and methods of facilitating ‘experiential engagement’  with the natural environment through active exchange and performance appreciation. This research is taking place in partnership with Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin.

In partnership with the staff, children and wider community of Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin, they have developed a seasonal programme of activity, exchange and performance at the school site. A seasonal approach feels important to the partners in this project as they wish to slow down their engagement in the ‘artist/ teacher/ children’ partnership over the period of a year. The intention of this seasonal approach is to offer time to learn about, respond to and engage creatively with the changing environment of the school site in each season.

Developing the body’s sensory attunement through engagement with the natural environment is a key element of Lisa’s performance and facilitation practice. In partnership with Sinéad and Máire, Lisa wishes to make visible the processes, moments of joy and learning as part of this arts in primary education engagement.

Project – Creative Cluster Initiative – Bee Creative 

This project stemmed from the Teacher and Artist Partnership and the “Creative Cluster Initiative”.  Four schools in Kerry; Firies N.S, Killahan N.S, Dromclough N.S and Lenamore N.S, have come together to form a creative cluster. Each school has been paired with one of the following artists; Silke Michels – visual artist, Zoe Uí Fhaoláin Green – dance artist, Nicholas McLachlan – Writer and Fiona Ladden Loughlin – Textile artist; under facilitator Nikki Roberts.

The children’s work will be showcased in the national folk theatre, Siamsa Tíre on 3rd April 2019. There are 94 children involved in the project.  The stimulus for the project is bees and each school has used different forms of art to portray the importance of bees in our world.  The partners aim is to develop the creative potential of every child and to give participating children a high quality experience working with an artist and expert in their fields leading them to an appreciation of the interaction between artistic genres.

!!!! Opportunities to be part of the Creative Schools’ Creative Associate Team

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Deadline: 1st April  2019

The Arts Council of Ireland is seeking to expand its panel of Creative Associates to support the delivery of the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative. Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and teachers with a deep understanding of creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people. They come from a range of creative professions, such as artists, designers, teachers and craftspeople.  Whether from the arts, culture, heritage, creative industries, education, science or other sectors, they challenge, support and sustain new practice in schools in the field of the arts, culture and creative learning.

Creative Associates will match the needs of schools to arts and creative opportunities in their locality. They will identify potential areas for improvement and will inspire, energise and drive schools forward in addressing these. Through this pioneering initiative Creative Associates will have the chance to shape the place of the arts and creativity in Irish schools.

Creative Associates can be:

Creative Associates work in partnership with participating schools/Youthreach centres to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in their schools, putting the arts and creativity at the heart of the lives of children and young people.

How to apply:

Step 1 – Visit our website and read their relevant Information Booklet today

Step 2 – Check if you are eligible as an individual artist, organisation nominee or teacher working in school

Step 3 –  Complete and return the correct application form by 5pm on Monday April 1st 2019.

For more information and application details go to www.artscouncil.ie/Creative-Schools/Creative-Associate-Opportunities/

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Creative Schools, formerly Arts Rich Schools/Arís, draws on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter.

!!!! Part 1 – Announcing the 2019 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award Recipients

The Portal Team are delighted to announce that we have been in a position to award four Documentation Awards in 2019. Here we announce the first two recipients of the award.  These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

Project – Táim (Trail of Art in Midleton)

We are two visual artists based in Cork who have joined forces to collaborate with children and staff at Midleton College under the initiative entitled TÁIM. TÁIM (Trail of Art in Midleton) is also the Irish expression for ‘I am’. As such, we seek to instigate a collaborative and participatory conversation with students, which not only situates, but also explores and expands upon the theme of identity and place within our locale. 

Belinda Walsh, Visual Artist

Belinda is one of the founders and coordinators of Midleton Arts Festival, which is a celebration of creativity in the community where she lives. She enjoys the surprises and wellbeing benefits of bringing together artists and community groups in participatory projects. One of her special interests is the use of stop motion animation techniques to encourage both children and adults to communicate stories, ideas and concepts in a creative and original way.
She graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2012 and lectures on Arts in Education and ICT in the Early Years in St Nicholas Montessori College.
She also works part time as an arts facilitator with East Cork Music Project.

For more information go to scribblemore123.simplesite.com

Lucia Parle, Visual Artist

Lucia is a social Entrepreneur with excellent communication and administration skills. She has over 20 years experience of community arts facilitation, engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals and groups. Her strong coordination skills are underpinned by a strengths based, person centered approach. She is highly committed to the core principles of community development and the arts. She graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2003, after which she received a research and development award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. In 2015, she co coordinated an Erasmus+ project to take twenty five young ECMP course participants to Sweden to take part in a music and arts project.

In 2016, herself and Belinda Walsh received an award from Cork county Municipal districts Creative communities Scheme to co-ordinate an art project entitled RAW in the local area of Midleton – view the video.

She is currently working in East Cork Music Project as an assistant coordinator leading the art department.

Project – Future Forms Activate Citizenship

Future Forms is a creative engagement project that invites Cork schools, third-level students and community groups to work with artists to create artworks that imagine what their city and urban environment might look like in 200 years time. Participants will explore future visions of Cork through a focus on active citizenship, encouraging all of us to think about ways in which we can get involved in positively influencing the form of our own city.

The Glucksman

The Glucksman is a contemporary art museum in the historic grounds of University College Cork. It was opened by President Mary McAleese in October 2004 and since then has won numerous awards for its architecture and creative programmes. The Glucksman presents ambitious exhibitions of Irish and international art in tandem with a wide range of events and activities designed to encourage participation from all visitors, whether an art professional or first time gallery-goer.

The Glucksman is a place of creative connections between people and disciplines, and is committed to providing world- class art and architecture for all ages and abilities. Enabling access to, and creative engagement with, contemporary art is one of the central pillars of our work, and the team has a strong record of arts in education at every level from primary to postgraduate to professional development. The beautiful setting of the museum in the historic lower grounds of the university as well as a dedicated education space and restaurant, mean that the specific provisions necessary to provide a fully supported experience for people of all ages and abilities can be delivered directly on site.

For more information go to – www.glucksman.org/

 

 

 

 

!!!! Creative Schools Opportunity for Schools

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Deadline: 21st March 2019

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is being led by the Arts Council in partnership the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Opportunities for schools

If your answer is yes to any or all of these questions then read on…

Creative Schools aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives.

Participating schools will understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with the arts, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work. They will draw on the range of resources within their school and wider community, developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on student learning, development and well-being.

Schools will be allocated a Creative Associate, who will support the school for a maximum of nine days over the 2019–20 school year. The Creative Associate will support the school to develop a Creative School Plan and will assist in creating or developing links between schools and with artists and arts and cultural organisations locally and/or nationally. In addition, schools can avail of a grant of €2,000 to implement their plans in 2019–20.

All Department of Education and Skills recognised primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres are eligible to apply. 150 new schools will be selected to participate in the initiative in the 2019–2020 school year.

For further information, guidelines and to apply go to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/schools/

Deadline for online applications 21st March 2019

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 2

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Making Connections – Blog 2

Since our return to school in the New Year, we have begun the next stage of our Creative Schools journey, which is developing our school plan. In mid-January, I met with Naomi Cahill (Creative Schools Associate) to discuss our aims and objectives for the near future as a creative school. Using the framework provided, we were enabled to assess our current strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: Teaching and Learning; Leadership and Management; Children and Young People and Opportunities and Networks.

The process of writing the school plan has renewed our school’s commitment to the creative arts and also has highlighted the areas we would like to develop in the near future. We have committed to providing CPD (Continued Professional Development) for teachers in the next academic year. We will receive training on how best to use drama as a teaching methodology which can be integrated with all subjects across the curriculum.

Scoil Bernadette has a strong focus on the arts already and is involved in a number of extra-curricular creative projects including, dance, music, and theatre. In keeping with our overall objective, which is to enable all students to access a broad range of creative activities whilst in school, we have decided to organize additional visual arts workshops this year.

As Scoil Bernadette is a special school it is vital that all activities are accessible and inclusive for all students. Naomi has been invaluable in providing the school with links with a variety of organisations and practitioners that have experience in working with students with disabilities. It is important for us a school to expand our community network and provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to participate in activities that will aid their journey as lifelong learners.

We have made links with Mairead O’Callaghan in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. Mairead facilitates visual arts workshops with a number of supported artists each week. (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists.html)

On 14th February 2019 Naomi, Mairead and I met to develop a plan where a series of six art workshops could be run in Scoil Bernadette during March and April. The workshops will be led by Mairead and co-facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, two supported artists that attend the Crawford each week.

It is envisaged that this project will be collaborative and student-led. A group of ten to twelve students from Scoil Bernadette, one from each class, will attend each Friday in the school. The workshops will also involve a visit to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City. Together the students will decide on how the project will take shape. We hope to document the process with photographs which can be used to form part of an exhibition to be held in the school.

The workshops will begin on 8th March. We are looking forward to welcoming Mairead, Ailbhe, and Rosaleen to our school and beginning this new adventure.

We are excited to make new links with our local community which hopefully will expand both current and future possibilities for students in Scoil Bernadette.

 

!!!! CPD for Teachers: Explore Contemporary Visual Art at IMMA

IMMA

Date: 2nd March 2019, 10:00am to 12:30pm

Explore contemporary art, particularly construction, during a studio workshop and enjoy a guided tour of IMMA Collection: ‘A Fiction Close to Reality’.  Artist Rachel Tynan will lead this practical workshop during which primary teachers will discover multiple links to the visual art curriculum.

This workshop is free. Booking is essential. Places are limited; booking is on a first come, first served basis. No prior knowledge or experience of art-making is needed. This is the final CPD workshop for primary teachers at IMMA during this academic year.

For bookings go to imma.ie/whats-on/for-primary-teachers/

For more information about the exhibition ‘A Fiction Close to Reality’ go to imma.ie/whats-on/imma-collection-a-fiction-close-to-reality-exhibition/

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 1

Fiona Lawton Profile Image Fiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Creative Coordinator – Blog 1

My Name is Fiona Lawton and I have been teaching in Scoil Bernadette for the last ten years. Scoil Bernadette is a special school in Cork that caters for students with mild general learning disabilities. The school aims to make each student be as independent as they can be.

We do this by providing a secure, caring and supportive environment through the provision of a broad curriculum of social, personal, academic, sporting, vocational and relevant life-skills programmes.

I teach a range of subjects in Scoil Bernadette and have a keen interest in drama, I am a graduate of the Masters in Drama and Theatre at UCC. My learning there has taught me the value of creativity in an educational setting. As teachers in Scoil Bernadette we are consistently looking for new ways to engage our students and make learning fun.

We have a strong focus on the arts in Scoil Bernadette. We have a choir that performs in school, at fundraising events and in an annual Christmas Concert each year. Our students are involved in a Samba drumming group and they participate in the Music Mash Up community arts programme where they learn instruments and singing. We have an annual visit from GMC rapper who works with our final year students in creating their own rap. We are also very involved in the dramatic arts. We are good friends with the Everyman Theatre in Cork and attend their musical theatre productions each year. We also regularly attend workshops and performances with Graffiti Theatre and Cyclone Productions. Our Fifth years create their own drama production where they devise, produce and perform their own show over a period of four months.

This is just a small selection of the creative activities that we are involved with. As you can imagine we were delighted to be chosen to participate in the Creative Schools programme. For us, it provides us with a forum to celebrate and consolidate the work we have been doing and it also gives us an opportunity to take stock, evaluate and plan how we can develop our school as a creative learning community.

Attending the in service for the Creative Schools Coordinators was an exciting and encouraging start to the year. It was great to meet all the other teachers and youth workers who are involved in the programme. The day was informative, hands on and great fun. The enthusiasm showed by the facilitators and participants was infectious. It was a great reminder of how we learn best when we are active and collaborating. This belief is one of the core teaching methodologies that we would like to promote in Scoil Bernadette as a creative school.

I did my best to recreate the days learning (albeit a condensed version) at our own staff planning day. We all did the envelope activity which required us to think ‘outside the box’ and engage with our creative sides. We don’t always have the opportunity to consider these things together so it was nice to discuss and share ideas about what creativity means to us as a staff. We also did an inventory of the creative activities that we are currently doing. It was great to acknowledge the many creative activities we are involved with already.

It was a pleasure to finally meet our Creative Schools Associate, Naomi. Naomi came up to meet with a group of our students and did a fantastic workshop with them where they were given an opportunity to consider what creative activities they are currently involved with and what they would like to do in the future. Naomi also distributed surveys to the staff so that we could give our thoughts on our current strengths, challenges and hopes for Scoil Bernadette as a creative school. Naomi’s enthusiasm for the project is evident and we are delighted we have her expertise to guide us through the planning process.

I feel that the wheels have been set in motion and we are off to a good start. I am looking forward to the next stage of the process where we can start planning and making decisions about where to go next.

It will be exciting to make links with other schools and expand our thinking and share experiences. We are delighted to be involved with this project and are looking forward to the rest of the year.

Read Naomi Cahill, Creative Schools Associate blog series at the links below:

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 1

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 2

!!!! Exploring And Thinking: Presentations On Early Childhood Arts Commissions

The Four Dublin Local Authorities in association with the NCH

Date: 24th January 2019

Exploring and Thinking is a collaborative framework for early childhood arts in the Dublin region. It came about in 2016 when the four Dublin Local Authorities partnered for the first time to collectively consider early childhood arts provision in the Dublin region.

The project partners made a successful application for Arts Council funding under the Invitation to Collaboration Scheme 2016. The joint proposal focused on commissioning and touring new artwork to the four Local Authority areas with local engagement programmes, in arts and non-traditional arts venues.

The Exploring and Thinking framework culminated in the commissioning of two unique projects:

Anna Newell, I Am Baba – A new immersive theatre piece for babies aged 0-12 months. A full commission for the development, creation and tour of I Am Baba to the four Local Authority areas.

Helen Barry and Eamon Sweeney, Sculptunes – A modular interactive music-producing sculpture. A research and development commission, which supported the artists to develop one piece of the original sixpiece Sculptunes proposal and test this musical sculpture with children and early childcare practitioners.

The Local Authority partnership in association with the National Concert Hall (NCH) now wish to share the commissioned work and invite you to hear from the commissioned artists. A publication capturing a review of the commissioning process, outputs and impacts of the collaborative framework, alongside additional research conducted among the artists and key personnel will be presented on the day. Dr. Michelle Downes has been invited as keynote speaker to share some of her insights and findings on brain and behaviour development in the first years of life.

The inclusion of a space for reflection and discussion is included in the day’s events in the form of a focus workshop. Attendees are invited to communicate their experience of working in the early childhood arts sector with the local authority partners.

for more information and to view the full event schedule go to www.nch.ie/ExploringandThinking/

This is a free event but booking is required.

Bookings through NCH boxoffice at www.nch.ie or phone +353 (0)1 417 0000

!!!! Opportunity: Creativity & Change Masterclass Programme 2019

Creativity & Change, CIT

If you are hoping to inject some creative change into your 2019 then look no further than the Creativity & Change Masterclass programme. They start off next month, Feb 9th and 10th with a weekend of creative writing.

Creativity and Change masterclasses are an opportunity for inspirational, intensive and in depth engagement over one or two days. Delivered by facilitators with specific expertise and experience, the programme is designed around the identified gaps and expressed interests of practitioners. Each masterclass is a deep dive into a specific method that can be used to explore change-making, global citizenship and social justice. Fees are subsidised by our partner Irish Aid in order to make these courses affordable and accessible to all. They will all take place in inspiring locations around Cork City.

Explore all the masterclasses and register online here: https://www.creativityandchange.ie/master-classes/2019-masterclass-programme/

 

 

!!!! Job opportunity: Creative Technology Facilitator with Make Create Innovate

Make Create Innovate

Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday, January 23rd 2019

Make Create Innovate is an exciting educational start-up working with creative technology across many education sectors. We offer learners the opportunity to make, build, create and explore in hands-on workshops. We are passionate about developing high quality STEAM- based education experiences for learners of all ages in both formal and non-formal educational settings.

They are now inviting expressions of interest to join a panel of freelance facilitators from which we will draw upon for our upcoming series of workshops 2019-2020.

Role Specifics:
Job type: freelance / contract – paid hourly or by the day
Location: Usually Dublin, occasionally outside Dublin
Availability: Usually Monday – Friday, sometimes weekends
The successful candidate must have easy access to Dublin and have own transport

For more information and application details go to makecreateinnovate.ie/jobs
Or email hello@makecreateinnovate.ie

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm, Wednesday, January 23rd 2019
Interviews will commence the following week

!!!! Teachers Masterclass – Art + Mental Health at The Glucksman

The Glucksman 

Date: 12th January 2019, 10am – 1pm

Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate personal experiences and challenge mental health stigma.

Join curators and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators – Art and Mental Health. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our mental health using artworks from the University College Cork art collection.

The new toolkits are designed for educators from Primary to Third level and uses the artworks of The Project Twins to look at projects about art and mental health that can be re-imagined in the classroom.

The Art Teachers Masterclass is run as part of the First Fortnight 2019 programme. First Fortnight utilises arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting some of Ireland’s most vulnerable people through creative therapies.
Cost €25 – Booking required. For online booking go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-art-mental-health-tickets-52432269329

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers or www.firstfortnight.ie/

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

!!!! Early Years Seedlings Workshops at The Ark

The Ark

2 – 3 November, 2018

Early Years Artist in residence Lucy Hill presents ‘Seedlings’ a series of workshops for children as part of the The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency. The Seedlings workshops offer opportunities to explore materials and the world around them through playful and engaging activities – ideal for getting little ones (and their grown-up!) imagining and creating together.

Join Lucy Hill for ‘Plaster Caster’

Plaster is amazing! Its transforms from powder to liquid to solid, it warms up as it transforms and it can take as many shapes and forms as we ask it to. It’s a messy but exciting business!

To start, we will press things into brown clay to leave an impression (toys, fingers, shells), then we mix the lovely powder plaster with water and pour it onto the clay.

The plaster warms and then ‘sets’ (goes hard), we then peel the clay away from the plaster, to find a new plaster impression of our objects to paint and to take home! We can also try using other things as ‘moulds’ like orange peel, avocado skins, chestnuts.

Lucy Hill is the inaugural recipient of The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency and will be devising and delivering an exciting workshop programme for children in the early years at The Ark from May 2018 until April 2019.

For further information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-early-years-workshops-november

 

!!!! Opportunity for Teachers: CPD Training with Narrative 4

Narrative 4

Narrative 4 is inviting post-primary school teachers in the Mid-West to take part in their innovative story based CPD training, enabling teachers to run their creative wellness and storytelling module “The Story Exchange” in their classrooms. This module has already been delivered in 18 schools in the region, and has been piloted in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh for the last 2 years. It was developed in the USA as a means of building empathy and breaking down social boundaries through personal stories, and is now also in schools Mexico, Canada, the UK, Palestine, Israel and South Africa.

Funded by the Creativity Fund Programme from Creative Ireland.

Training Location: Narrative 4, 58 O’Connell Street, Limerick.

Proposed dates:

4th and 5th February (Two full days)

April and July TBC

Additional dates in the coming months to be scheduled

To book your place or to find out more information please email community@Narrative4.ie or phone 061-315656.

Or go to narrative4.com/ireland/

!!!! Opportunity for Artists: John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency 2019/20 at The Ark

The Ark

Deadline: 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018

The Ark is delighted to invite professional artists from the fields of dance, theatre or music to apply for their second 12 month Early Years Artist Residency, running from May 2019-April 2020.

This artist residency opportunity has been established in honour of John Coolahan, who sadly passed away earlier this year. John was a longstanding member of The Ark board and a leading champion for arts education in Ireland.

Beginning in 2018, this residency aims to honour the legacy of Professor Coolahan by providing the selected artist with a yearlong opportunity to develop his/her early years arts practice in association with The Ark.

This opportunity recognises the importance of the arts in early childhood and aims to nurture and support the development of professional artists working in this emerging sector of arts practice.

The inaugural John Coolahan Early Years Artist in Residence at The Ark is visual artist Lucy Hill who will be in post until April 2019. As The Ark wishes to establish the residency as an annual opportunity, we are now seeking a new artist from the fields of dance, theatre or music who will take up the residency for a year from May 2019 when Lucy’s tenure comes to an end.

The selected artist will have a strong vision for how they would like to deepen the range of their experience, knowledge and practice with this age group through the unique context of this residency in collaboration with The Ark.

For further information including application guidelines and to access the online application go to ark.ie/news/post/open-call-john-coolahan-early-years-artist-residency-2019-20.

Completed applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018

!!!! Barboró International Arts Festival 2018 – Events for Schools & Teachers

Baboró International Arts Festival

Dates: October 15 – 21 2018

This year’s Baboró International Arts Festival for Children takes place in Galway in just over two weeks’ time (October 15-21) and there are a number of cultural experiences for school children to enjoy. Whether you’d like to bring your class to see a show, take in a workshop or visit an exhibition, Baboró has it covered.

One of the cornerstones of Baboró’s foundation is the right of each child to enjoy arts and culture. Baboró believes the encouragement of creativity from an early age is one of the best guarantees of growth in a healthy environment of self-esteem and mutual respect.

Baboró enables children to experience first hand the transformative power of the creative arts, while at the same time developing their creative, problem-solving and collaborative skills; skills that are necessary for developing fully rounded young people.

Artists and companies from Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland and England will present shows at this year’s festival. Full schools programme is here https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/event-type/schools

For full details of how to apply to bring your school to Baboró see here

https://www.baboro.ie/schools-1/schools-2

WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS

Are you a teacher who would like to explore ways of connecting theatre back into the classroom or would you like to learn some tricks of the trade on how to foster an environment of imagination in the classroom? The following workshops might be of interest to you:

Creative Learning

https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/creative-learning

Creativity in the Classroom

https://www.baboro.ie/festival/programme/creativity-in-the-classroom

For further information and bookings go to www.baboro.ie

!!!! Art Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Dates: Saturday 13 October 2018, 10am -1pm

Join artist Clare McLaughlin for a non-visual exploration of art at The Glucksman, University College Cork. This masterclass for educators of all backgrounds will provide entry points to the understanding of artwork for students who are visually impaired or blind.

Cost €25. Booking required.

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers 

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org.

Online ticket bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets-49381187461

 

 

!!!! New Children’s Publication available for Schools – ‘A Strong Heart’

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership are delighted to announce the publication of “A Strong Heart – A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”.

Over five weeks, in April and May 2018, the group of children, who live in communities in County Mayo, came together with artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and writer Mary Branley at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, to develop the body of work that was to be brought together in their book.

Initiated and developed by Kids’ Own – and supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, Mayo County Council and South West Mayo Development Company – the project was part of a vision to offer a space for migrant children to develop their creativity and self-expression through an artistic process, and to publish a book that would foreground and give credence to their voices, lives and experiences.

In relation to the project, Kids’ Owns Acting Director, Jo Holmwood, says:

“Kids’ Own is deeply committed to publishing and developing children’s work in Ireland. We believe that children’s contribution to our culture and our society, as artists and writers, needs to be more widely valued and recognised. Kids’ Own is delighted to publish this brand new book, which is such a rich celebration of children’s resilience, ambition and cultural identity.

Image copyright Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership – Minister Zappone presenting ‘A Strong Heart’ to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration.

In July, Kids’ Own were thrilled when the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone shared the stories from ‘A Strong Heart’ at her UN Security Council address on ‘Children in Armed Conflict’.

“As Minister I am particularly proud that half of the 1,883 persons accepted into Ireland under resettlement and relocation programmes are children fleeing war and conflict.

In addition Ireland is providing care for 79 children who arrived alone at our ports and airports.

All of these children, from countries experiencing conflict such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, are making Ireland their home.

They speak for themselves in a collection of stories and art created by Syrian and Palestinian children now living in Mayo in the West of Ireland.

Through the book ‘A Strong Heart’ they tell of the beauty of their new home-towns, the local rivers, mountains and even the world famous salmon.

They express their passion for Irish sport, their sense of fun and their hopes and dreams.

12-year old Khaled in Claremorris writes, “My Dream for the future is to be a footballer first and play for Ireland. When I’m thirty-three I will be a teacher and go back to Syria to teach English.” 

Khaled and his classmates, Irish, Syrian and Palestinian, are flourishing. They are our future”.

Minister Zappone also presented the publication to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, following a discussion on child migrants.

For more information and to purchase the publication go to kidsown.ie/shop/theme/by-kids/a-strong-heart/

 

 

!!!! Explore Visual Art & History at the Solstice Arts Centre

Solstice Arts Centre

Date: Thursday 11th & Friday 12th October

As part of the Patrick Hough exhibition programme at the Solstice Arts Centre, primary school students are invited to take part in an intriguing exploration of the exhibition. Students will investigate the meaning of art, object and replica whilst touring the exhibition and examining The Bronze Age Handling Box, based on the Museum of Archaeology’s Bronze Age collection. This workshop is designed to promote curiosity, understanding and discussion about visual art and history.

A curriculum linked Primary School resource and activity will be available to download.

For more information and booking go to www.solsticeartscentre.ie/schools/handling-histories.2704.html or email ecox@solsticeartscentre.ie

 

!!!! Explore Prop Building & Design at the Solstice Arts Centre

Solstice Arts Centre

Date: Friday 28th September, 9.30am & 1pm

As part of the Patrick Hough exhibition programme at the Solstice Arts Centre, post-primary schools are invited to take part in a curriculum linked visual arts workshop. Join Creative Arts Facilitator and Prop-Maker Caitriona McGowan for an intriguing tour of the exhibition and create a 3-Dimensional bust using a variety of techniques such as templating and plaster casting. Caitriona will provide students with a unique insight into the model-making industry and her own career as a prop-maker working in film, theatre and street performance.

This workshop comes with an additional resource that covers the Gallery Question of the Leaving Certificate, Art Appreciation course and can be downloaded from the Solstice Arts Centre website.

For further information and booking go to www.solsticeartscentre.ie/schools/exploring-patrick-hough-through-prop-building-design.2703.html

!!!! Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools Pilot Begins

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Chosen from over 400 applicants, 150 schools across Ireland will participate in the new Creative Schools pilot which aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The schools chosen include primary schools, secondary schools, Youthreach centres, special schools, DEIS schools, co-educational schools, rural, urban, single-sex and Irish-language medium schools. Their work will begin in the new school year and run through to the summer of 2019.

The enthusiastic response to the call for applications suggests just how vital the arts and creativity are within schools across the country. In their application, schools had to explain how their participation would support learning and development in the arts and creativity, their capacity to engage as a school and their plans for ensuring that children and young people play an active role in developing, implementing and evaluating their work as a Creative School. Through the programme, the Arts Council is engaging with children and young people across the country to develop their creativity and linking them to  the arts and creative infrastructure in their locality and nationally.

Schools selected for the pilot will benefit from a package of support which includes funding and expertise from a Creative Associate to help them to understand, develop and celebrate the impact of the arts and creativity on school life. With the support of their Creative Associate, schools will develop a Creative School Plan and design a unique programme that responds to the needs and priorities of their school. This process will support children and young people to challenge themselves in new ways, to gain in confidence and to take a more active role in learning.

The Creative Schools team within the Arts Council will be travelling the country in September and October training and inducting Creative Associates, School Co-ordinators and other teachers from each of the 150 schools.

This innovative pilot is a cornerstone of the Creative Youth Plan, an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, led by the Arts Council and in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Education and Skills.

Future opportunities for Creative Schools will be included in the Arts Council’s newsletter which you can subscribe to at the following link: www.artscouncil.ie/about-us/newsletter/. They will also be posted on their website where a full list of the 150 schools participating in the pilot can also be found: www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/pilot-schools/

!!!! Guest Blogger: Kevin Gaffney Artist & Filmmaker – Blog No. 3

Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

Primary School Links – Blog 3

School Links is a programme run by Dr. Michael Flannery which brings students from local DEIS primary schools into the Marino Institute of Education to participate in a visual arts project.

I worked with 4th class students from St Joseph’s Primary School, who came to MIE for four two-hour sessions. As the students had been exploring the use of food in art, I screened two excerpts of my films that deal with this topic. The first was a scene where a young woman eats a flower, and the students responded to this by creating their own flowers through collage and assemblage.
The second clip I screened was a scene where a performer emerges from a large fake cake with a hat of fruits on her head, and then another scene where she sifts flower onto her own head. The students responded to this by sculpting their own fruit, vegetable and other foods from memory out of modrock, which will be painted the next week. The students will decide if they wish to appropriate these materials to make their own hats and costumes, or if they would like to make another sculptural form with them.

In between these activities, students from the class interviewed me about the life and work of a contemporary artist:

Student: Why do you think art is important?
KG: For me, art is like music or literature, and I think going to the an art gallery or museum is like going to the library. We are always expected to be so productive and busy, and art allows us to be quiet and reflective…  it’s a different way of thinking. But, do you think it’s important?
Student: Yes, I think art is important because it brings so much colour to people’s lives.

Student: Do you make mistakes?
KG: Yes, all the time! On my newest film, I spent so long making one scene… the art department spent ages on the set, there were a lot of props and it actually cost a good bit of money. But, then, when editing I realised it wasn’t working. It wasn’t fitting with the rest of the film at all… so I had to cut it out, and that’s so disappointing. It wasn’t anyone’s fault except mine!

Student: How long does it take you to make a film? Do you have people helping you?
KG: Yes I have lots of people helping me! It’s impossible to be good at everything, and I’ve accepted the things I can do well and the things that I definitely can’t!

Student: How do you know if something you make is especially good?
KG: It’s hard to know… sometimes you make something you really believe in, but it doesn’t connect with people. And sometimes the opposite happens. I just try to follow me intuition and not worry about what everyone else is thinking or doing… but I know you can’t really do this in school.

Student: When you’re making a film for a gallery, do you feel very pressured?
KG: Yes, it’s a lot of pressure and it can be very distracting. On one hand, you are trying to be very sensitive and focused on what you are making, but then there is a professional pressure that seeps in. And it’s taken me ages to learn how to deal with that.

!!!! Invitation to Schools – Celebrate 25 years of the UNCRC

Ombudsman for Children’s Office

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office is celebrating 25 years since Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child making a promise to all children and young people to prioritise their rights and hear their voices.

To mark this significant anniversary a national invitation has been extended across Irish society including schools and their communities of staff and students to join with in the celebrations, raising awareness and understanding of children’s rights and listening to children and young people ensuring their voices are highlighted and heard. The aim is to provide creative and innovative ways to mark the 25th Anniversary and to enable educators to start the ‘Rights’ conversation in school – across many subject areas.

How to Get Involved 

Get Animated About Rights
The OCO has teamed up with the Irish Animation Industry in a unique way to invite young people to create an image of the right that means most to them and have the opportunity to have it animated by one of Ireland’s leading animators.

Five winning artworks will be chosen by a panel of judges (including Oscar nominee 2018 Nora Twomey ‘The Breadwinner’, Best Animated Feature) for animation and winners will be offered an exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the hugely successful Brown Bag Studios (home of Give Up Yer Aul Sins, Doc McStuffins, Angelas Christmas and Octonauts). The animations will feature permanently on the OCO website.

Closing date is 16th June. 

The Rights Museum
A cross-sector collaboration between OCO, National Museum of Ireland and Collapsing Horse Theatre. From September 2017 the OCO has been piloting this new education resource with Larkin Community College in Dublin (the first Rights Museum exhibition launched in March 2018 in the National Museum, Collins Barracks and runs until 29 June 2018). The Rights Museum resource will be available online on www.oco.ie from September 2018 inviting Junior Cert students to explore the UNCRC, choose and curate objects representing rights to exhibit in a pop-up Museum in school or in the local community.

The process of creating a Rights Museum offers schools opportunities for co-curricular co-operation, increased professional collaboration and students possibilities to apply learning in different contexts, engage in research, be creative and learn new skills. Collapsing Horse and Larkin’s pilot of the resource will be available as a short video piece.

Exhibition runs until 29th June

Check out Dan Colley, Collapsing Horse Theatre director guest blog series for the Arts in Education Portal on the project Rights Museum Project – artsineducation.ie/en/guestblog/dan+colley

Act Your Rights

Take part in the national ‘Act your Rights Drama’ competition in partnership with The Abbey Theatre.

Running until 30th May the OCO invite teachers and students to complete the ‘Act your Rights’ online resource. Make a short play, email a 3 minute taster and enter the competition to get the opportunity to perform on stage in the Peacock in September 2018.

The ‘Act your Rights’ online resource available here is a joint collaboration between the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and the Abbey Theatre. Act Your Rights aims to help children to become more aware of their rights and explore how rights are reflected in their everyday lives. It offers an innovative and enjoyable way to talk about rights with 4-6th class students through discussion, drama and art activities.

Closing date is 30th June

For more information go to www.abbeytheatre.ie/act-your-rights-competition/

Children’s Rights, Children’s Writing

The OCO were delighted to collaborate with Fighting Words and The Irish Times on a 25th Anniversary publication inviting 25 young people from a variety of ages and backgrounds to choose a right and respond to it. The pieces reflect their views of their ‘rights in reality’ and are available for research (or inspiration!) at www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/projects-we-are-working-on/

The OCO have also created a special 25th Anniversary Information pack with materials to help organise your own events and activities, including a summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, suggestions, a ready-made presentation and the 25th logo go to www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/celebrate-the-uncrc-with-us/

For more information on all the events go to www.oco.ie/childrens-rights/un-convention/celebrating-25-years-of-the-uncrc/projects-we-are-working-on/

!!!! Guest Blogger: Kevin Gaffney Artist & Filmmaker – Blog No. 2

Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

Diorama construction and collaborative filmmaking – Blog 2

In the first semester of my residency at the Marino Institute of Education, I worked with the first years on the Professional Masters in Education programme. I had previously given workshops and lectures at university level at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Kyung Hee University in Seoul, and taught art classes for children at Taipei Artist Village and at primary schools in Roscommon as part of the Art School project run by Jennie Guy. However, this was my first time working with preservice teachers and, so, was the first time I was not just teaching art but also trying to impart how to teach art from the point of view of a contemporary artist.

I devised a workshop that would introduce the class to the process of filmmaking, and that could be replicated in a classroom with few resources. Students worked in groups, collaborating to make a film concept, visualize it, and realise this through constructing a diorama which would show the set/location of their film idea, the characters and any scene changes. I wanted to focusing on the storytelling and visualisation aspects of filmmaking, and my overall aim was that, from doing the workshop, students would have learnt that filmmaking is an enjoyable and achievable process, reliant more on imagination and communication than it is on expensive equipment.

In order to contextualise this project, I showed examples of contemporary animation sets, maquettes for theatre set design, and artists whose work uses collage or photomontage (John Stezaker, Hannah Hoch, David Hockney, Peter Kennard), and contemporary Irish artists working with animation techniques (Aideen Barry, Vera Klute).

To begin the project, each group had to select four random words that designated:  (a) a genre; (b) a location; (c) a main human character; (d) an animal character. Then, together, they had to knit these into a coherent concept. After deciding on how to combine the elements, each group works on making a diorama. In a collaborative effort to realise their visualisation, decisions are made on colour palette, mood, materials and scale.

After their sets were made, students began to make their characters from armature and plasticine. We then began a simple stop-motion animation process using free apps on the students’ phones and school ipads. The result was that each group created a short silent animation using readily available materials and technology and each group created a unique project that can be appraised in relation to the concept they created and the parameters they set for themselves.

 

 

!!!! Learning through Creativity – Summer Course for Primary Teachers at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Date: 10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. The course offers a blend of art appreciation, art interaction and art making exercises and participants will have the opportunity to work with professional artists and curators throughout the week.

10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

€75. Booking essential. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/learning-through-creativity-summer-course-for-primary-teachers-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

 

!!!! Opportunity for Schools: Creative Engagement invite applications for 2018/19

Creative Engagement

Deadline October 25th 2018

The Arts and Culture Committee of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is once again launching its annual arts-in-education scheme for second level schools. The Creative Engagement programme 2018-19 begins in October 2018.  Funding has been secured for the 2018-19 school year from both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council.

At the core of the Creative Engagement scheme is the collaboration between student, teacher and artist as set out in Artist~Schools (Arts Council 2006). It’s about tapping into the imagination of the young person while giving both an incentive and a framework for the work to thrive.

Application Forms and further information can be downloaded from www.creativeengagement.ie

What is our aim:

The selection criteria:

Financial considerations

Partnerships:

Since 2005 NAPD has established working partnerships with The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Poetry Ireland, The Heritage Council, Poetry Ireland, The National Museum, The National Gallery, IMMA, Amnesty International, Local authority Arts Officers and Cavan Monaghan ETB local arts in education Partnership.
Deadline October 25th 2018

 

!!!! Opportunity for Schools – Creative Clusters Initiative Invite Applications

Department of Education and Skills & Creative Ireland Programme

Deadline 11th May 2018

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, led by, and in partnership with, the 21 full-time Teacher Education Centres (ATECI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters Initiative.

Creative Clusters is an important initiative of Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person (View the full Plan here), which was published in December 2017 as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Creative Youth Plan aims to give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.

A Creative Cluster will typically consist of between three and five schools collaborating on the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of an innovative arts and creative learning project which supports them to address a common issue or challenge.

Each Creative Cluster will receive funding of €2,500 for one year to implement their project in the 2018-2019 school year. It is anticipated that all schools in the cluster will have a say in how the budget is allocated and spent to support the implement of the project

Paid substitution will be provided for the Regional Cluster Training event and two/three local cluster meetings.

How To Apply

Schools can apply as part of a cluster which may be an existing network of schools or a potential cluster.   Each cluster must nominate a lead school and a Creative Cluster Coordinator. Substitution costs to the equivalent of 1 day per term for the duration of the pilot project will be provided for the Lead School Creative Cluster Coordinator

Schools can apply individually and if successful, they will be placed in a cluster with other applicant schools. The local Teacher Education Centre will have a key role in identifying and supporting a Creative Cluster for their local area.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 11th May 2018

To download the application from and guidelines go to www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/creative-clusters.html

!!!! Guest Blogger: Kevin Gaffney Artist & Filmmaker – Blog No. 1


Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker. His work is in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has been shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals including: European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); Out There, Thataway at CCA Derry~Londonderry (2015); and the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017). He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with an MA in Photography & Moving, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015).

www.kevin-gaffney.com

 

Art on Campus – Blog 1

In September I began my role as artist-in-residence at the Marino Institute of Education (MIE), an initiative for artists to work in institutions that provide initial teacher education funded by the Arts Council. The aims of the residency are: for the artist to develop their skills and work in a supportive education setting; for preservice teachers to have a meaningful engagement with the arts; and to support preservice teachers in developing confidence and skills in passing these meaningful experiences onto their students.

Working closely with Dr. Michael Flannery (Head of Art & Religious Education at MIE), we decided on a programme of formal inputs into courses and ways to disseminate my work to students and staff.  In the first few months of the residency, I then set about on a mission to ‘activate art’ on campus with a programme of talks, exhibitions and screenings, alongside giving formal inputs into classes.

I decided to turn the lobby and windows of the Nagle-Rice building into an exhibition space where students and staff could spend a few moments looking at my work. During October I exhibited two films here: Everything Disappears which I made in Taiwan, and is in Mandarin with English subtitles; and Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands which I made in South Korea and is in Korean with English subtitles. Photographic prints in the window space deconstructed the films into still images and accompanying scripts in English.

I then gave a lunchtime artist talk discussing these projects, the research behind them and the process of making them. As well as making the campus aware of my work as the new artist on campus, I also wanted students to encounter the work in a way similar to when they are installed in a gallery, before we began to work together in a lecture.

In October, I brought a group of 12 students on an excursion to my studio at Fire Station Artist Studios on Buckingham St, Dublin 1, and then continued on to see an exhibition that dealt with mediating art to primary school groups at Dublin City Council’s The LAB gallery on Foley St. My aim was for students to become aware of the visual art spaces in the North city centre, and also for them to see ‘behind the scenes’ of an artists studio and sculpture workshop, and then a final installation in a gallery.

For a number of evenings in November and December, I held a series of screenings to introduce video art and experimental filmmaking. As the series spanned from the beginnings of video art (Nam June Paik) to surrealism (Luis Buñuel and  Salvador Dalí) to current practices (Hito Steyerl), I gave the context of the works and topics in art history and then led informal discussions following the screenings. I hope the series encouraged students to engage with artist film and experimental film, and to feel confident discussing such works on school trips to galleries and museums in the future.

Next year I’m looking forward to continuing this work on campus and being involved with the Masters in Education Studies (Visual Arts).

 

 

!!!! Arts in Education National Day 2018 – Guest Speakers Announced

We are delighted to announce the guest speakers for the third annual Arts in Education Portal National Day on April 21st in Maynooth University in partnership with Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education. Our day begins with a welcome from Professor Gary Granville, Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) & Dr. Katie Sweeney – National Director for the Integration of the Arts, Department of Education and Skills (DES).

We welcome Josepha Madigan T.D, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to speak on the day along with guest speaker Paul Collard, Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). The full line-up which will be announced shortly includes a broad range of practical workshops and skills sharing as well as theoretical and critical thinking in the area from artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector.

This event brings together members of the arts in education community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired, and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

To book your place go to arts-in-education-portal-national-day-2018-tickets.eventbrite.ie

Josepha Madigan T.D, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

Josepha Madigan was appointed as Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht on 30th November 2017.  She is an award-winning Family Lawyer, a qualified mediator and is passionate about mediation. She published a book entitled “Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Ireland” and served as Specialist Liaison Officer for Family Mediation with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, lectured in the area of family law and has written newspaper articles on this subject.

The Minister believes in a society that is progressive and creative, and is passionate about using both her business and legal skills in assisting citizens.

Professor Gary Granville, Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD)

Gary Granville is Emeritus Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin. He served as Interim Director of NCAD after spending some sixteen years as Head of School of Education.  The School of Education NCAD is the leading centre of research in art education in Ireland, with graduate programmes in arts leadership, in socially engaged art and in doctoral research in arts education.

He was formerly Assistant Chief Executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in Ireland. In that capacity, he oversaw the design and introduction of national programmes, including the Leaving Certificate Applied, the Junior Cycle Schools Programme and initiatives in citizenship education, in enterprise education and in the arts.  In recent years he has chaired the NCCA Development Group for Art at junior cycle and more recently, the design of a new programme for Leaving Certificate Art.

Dr. Granville has been a member of the Higher Education Authority and of specialist committees of the Teaching Council, NCCA and other national and international bodies. He has worked on international projects in Europe and Africa. His research interests are in the fields of education policy, art and design education, curriculum and assessment, and educational evaluation.

Dr, Katie Sweeney, National Director for the Integration of the Arts, Department of Education and Skills (DES)

National Director for the Integration of the Arts in Education (DES) – appointed by Minister for Education and Skills Ruaraí Quinn T.D. in 2013. Previously Katie has worked as a Research Scientist, Senior Lecturer in Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institute of Health Sciences Stockholm in Sweden. She was a former Head of GMIT @Castlebar, CEO of Mayo VEC and CEO of Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board.

Paul Collard, Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE)

Paul Collard is Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) an international foundation dedicated to unlocking the creativity of young people in and out of formal education.  CCE was established to design and  manage the delivery of the Creative Partnerships (CP) programme in England from 2002-11. The success and impact of the programme attracted considerable international attention and CCE now supports the delivery of programmes modelled on CP across a wide range of European countries including Norway, Lithuania, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.   In Wales, CCE is advising the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government on its £20 million Creative Learning through the Arts Plan, which now has over 550 schools enrolled and in Scotland, it is piloting its Art of Learning programme in partnership with Creative Scotland and Education Scotland.

 

 

!!!! Creative Generations – O’Connell CBS P.S. with artist Maria McKinney

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

We were looking for a primary school in the area local to programme sponsors Central Bank of Ireland and were delighted to find O’Connell School. It is a really interesting school with a rich history, and a very supportive learning environment, which was fantastic to work with. Artist Maria McKinney was a natural choice for working on this project. Her practice is often focused around ecology and I thought this would be a good fit for the primary school age range. Maria brought with her a wealth of experience in working collaboratively with diverse fields of inquiry and a sensibility to materials which made her very suitable for this residency.

Maria McKinney, Artist

I was aware of the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios education programme from seeing some of the previous projects on social media and speaking to the artists that took part. I was very happy when Jean then approached me to do their autumn 2017 session in O’Connell School. I had only recently moved into my studio in Temple Bar and was excited to be involved in their programme so early on.

One of the first things I was told about O’Connell School, in addition to it being a boys’ primary school, was that is was directly below Croke Park. The seating of the stadium almost hangs right over the school. This in itself made it very unique. Then I remembered seeing a news article about birds of prey that are put to work in Croke Park to keep away other animals such as rats and pigeons who might eat the freshly sown grass seeds on the pitch. I wondered whether the boys at the school knew that these very special birds existed right next door to them. I also realised this would be a good opportunity for the boys to learn a little about ecology and habitats of birds and nature in general. I was cognisant of this being an urban school, and wanted to open up a space for the boys to think about other animals.

Around this time I was also involved in an artist-in-school project in Maynooth with Kildare Arts Office and Art School. I decided I would use both opportunities to make work in relation to Birds of Prey. I think this made for a richer project overall as it developed over a longer period of time.

Pupil C

It started by going to Temple Bar Gallery. Her [Maria’s] studio was very neat. She had everything organised. Then we spent weeks making origami. It was great fun and a great experience.

Pupil D

First we went to visit Maria in her studio and we learned more about her. It was about us having fun and working together. Maria, Jean, 4th class in O’Connell, Barry [the falconer], Kayla [the Harris hawk] and teachers were involved. In class we started drawing and learned origami.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

We got involved through a member of staff that was in contact with Jean and Maria. The children were making origami pieces to have as a sculpture that a hawk could land on. The two 4th Classes and teaching staff were helped by Maria and Jean.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

The residency began with pupils visiting Maria in her TBG+S Studio to see where she works, and get an insight into her methods, motivations and inspirations as an artist. From there, Maria began an enquiry into birds of prey with the children, through various exercises in drawing, origami, movement/performance and inhabiting the psyche of the bird. This developed into creating a collaborative sculptural piece which functioned as a bird stand, for the Harris hawk, Kayla, to land on. A final photograph was taken by Maria to document this process. The pupils were extremely open and inquisitive about the hawks and worked really hard to make the origami pieces which made up the base for the sculpture. All the school staff were very encouraging and accommodating throughout the residency.

Maria McKinney, Artist

The project started off by the boys coming to Temple Bar to visit the gallery, and then up to my studio on the first floor. Myself and Jean introduced ourselves and I went on to show them some images of my work on a monitor. I told them just the name of the work, and then asked them to name all the different materials and objects they could see (I use a lot of different materials and everyday items). I then emptied a box of objects that I had made to allow them to handle some of my work. A lot of them were long strand type objects made by weaving straws. These very quickly became lightsabers which made me laugh.

The following sessions in the school consisted of teaching the boys how to make claws and beaks with paper and origami. It was well timed around Halloween so the boys could re-appropriate the claws for scary costumes. The teachers would help the boys make them, though once they had gone through the process a couple of times they needed no more help and could make loads.

We also looked at some other artists’ work that involved birds, including Marcus Coates Dawn Chorus, and Sean Lynch’s work Peregrine Falcons visit Moyross. In the latter, we see the footage from a camera attached to the back of a Peregrine Falcon, who then flies around Moyross Estate. At a certain point, the bird lands on a lamp post, looks around for a while, then takes off again. The boys lined up in pairs, and I asked them to close their eyes and imagine they were the bird on top of the lamp post, to think about their claws, wings and beaks, and prepare to take off again. The boys would then swoop through the room with great direction and style. Through making the different body part (claws and beaks) and then the boys using them, I was coaxing them to think about the anatomy of the bird, and in relation to their own physicality.

Pupil K

Ideas were developed through using different materials and also looking at Maria’s work. The teachers and Maria helped us make origami. Maria worked with bulls before this and we worked with a hawk.

Pupil B

We wore hats and wings and put together the claws and beaks and made a hawk stand. So the hawk can stay on it.

Pupil A

We all folded the paper and we got help from our friends, teachers and SNAs who showed us how to do origami and it was fun.

Pupil C

We worked together making origami and drawing pictures of hawks. We then put the origami onto the stand.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Two 4th classes came together to complete the six-week course. The artists had use of the art room where they had tables set up for each activity. They also had great powerpoints set up here.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

Two 4th classes did the course together. The artist had tables set up and the resources provided for the children. The children all got involved as they were enjoying it. The teaching staff helped to keep the children on task.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

I felt this was a very successful project in terms of engagement and pitching to primary level students. Sessions in the school were active and fun with all children participating enthusiastically. Maria brought the pupils on an incredible journey of inquiry and art-making which culminated in meeting the Harris hawk, Kayla. As a result, pupils had the most imaginative and interesting questions for the hawk handler Barry and the experience no doubt left them with a new-found appreciation for the wildlife that is in their local urban environment.

Maria McKinney, Artist

I felt it was important to leave enough room for the participants’ input into the work, as well as for the unexpected occurrences that often come about through process-led engagement. However, I also had to make sure I had prepared enough activity for each session, so that we would not all be standing around looking at one another not doing anything. It is a fine balance to try and strike.

The success of the project was most definitely the boys’ energy and enthusiasm for doing something different. I really looked forward to my time with them. The staff were also really fantastic and got fully involved in what we were doing. It makes a big difference when the teachers are fully engaged and supportive of what you are doing, as this is unconsciously communicated to their students, and really affects how they respond to you, the visitor.

Another great success was Barry the falconer, whose birds work in Croke park, agreeing to take one of his birds to visit the boys in the school. This really made for a special day and everyone was so excited. As the artist this was also the most stressful time, as I was hoping everything would go to plan.

The boys and the birds behaved perfectly. However I have realised my own skill in group photography needs a lot of work. I had hoped to pose the boys as a group around the bird, while they were wearing the large paper wings/claws/beaks they had made. However I couldn’t organise them well enough, and it was a cold windy day. The boys worked really hard but I think I could have planned this part a bit better.

Pupil A

My favourite part was when we were wearing the art and I was like a hawk.

Pupil D

My experience of the project was amazing. I never got to see a hawk in real life, I loved it. My favourite part was when I saw Kayla because I never got to see a hawk in real life.

Pupil K

My personal favourite part was when we wore the wings and started to dance around with them on.

Pupil F

My favourite experience was building the sculpture. The teachers helped us and the boys came up with brilliant ideas that we put on the sculpture. The sculpture became a success but coming up with the ideas was a bit of a challenge.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Children really enjoyed the course. It was a new experience, one which won’t be forgotten. The trip to the artist’s gallery was an eye opener for the children. Challenges – would be the amount of time taken for each session, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

Children all enjoyed it and are still talking about the experience. Something different for them rather than us teaching all the time.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jean Mann, Creative Generations Education Curator

This was a project where the unexpected was encouraged and allowed to unfold. Pupils had an experience of artmaking which gave them an expanded view of what art can be. Maria guided pupils calmly through this process, beginning with the more familiar terrain of drawing, through to the introduction of a live hawk. Students themselves became part of the artwork in the wearing of large origami pieces to flank the bird on her perch for the final photograph of the residency. The reception to the project was palpable within the school,  with pupils and staff excited about the final event of the residency, and meeting the hawk.

Maria McKinney, Artist

While I talked to the boys about ecology and habitat, we were referring to the food chain of these birds in their natural environment.

However, I realised the working bird that was to come into the school to visit them, is involved in a very different network – one that is entirely at the behest of humans and our culture of sport, entertainment, cultivation, media, security (these birds are also used to keep drones away)…

Pupil F

I had a great experience of being a great young artist.

Pupil E

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Pupil C

The experience of touching and seeing a hawk. I loved it from start to finish!

Pupil J

Having fun and learning new skills with origami and our drawing improved. It was an unusual exciting experience – I would tell other schools to do it.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

It was great working with an artist. Children may have never visited a gallery or got an insight into the life/ideas of an artist. Origami is also an area we would not have thought about too much in school. This was new and exciting.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

The children got to experience what a gallery was/looked like. They were making origami pieces that they would not have learned otherwise. They got to see and understand what an actual artist does and could ask questions. Great experience for the children and very enjoyable.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Maria McKinney, Artist

It has made me think more about the human–animal relationship, in particular working animals. In an urban context the only working animal I would have been able to name before this project is a guide dog or sniffer dog at the airport. I am looking up more these days.

Pupil K

I feel I can follow more steps and am better at drawing and following things, and my imagination has grown. I have signed up for art club in my school now that I like art more. I feel like I can listen more.

Pupil D

I got better at following instructions and my drawing got better. I am starting to get into art. I can now work as a team.

Pupil A

I can listen in class and fold stuff and I signed up for art club because of the project.

Pupil F

I feel a lot better at doing step by step projects and I’ve improved on my drawings and I got better at working as a team. I enjoyed the art experience so much I signed up for the school’s art club.

Mr. Gavin, Teacher

Teachers’ and childrens’ outlook on art had changed since taking on this project. We got to see that art is a lot more than just painting and drawing. We also got to see at first hand how art can be used in the environment around us.

Ms. Coyle, Teacher

We are a lot more aware of using our environment for art purposes. It is not simply painting a picture. Origami pieces have been brought into other sections of our school life, i.e. the school play etc.

!!!! A Maker Approach to Art & Interactivity for Artists, Makers & Educators

Make Create Innovate

Date: March 24th & 25th
An introductory workshop to electronics for creative projects

In collaboration with The Digital Hub, Make Create Innovate offer this hands-on, jargon-free two day workshop that will introduce you to physical computing using conductive materials, MaKey MaKey and Arduino with some basic sensors. Our artist-maker-educator approach is all about tinkering with art, electronic and everyday materials to learn through experimentation and discovery.
By the end of the weekend you will have a basic understanding of the principals involved in easy-to-make light and sound responsive systems and the materials required. You will also have collaborated with other workshop participants to create an electronically triggered soundscape or an interactive environment/artwork.

This workshop is for creative people (professionals and non-professionals) and educators, who want to do something different; whether it’s programme a touch-activated sound effects on the theatre stage or design a cross-curricular STEAM project at school. It is especially suitable for anyone involved in engaged arts that support arts participation and/or invite audience interaction.

For more information and to book your place go to www.makecreateinnovate.ie/a-maker-approach-to-art-and-interactivity

!!!! Announcing the Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award Recipients

We are delighted to announce that the recipients of the Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award are playwright and actor John McCarthy and Visual Artist Clare Breen. We are very excited to be working with them in the coming months to document their projects, the Young Playwrights Programme (Cork) and Breadfellows’ Chats (Wexford). These projects will be showcased on the portal as the documentation progresses.

About the recipients….

IMG_0001_edit2John McCarthy, Playwright & Actor

I am a playwright and actor who works with young people in theatre and writing. I work as a facilitator with Activate Youth Theatre and Fighting Words Cork, as well as Creative Learning coordinator with Graffiti Theatre Company.

I was part of the Next Stage at Dublin Theatre Festival this year, and am currently the recipient of an Arts Council Theatre Bursary for playwriting. Finished Once, and Ready, a new work in development with Arts Council project funding was performed in recent showings in Cork (School of Music) and Dublin (Irish Theatre Institute). I wrote Stage Irish, which won the Writers Guild of Great Britain Playwrights Progress Award 2014 and and co-wrote Hollander, nominated Best Production at Irish Theatre Awards 2010. I write and direct the online audiodrama `In Darkness Vast’.

For more information go to www.hammergrin.com

Clare Breen, Visual Artist

Clare_Breen_compaions_yellow_brick_edit_sq_smI am an artist and arts educator working in a variety of contexts. In my practice I conduct Breadfellows’ Chats. I have developed this artistic research methodology to adapt to many different environments. It is based on dialogical and relational artistic processes, considering conversation and collaborative making as constructive learning methodologies. I produce ceramics, meals, exhibitions and workshops collaboratively with other artists, curators, arts educators, historians, conservators, teachers and children. Talking and making together, followed by the sharing of food, are foregrounded in my practice as intimate gestures of care.

I obtained a BA in Fine Art from NCAD, Dublin in 2011 and a Masters in Education in the Arts from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2016. In 2017 I moved to Athens to work as part of the documenta 14 education team and completed a residency at Yellow Brick Project Space. I am currently artist in residence at Castlebridge National School through the Living Arts Project run by Wexford Arts Center. I have developed a programme over 15 weeks with 3rd and 5th class beginning from the Breadfellows’ Chats methodology. I am also working in collaboration with Katy Fitzpatrick and Aislinn O’Donnell at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in response to the work of Otobong Nkanga and with Jennie Guy’s Art School as part of the EVA International education programme.

For more information go to www.clarebreen.net

!!!! Creative Ireland launches the ‘Creative Youth Plan’

Creative Ireland

On the 7th December Creative Ireland delivered on one of it’s key promises by publishing Creative Youth: a Plan to enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person.  This now represents the core work programme for Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland Programme. Michael O’Reilly from Creative Ireland discusses the plan development and implementation.

Michael O’Reilly – Creative Ireland 

Developing the plan was an interesting and not entirely pain-free process: it is no secret that the 2018 budget didn’t allow as much scope for new investment as had been hoped.  But in the end, a creative engagement between the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs produced a plan with a long-term vision – cultural and creative education for all – a strategic approach to the further development of pillar 1, and 18 implementation actions.

The two headline actions are implementation of Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools – an Arts Council led project, which is a development of the Arts in Education Charter initiative, Arts Rich Schools – ARIS, and the extension of Music Generation countrywide during the lifetime of the Programme.

There are several entirely new ideas in the plan but in the main it builds on existing initiatives.  For example there will be a significant research project, and a culture and creativity-mapping project, but both will build on existing work.

From our point of view the most encouraging aspect of the plan is the acceptance of the long term vision of cultural and creative education for all: Cultural education that enables young people to explore and understand their own and other people’s cultural assumptions, viewpoints, beliefs and values, and Creative education that uses the innate creative skills of children and young people as a powerful instrument of learning.

The plan is not static.  A Pillar 1 expert advisory group will be appointed shortly which will guide the further development of pillar 1 and also monitor the implementation of Creative Youth.  A cross-departmental working group and a senior officials group will ensure that implementation stays on track.

We now have a clear agenda and cross-government support for its implemenation.  The next few years will be both testing and exciting.

Click here to download the full report

!!!! Creativity & Change Masterclasses for educators & artists

Creativity and Change programme

2018

For 2018 the Creativity & Change programme have an exciting line up of masterclasses for educators and artists including:

Street Art – March 24th -25th

Street Art-Using creative expression in the street to communicate justice messages and to practice active citizenship with artists Claire Coughlan and Helen O’Keeffere from ‘Splattervan’.

Theatre  – April 21st and 22nd

Theatre workshop, from the Personal to the Public: using theatre to explore understand issues of power from the micro to the macro, local to global with Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of Crooked House and Kildare Youth theatre.

The Creatively & Change training opportunities bring creative methodologies and energy to Global Citizenship/ Development Education. The programme is based in CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, in the Department of Arts in Health and Community Practices and is supported by Irish Aid.

For the full programme, profiles of the facilitators and registration links go to www.creativityandchange.ie/masterclass-programme-2018/

!!!! ‘Mind the Gap’ Project opportunity for schools in Cork

Mind the Gap

Workshops to take place between January – March 2018

Mind the Gap‘ is a development education arts project based in Cork offering fully funded arts based workshops for post-primary schools and Youthreach programmes exploring global justice issues such as Human Rights, refugees, interdependence and Intercultural understanding. Offering performances, workshops and residencies in schools.

‘Mind the Gap’ is funded by Worldwise Global Schools, a sector of Irish Aid and is managed by ‘Head, heart & hands Ltd’.

Interested teachers please email us at gapmindthe@gmail.com.

 

!!!! ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jane Hayes, Artist 

The ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’ project is a programme for early years and their parents that focuses on the creative exploration of the five senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight, and like all my projects was developed to enliven children’s disposition for wonderment, excitement, curiosity, and perseverance.

I designed and developed the programme for Scoil Chroí Íosa with the aim of engaging the children in an immersive, child-centred, art-rich learning environment that would aid their early learning and development, and complements the school’s Aistear and Síolta Frameworks.

Scoil Chroí Íosa is known in Galway for its commitment to delivering a rich creative arts programme and aiming to provide the children in the school with an education that is rich in creative thinking, learning and activity. They provide a holistic approach to education and give each child an opportunity to express themselves creatively through a range of arts activities and programmes. For these reasons I approached the school directly with the project, which was instantly received with enthusiasm.

Colin Barry, Principal

Scoil Chroí Íosa is a growing school of roughly 110 children who come from a variety of multi-cultural backgrounds. This gives our school a distinctly vibrant feel and makes it an important hub for the local community. We aim to provide for the holistic education of all our students through a variety of modern, research-based methodologies. One of the most effective teaching methodologies we have found is to teach children through the medium of the creative arts. We believe this transcends cultural differences, language barriers and academic aptitude. We, as a whole school community, decided to proactively move in this exciting new direction about 4 years ago.

In this challenging endeavour, we sought guidance and support from many fantastic arts organisations and individual creative practitioners based in and around Galway City. Jane Hayes was one such artist and educator who we were delighted to have work with our students. Jane’s project “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” was designed specifically for our younger pupils to engage actively with over a sustained period. The children were not engaged with a template-based approach, but rather were encouraged and supportively facilitated to use their own ideas creatively to make wonderful visual art.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jane Hayes, Artist

The title was obviously inspired by the classic children’s story, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, but the ideas for the project came from my experience of young children’s ability to see the world around them from such a unique perspective, for example how they explain sounds, how they draw smells, how they talk about textures. While introducing them to activities designed to stimulated their senses, I wanted to allow them the space to explore the theme of the senses in a very open way, that would facilitate their natural creativity.

Each week I would facilitate 50 minute workshops with the three youngest classes in the school, where teachers and parents of the children were also encouraged to participate. The weekly workshops involved a range of interesting indoor and outdoor arts experiences, many of which took place in the school’s unique garden classroom. I developed these activities as a means to channel the children’s attention to the world around them, to encourage them to recognise the power of their senses, and to help them explore those senses creatively.

Students were encouraged to actively explore their world, gain independence by working independently, and also develop a sense of team work through group projects. Some of the activities undertaken included; making “tools” to see and hear, sensory play in the garden, largescale projection for storytelling, creating collaborative large-scale paintings with unexpected tools, nature walks with observation and creative reporting, creating visual landscapes of the senses, and constructing “musical instruments”.  Key to the process was encouraging children to take the lead and develop their own understanding of “the brief”. This was a little difficult at first, as children naturally turn to adults for instruction, especially in an educational setting. However, as the project progressed the young children became much more confident in making their own decisions.

There was an interesting dynamic between all the participants; the children, myself, parents and teachers. In the beginning teachers felt the need to guide the students, and parents the need to do things for the children, however, my role was to facilitate child-led engagement, and to model that interaction as a means to encouraging and enabling teachers and parents to do the same. It was a gradual process, with the adults needing time to adapt to a very open approach.  The children on the other hand easily adapted to their role as ‘leaders’ and showing their parents how to do things. The role reversal really worked, and a partnership approach to the projects really began to develop.

Sue Doherty, Teacher 

As a school, we had decided to promote all aspects of the creative arts in education and this project, ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’, was a perfect match for our new direction.

The project centred on the involvement of parents in their own child’s experience of creating and participating in collaborative art. We encouraged parents to come in to the school during Jane’s visits so that they themselves could also participate in the creation of art and work with their own child, exploring their senses, their world, and their feelings about art.

The actual process was a hugely positive experience for all.  It allowed parents and teachers to engage actively with the children’s imaginations and innate creative abilities, using immersive child-centred activities to create and explore art. Although the exhibition in June 2017 was an impressive celebration and showcase of the children’s work, the real success of the project was defined by the qualitative value of the social, emotional, educational and artistic aspects of the children’s experiences.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be involved in ‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got…’, such an approach to art in education cannot come more highly commended.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jane Hayes, Artist

Central to my approach is educating parents, teachers and the community about the importance of creativity in our lives and the lives of our children. I work to remove the fear and feelings of inadequacy that many adults have around creativity, and so this programme also worked to encourage and empower parents and teachers to engage in creativity with their children by including them in the process.  There were some really positive results.

Parent

I love the projects you have done with the children, they are actually quite easy, but I can see how much she enjoys this, and how much she loves when I work with her too.

As current research highlights, creative engagement from an early age is the most effective way to break down gender imbalance in creativity, is a powerful tool in improving children’s wellbeing, and helps aid personal development and build self-esteem.  However, in the school system anecdotal evidence suggests to me that it is older children that are often those selected for participation in arts in education projects. As I am especially committed to working within the early years remit I was dedicated to focusing on the youngest students in Scoil Chroí Íosa something that Principle Colin Barry was very positive about.

Colin Barry, Principal

“We are lucky to have lots of opportunities to collaborate with artists here, however, oftentimes when artists work in collaboration with schools they gravitate towards the older classes, 3rd and 4th for example.  The younger groups are often not as well catered for, so this is exactly what we need”.

It was clear that being gifted a significant time period to deliver the project resulted in a very rich experience for students, parents, teachers and myself the artist.  The fact that the workshops ran over an 11-week period meant that trust could be formed, greater understanding gained and richer engagement accomplished.  It was noted by the principle that having projects that allow for more meaningful engagement has greater long term effects, and that this approach allowed Teachers themselves to learn activities and approaches that they would be able to implement in the classroom themselves.

Ailbhe O’Donnell, Teacher

Jane was a great facilitator and allowed the children to experiment independently as much as possible, which they love to do. What was most exciting for the children is that their parents were invited along. Watching the children interact with parents was very interesting, as you usually only get to see them in the classroom environment. It was lovely to see parents getting stuck in helping, and also creating some Artwork themselves.

It was great to see the class work on collaborative pieces in a respectful, encouraging and creative way. The children had so much fun creating the large scale pieces together. Having the children focus on process rather than product kept them engaged and in control over their own work. I particularly liked the length of this project, which ran for 11 weeks in total. The children got into a creative routine every Thursday morning, which was great. They really took control over their own creativity. So much so, in fact, that they would be planning a week ahead in their minds what it was they would be creating the following Thursday.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Jane Hayes, Artist

One of my key objectives of “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” was to prioritise process over product. It can be challenging to shift teachers’ and parents’ focus away from finished pieces of art, but this project was successful in demonstrating how powerful, and creative, simply letting children explore, discover and enjoy the process can be. As a compromise to an exhibition of the children’s work, we ended the series with a Showcase, which was supported by the NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Institute (CKI) and Arts Office. The Showcase, mainly feature photos documenting the children’s experience, but also included a small selection of finished and unfinished pieces and research material.

Since completing the project I am more cognisant of how rich and valuable the process of making art can be, and have been working to shift my focus away from what the end product might be or do. I have commenced a new series, which is inspired by the “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” project and working with the children of Scoil Chroí Íosa, and am dedicating more time to exploring, discovering and enjoying. I am also working in a variety of settings, getting outside more, having seen what a positive impact that had on the children of Scoil Chroí Íosa and their creativity.

Participating Child

It’s just fun to play around, I really like this kind of art!

Participating Child

I love looking for flowers in the garden, it’s fun out here, it makes me happy.

Participating Child

I never knew you could make pictures with stones, that’s cool.

Participating Child

I love how the rice feels, it makes me feel relaxed

 

!!!! Children’s voices: Are we listening? – Kids’ Own celebrate 20 years with 2 days of events

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

8th & 9th November 2017

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, as part of its 20-year anniversary celebrations, will host 2 days of sectoral activities, in partnership with Dublin Book Festival and The Ark, exploring the value of publishing with children, and interrogating how we can support children to be seen and heard within our literature, culture and society. With the ambitious vision of current policy to reach all children through cultural tuition by 2022, Kids’ Own seeks to ask how we make space for quality and depth of engagement to support children as cultural makers and creators in their own right.

8th November 2017
Round table discussion (10.30am – 4pm)
Chaired by Martin Drury

Through a series of presentations and discussions hosted by Kids’ Own Creative Director, Orla Kenny and Kids’ Own co-founder Victoria Ryle, the day will involve explorations and case studies of the Kids’ Own archive, followed by discussions involving a chaired panel of guest speakers, and focused conversations, where participants will be invited to explore and interrogate how we make space for quality and depth of engagement, the role of the professional artist working with children and young people, and how we give children’s work greater visibility and recognition within mainstream culture.

This event is free but booking is essential.

9th November 2017

A day of practical exploration and creativity
Workshops for artists, teachers and arts education practitioners

11am – 1pm
All That We Are: An artist-led public participatory workshop with Simon Spain (Australia)
Kids’ Own co-founder and artist Simon Spain returns to Ireland to share his practice with Irish artists, teachers and practitioners. Through this practical workshop where participants will make figures from wood and plaster that will be joined to create a gathering, Simon will discuss key elements of his current practice-based PhD enquiry about working as a socially engaged artist. The work is centred around a strong theory of collaborative making environments that create liminal spaces for individual input while leading to a shared outcome celebrating difference.

Workshop fee: €10

2pm – 5pm
Print and book-making workshop with Alain Regnier (Belgium)
In this workshop, printmaker and art teacher (and founder of Motamo International Biennial of Children’s Books) Alain Regnier shares his way of working and will support participants to make books that include print and text, inspired by the work of his second-level students in Belgium. Copies of the books made during this workshop will be taken back to Belgium to be shared with a European audience.

Workshop fee: €10

For all bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/childrens-voices-are-we-listening.

For more information go to kidsown.ie/childrens-voices-listening/

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tom Dalton, Artist & Arts Worker – Blog 3

Tom Dalton headshotTom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.

A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country.

Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture.

Collaborative Mural Project at Terrence McSwiney Community School, Cork

The Kabin Studio at Knocknaheeny is a much loved and utilized building. Tucked inside the grounds of Terrence McSwiney Community School, this little hut is home to GMC Beats, the creative initiative of Garry McCarthy. GMC Beats deliver workshops in creative songwriting, rapping, singing and music production. Working mostly with schools and youth groups, these workshops give people the confidence and skills in putting their own thoughts, words and voices into action through performing and recording their own songs. Over 600 tracks produced by various community groups have come out of this space over the last 5 years, often garnering local and national radio and media attention.

Although a hive of activity on the inside, the exterior of the building had begun to look a bit tired and was in dire need of some sprucing up. Norrie Louise Ross, Art Teacher at Terrence McSwiney Community School Art got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts Centre with the idea of working with her students to breathe new life into the building. The school was looking for a mural, created by the students and staff, that would reflect the energy and output coming from this small cabin.

Walking through the hallways of Terrence McSwiney Community School, its clear that staff and management there understand the value an engagement with art has on the life and learning of their students. Perched on an elevated site overlooking the city, light fills the building, illuminating walls filled with student work. A spirit of collaboration and partnership between the school community and various local artists and groups has produced much of these works.

The school was approaching the end of the academic year and Ms Ross was keen to introduce an element of teamwork and fun into the school’s activity in order to maintain student engagement at a time when attendance can wain. A group of seventeen 2nd year students were selected to be part of the project, many of whom Mayfield Arts Centre had gotten to know over the years through other projects. Mayfield Arts staff Wayne Ford and I were joined by Ms Ross, JCSP Librarian Anne Masterson, Garry McCarthy and SNA staff in carrying out the mural alongside the students.

Every Wednesday for three weeks our team of staff and students gathered at the cabin, donned our white painting jumpsuits and got to work. Given the short time frame for the project we devised a framework whereby the mural would be designed ‘on the go’ and carried out by our team from the moment we stepped onsite.

The first part of this plan involved geometric ‘drawing’ on the wall surfaces using masking tape. Each team member was handed a roll of masking tape and a single line of tape was ran diagonally across the cabin wall. From here the group used their rolls of tape to divide up the space into intersecting shapes of triangles, lozenges, diamonds and rectangles. Members spread out over three of the sides of the building, their design growing and changing as more tape was added.

Now and again we would all stand back and as a group, discuss how things were going; how was our design looking? Did it have balance? Did we need to add more lines? Or take some away?

Once a consensus was reached each person was handed gloves, a small tub of paint and a brush. We selected chalky greys, dusty whites and charcoal blacks to give it a graphic aesthetic, but this palette also acted as a neutral ground for other graffiti works to join the wall into the future.

The group moved around the building painting in the shapes made by the tape, swapping colours between themselves. Once all the spaces were filled and the paint had time to dry the tape was peeled back revealing the patterned surface. Over the course of the few days this processes was repeated, adding shapes over shapes, and carving the space up in different ways.

G-MC Mural 0517 (16)_edit

It was wonderful to see both students and staff at the school working shoulder to shoulder. Kitted out in our painting jumpsuits we were all equal members of the same team. The Kabin now stands out in all the right ways, and there is a renewed sense of ownership of the space among the students at the school.

To find out more about the work that goes on at The Kabin visit gmcbeats.com

Mayfield Arts Centre would like to thank Norrie Louise Ross, Anne Masterson, Principal Phil O’Flynn, Gary McCarthy and all the students for their support and commitment to the project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

!!!! A Maker Approach to Art & Interactivity for Artists, Makers & Educators – An Introductory Workshop to Electronics for Creative Project.

Make Create Innovate

Date: 7 & 8 October 2017 at The Digital Depot, James St, Dublin 8

In collaboration with The Digital Hub, Make Create Innovate offer this hands-on, jargon-free two day workshop that will introduce you to physical computing using conductive materials, MaKey MaKey and Arduino with some basic sensors. Our artist-maker-educator approach is all about tinkering with art, electronic and everyday materials to learn through experimentation and discovery.

By the end of the weekend you will have a basic understanding of the principals involved in easy-to-make light and sound responsive systems and the materials required. You will work in groups to create an electronically triggered soundscape or an interactive environment/artwork.

This workshop is for creative practitioners and educators, who want to do something different with non-screen based technology; whether it’s programme a touch-activated sound effects on the theatre stage or design a cross-curricular STEAM project at school. It is especially suitable for anyone involved in engaged arts that support arts participation and/or invite audience interaction.

For more information click here

 

!!!! Guest Blogger, Leanne Troy, Primary School Teacher

Leanne Troy is a primary school teacher based in the Midlands. She told us that she has a great passion for art both inside and outside the classroom. ShLeanne Headshote attended Learning through Creativity educational course at the Glucksman Art Gallery this summer

I am very enthusiastic about visual art and its impact on education. I challenge myself to try and be as creative as possible in all my approaches to teaching each subject area. Thematic teaching allows me to integrate subjects more freely and use more hands on visual methods. An example of this is the Craft Ed project I recently undertook through my local education centre (a fantastic scheme that unfortunately very few teachers know about). For this project I was paired with a local artist who came to my school to complete a six week project. The wood carving artist and I team taught my class in 2 hour blocks. The children from my 1st class were delighted to be handed chisels and pieces of wood! We based the project on a trip to Lough Boora Sculpture park in Co.Offaly, where the children learned all about the local wildlife and the history of the bog . Each child chose an animal to write a report on and also drew an accompanying image. This image was then transferred onto the wood and carved out. The results were amazing. We created our very own ‘Sky Train’ which is proudly on show at the front of our school.

My experiences with Craft Ed have even further heightened my interest in art education and so I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and ways to upskill and develop my artistic abilities. I try to attend as many local art workshops as I can in areas such as ceramics, mosaics as well as art education classes in the Glucksman Art Gallery in University College Cork. A particularly strong influence is the art classes I attend with Hazel Greene in Shinrone Co.Offaly, where we paint mostly landscapes using acrylics. We also complete silk paintings and palate knife paintings. I also gain a lot of experience and inspiration from the childrens’ summer camp I run each year.  I am the co-founder of an art and alternative sports camp, named Da Vinci’s Frisbees, with my partner Liam. Our camp is in its fourth successful summer and it is based in Offaly and Cork. The art activities focus on the process of art making and creativity.

So this week I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend my own summer camp, in the form of the Learning through Creativity educational course run by Tadhg Crowley at the Glucksman Art Gallery. The bright, airy spacious gallery is the perfect space to facilitate our week long voyage of discovery.  Even with the end of the summer holidays looming, I was very excited. Throughout the week we have looked at art and the possibilities for integration with other subject areas on the primary curriculum.  We have explored various examples of artists that could be used to facilitate the creative combination of Art with Maths, English, History, Science and SPHE. Each afternoon we were also lucky enough to work with different artists to put into practice the theory from the morning session.

Initially we started off our discussion on the impact of art on education. Just like when you read a good book, art education allows you to develop empathy, different points of view and it awakens your senses.  Tadhg introduced the concept of creativity to us as an essential part to education and a unique human factor which allows us to show case our individuality. Everybody is creative in some shape or form whether it’s through your sense of fashion or how you hang the clothes on the washing line! Creativity is even fast becoming one of the most desired characteristics for employers who are seeking to employ innovative problem solving employees. Children are the future so let us prepare them as best we can!

I particularly enjoyed the caricature depicted by Ann Bamford, the art educator, which really highlighted the importance of teachers developing creative teaching methodologies in order to differentiate for the children in their class. There is a line of zoo animals in front of a tree.  Maybe there was an elephant, a lion, a monkey, a seal and a zebra. The teacher tells the class, ‘Now climb the tree’.  We discussed how as educators, we sometimes ask all of our class to do the same thing, using the same method, when there are many different capabilities and skills present in every classroom. By making the effort to offer a variety of imaginative approaches we will have a much more beneficial impact on the education of our students. We were also told about the impressive project in Harvard Medical school, ‘Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis’. In this project a group of doctors were split into two groups. Group A received an art education course and group B didn’t.  Both groups were observed during their medical careers and it was found that group A had a much higher diagnosis rate with their patients. We discussed how art education can make you become more aware of your surroundings and awaken your senses and this was clearly evident for the doctors in group A who were demonstrating these skills.

I also thoroughly enjoyed working with Cork based artist, Cassandra Eustace, who outlined numerous invaluable creative activities linking art and language. These simple tasks included drawing simple still life objects using a blinder on the pencil. This took all of the stress out of drawing and some of the control. It really made you focus your attention and become aware of the lines and what you were looking at.  We also used a view finder and an acetate sheet to draw our hands. Both of these tasks took a lot of concentration but they were fun and you did not have to be ‘good’ at drawing. Everyone can find their artist!  Following this we then had to pick an object in the room and write a description about it without giving the name of the object away. For example, I chose a fire extinguisher and described it as a hard, cold, bright metal object with a beak that made me feel safe. These descriptions were then swapped with a partner. Based on the descriptive piece of writing that you received, you then had to create a collage of words and images, which made for some very interesting results! Another appealing activity was highlighting the use of drawing as a way of communicating and expressing ourselves. Using simple notebooks we had to respond to words that Cassandra said, firstly through non representative lines and then using symbols or images.  A series of words were used like, bored, angry, peaceful etc. All of the activities used very little materials and took very little organisation or tidying up, which will make them attractive to a lot of teachers. But also they provided a chance for children to express themselves in very creative ways.

Artists such as, Josef Albers, Sol Lewitt and Bridget Riley provided inspiration for our maths based art activities with artist, Dominic Fee. Dominic has an excellent website which links numerous artists to the world of maths and he outlined links to various strands in the curriculum, especially around the area of shapes, spatial awareness and tessellations. I enjoyed layering 2d shapes using textured wallpaper and ink. This was then passed through a printing press. For most schools, there is not the luxury of a printing press, so Dominic showed us how the taped down acetate sheet and paper can be covered in paper and a poly pocket and then a wooden/metal spoon can be rubbed vigorously on top to create the print.

We then examined the links between art and history. Tadhg outlined how art works can tell us about the clothes, politics, social situations and living conditions at different periods of time. As a cross curricular activity we had to arrange a number of paintings into a time line (which I found very challenging!)  Tadhg went on to highlight William Kentridge, Rita Duffy and Kerry James Marshall as artists who could be used to discuss themes such as conflict and human rights. This approach would be an imaginative visual way of tackling history in a classroom.

Later in the week with the guidance of artist Kevin Mooney, we studied some pictures of ancient artefacts and responded to the various images through painting. It was interesting to mix the various patterns seen in the images and collaborate African statues, the Book of Kells and New Grange into the one piece. One of my favourite activities that Kevin outlined was painting in response to a text. This simple idea could be used with any age group. We underlined the adjectives in a descriptive section about Cuchulainn and then depicted the words through painting and mark making.

As we were in the renowned architecturally designed gallery, it was only fitting that we also had a tour of the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea. I really feel that the pieces of art would mean little to me if I did not get the history and background of them and begin to fully appreciate the process that went in to making the piece of art. I was very impressed by the stories that went with each piece. This led to some interesting discussions for the group, for example, we discussed who decides what art is worthy of hanging in a gallery. I think that an established artist can justify his/her pieces through outlining the process of the production and the idea behind it’s creation which in most cases turns out to be fascinating, even if the end piece sometimes does not seem impressive. Without the tour and information I feel that I could have been staring mindlessly at the art wondering what I was supposed to be looking at! This experience made me become more aware of my surroundings, engaging all of my senses in the process of looking at the art. Perhaps most importantly as a teacher it further developed my sense of empathy for the art making process, as opposed to just the final piece of art. This outlook allows me to appreciate art, (and life more generally) from different viewpoints and perspectives, a skill which I feel would be hugely beneficial for the children in my classroom.

The gallery tour also made me question what is it that can be described as art, the possibilities are endless. I am starting to develop a broader concept of more non-traditional examples of art work. As a very interesting activity we had to choose a piece of art from the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea, and develop a set of questions that could be used with children. This process of really looking at the art, identifying how it was made, the materials used, the colours, shapes and lines present in the piece as well as the whole thought process behind the piece, made me become much more aware of what I was looking at. My list of questions for my class became longer as I thought about what the children might see and how I could broaden their perspectives when studying a piece of art. For example, what is your first impression when you look at this art, how does it make you feel, what is the mood/tone, does it remind you of anything, what is the focal point, what title would you give this piece etc.

Tadhg went on to discuss the benefits of using a 3d object like a sculpture or an artefact to initiate a lesson. An object would make for an interesting starting point for engaging the children in a lesson. A visual stimulus like this could be multi-sensory and accommodate various learning needs in the class. It would also help to develop visual literacy in children as well as their capacity for careful critical observation of their world. I think that I would have to practice this approach myself to build up my confidence before introducing it to my classroom. However, I can see how it would create a buzz of excitement in the classroom to place some strange sculpture on the table and start the journey of exploration through the senses.

A highlight of the course was working with Killian, when we were integrating Art with Science. We developed photograms! In the dark room, I arranged my jewellery on a special sheet of light treated paper and placed a lamp directly above it for about five seconds. The piece of paper was then put in a tray of water with the chemical developer until the image appeared. The paper was then lifted into the water mixed with the chemical fixer for thirty seconds, before being rinsed off. I was both shocked and amazed at how simple the process was to create such a cool piece of art. I was so delighted to realise how cheap and easy it would be to set up a dark room in a school store room.  My third class are in for a treat this year! Bring on September, I can’t wait to try out some of my new ideas!

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tom Dalton, Artist & Arts Worker – Blog 2

Tom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participTom Dalton headshotants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities. A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture

‘Parting Memories’: St. Patrick’s Girls National School Mural

Making the move from Primary to Secondary School can be a big deal. In 6th class you’re the big fish in the pond – you know the school like the back of your hand, younger kids look up to you and you have mastery of your environment.  When I meet the 6th Class year group of at St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiners Hill, the countdown to the end of the school year is underway. There is a buzz in the air – mostly of excitement, but with a little trepidation stirred in also. As eager the girls are to be approaching summer holidays there is an understanding that this is the last few weeks of their time within the walls of the school. The girls will surely miss this place – the colourful hallways, the sounds of the playground, the generosity of their teachers, the friendships they’ve formed. While many of the girls will continue on with their education just a short hop across the yard at St Patrick’s College, others are enrolled in other schools across the city – It’s the last few weeks they will all be together as a group.

Principal of St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Mrs Eileen Kelly, got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts to help devise an art project that would engage the 6th class girls creatively in this time of transition in their lives. There is a strong ethos of the holistic development of all children in St. Patrick’s Girls National School; ‘Our school is a happy, active, safe environment where we include, encourage and respect each other.’

Mrs Kelly wished to involve her students in something that would pay tribute to those ‘pupils and staff who have passed through our school, each making a difference.’ Mrs Kelly led me to a light filled corridor in the school and proposed it as the site of our project.

‘Parting Memories’ is a three dimensional wall mural composed of hundreds of origami butterflies individually created by the girls. A key motivation in designing the project was to provide an opportunity for reflection on time spent in the school; to recall, recount and visualize shared memories. It was hoped that this process of shared reflection on time spent together could make this time of change smoother for the girls; the process of remembering acting like a talisman for the crossing into the next phase of their lives.

Arts workers Wayne Ford and I, with support from Cuig artists Ailbhe Barrett and Bríd Heffernan made four trips to the school over the month of May, conducting workshops with Ms Dunne and Ms Conran’s classes of twenty five students.  Each student was asked to design and make two little paper butterflies. Each butterfly contains a memory between its folds – this could be a story, a memory or a wish for the future.

Origami can take a bit of time to get the hang of. Some of the girls mastered the butterfly shapes quickly, while others took more time. Once one or two had gotten the hang of things it was lovely to see the girls offer help to others in the group. The learning of this new skill spread and soon the tables and floor were scattered with little paper butterflies.

Once the technique was learned, each person was handed two squares of thick paper – one lined in either blue or red, reminiscent of copy book paper, the other blank. Instructions were simple; on the lined paper the girls were asked to recount a story or memory from school. Students were encouraged to ‘write outside the lines’, incorporating the lines of the page into their designs. Some stories spiralled through the lines, others fanned out in multiple directions. Once folded into shape the lines of the paper form geometric patterns, with the stories and memories tucked up inside.

On the second sheet the girls had free reign in visualising a memory from the past six years. Some of the work represented their involvement in school activities such as sport, drama and science, others depicted the forming of friendships, the natural surrounding the school or patterned abstraction. Once completed each butterfly was coated in a hardening medium and affixed to the wall. The installation resembles butterflies taking flight, symbolising the girl’s departure from the school – flocking together, yet moving on their own path through life.

The mural was kindly opened by Micheál Martin TD during a visit to the school in June. He told the girls that the mural reminded him that art is for everybody and is a reminder that it is the individuality of each of the girls that makes the school so special.

The real magic in this project for me is in witnessing what emerges when people are provided with time and space for reflection and exploration. There was a hum of conversation throughout the workshops as the girls drew out stories from one another. The success of the mural lies in the collective; the coming together of individual parts to make a whole. Mrs Kelly tells me that ‘every time I look at the mural a new butterfly stands out’. I think that’s lovely.

This project was generously funded by St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiner’s Hill.

Mayfield Arts would like to thank principal Mrs Kelly, and teachers Ms Conran and Ms Dunne for their support during this project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie or stpatricksgirls.net

!!!! Guest Blogger: Claire Halpin, Visual Artist, Curator & Arts Educator – Blog 2

Claire is a visual artist, curator and arts educator based in Dublin. Over the last twenty years Claire has worked with a range of grouOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAps across many age groups from Primary School children through to Second and Third level students, teachers, community groups, intellectual disability groups and older people. These projects have taken place in a range of settings and contexts including museum gallery based, classroom, library, healthcare, local authority and community settings and over a range of timescales. Claire is represented by Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin and is currently curating Concerning the Other – an artist collaborative project with the gallery in September 2017.

Visual Thinking Strategies with DCC Neighbourhood Schools – St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview

In my last blog post I outlined the DCC Neighbourhood Schools Visual Thinking Strategies project with which I am co-ordinator and VTS Facilitator. The aim and structure of the VTS: Neighbourhood Schools project is to continue to use Visual Thinking Strategies to add to the knowledge of the arts and build on the sense of place and experience that the children in Central Model N.S have and to share that experience with their neighbours through working in close collaboration with two schools (St. Mary’s N.S, Fairview and St. Vincent’s B.N.S, Ballybough) with trained VTS practitioners in each of the schools.

As mentioned previously I completed the VTS Beginners Practicum Training in September 2016 and was very enthusiastic about trying out VTS facilitation with a class group over a number of sessions. With the support of DCC Arts Office I approached St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview. The aim of a series of sessions was for me to practice VTS in its pure form in St Mary’s N.S., Fairview – a school where I have been working as artist in residence for 5 years practicing art making with the children. The purpose of this was to model the VTS method for the class teacher and to evaluate how VTS works for me as practicing artist in education, the children, and the classroom teacher, in order to inform the school Principal and DCC Arts Office.

Eibhlín McGarry, Principal and Evita Coyle, 4th Class teacher were hugely supportive and enthusiastic about the project and from the outset we agreed that at least half of the sessions would be exhibition visits to The LAB, Hugh Lane Gallery and exhibitions of contemporary art.

In a lot of ways this project differs to how the VTS Programme’s are run in the US. And as the project is developing we are encountering these differences and complexities. A VTS Programme in the US with a beginners group would usually comprise six sessions with a class group over 6 months – ie. once a month. The VTS facilitator would work from the “curriculum” of carefully selected images that have been “tested” for VTS facilitation with groups in the classroom and would include just one museum or gallery visit.

With St.Mary’s N.S and the VTS Neighbourhood Schools Project, the emphasis is on exhibition visits and encountering the best of contemporary art by Irish artists and using VTS to look at this work. From the initial sessions where it felt more like a guessing game of “Did we get it right?” with observation and notation of imagery, subject in the artwork and little reading of the work beyond that to sessions now with engaged discussions around content, materials, scale and artists intent. From my initial introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies it was explained that people like to tell stories, people like to tell you what they know, their experiences. With a 4th Class group you might think that they would have limited experience and reference points. But bearing in mind this is a 4th Class group from Dublin 3, mainly living in Eastwall, Summerhill, Ballybough and the inner city with a demographic of 24 nationalities in the school – the social and cultural diversity and extent of their references and experience is far reaching.

As a practicing visual artist it has been hugely enlightening and enriching to experience exhibitions with a group through facilitating these VTS sessions. It has made me reflect on my own artworks in a different light and how I view artworks and exhibitions. I am intrigued by the observations, theorising and discussions that happen in the sessions. Also seeing the development within the classgroup – their oral language, articulation, observations as well as confidence. This has quite naturally spilled over into other subjects in the classroom. Evita (class teacher) has observed that the class are now very naturally using “I agree with” and “I think that because”. More importantly they are recognising acknowledging there can be more than one meaning, and multiple perspectives on a subject.

The wider impact of the VTS Project with this class group is a work in progress. The project is twofold – it is a Visual Thinking Strategies Project but also a project where the class are visiting, experiencing and familiarising themselves with the best of contemporary Irish art in contemporary galleries. They encounter artworks with an engagement and enquiry that is refreshing and inspiring. The exhibitions and works that we are viewing and experiencing are challenging and complex – the girls are undaunted by this and comfortable and confident in discussing works and visiting galleries and meeting artists and discussing their work as recently with Aideen Barry at The LAB.

We are looking forward to meeting with the other class groups, teachers and VTS Practitioners from St. Vincent’s BNS and Central Model Senior School to share and exchange experiences in the next stage of the project commencing in September 2017.

Links:

Dublin City Arts Office

DCC Project 2020

St.Mary’s N.S, Fairview

Claire Halpin

 

!!!! Guest Blogger Milica Atanackovic, Training & Practice Manager Early Childhood Ireland – Blog 1

Milica Headshot

Milica (Mili) Atanackovic is a Practice and Training Manager with Early Childhood Ireland. Her background in the early years is rooted within a passionate interest in Creative Arts. Mili originally studied Design Communication before moving into Early Childhood Care and Education in Australia.  Considering training and mentoring as a key element of quality in the early years, Mili has worked as an Educator, Service Manager and Trainer, she also combines experience from a range of creative disciplines to her work.

Creativity through materials, space and time 

‘There is no substitute for exploration, unconstrained by rules or expectations when it comes to generating creative solutions to our problems.’ Alison Gopnik

More and more research hints at simple, open-ended objects as ones that are most likely to be used continuously, over and over to stimulate the imagination of children regardless of their age. These are objects such as cups, tubes, fabric, natural elements including bark, sticks, stones, feathers. These are materials that can be used in multiple ways, and are activated and defined by the child’s exploration. Three settings – Creative Kids Walkinstown, Corduff Childcare and YMCA Childcare Kidsworld Creche – were selected to participate in a sensory project with ReCreate* and Early Childhood Ireland, and use open-ended materials within their existing environments. The project was based on the strategic approach of ReCreate and Early Childhood Ireland to support the arts in early childhood education, and focused on the marriage of the arts and pedagogy – the arts as a language of inquiry, a way of communicating, exploring and thinking (Aistear 2009) in early childhood.

The sensory project took reusable open-ended materials from ReCreate to engage children’s senses through play. The artist Deirdre Rogers from ReCreate set up each room with objects intended to spark curiosity, imagination and exploration. The focus was the process of exploration – allowing children to be with the materials, to create without seeking a result. It positioned the environment as the ‘third teacher’ – an ECE environment can bring hope and inspiration to the child and educator, or it can be lack lustre and leave them frustrated. Seeing the environment as a teacher reminds us that our spaces should provoke learning and stretch the mind.

Children need to be given the opportunity to realise their potential as thinkers and creators. Open-ended materials and unstructured play encourage them to devise their own challenges, problem-solve and be immersed in their thoughts. Children in the throngs of self-directed creative play are too often interrupted. Creativity is nurtured when adults master the skill of quiet observation, answering questions from children when requested to. In the sensory project, educators were positioned as observers and co-explorers, not instructors, to support each child’s creative spirit.

One goal was for children to use the materials to develop their own problem-solving abilities through trial and error. Through observation, the educators made additional sensory provocations available and incorporated these into the spaces as extensions of the children’s exploratory processes. Photography was used to document the processes children engaged in. Photographs help boost children’s memories by  revisiting their experiences and reminding them of the process. During the project, the children were confident, resembling scientists in the depths of problem solving and questioning. As Alison Gopnik has discovered, children are like ‘scientists testing theories’, expressing their intelligence through connections with the every day, with people and objects. Explicit teaching can interfere with what comes innately to young children.

By giving the children more time to exhibit their independence and engage with each provocation, and have a say in what was going on around them, they started to develop the sense that their own ideas and opinions matter. The children moved bubble wrap through the space, popping it using their hands and feet, the technique of jumping was applied and the couch was used as a prop to bring more height to the experience. They explored, for example, light and shadow using projectors, tasted the bitterness of lemons, constructed and deconstructed a wide variety of objects. The camaraderie oozed from each small group as experiences strengthened their play communities. Masterful negotiations were witnessed as the children’s play was extended.

We sometimes unintentionally limit children’s ideas and creativity by assuming they are aiming for a specific outcome or result. Our role is to offer encouragement, rather than instructions. The child’s sense of agency was encouraged by welcoming and responding thoughtfully and respectfully to their questions and ideas. One of the best aspects of inquiry-based approaches is that they often lead to unexpected surprises and extended ongoing investigations. One goal of the project was to support educators in using open-ended materials in their environments, to develop sensory spaces that extend beyond one-off activities. However, the overarching goal was to ensure each child is given the space to engage uninterrupted and unquestioned, tuned in to each precious moment in time.

*ReCreate: recreate.ie/Recreate is a thriving social enterprise making art materials and educational supplies affordable and accessible to every sector of the community.

!!!! Opportunity for Action Researcher on the Virtually There Project

‘Virtually There’ Project – Opportunity for Action Researcher

Kids’ Own is pleased to invite applications from suitably qualified individuals for the role of ‘Virtually There’ Action Researcher.

Kids’ Own seeks an Action Researcher to join the ‘Virtually There’ project, which takes place in Northern Ireland. This is a long-term piece of work, running until 2020. This phase of this project is funded through a ‘More and Better’ Grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts-based Learning Fund.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Weds 23rd August at 5pm. Shortlisted applicants for the post of Action Researcher will be invited to interview on 31st August or 1st September 2017, with a view to starting work in September. The successful applicant will be required to attend a two-day creative planning meeting in Belfast on 28th and 29th September 2017.

More information and a full brief for the role can be found here

 

!!!! Blog 2: Jean Tormey, Curator Early Years & Families at Tate Modern & Tate Britain

Jean TormeyJean Tormey is Curator of the Early Years and Families programme of resources, events and projects at Tate Modern and Tate Britain for under 5s, 8-14s and intergenerational audiences. She has worked on Families’ programming in galleries since 2008. Her practice involves working with artists, audiences and colleagues at Tate to develop content and activity through which diverse children and families can be considered as equal and valued visitors to Tate. Jean has worked in gallery learning since 2005 as an intern in New York and as a learning curator in different galleries in Liverpool, Kilkenny and London.

Blog Post 2:

This post looks at some of the key parallels between the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the ‘non-negotiables’ or values of Tate Learning’s Early Years and Families’ programme. It’s worth noting just how different the conditions of each context are before launching into this. While the early years’ schools of Reggio Emilia are formal educational settings, Tate offers an informal, flexible learning setting not restricted by the demands of curricula, but inextricably linked to the Tate collection (sometimes exhibitions) and the buildings artwork is housed within. In Reggio Emilia, the pedagogistas, atelieristas and others who run the schools have an opportunity to get to know children and families well, meeting them daily and going on a journey of at least an academic year with them. At Tate, the Early Years and Families’ team are usually dealing with a transient, fleeting audience who drop in to the programme occasionally – sometimes by accident. Despite this, there are many correlations that can be made between our approaches to learning.

Agency

In the Early Years and Families’ team, we are passionate about treating children as equal gallery visitors and as an audience of the here and now rather than a developmental audience of the future. Similar to Reggio, this is about treating every child as an individual and programming in a way that recognises their unique interests, abilities and motivations.

One of our key values as a team is agency. We aim to design a programme that invites families of all ages from many different backgrounds with a range of experiences and knowledge to participate and find their own personal route through the gallery via our programme. Our resources and events should be an opportunity for families to co-construct meaning together (which also relates to the Reggio approach). In order for this to be successful, activities need to speak to and attract both adults and children in a very open-ended way.

Art and artists

The status of artists on our programme and the way we work with them can be compared to the Reggio approach. When we engage artists in the work we do, it’s about agreeing on where we would like to get to in terms of audience engagement, without knowing exactly how we’re going to get there.[1] This makes it an exciting but often complex relationship that needs to be continually managed and reflected upon.

Like in Reggio, we view artists as experts in their own practice and as having a very particular view of the world which can be very different to ours, but we do not expect them to be experts in working with children or the Tate collection – which is where our expertise comes in. At the heart of this is a discussion about their studio practice and how the materials and processes might relate to engagement with the Tate collection and our audience.

Curiosity

When working with an artist, our approach to the framing of an activity and to the use of materials we employ can be compared to the Reggio approach too. We believe in using high quality materials that relate to artists’ studio practice, ones that cannot be found in conventional educational settings. We aim to present these materials in a way that engages children and families’ curiosity (another of our non-negotiable) and imagination through introducing materials and processes in layers that unfold, rather than introducing everything all at once. This relates to the Reggio Emilia belief in ‘environment as educator’, and we would include the setting and location of our activity in this – the galleries and architectural spaces of Tate.

A social space

By its very nature the gallery environment is a public, social space. It is a space where families have the potential to view each other in a very different light, where they can encounter (and sometimes collide with!) other visitors, and where they can communicate about ideas and issues they may not have explored before. I think this aspect of our work relates to the importance Reggio places in children forming relationships with other people in order to learn. We are keen to make our programme as visible as possible in the gallery so that families and our programme can be seen and heard rather than tucked away in a studio space.

In my next blog post I’ll consider some specific examples of programming for early years audiences at Tate.

[1]   I always find a quote by artist Jeremy Deller useful when thinking about this – “A good collaboration is like going on a long journey without a map, never knowing quite where you will end up.”

http://www.tate.org.uk/about/our-work/learning-at-tate

!!!! Guest Blogger: Carmel Brennan, Head of Practice Early Childhood Ireland – Blog 2

Carmel Brennan is Head of Training and Practice with Early Childhood Ireland, with responsibility for the organisation’s work in developinDr. Carmel Brennan headshotg curriculum, improving practice and supporting services to work with the national frameworks. Their aim is to push the boundaries of our thinking and practice as we engage with the image of the competent, playful child. Carmel has also worked as an early childhood educator, mentor and researcher. Her research interests are in the areas of curriculum and particularly children’s play – the subject of her PhD thesis. More recently, she focusses on children’s co-construction of stories through play and the relationship between play and the arts in children’s lives. She edited the IPPA publication ‘Power of Play’ and has contributed chapters to ‘Early Childhood Education and Care’ (Mhic Mhathúna and Taylor (Eds), 2012), to the Pen Green publication ‘Using Evidence for Advocacy and Resistance in Early Years Services’ (McKinnon (Ed), 2014) and to two Kids Own reports on arts projects with young children, ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Being and  Belonging’. She is also author of the essay ‘Artistic Enquiry in Early childhood Education’ on this portal.

‘It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self’

‘The strange human urge to shape and share fantasies of action and experience is with us from birth. It is innate, not acquired, but must grow in company’ (Trevarthen, 2001a, 2005, 2009a, 2011a).

The art of play is the art of living life to the full.

I’m a huge fan of Colwyn Trevarthen’s work.  I think he constantly brings us into the real world of the human drives and dynamics and reminds us just how amazing we humans are. I’ve grouped the above photo and quote together because the photo, for me, speaks to the art of sharing fantasies of action and experience. This huge tractor tyre is now the edge of a ravine and the children dare to plunge into its fearsome waters – sharing fantasies of action and experience. Their story draws on other stories, on experiences and possibilities. I’m reminded of what Alison Gopnik describes as the most uniquely human characteristic, the ability to imagine.  I’m thinking about Bruner’s contention that we imagine ourselves into being – that children are in the process of encountering and creating possible selves through the stories they create – possible mothers and fathers, possible big sisters, possible builders, astronauts, teachers, shopkeepers, doctors, dinosaurs and, here, ravine divers. And Carl Jung’s premise that the creation of something new is not achieved by the intellect but by the imagination.  And Winnicott’s (1971:54) who says that

‘It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self’.  

Is it any wonder that play has survived evolution across all species?  Is it any wonder that humans have brought it to such a fine art? There you go – the words play and art in one sentence!  I’m interested in the relationship between play and art.

There is a recognition of this relationship in recent research in Ireland. The ESRI/Arts Council report (2016) ‘Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People: Insights from the Growing Up in Ireland Study’ recognises ‘the mosaic of ways in which children and young people express themselves and interact with the world of culture’ and so their definition of art includes young children’s engagement in creative play and make believe games. There are some interesting findings.  Just as with literacy and numeracy and all forms of development, they find that make-believe play is a precursor to the development of an artistic and creative imagination. I welcome this recognition for play. I don’t like the term precursor – it belongs to that school of giving priority to adult forms of maturity. We need to remind ourselves that children do some things better than adults, among them is play and the easy shift into the imaginary and creative world. Creativity is at its peak in early childhood – not a precursor to better things. Creativity is at its peak because children need to learn so much in such a short time and the innate creative drive makes it possible.

Another interesting finding is that, according to their parents, five year olds engage in pretend play while 3 year olds don’t. How could that be?  I have no doubt that all these parents play pretend games with their children from the moment they are born.  They pretend to be surprised, shocked, overjoyed, lost, found, toe eaters, belly guzzlers.  They look for their children’s lost heads and hands as they pull on a vest or encourage them to wriggle through sleeves.  They drive buggies with engine sounds. They pretend to be dogs and cats and any animal that makes a sound. They play hide and go seek.  They feed teddy and put him to bed.  They do all these things to help children to manage, and to engage, entertain and humour them because nature tells us that the dramatic, emotional, fun filled world of play is the way to bring children into the dynamics of human communication, into the rituals and routines of life, into cooperation and competence.  These are all art-full interactions, full of drama, emotion, movement, big gestures and, of course, creative meaning making.  That’s why people like Stern and Trevarthen call it a dance. It is an art form.

Of course, children do not engage in play to create art. The primary purpose of play, according to Sutton Smith (1997), is simply to enjoy and become better at playing. The baby’s exploratory body movements, exercising vocal cords, moving backwards and forwards, rolling and swinging are all done for their own sake, for the excitement and pleasure of movement itself. And the wonderful trick of nature is that the leap from a rock not only pleases but develops the body and, at the same time, teaches about gravity and, most importantly, exercises the brain so that it stays sharp, flexible and innovative.  Body and brain are being sculpted in play.

Drawing on another art form, children add story to their play.  Adding narrative brings children together and generates companionship, adds excitement, and sustains the play. Play narratives require certain creative skills – ideas, improvisation, role enacting, imagination, plot development, dialogue in keeping with the persona – all very demanding skills.  Players need to present as authentic, convincing, trustworthy as well as innovative and challenging. Being an active participant in play stories is important if your voice is to be included in the view of the world being constructed.  Children, as Stainton Rogers (1995) says, are creating the ‘narratives through which we render ourselves and our worlds intelligible’ – a shared frame for seeing the world. I’m a collector of those narratives and I wallow in them because they speak to me of children’s empathy and kindness, of their fears and consolations, of their experiences of the adult world and its rules, rituals and power struggles.  Gussin Paley tells us that play is like theatre with universal themes such as someone is lost and finds a friend, is unloved and finds love, confronts life and death, is weak and then strong. Think of these themes as you read this play story:

 A group of 5/6 children come running up to me screaming and laughing. I kneel and ask what’s happened. They talk about the Dragon living behind the shed. We go to have a look and once again they all run away screaming. Rob’s suggestion that they get swords and shields to fight the dragon meets with agreement so off they go in search of useful material. They come back with brushes, spades, buckets and bin lids to fight the dragon. Eventually they decide that the dragon is too powerful and they must find another way to fight him. 

Katie then puts her sword down and goes behind the shed, much to the shock and resistance of the others. She returns moments later explaining that “it was a mammy dragon” who was protecting her “baby dragons”. Everything changes. The children decide to keep the dragon as a pet. They name her “Arnold the Dragon”, and have great fun taking turns to fly around with her. Once inside, the children draw pictures of Arnold and even go to the gate at home time to say goodbye to her.  

It seems to me that these children are also working on a very important moral – and that is, that perspective changes everything.  Perspective can change an invincible dragon into a pet to be cared for. And Katie demonstrates that changing perspective takes leadership and courage – and caring is comforting for everyone.  The children have co-constructed an experience, generated strong feelings and developed a story – each element in itself is an artistic experience.

So, is play art?  Does it involve a desire for meaning, curiosity, wonder, feeling, thinking, imagining, relating, expressing?  Does it involve active participation in creating something new? Is it about finding joy? These, according to people such as Ann Pelo, Vea Vecchi and Deb Curtis, are the key indicators of an art experience – and children’s make-believe play ticks every box.   Don’t be fooled by the lure of teaching young children lessons that they can repeat and show off to adults. We can train children to do routine things –say hello, please and thank you, eat with a spoon, dress themselves, recite the ABC, sound out words, count to ten, learn multiple times tables etc. but.. for children to be alert, responsive and intelligent thinkers they must engage in the art of free play. Nothing is as important as the experience of play for the sake of play – for the fun of it – for the very fact that through play we learn the skills needed for play and we get better at them – such skills as the serve and return of interaction, the mind reading, the intersubjectivity, formulating ideas, running with the ideas of others, being fun to be with, being a cooperative, giving team player, generating energy and enthusiasm, problem solving on the hoof. The most important thing that children learn through play is how to play well -they are the traits that make for a healthy and successful life across the social, economic and health spectrums.  Like all the important things in life, they generally only get assessed when they’re missing!  Play is improvisation, drama, design, creative use of materials, symbolism, dance, story-creating and telling, characterisation, fantasy, imagination and real life enquiry. The art of play is the art of living life to the full.

art of play web

!!!! Creative Engagement 2017-18. Apply Now!

Call out to Schools and Artists.

The Arts and Culture Committee of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is once again launching its annual arts-in-education scheme. The Creative Engagement programme 2017-18 begins in October 2017.  Funding has been secured for the 2017-18 school year from both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council. At the core of the Creative Engagement scheme is the collaboration between student, teacher and artist as set out in Artist-Schools (Arts Council 2006). It’s about tapping into the imagination of the young person while giving both an incentive and a framework for the work to thrive.

Application Forms and further information can be downloaded from www.creativeengagement.ie

What is our aim:

The selection criteria:

Financial considerations.

Partnerships:

NAPD has established working partnerships with The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Poetry Ireland, The Heritage Council, Poetry Ireland, The National Museum, The National Gallery, IMMA, Amnesty International, Local authority Arts Officers and Cavan Monaghan ETB local arts in education Partnership.

Deadline October 24th 2017

!!!! Guest Blogger: Carmel Brennan, Head of Practice Early Childhood Ireland – Blog 1

Dr. Carmel Brennan headshot

Carmel Brennan is Head of Training and Practice with Early Childhood Ireland, with responsibility for the organisation’s work in developing curriculum, improving practice and supporting services to work with the national frameworks. Their aim is to push the boundaries of our thinking and practice as we engage with the image of the competent, playful child. Carmel has also worked as an early childhood educator, mentor and researcher. Her research interests are in the areas of curriculum and particularly children’s play – the subject of her PhD thesis. More recently, she focusses on children’s co-construction of stories through play and the relationship between play and the arts in children’s lives. She edited the IPPA publication ‘Power of Play’ and has contributed chapters to ‘Early Childhood Education and Care’ (Mhic Mhathúna and Taylor (Eds), 2012), to the Pen Green publication ‘Using Evidence for Advocacy and Resistance in Early Years Services’ (McKinnon (Ed), 2014) and to two Kids Own reports on arts projects with young children, ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Being and  Belonging’. She is also author of the essay ‘Artistic Enquiry in Early childhood Education’ on this portal.

The Squashed Apple 2

Living Art with Young Children

‘Accepting – or at least acknowledging all the children offer is a real key into the endless realms of imagination that are only waiting for our bravery’. Martin Brunsden, Musician

We have long known that young children are intent observers of the workings of the world and compulsive meaning makers about everything they see around them but, somehow, we are only beginning to understand their capacity to teach us about life.

The painting tells a story of first encounter. It represents the squashed and decayed apple that he saw on his way to preschool with his mother, according to the artist. It speaks to me of wonder, of beauty, and of sadness – all of which gives food for thought, for some questions. Did the painter set out to paint what he saw? Or was it something that emerged in the encounter with the art materials that subsequently surfaced the story? Maybe his painting started life as another idea or just a series of brush movements and like so many children’s paintings, layered with paint, turns into a brown circle. Maybe the circle evokes a memory of something experienced, something observed. The question is where is the art in this whole experience? Is the art in the representation or in the first encounter with the decayed apple? Is the art in his wondering, in the conversation, in the enquiry with his mother, in that moment of connection, of sharing? We can easily imagine a lovely moment when his mother looks to his wondering – and explains, as you do, something of the cycle of life – apples fall and decay.  We can imagine the questioning and the dawning understanding in the child’s eyes – something significant has landed in his consciousness and leaves an impression that lingers there – so much so that he feels the need to express it with paint. He paints the story. Is the art in what is etched in his memory? Imagine an educator who stops to listen, feels the connection, experiences the beauty and joins in the wondering. Is this an aesthetic experience? The point is that depending on our capacity to see, or the lens we use, we can see art in almost everything children do – because children’s exploits have the key ingredients of enquiry, wonder, awe and emotional connection. The product is just a small part of the art process.

Young children, by the very nature of coming to know the world, live the creative life. They are meeting the world for the first time and creating new perspectives. They bring something new to the world.  Alison Gopnik calls early childhood ‘the research department’ of life, when children, untethered by information and obligations to get it right, are free to wonder and engage with multiple possibilities – not defined by end results. Working with the early years requires us to let go of prescribed expectations and traditional norms, milestones and measurements.  Instead we think of the encounters that allow the new personhood of each child to emerge and register itself in the community. As Educators, we are called on to exercise our sense of wonder, imagination and playfulness. It requires us to be present to – to listen with our eyes and ears and hearts to children’s explorations and discoveries – and with them to see the world anew. The learning is in the listening, the being with, the co-experiencing, the conversation, in the

‘the feeling of being present with one another’ (Trevarthen, 2001:20).

Vecchi’s (2010:5) says that art is  ‘an attitude of care and attention for the things we do, a desire for meaning; it is curiosity and wonder; it is the opposite of indifference and carelessness, of conformity, of absence of participation and feeling…..’.

In the end, that is why what children do is art – they bring a new perspective to the world – a new way of seeing things.

This all came home forcefully to me on a day that I spent with the artist, Maree Hensey and musician, Martin Brunsden on the Lullaby project, an art project with babies, a few years ago. It was all so simple. The scene was set by stacking all the plastic toys in a corner and creating a space in the middle of the room where beautiful materials were introduced, sand, ribbons, boxes, feathers, musical instruments. The children were invited to play with them.  Something descended on that space – an atmosphere that held the experience of a lullaby,

a stillness… this lull…this lullaby essence..…we have achieved it several times and sometimes with such force that the room becomes tender and emotional and yet still safe and supportive’ (Martin Brunsden)

Everything slowed down. We watched with keen interest – so interested in how these babies thought and felt and responded. Nothing was more important than the present moment – the looking, touching, feeling, tasting, wondering, questioning, pulling, pushing, listening, smiling, mouth opened, eyes agog, hands and legs vibrating, and the sounds of wonder, gurgling, hands clapping – just what happens in each moment.

As Educators, we commonly use the term ‘art’ to refer to static objects such as paintings, sculptures and songs but Vea Vecchi (2010) tells us that art can simply be a way of being in the world. Art is in the experience of encounter, the movement of the body, the narratives we create, the beauty we perceive, the eye of the beholder. In the early childhood sector, we think of art as a process to be lived – a process that includes to explore, sense, action, think, feel, express, communicate, create. It’s in the moment.

Were there moments in your experience today?

going through ribbon harp 2 copy

 

!!!! Arts Council call out – Creative Schools Project Team

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

The Arts Council is establishing a project team to lead Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools – a partnership initiative with the Department of Education and Skills. This initiative is being developed in the context of the Creative Ireland programme 2017–2022 and with the support of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is an ambitious national initiative, which sets out to understand, develop and celebrate the arts in Irish schools, and to foster children and young people’s creativity and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education in Ireland.

The project team will be based in the Arts Council, 70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

The Project Lead will be procured by an EU public tender process and will be responsible for the development and implementation of the first phase of this important national initiative, and future phases, subject to agreement.

In addition, up to two Advisers will be recruited on a secondment basis from the Department of Education and Skills on an initial one year basis. These secondees will be qualified and registered teachers. A Primary and Early Childhood Education Adviser and a Post-Primary Education Adviser will work alongside the Project Lead and will contribute to the design and development of the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative as it relates to primary and early childhood education; and to post-primary education respectively.

Further information

For more information on the Project Lead tender and required services, please visit the Arts Council’s tenders page.

For more information on the roles of Primary and Early Childhood Education Adviser and Post-Primary Education Adviser please visit the Arts Council’s jobs page.

(Note: Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a working title. This initiative was formerly known as ARIS/Arts Rich Schools.)

!!!! Call Out to Teachers on Summer Courses for our Guest Blogger Series

Are you a teacher in Primary or Post-Primary education?

Are you doing a summer course this July or August?

Then we are looking for you! We would love to hear from teachers who are taking part in a Summer Course and would like to document their learning throughout the week, as part of our Guest Blogger series.

If you are interested in being a guest blogger for the Arts in Education Portal then contact us at editor@artsineducation.ie for more information.

 

!!!! Creativity & Change Accredited Award now open for applications

The Creativity and Change programme targets educators, change-makers, activists, artists, community workers, adult educators, youth workers, volunteers and anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes.

This is a Level 9 CIT Special Purpose Award offered over 8 weekends of the academic year, September – May.

This course is for you if you can say ‘Yes!’ to these questions.

Find out more about the Accredited award, hear the stories of previous participants and how to connect to CIT online application here

Find out more about the Creativity & Change programme and what else it has to offer with master classes, Creative fairs and training for youth workers here

!!!! Film Premiere and Website Launch of Room 13 Inquiry

Room 13 Inquiry is a dynamic investigation into the potential of shared art studio spaces in school settings. It has evolved in two primary schools in Fingal since its inception in 2014 and includes the provision of a dedicated art studio space, an artist in residence and a series of exhibition and artists’ studio visits for the students.

We engaged filmmaker Kilian Waters to capture the activities of the students and artists over the course of six weeks this academic year and commissioned a website  to share some of the intelligent and honest conversations held by the students over the past three years. The website www.room13inquiry.ie  will go live on Tuesday 20th of June at 12noon.

Room 13 Inquiry is an initiative of Fingal County Council Arts Office in partnership with Tyrrelstown Educate Together N.S, Scoil Bhride Cailini N.S., artists Orla Kelly and Anne Cradden, with support from Draíocht and the Arts Council of Ireland

!!!! Arts in Education Portal National Day video is now live!

“The arts transformed my love of learning and are the reason I’m standing before you today” Prof. Anne Bamford

On May 6th the second arts in education portal national took place at St Patrick’s Campus, DCU. The portal national day is building momentum as a very significant event in the arts and education calendar in Ireland. Just under 200 people registered to attend the event with 17 workshops and lectures, an inspiring keynote from Prof Anne Bamford and a policy update from the Arts Council and Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys. We are already excited about next years event. Have a look here to see the video from the day. Thanks to all involved in making day a huge success!

 

!!!! Teacher/Artist Partnerships: Summer course at your local Education Centre

Teacher/Artist Partnerships: supporting and enhancing Arts Education in Primary Schools

This is a unique summer course offering teachers the opportunity to explore the nature and educational value of partnerships between teachers and artists in supporting arts education in schools.

This course, which has the potential to improve literacy, numeracy and well-being in all schools including DEIS, will be offered across the Education Centre Network in 2017. It is supported by the Department of Education & Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs. Many schools across the country are engaged in projects with artists, in a variety of art forms, ranging from one-off artist visits to longer term projects. If you are currently engaged in such a project, or are planning one for the coming year, then this course will be of interest to you. This course looks at the ways in which working with an artist in school can be enhanced in order to provide meaningful experiences for children and a lasting impact on school practice. Particular emphasis will be on the role of the teacher and artist, their unique contributions to projects and the significant benefits that can accrue from a dynamic teacher/artist relationship in the planning and implementation of projects. Placing the teacher/artist project within the overall Arts Curriculum in schools and exploration of related practical issues will be central to the course.

The course draws on research in the field and looks at practical teacher/artist projects and partnerships that have been undertaken in schools recently. Various art forms will be explored and participants will have opportunities to explore their own creativity throughout the week. Course tutors are teachers and artists who have been involved in such projects and participants on the course will include both teachers and local artists. Artists participating in the summer course are nominated through their local authority arts offices.

Are you looking to improve your understanding of arts education, to improve Arts Curriculum integration in your classroom, to work with a partner in the field of ‘The Arts’, to engage with a professional artist as a way of improving your own arts teaching skills? Would you welcome the input and insight of a practising artist while teaching the children in your care?

Schools Principals might consider this course in the context of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022, featuring “Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child” in Pillar 1 (creativeireland.ie), the upcoming launch of a Creative Children plan in September 2017 and the overall development of arts education your school community. It may be useful to consider more than one teacher attending from a school or even whole school participation.

A Teacher/ Artist Residency programme will be available to a limited number of the schools which participated in this summer course in the school year 2017-2018. While there is no guarantee that your school will have access to a residency in 2017-2018, this course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to support you and your school in your implementation of the Arts Curriculum.

Date & Venue: Please contact your local Education Centre (Teachers will receive EPV days). The course is free.

!!!! Teacher Summer Courses at The Ark

The Ark presents an engaging selection of arts summer courses for primary school teachers and a concert for school groups.

Concert for School Groups:

Shakespeare’s Music Mix – Fri 23 June @ 10.15am & 12.15pm (1st-6th Class)

Teacher’s Summer Courses:

Creative Writing & Special Educational Needs – 3-7 July 2017

A Visual Arts Approach – 14 Aug – 18 Aug 2017

Creative Music & Drama – 21-25 August 2017

For more information please contact (01)6707788/boxoffice@ark.ie

 

 

 

!!!! A Space To Grow

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Helen Barry, Artist: During my introductory meeting with the teacher Ms. Smyth, Sharon offered the brief “I would like the children to do something that they would normally never do in the classroom”. The children were in senior infants and aged between 5 and 6 years. The introductory session is extremely important in understanding the context of the school, the previous arts experience of the school and teacher and the schools based experience of the artist. I would like to highlight the word ‘Space’ as used in our title. We literally explored all possible definitions of the word and still continue to do so as we have a few sessions left. It was not an intentional theme but one that grew very organically from the moment I entered the classroom. The children’s classroom was the biggest space that I have ever worked in; it was Autumn and the children were exploring intergalactic space. My first actual workshop with the children focused on spatial awareness creating spaces using huge rolls of metallic foam and moving about in these temporary spaces. I had also brought with me a variety of materials to play with and included four pieces of white polystyrene that formed the main body of our rocket. We cannot give credit to any one being for this decision other than being a something that was on everyone’s mind in the classroom so it just all happened in a split second.

Through designing and building the rocket together the children began to understand structure and stability. With these new skills and a wide range of materials we further explored scale and constructions both inside and outside of the classroom. We built different spaces focusing on dome structures, a dominant shape that frequently appears throughout my work. As we constructed our structures we were met with many challenges. As we were ‘testing’ with materials and designs it was often the children who offered the solutions to building more stable pieces. Again I found that Sharon was really positive when met with these sort of challenges, when things collapsed she felt that this is where the children learnt more as it demanded more from them and often displayed a strong voice from children who often remained in the background. One of our domes has been given a permanent home in the school grounds. We have planted a willow dome that will grow with the children throughout their primary school journey with them. The children will tend to the willow dome in the coming years and I will maintain my relationship with Sharon, the children and the school.

Sharon Smyth, Teacher: The offer of applying for the program was put forward by our school principal. Having read up on the initiative and what was involved I put my name forward to be considered. I felt that it was a great opportunity to offer my class something beyond that which my ability and confidence might allow if I were to tackle such a project on my own. During our initial meeting Helen spoke of construction, incorporating the classroom tables and chairs, rockets flying into space and using the top half of the room (from the ceiling down) to explore ‘Space’. I knew that a truly unique and exciting experience was possible for my girls, it just required a little leap of faith!

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

HB Artist: The immediacy of what we created in the first session provided the impetus for what developed over several months. Each idea rolled seamlessly into the next. We tested a number of ideas that came from discussions with the teacher and the children. Our rocket claimed centre stage as its design was carefully and enthusiastically managed by the children. The process demanded group work and teaming building. Often children as young as this can struggle with group decision-making. This group of senior infants rose to the challenge and seemed to grow in maturity and independence as the weeks progressed. Their teacher Sharon provided the space for the children and I to totally explore the ‘unknown’. Sharon has such a wonderful belief in each child’s abilities and is very open to discovering new ways of learning. She also proved that she was possibly more open than I was at times to leaving structure and routine aside and just going with the flow.

SS Teacher: Helen immediately looked to tie her work in with what the class were already learning about. This gained their attention and focus while at the same time taking their learning in a new and exciting direction. I watched (in awe) from week to week as my class became more efficient in teamwork, understanding of each other’s needs and willingness to take on the ideas of those around them (a very tricky task in the world of the ego centric 5/6year old!)

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

HB Artist: From the outset the scale of the materials we were working with demanded teamwork. Explaining to each team or group what they had to do I initially found challenging but as the work developed the children worked brilliantly in small teams, responding well to each other and supporting each other’s ideas and designs. So much so that when they were working on individual activities the children would automatically offer their assistance when they saw that someone needed it. The class size was large with 30 students. Initially the children seemed very young and the dynamic could heighten very easily but very quickly they became more capable and independent as the project developed.

SS Teacher: Initially I was a little at sea as to my role within the program/sessions. I wasn’t sure how much I was to observe or work hands-on with what the class were engaging with. As the weeks passed I felt that the more I tried the various activities, got involved and even on some occasions offered advice or help, the easier and more confident I became. While I hoped my own teaching would grow in this way through the program I am delighted that I would now have the confidence to try projects and lessons that are larger in scale and ‘space’ than I would ever have dared before.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

HB Artist: The willow dome has provided a new material and timeframe for how I work. Planting willow cuttings has given root to another similar project. Since planting the willow dome with the children in St. Raphaela’s I have planted a second willow dome with children in St. John The Baptist P.S. in Belfast. This experience has demonstrated the openness of the primary school classroom. Sharon, along with so many teachers, has proven time and time again the willingness to engage with and support the arts and creativity in the classroom.

SS Teacher: I honestly don’t know where to begin in putting into words the value and worth of what my class has gained from their (and my) entire experience with Helen. Helen is not only an outstanding artist but she possesses an incredible understanding and appreciation of how her profession and skills can be brought to life within the classroom. While I have always loved to paint and ‘do art’ with classes I have taught I now realize that my vision and understanding of what ‘art’ teaching is has never truly reached its full potential. I sincerely believe that a product is not necessary at the end of a lesson but that the process is what is important but now I embrace this even more wholeheartedly.

Our space rocket, with its initial design, exploration of materials and slow but steady assembly took many weeks to complete before it managed to hang majestically (the word chosen by my class) from the middle of our ceiling. Alongside the many artistic lessons the girls engaged in, it was also a lesson in PATIENCE. I do not mean the patience required until it is your turn to stick or glue, cut or offer an idea. It was the patience of allowing the spaceship to build and come together over time. This required hours of collaboration, compromise and debate as week by week another element was added. Indeed at one point the wings of our spaceship were thought to be stained glass windows for Christmas by those passing by the room! To have rushed this project so as to have a ‘product’ by the end of two or three sessions would have meant missing out on a world of learning and discovery.

From our rocket we moved on quite seamlessly to building domes. Again we took this step by step exploring how best to support them – building foundations, securing poles side by side. It is how this was approached that I was enthralled by. One session saw the class link themselves together and learn how to form strong bonds between each loop. How much deeper is this learning than just ‘let’s build a dome’. What has come of this in the most organic way (planting our own dome) is absolutely fascinating. Over the coming years the dome will grow and develop alongside the girls. Helen has agreed to return to the school each year and work with the class in a number of sessions to shape and maintain the structures. The learning and integration that will occur across the curriculum as both the girls and structures progress will be a very special experience and we are very grateful to Helen for her commitment of time and expertise in the project.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

HB Artist: Experiment and exploring with new ideas and materials naturally results in some things that do not work. At times I find this quite unnerving if somewhat stressful feeling that I let the children down. Sharon is very skilled in demonstrating and supporting ‘mistakes’ that don’t always turn out to have been for the best. I hope to be able to use her perspective in how I deal with challenging situations in the future. Planting willow has been a new departure in using materials. The maintaining of the willow dome will enable or demand that I will be working on a project that will grow and change over many years.

SS Teacher: The biggest thing I feel that has changed in my work as a teacher is that I would now be happy to allow my art lessons carry for a number of weeks without feeling the pressure to ‘have something on the wall’ or ‘a picture to send home on a Friday’. So many of our lessons were tied into building our rocket and yet they splintered off more often than not into lessons of their own, producing space asteroids one week and pasta based constructions another. It has also reiterated for me how paramount it is to allow children engage in as many mediums for learning as possible. What best appeals to one child’s ability to learn will not appeal to another. On so many occasions I witnessed children who struggle in the day-to-day lessons of the classroom excel in the hands-on tasks put before them. Their confidence and self-belief literally grew in front of me as they mastered new skills and understanding

!!!! Learning Through Creativity: Summer Course for Primary Teachers, Glucksman, UCC

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. Working with the Glucksman Curatorial Team and professional artists, participants will learn practical art making skills across a range of mediums and develop their own art integration lesson plans for use in the classroom.

This course is designed around the 5th/6th class Primary School Curriculum.

Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2017, 10am -2:30pm

€75. Booking essential.

+353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

 www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-tickets-33520592996?aff=es2

!!!! “Exploring Teacher-Artist Partnership as a Model of CPD for Supporting and Enhancing Arts Education in Ireland: A Research Report” is Launched

Minister for Education and Skills Mr Richard Bruton T.D. officially launched “Exploring Teacher-Artist Partnership as a Model of CPD for Supporting and Enhancing Arts Education in Ireland: A Research Report” on 8th March 2017 in the Clock Tower at the Department of Education and Skills.

Officially launching the Research Report, Minister Bruton said: “I am very pleased to officially launch Exploring Teacher-Artist Partnership as a Model of CPD for Supporting and Enhancing Arts Education in Ireland: A Research Report at such an exciting time for the integration of the arts in education, when there is now a national ‘Creative Ireland’ programme to enable the creative potential of every child.

“The research report we are launching today provides evidence-based recommendations to foster and develop teacher-artist partnerships in innovative ways. I believe this model of teacher professional development has enormous potential to transform approaches to arts education in schools. In particular, it highlights the importance of supporting arts and education partnerships through professional development so as to create high quality arts experiences for children. In the research report, Dr Kenny and Dr Morrissey continually point to the complementary knowledge and skills that both teachers and artists bring to arts education in schools”.

Commenting on the launch, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys T.D. said “Creative Ireland is an invitation to the entire country to get involved in something truly inspirational. This hugely ambitious all-of-Government initiative puts culture and creativity at the centre of public policy. Creative Ireland will ensure that children can participate in the arts from an early age, and it will drive cultural engagement in every county nationwide. This is a bold and ambitious initiative, and it is particularly appropriate and significant that our priority in this first year of Creative Ireland is children and young people.

“We already know that children who engage in the arts are happier and they perform better at school. I welcome the findings of this Research Report on the Teacher-Artist Partnership model and look forward to working with our colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills and the Arts Council of Ireland, both of whom have been instrumental in bringing this piece of work to fruition, on developing the Creative Children plan. This report provides very valuable insights into the importance of this approach to creative learning and contributes to the strong foundations upon which the Creative Ireland Programme is built.”

Minister Bruton finished by saying, “I congratulate Dr Kenny and Dr Morrissey on the quality of this excellent evidence-informed research report. I am delighted that the initiative has continued and is now at a stage where it will be delivered as a Summer Course in each of the 21 Education Centres in summer 2017. I wish the overall initiative continued success and I am now delighted to formally launch the research report”.

The report can be viewed and downloaded at this link.
For more information about the Creative Ireland programme, click here.

!!!! ‘Documenting Projects and Events’: Course summary from artist John D’Arcy

We just had our final session of the online course, ‘Documenting Projects and Events’. The five weekly online conversations covered a range of topics surrounding the documentation of artwork and events. The participants on the course included a mixture of artists, educators and organisations working in different media (painting, sculpture, lens-based, performance) and carrying out different processes (workshops, artworks, and live events). Given this variety, the course took a participant-led format that based discussion around individual responses to weekly tasks and provocations.

Week-to-week, participants were asked to populate their own mini-website with their responses to tasks that focused on varying forms of artwork documentation. These included documentation in text, still image, and audiovisual (moving image/sound). In an attempt to broaden and challenge each participant’s approach to documentation in these media, tasks solicited examples of a range of formats with varying intentions and potential audiences.  For example, promotional material for the general public; report for a funding organisation; material for an archive or portfolio; and notation for another artist to carry out a project.

The pace of the conversation really heated up in the last two weeks, darting around the various aspects of capturing and processing still and moving image. The discussion regularly turned to the online presence of artists and organisations and the various functions of their websites and social media presence – portfolio/archive/promotion/journalling. Whilst the chat sometimes took in tech-talk (digital file-types, recording gear, etc.), the diversity of the group led to a most advantageous sharing of ideas and concepts around the intentions and potentials of arts education documentation.

The group related an invigorated enthusiasm and curiosity about the ways in which they might capture their work, encouraged by the interdisciplinary discussion. In exploring what (and how) artefacts might be logged and captured, we have considered more critically how works and events might be preserved, shared and perceived by a myriad of potential stakeholders. I have been taking notes and observations throughout the course and will be sharing these as a resource with the group and other members of the Arts in Education Portal for future reference and inspiration.

Artist, John D’Arcy (Course Leader)

!!!! Guest Blogger: Carmel Broderick – Teacher – Blog No.2

 

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Carmel is a 5th class teacher in Scoil Eoin, Balloonagh, Tralee, Co. Kerry, a large school with three streams of each year group and over six hundred pupils. Carmel and her class, a mixed group of boys and girls, are currently participating in the Virtually There project.

Blog No.2

We as teachers are becoming preoccupied with generating art which looks well on a display board and has no imperfections. In my experience the children aren’t engaging with this routine and are craving more freedom to make mistakes, try things more than once and use lots of different materials. It’s difficult to unearth an exciting art lesson for every week, particularly with older classes as they have made or used many of the lessons with other teachers. When my principal suggested Virtually There to me I was intrigued, yet I was also hesitant to take on such a project due to the need to have good IT experience and how limited our technology is in the classroom.

Virtually There orientation involved an enjoyable day of artist and teacher pair work. This was a fantastic way to become acquainted before we attempted to organise the project itself. Initially, I thought the project was going to be difficult to coordinate as my artist for the project, Lucy Hill, was based in Westport, Co. Mayo while I teach in Tralee, Co.Kerry. With emails and phone numbers exchanged with set about arranging when and how we would do the art with the children in my 5th Class. I needn’t have worried. Lucy was willing and excited to visit us and work around our daily schedule. We trialed Skype a few times before our start date and it worked perfectly. However, throughout the project we had many dropped calls and in particular the last day, being a particularly windy day on the west coast of Ireland,  meant we had to resort to using our phones. In spite of this I felt the project worked brilliantly and both Lucy and I continued with the art while keeping in touch using whatever technology was available.

My class loved the project, mostly exploring new textures and materials, while being given the freedom to use them in any way possible. There was movement, freedom, learning, inventing and fun. Each week there was a novel idea to inspire the children. Lucy would firstly explain the idea, next they would give their responses and suggestions before setting to work. Throughout each element of the lesson the children would approach Lucy on the laptop screen to show their progress, ask questions and get suggestions for any design concepts. This was an effective part of Virtually There which ensured the children were thoughtful in formation and it gave them a guideline as to how they would achieve the goal in the art time. The children also looked forward to hearing Lucy’s interpretation of what they had made each time and her input inspired them further or helped them to see what they had made in a new light.

The opportunity to blog about our experience throughout Virtually There was one of the most appealing aspects of the project for me. Combining some literacy skills to the project and blogging about an important topic relevant to the children was something I had envisaged they would love. However the children weren’t as excited about the blogging process as I had hoped. This may have been due to limited time we could spend doing the blogging due to other classroom subjects and constraints. I also found Word Press time consuming to use in adjusting images etc. and I often had to spend a long time myself formatting the page layout. If we were lucky enough to be involved in Virtually There or another similar project again, I would try to give more time to the blogging and allow the children more freedom to do all the adjustments, possibly with a different group in charge of each weekly blog.

I feel Virtually There has definitely inspired me to allow children to get messy through art, to give them opportunities to use all sorts of materials, to encourage them to use their own imaginations and be creative rather than make a carbon copy of an art piece.

!!!! Online Documentation Course Update

The Arts in Education Portal online documentation course kicked off on January 16th. Digital artist John D’Arcy gives us an update:

“We recently had our first session of the online course ‘Documenting Projects and Events’.  The course brings together artists, educators and organisations in a weekly online conversation about how we document the work we make.

During the first session the course participants introduced themselves, each waving into the webcam of their laptop, tablet or phone from a different corner of the island.  We practice in a diverse range of artforms: painting, sculpture, lens-based, performance, dance, sound – some working as freelance artists and others with arts organisations.

Our conversation revealed that many of us have experience capturing documentation of our own work (and that of others) through still image, video and audio.  However, many of us identified problematic aspects with these processes and are looking for alternative ways to capture documentation whilst in the flow of a workshop or event.  Some of the group are particularly interested in exploring experimental techniques for documenting their work.

We also spoke about some of the issues related to presenting work online in web portfolios and on social media, with some participants hoping to discuss this further in future sessions.

As the conversation came to a close, I gave the group their task for the next session – to create a website or blog where they will host their work for the course from week to week. To kick off the conversation next time we will be discussing some examples of documentation that have particularly inspired us in the past and jump off from there”.

!!!! The Creative Ireland Programme – Placing creativity at the heart of public policy

Creative Ireland

Last week the government announced a new five year initiative which places creativity at the centre of public policy,  ‘The Creative Ireland Programme’. Creative Ireland is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement.

Creative Ireland is the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach, the draft cultural policy published by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in July 2016, which sees a vibrant cultural ecosystem as essential to society. Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach states that arts and culture are intrinsic to the Irish State, acknowledges the need to increase access to, and participation in, the arts, boost our creative industries, and preserve our heritage with a particular focus on language, landscape and the environment.

Creative Ireland as a 2016 legacy project is inspired by the extraordinary public response to the Centenary: the thousands of events, largely culture-based, and unprecedented public participation that brought us together in shared reflections on identity, culture and citizenship that combined history with arts, heritage and language.

Creative Ireland will bring coordination and focus to existing culture-based policies and initiatives – and lead to ambitious new actions.

Creative Ireland is a wellbeing strategy for people, but it will also enable a representation of Ireland to the outside world that is well grounded, widely understood and meaningful. Creative Ireland will coordinate and enable the construction of that representation, seeking coherence among all stakeholders and placing a clear focus on our rich cultural heritage and our creativity.

Creative Ireland is underpinned by the key values should be identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach. They are:

For more information go to www.creative.ireland.ie

!!!! Artists~Schools Guidelines Video

As part of a review of the Artists~Schools Guidelines conducted by the Arts Council on behalf of the High Level Implementation Group of the Arts in Education Charter, this video has been developed to capture stakeholders’ observations regarding the key principles and information of most relevance to artists and/or schools interested in developing best practice in this area.

Watch the video here.

!!!! Our Place: An art project with children living in direct provision

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you get started?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Our Place was a project that sought to offer a marginalized section of our community a creative and positive experience within a museum environment. Over six weeks in early 2016 the Glucksman hosted art workshops for a group of children from two direct provision centres in Cork City. During the six sessions, the group were encouraged to create artworks that looked at ‘place’ both imaginative and real using a wide variety of materials from film, print, drawing, painting, animation and collage. The workshops were framed within a larger project ‘Once Upon a Place’ run with Laureate na nÓg and Children’s Books Ireland which brought together school and community groups to the Glucksman to create artworks that reflected on their sense of place. This project culminated in a public exhibition at the Glucksman in March 2016 and was launched with a storytelling session by Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer.

Central to the Glucksman’s Education Policy is a commitment to work with community groups, enabling people of all ages and abilities to access different aspects of visual art. We first met with Mike Fitzgibbon and Eileen Hogan at University College Cork to discuss the possibility of an art project with children living in Direct Provision back in the spring of 2015. Even at that early stage, without any funding, clear numbers or dates we were all determined that we would find a way to make this project work. Around the same time the Glucksman was named one of the host locations for a reading by Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer as part of the Once Upon a Place project. Once Upon a Place sought to bring storytelling to children all over Ireland focusing specifically on communities who may not have access to libraries, storytellers, writers in schools etc. These readings were to be held in extraordinary places that would help bring stories to life. The timing of the Once Upon a Place project and the proposed project with children in Direct Provision couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

The art project had its origins in discussions a group of University College Cork staff and students had with staff of the Glucksman. I had described in an earlier email some of the awful experiences of people, and in particular children, living in the Direct Provision system. Staff in the Glucksman responded to this, offering to work with us in putting a programme in place that would offer some relief from the system, some break from the mundanity, and might provide outlets for expression and enjoyment for these children. It took a number of months to organise, but the programme began at the end of 2015, with three workshops before the end of year, and three in early 2016.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Working with partners who knew the residents, the needs of the children and the expectations of a project was crucial. The relationships that our colleagues in UCC have developed over 15 years with residents of direct provision centres meant that they had garnered a trust and understanding that we at the museum would have been unable to achieve in such a short period of time.

Children’s sense of place was the perfect theme for the group but also a delicate topic that needed to be navigated appropriately. Speaking with Mike he gave me an idea of the centres and the living conditions that children were exposed to. Understanding the places where these children lived meant that to ground our projects in real life place had the potential to unearth difficult and complex emotions for the children. The focus of the workshops was to be on joy and to offer a small moment to escape reality. And so we looked at the what if? What place you could be living/visiting? With no restrictions and no limits – where was your place?

We had wanted to ensure that the interests of the children were demonstrated in the projects and activities that we undertook. Alongside a number of shorter activities each week we had three core projects. In each session we completed between five and six activities. We looked to incorporate as many mediums as possible, particularly using materials and techniques that the children may not have been exposed to in school. And also crucially children had an opportunity to bring their colourful creations back to their centres.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

This was a new experience for all of us. Controlling and channeling the children’s dynamism was the most challenging aspect to the workshops. We found that the group’s attention would fall-off very quickly and so having multiple short activities worked best. It was easier to return to our core projects over a number of weeks rather than attempting to see a project through during a single session. Over the six sessions we saw the physical and mental impact that life in Direct Provision was having on these children. On certain days some of the children would be drowsy, despondent and unresponsive to projects. These same children the following week would be full of life and enthuased about everything we were doing. These shifts in mood and energy were apparent across a large number of children. We sought to stimulate the children by undertaking short exercises and involving them in tasks around filmmaking and documenting workshops.

We had two sessions prior to Christmas and during the second workshop we gave each child an art pack with sketchbook and materials. After Christmas when we met back up, one of the older boys showed me his sketchbook that he had been working on. Even in a few weeks there was a marked improvement in his drawing ability, he spoke about his delight at having these materials to create with and how he’d spend time every evening working on his sketches. For this boy and others in the group the opportunity to interact with extracurricular activities and to get creative was having a considerable impact.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

Their enjoyment of the workshops was reflected in their huge enthusiasm to return each week. The exhibition afterward was beautiful – and the pleasure that the children took in showing their work to their parents and others was wonderful. Challenges we experienced with this were quite different to other areas that I work or volunteer in. What seem like simple things, such as finding suitable dates for the workshops came with complications, such as needing to find times that didn’t intersect with other life activities, such as religious events. The flexibility shown by the Glucksman around this was emblematic of their commitment to it, as was the quality of their work and engagement with the children every week.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

The Irish Refugee Council has reported that young people living in direct provision centres are more prone to depression and suicide due to their restrictive and ostracized living situation. Its report also states that Direct Provision is NOT a natural family environment. Our University colleagues have campaigned for the end to DP since its inception.

To have the opportunity to positively impact on these children’s lives was a wonderful opportunity for the Glucksman and one which aligned itself with our education policy and mission statement. Working with partners like Children’s Books Ireland and UCC Amnesty International Society allowed us to develop a project and exhibition that these children would value and remember. The experience of exhibiting their work alongside that of their peer group and for once in their lives to be the centre of attention under a positive gaze provided a special moment for the children living in DP.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

When we first met I remember Mike speaking about that moment after a day’s activities with the children when you have to send them back to the centre and how difficult that can be. Over the weeks I began to realize what he meant, as I got to know the children and the reality of their home lives it became increasingly difficult.

Working with the children living in Direct Provision has been in equal measures some of the most rewarding and yet most heartbreaking work we’ve undertaken at the museum. These children are incredibly brave, generous and kindhearted. Their lives have been ones of struggle, distress and in some cases trauma yet their determination and positivity shines through. These children need some fragments of light in their lives, some moments to be creative, to feel optimistic and to feel good about themselves.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

All of our engagements with the asylum-seeking communities in Direct Provision have had terrific support from students, societies and all areas of staff in UCC, and this was no different. The programme and other events couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without that support. Many staff and students gave up most of their Saturdays for the programme’s duration. UCC Amnesty society sponsored transport, a significant cost each week.

It is worth mentioning that because of our involvement with this, other projects and engagements have come about: one project involved working with women in direct provision on ceramics projects; another is ongoing with women engaging in different activities such as yoga, knitting etc.; we have had another art-for-teenagers project; we will have another young children’s programme. All have happened as a result of the running of this first programme for children by Tadhg and his colleagues. Seeing its success motivates me, and others, to continue to advocate for and work with people condemned to live in Direct Provision. The really hard part each week was seeing these beautiful young people leave to return to their Direct Provision centres.

 

 

!!!! Waves

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Cleo Fagan – Superprojects, Curator

‘I think that the teenage years can be an exciting time in people’s lives, when they often have a keen intellectual or creative curiosity and are open to complex ideas, given the right conditions. As a curator who works with young audiences and contemporary art and artists, it made sense to me that certain contemporary artists would work really well with young people to explore ideas related to the rich context of the commemorations of The 1916 Rising. I approached Julie Clarke of Fingal Arts Office with these ideas back in early 2015. Luckily, our objectives aligned with each other, in wanting to work on something that allowed young people to engage with the commemorations in a fresh and creative way.  We took it from there, approaching artists Ruth Lyons, Eoghan Ryan, Sean Lynch and Clodagh Emoe

Julie Clarke – Fingal Arts Office, Youth & Education Arts Officer

‘The opportunity was open to all post-primary schools in Fingal.  We were delighted to receive interest from Fingal Community College in Swords and Hartstown Community School in Dublin 15, as both schools and art teachers were known to us and a strong working relationship existed. Cleo and I met with the art teachers, Siobhan Lynch and Anne Moylan, to discuss the artistic possibilities and to plan for an enjoyable learning experience for the students. Supported by this partnership we were able to give artistic freedom to the artists to design an initial presentation that would introduce the students to contemporary art practices, challenging topics, and invite them to think about the role of art in our society’.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Cleo Fagan and Julie Clarke visited each participating school to talk with the students and teachers about the artists they would meet during the project.  Cleo gave a presentation which included several compelling images and video clips of the artists’ works to ignite curiosity among the students before the artists arrived.

Each of the artists involved – Ruth Lyons, Sean Lynch, Clodagh Emoe, Eoghan Ryan – was invited to devise a set of workshops in response to the context of the commemorations with input from the art teachers. The fascinating workshops that resulted touched on ideas of political and cultural zeitgeist; commemoration; collective power; public art and provocation; humour as protest; personal identity; government and everyday life; time and energy; and representation and nationalism.

Workshops all involved rich discursive, creative and educational elements via opportunities to discuss opinions, to learn about contemporary art practice, to learn new artmaking skills (eg mold making and resin casting). The students created and presented their own artwork to the teachers and artists for an informal critique in front of the school principal and project partners. In some sense, it was an approach that gave a flavour of studying art at third level.

The working group extended to include Distinctive Repetition and writer Sue Rainsford who respectively designed the graphic and wrote a piece of text for the Waves poster which is now available. Jenny Brady filmed the process and the students really enjoyed sharing their work and thoughts on camera.

Clodagh Emoe – Artist

‘My workshops were about ‘people power’ and I began with a presentation showing various examples of artistic strategies and collective power visible in history. The students worked in clusters and amongst themselves identified and debated issues that affect them today. We had a democratic vote to select one contentious issue and using artistic strategies we explored and exposed that specific issue’.

Ruth Lyons – Artist

‘My workshop was on using silicone mold making and resin casting processes to make individual memorial sculptures. The students made these commemorative, decorative artworks by picking an object that represented an essential material in their everyday life. They cast these objects in a clear resin, immortalising this object for hundreds of years’.

Sean Lynch – Artist

‘The workshop I did at Fingal Community College involved looking at how public art works in terms of the spaces we live in, and the times we encounter it nowadays. Many people are familiar with the monuments and statuary of 1916 but there are many different types of artistic methodologies that have come along since then and the idea of the workshop was to share them and celebrate them with the school and the great students involved. We worked with devising a series of speculative proposals. These were based in conversations that were had on the nature of the everyday and the objects that are encountered in the everyday, and what they might become if they were considered a monument to the contemporary times that we live in.’

Eoghan Ryan – Artist

‘When I approached devising the workshop I thought about the question ‘what is holding us together?’. I thought I would focus on flags as they are confusing as a material. Addressing the material culture surrounding flags, what they could mean, if they were important and how to add some kind of individual, subjective importance to update them or undermine them. Everyone was invited to collaboratively make their own flags.  We then destroyed the flags and talked about destroying flags in a demonstrative or rebellious context – what that act means, what you’re doing.’

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

The creative partnership between the teachers, artists, curator, Fingal Arts, and students resulted in great work being made.

The students would like to share their experience:

Student Feedback

‘I really liked taking part in the workshops. I liked learning from people who were actually artists by profession. I liked that we could do whatever we wanted to do without confines – because even though that’s what art is all about we don’t get to do that in school.’

– Student, 17

‘I really enjoyed being able to voice my opinions on issues such as inequality etc. I really enjoyed learning about the apartheid and other monumental issues in history that have helped shape the world today’

– Student, 16

‘We were able to explore something new, which is not in the Leaving Cert programme. We learned many new things from the artists, even that art can be in any shape or form, as shown by different examples in the slideshow. I really liked using the resin and seeing how everyone’s ‘memento’ turned out.’

– Student, 16

‘After the workshops, I feel a lot more comfortable with my art. I like how I can draw, paint or use any form of medium to talk about what I want, how I want, and when I want. The workshops helped me feel at ease with my art. A picture can show a thousand words, I can see what that means now.’

– Student, 15

‘I especially enjoyed learning about the work the artists had already completed. I loved making the items and it really allowed me to use my full creativity and imagination. I am much more observant now…. Art is a broad topic and I can’t wait to learn more about it.’

– Student, 17

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Julie Clarke – Fingal Arts Office, Youth & Education Arts Officer

The film really captures the significance of the project and there is so much to choose from –  the students were challenged by the type of art that they saw and the type of art that they had to produce, but equally the students’ capacity for intelligent dialogue on emotive topics was very striking.  A number of students stated that they would take more of an interest in politics and our society if adults listened to them.  They expressed an interested in lowering the voting age so they too could have their say on issues that matter to them on polling days.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Siobhan Lynch, Art Teacher, Fingal Community College

‘The project has changed the way I as an educator approach teaching and learning within my classes. I have really embraced group work within the art room and have encouraged and allowed students to develop their creativity through risk-taking and experimentation with new media and by looking at how contemporary artists approach problems and find creative solutions to them.’

Anne Moylan, Art Teacher, Hartstown Community School

‘I received a great insight into the students own political concerns and issues that are real and live to them, which often doesn’t happen in a classroom situation.  As their art teacher it was a great opportunity and it will impact on our future work together’.

!!!! CRAFTed

What was the project about?

This project took place between St. Mary’s National School in Blessington, Co Wicklow (teacher Judy Lawler) and artist Ciara Harrison. Please see attached Appendix for background and further details of the workshops.

The project is part of the CRAFTed initiative run by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. The main media we are working with is fabric and fibre, experimenting with fabric dyeing, tie-dye, embroidery and printed textiles. The project is process-led enabling the children to explore and experiment at their own pace through facilitated workshops. We decided jointly that the project should be documented both with the use of photography and film as well as through the children’s reflections, thus enabling the children’s voice and thoughts to be heard and seen throughout this project. This was done in the form of notebooks or artists journals, including text and drawings as well as samples from workshops.

Who was involved?

It was a collaboration between twenty four senior infants of St. Mary’s National Junior School, Blessington, teacher Judy Lawler, and artist Ciara Harrison.

How did it get started?

The collaboration came about through the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCOI) CRAFTed initiative. This is an arts-in-education programme, specifically for primary schools where a craftsperson is paired with a teacher and students of a primary school.

We initially met at a collaborative evening organised by the DCCOI in the Kildare Education Centre. The evening was facilitated by a craftsperson, who gave us a presentation on the work of CRAFTed, its ethos, aims and objectives. Teacher and Artist were then paired together where we were given time to brainstorm a theme for the project and potential activities which could be undertaken.

The idea is that the craft project theme coincides with the Social, Environmental and Scientific Education curriculum in the school (history, geography and science). We decided to base our theme on native plants, animals, trees, leaves and insects as the students were learning about these throughout the year.

What aspects of the project made you smile?

Ciara:

On the first day of the project I presented a PowerPoint to the students. This included images of my work along with text to describe my processes. I also introduced the children to the land artist Andy Goldsworthy and images of his work. The children’s reaction to his work was of awe and enthusiasm. Their questions and interpretations of the work created huge energy and in turn inspired the children in their activity afterwards. That was a very precious moment for me.

Judy:

Ciara brought along fabric samples of her work, which were passed around the classroom. Touching and looking at the fabrics was lovely for the children and it introduced them to some processes they may encounter during future workshops. The group work went well, children were collaborating and cooperating during the process and they generated many ideas through the discussion.

What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Ciara:

As I had not done these workshops with children of this age before I was unsure of the level of language I could use with them and how in depth I could or should go with terminology.

As it was a large group to be working with it was at some points challenging to give assistance to everyone. We did a stitching workshop one day and as this was a new activity for all the children they required a lot of one-on-one assistance. I found by pairing up the children who were more able with ones who were less so meant they were explaining the process in their own words and I think the children appreciated having that responsibility.

There are certain materials such as bleach, which I use in my work to create effects on fabric. This would not have been an unsafe material to use with the children so we had to brainstorm alternative products that would be suitable. It was very helpful to have Judy’s assistance for this as I was in charge of getting the materials for the workshops.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Judy:

The presentation and talk that took place on the first workshop was a very important time for the students and Ciara to become familiar with each other. It was also very important for the students to air their thoughts and interpretations and ask questions of the work they were being shown. Plenty of time was given to allow this to happen.

The talk and discussion that took place about the work of Ciara and Andy Goldsworthy inspired the children in their activity afterwards. Within the activity the chalk outlines gave form to the children’s temporal designs, using natural materials to collage their designs. The activity itself and the materials used are very accessible to children and many will be inspired to incorporate this art making into outdoor play.

The children also enjoyed the novelty of using special fabric crayons, fabric markers, fabric paint and material dyes. They were very enthusiastic about using these new materials and were very engaged in the process.

Throughout the process the children have learnt descriptive vocabulary to describe both their work and the work of other artists. It has been wonderful to hear this in the classroom. It was very interesting to look for the learning experiences in each art lesson and to learn what the children are gaining from the process.

I think the process was spurred on by the timeline that Ciara and myself were working within. We planned the workshops as we went. We would set certain objectives to achieve for the next one. Workshops were high energy and highly motivated – lots of fun for the children.

Ciara:

Judy and I stayed in regular contact by email in the lead up to the project and we continued this throughout the project. This allowed for evaluating the workshops and learning from eachother what we felt worked and could be improved on. It is also now a source of documentation, which can be used for future workshops as we will both have learnt the best ways to go about the activities from experience. Regular contact has been a very important aspect to the project.

Although Judy and I came up with a structure for the project at our initial planning evening we allowed for flexibility within this. The children’s level of participation and enjoyment was what determined how long each activity was. At the beginning of each session I explained to the class what activity we would be exploring that day e.g. tie-dye, stitching, drawing and we allowed for time for questions and stories from the children. Sometimes this introduction would be accompanied by a PowerPoint. Other times it was simply a conversation. This gave the children an opportunity to express their own ideas in what we hoped was an informal setting.

I think an important aspect of the collaboration between teacher and artist is the respect given to each others’ expertise. As Judy was most familiar with the children she could look after the discipline of the classroom and time-keeping of the activities while I could set up the workshops and assist the children in their making. This was an essential part of this project being such a success.

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Judy:

The children have used the skills they have learnt and developed, in particular with the chalk and natural materials as a form of outdoor play in their own time. The project has been a means of enabling the children to gain confidence in their own ideas and abilities.

This was the first time I ever endeavored making an artist’s notebook ‘woodland diary’ with the children. I thought it was very successful and it was an activity, which integrated totally with the English and SESE curriculum as well as the art curriculum. The children gather lots of natural materials and found objects for the class and the nature table throughout the year, I am more aware of the possibilities of reusing these objects in creating art. This way the gathering and collecting becomes more purposeful and meaningful for the children.