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Baboró International Arts Festival for Children 
Dates: 14 – 23 October 2022

Save the Date! Baboró 2022 will take place from Friday 14 October – Sunday 23 October in Galway city. 

The Baboró festival team is hard at work putting together an exciting programme of Irish and international performances, workshops and exhibitions for children of all ages. They look forward to sharing more about the festival over the coming months.

A Return to In-Person Events
A Note for Teachers: The Baboró team knows that this may be one of your first class trips for many school groups in quite some time. They look forward to safely presenting in-person performances and art experiences this autumn.

If you have any questions or concerns about attending an event in person, please email schools@baboro.ie. Your input and questions are greatly appreciated as the Baboró team continues to prepare for the festival.

If you would like to speak directly to a member of the Baboró team, their dedicated Schools Box Office will open in late August.

Getting Ready to Attend the Festival
If you are subscribed to Baboró’s e-mail newsletter, you will receive an e-mail in late August with the festival programme and a link to the online Schools Booking Request Form. Click here to subscribe to the newsletter – Baboro newsletter

If your school is on the Baboró’s postal mailing list, you will also receive a printed copy of the programme to your school office. (Please note that only one printed programme will be posted to each school)

If you would like to join the postal mailing list or receive additional copies of the printed programme, please email schools@baboro.ie.

After you submit your booking form, a member of the Baboró Schools Box Office will be in touch with information about your visit to the festival.

COVID-19 and Your Safety
If you attended Baboró in person in 2021, you will already be familiar with our Covid-19 safety policies. We will provide updated guidance for this year’s festival when you receive your festival programme.

For more information go to www.baboro.ie/schools/schools. 

A Question of Identity

September 2006: Circumstances forced me to abandon full-time art practice and accept a job-share teaching post.  My ambiguous attitude to this turnabout and maverick methodologies prompted one of my charges to ask if I was a ‘real teacher’?  Parents made more subtle enquiries.  The school caretaker presumed I was an SNA.

Back practicing art full-time, I entered a school as the BLAST-assigned artist. The principal showed me around.  Once our presence on the corridor was detected, a rumour raced from classroom to classroom; ‘There’s an inspector in the school!’

These narratives are anecdotal evidence of a professional identity dilemma I’ve wrestled with for decades.  Artist or educator?  Inhabiting this professional twilight zone had altered the lens through which I perceive labels like ‘teacher’ and ‘artist’; what it means to be either, both or to be more than the sum of these two entities.

Professional identity matters but it’s contextual.  A singular definition casts us in two-dimensional stereotype, ignoring the richness of our many and evolving roles, cumulative experiences, skills and knowledge.  I faced this dilemma on entering the Teacher-Artist Partnership programme in 2014. With an Education Centre network nomination, I was obliged to enlist as a teacher but yearned to sign the artist’s register. On introducing myself to the group, I claimed my artist identity, the only teacher to do so.  After all, my teacher-self existed so my artist-self could be; the teacher supporting the artist, the artist sustaining the teacher.

Owning my dual identity felt bold but until did, I would never walk into a school as an artist.  I’ve learned much on this journey, not least that there are many teachers in and beyond TAP who feel similarly.  Some TAP-trained teachers are graduates of art/arts colleges.  Others are skilled arts practitioners. Moreover, several TAP artists are former teachers and more possess intuitive teaching abilities, relishing engagement with children. August’s blog will further explore concepts of ‘teacher’ and ‘artist’, and the guiding and creative impulses we all possess.  Meantime, for those reading, conscious of echoes of ‘the other drum’ in the recesses of their hearts, take comfort.  There’s a teacher and an artist in all of us!

Mother Tongues

Language Explorers facilitator training and work opportunity.

Do you have experience developing/delivering creative experiences to children? Or are you an artist? Are you fluent in another language other than English? Are you passionate about making a difference?

Mother Tongues‘ is currently training individuals to enter a paid panel of facilitators to draw from when delivering workshops across the country as part of their flagship programme ‘Language Explorers’.

Mother Tongues’ envision a society that embraces different cultures and languages. Their mission is to curate multilingual creative experiences where artists and communities connect across languages and cultures. Language Explorers is Mother Tongues’ flagship programme for children aged 3 to 6. Language Explorers provides a child-centred, interactive and engaging experience for all children – monolingual, bilingual and plurilingual.

Who should register?

Developed to be equal parts practical and inspirational, this new training is designed for artists or creative people with a passion for working with children and who have experience in developing and/or delivering creative experiences to children.

Training

This training combines online and in-person elements. It will run over 8 weeks with an estimated overall time commitment of 40 hours. Self-directed learning is an important element of this training.

For full details and to apply go to mothertongues.ie/2022/07/08/language-explorers-facilitator-training-and-work-opportunity/

Mother Tongues is an equal opportunity employer.
We encourage applications from individuals of a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience.

 

Music Generation & Arts Council of Ireland

Deadline: 5 August 2022

The Music Generation National Development Office invites quotations, from consultants, researchers or organisations, for the completion of an evaluation of the Music Generation – Arts Council partnership. It is anticipated that the evaluation will identify learnings from the partnership and will provide recommendations for the future. The evaluation will assist Music Generation in its planning and development for the future and will assist the Arts Council in planning future potential partnerships and investments in this sector.

Queries 

Closing Date

To download the details brief go to www.musicgeneration.ie/vacancies/invitation-to-quote-for-evaluation-services-music-generation-arts-council-partnership

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education, and Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs) and is supported by the Arts Council as a programme partner.

To find out more about who we are and what we do, please visit www.musicgeneration.ie

The Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaíon is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. The Arts Council works in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life. The Arts Council is guided by its Strategy “Making Great Art Work”.

For further information on the Arts Council, please visit www.artscouncil.ie

Arts in Education Portal
Deadline: Friday 26 August 2022

Artists, teachers, academics and arts education professionals… Do you want to be part of the seventh annual National Arts in Education Portal Day?

The National Arts in Education Portal Day will take place at TU Dublin, School of Art and Design on Saturday, 5 November 2022 in partnership with the School of Art and Design (formerly the School of Creative Arts) and the Erasmus+ International Teacher-Artist Partnership (I-TAP-PD) PD Project. The event aims to bring together members of the arts in education and creative practise community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

The Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee invites proposals from organisations or individuals who want to give dynamic and inspiring presentations or workshops that can offer sharing of skills, practical approaches, new insights and critical thinking across the field, from a range of perspectives.

This year, the Portal Day will have a special focus on ‘Seldom Heard Voices’. The Committee particularly want to profile projects this year that represent children from diverse communities and children who are seldom heard.

The Portal Editorial Committee are delighted to also partner this year with the Erasmus+ International Teacher-Artist Partnership (I-TAP-PD) PD Project, an exciting trans-European project which focuses on enabling teachers and artists to jointly develop their understanding, expertise and creativity in ‘arts in education’ work with children and young people in education, community and arts settings. The Erasmus+ I-TAP-PD multiplier event at the National Portal Day will share outcomes and learning from the programme to date.

Do you have a workshop or presentation that you would like to be included in the programme for this day? If so, please send us your proposal.

The deadline for submission of proposals has been extended to 5pm Friday 26 August 2022.

Download the submission form National Portal day Proposal Form 2022.

The Portal team have had an exciting few months on the road visiting the recipients of the 2022 Portal Documentation Awards.

‘Music Makes Me Happy’ Creative Cluster

In May and early June we visited three Limerick based schools who have been collaborating as part of a Creative Cluster Project under the theme ‘Music Makes Me Happy’. The focus of the two year project has been to create more opportunities for the pupils of all three schools to experience music; to learn an instrument, listen to live music, perform and explore music through creative collaboration.

In this, the second year of the project the students and teachers from all three schools have been continuing to collaborate with local musician Mike Hogan in learning the ukulele. On our visit to St Patrick’s Boys National School, the 5th class pupils and their class teacher Mr Murray shared with us some of the songs they have been working on for a group performance at the end of the school year.

Ukulele Player at St Brigid’s National School - ‘Music Makes Me Happy’ Creative Cluster Project

Ukulele Player at St Brigid’s National School – ‘Music Makes Me Happy’ Creative Cluster Project

In St Brigid’s National School and St Patrick’s Girls National School the students have been delving deeper in their exploration of the cluster theme through the BLAST initiative. On our visit to St. Patrick’s Girls NS we met visual artist Chelsea Canavan who has been collaborating with the 5th class students and their class teacher Ms Farrell in the creation of a large scale artwork that will become part of the school’s new building. Taking inspiration from music the pupils have been designing patterns based on the honeycomb shape and fretwork patterns found on the end of a concertina instrument. During our visit the children were creating prints using stamps they had made, exploring different shapes and combinations.

At St Brigid’s NS, class teacher Ms Nihill and the 5th class pupils have been collaborating with composer Fiona Linnane in the c0-creation of a musical composition inspired by the cluster theme. During our visit the class were writing lyrics to add to melodies they had created and were starting to put the elements of the song together. For the song the children used a combination of instruments including the ukulele’s the class had been using for their sessions with Mike Hogan.

‘Finding the Common Thread’ International Teacher Artist Partnership Project

St Kilian’s National School, County Cavan is situated in a state-of-the-art school where its beautiful design makes you feel like you are outdoors when indoors, surrounded by nature wherever you look. This influence of nature was evident when visiting Breeda’s classroom. Artist Vera McEvoy, class teacher Breeda Kenny and the students have been exploring a local bog using art, textiles and many other means.

On the first day of our visit, the children were developing lace pieces based on flowers found in the bog. Each child had created an intricate sewn piece which re-imagined tiny plants which they discovered on trips to the bog. It was amazing to see how engrossed the children were in their needle work. The intimate nature of the work seemed to draw out different conversations amongst the children, giving them time and space to think and talk in an unstructured way.

Exploring the bog - ‘Finding the Common Thread’ International Teacher Artist Partnership Project - St Kilian’s National School, County Cavan

Exploring the bog – ‘Finding the Common Thread’ International Teacher Artist Partnership Project – St Kilian’s National School, County Cavan

On the second day, we had a magical visit to the bog. Vera and the students set up a clothes line where they pegged on their lace pieces, letting them flutter in the wind. We were introduced to the various plants that had inspired their lace works – and were amazed by how tiny but complex they were. The students performed a song, using their voices and bodies to create ripples across the bog.

Over the summer months the Portal team will be working on editing the documentation footage captured during the school visits. We look forward to sharing the Documentation video’s for both project’s in the Autumn. Stay tuned!

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership
Deadline 13 July 2022

Kids’ Own, the current Arts in Education Portal Mangers are delighted to invite applications for the role of Project Manager for the Arts in Education Portal (part-time).

Reporting to the Kids’ Own CEO, the Project Manager will work very closely with other members of the Kids’ Own team and the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee to manage the Arts In Education Portal. Kids’ Own are the current managers of the Arts in Education Portal on behalf of the Portal Editorial Committee.

This is a very exciting opportunity for a dynamic community-minded individual with excellent digital skills and event management skills combined to lead the management of the Arts in Education Portal as it enters into a new phase of strategic development.

The specifications of the role are set out below.

Key Responsibilities

The Project Manager for the Arts in Education Portal will be responsible for managing all aspects of the Arts in Education Portal, including but not limited to:

The successful applicant will have:

Desirable:

Terms of contract:

This is a part-time post (3 days p/week). An initial contract of 9 months will be offered, subject to extension. There will be a probationary period of 6 weeks.

Annual remuneration: €33,000–35,000 DOE. (pro-rata)

Applications:

Candidates should send a detailed CV and cover letter to Kids’ Own Creative Director,

Ciara Gallagher at: ciara@kidsown.ie by Wednesday 13 July, 5pm

MTU Crawford College of Art & Design

Arts In Health & Education, MTU Crawford College of Art & Design are presently recruiting for their September course intake across the department. Choose from a number of innovative post-graduate, level 9 courses centred around the power of the Arts in supporting wellbeing, personal development and changemaking.

All courses take place at the CCAD Grand Parade campus in Cork City.

For more information on each course, see crawford.cit.ie/areas-of-study/

Arts & Engagement is a new two-year, part-time, 90 credit MA programme combining a number of CCAD’s Special Purpose Awards. Through research, reflection, group and practical work, participants will explore different ways of learning, investigating the transformational power of the arts in personal and societal activation or regulation through a broad scope of contemporary methodologies.

Through elective modules in year one, opportunities will be provided to broaden skill sets through Socially Engaged Theatre, Eco-Arts Practice or Art Therapy. In the second year, opportunity will be given for students to develop their ongoing arts practice informed by, and in relation to, one of two strands of engagement – Health & Wellbeing or Global Citizenship Education.

More info and apply: www.cit.ie/course/CRARAEN9
Closing date: 31st August
Contact: Avril.OBrien@mtu.ie

Creativity & Change is a part-time, 20 credit certificate at level 9 about creativity and its power to ignite empathy, passion and learning about our interconnected and interdependent world. Supported by Irish Aid, Department of Justice, it is about imagining more humane, just and viable ways to live in the world and to connect with how we think, live, and act in the world. This course explores how we can utilise the arts to live as connected global citizens, becoming part of the changes we want to see. It will be of interest to artists, activists, youth & community educators, volunteers and all those who are interested in collaboration and the transformative power of art.

This programme is offered as an elective within the MA Arts and Engagement. Participants on the course who are not already taking it as an elective within the MA  can apply and progress to the MA Arts & Engagement, with 20 credits of the programme already completed.

More info and apply: www.cit.ie/course/CRACRCH9
Closing date: 31st August
Contact: Helen.OKeeffe@mtu.ie

Amplifying Voices Scholarships: We have a number of funded places available for those who have faced barriers to education in Ireland. See more information on the course application page.

Arts & Wellbeing is a new part-time. 20 credit Certificate at level 9. The course will be delivered through lectures and experiential workshops and provide participants with theory and approaches to arts and wellbeing that could be applied in a range of different contexts, making it attractive to teachers, therapists, arts in health practitioners, youth and community workers or artists looking to broaden the scope of their practice.

This programme is offered as an elective within the MA Arts and Engagement. Participants on the course who are not already taking it as an elective within the MA can apply and progress to the MA Arts & Engagement, with 20 credits of the programme already completed.

More info and apply: TBC – see www.cit.ie/courses/eveningweekendcourseslist/
Closing date: 15th September
Contact: Avril.OBrien@mtu.ie

Eco Arts Practice is a 10 credit, level 9 certificate. Through experiential learning, this course provides an opportunity to explore Eco Arts Practice theory and application within a group setting. The aim of the course is to provide participants with approaches to Eco Art Practice that could be applied in a range of different contexts, making it attractive to teachers, therapists, youth and community workers or artists looking to broaden the scope of their practice.  Participants will explore nature and the environment within an art context, from ethical use of materials, to eco literacy through to the natural environment as a classroom, a therapeutic space and a material that can be worked with.

This programme is offered as an elective within the MA Arts and Engagement. Participants on the course who are not already taking it as an elective within the MA can apply and progress to the MA Arts & Engagement, with 10 credits of the programme already completed.

More info and apply: www.cit.ie/course/CRAEAPR9
Closing date: 15th September
Contact: ccad.enquiries@mtu.ie until August 21st, then Jessica.Carson@mtu.ie

Crooked House Theatre Company

Crooked House Theatre Company are delighted to invite applications from youth work organisations and schools in County Kildare to participate in a new drama and film making project ‘Adúntas’. Providing eight free programmes for young people, the project will focus on maintaining wellbeing and developing emotional resilience after COVID-19.

Through ‘Adúntas’ eight young people will also receive training in youth drama facilitation.

“We recognise the importance of allowing our young people to process the experience of Covid-19 in their own way and at their own pace”, Oguzhan Sahin, Outreach Manager with Crooked House.

This project is funded by the RTE Toy Show Appeal Grants for 2022 by the Community Foundation for Ireland. for more information about the RTE Toy Show Appeal go to www.rte.ie/eile/toy-show-appeal/.

About Crooked House Theatre Company
Crooked House is a theatre-making organisation established in 1993 in Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. We make theatre with, for and by young people from the ages of 11 to 24. Participation in all our activities is free and open to anyone. Young people can join our weekly workshops in Newbridge anytime. Visit www.kildareyouththeatre.com to find workshops for your age group. Our work is inspired by tolerance, equality, social justice, compassion, and empathy. We aim to create theatre that is ambitious, challenging, aesthetically engaging, and relevant to our audiences.

For further information and application details go to www.crookedhouse.ie or email info@crookedhouse.ie.

To the Stage

This month in Branar we are focusing on preparing for the live presentation of YOU’LL SEE…

In previous blogs, we have spoken about creating the film based on our adaptation of Ulysses for children and now, the next phase is for us to create a live theatre version.

We are back in the rehearsal room and must make some adjustments to the piece with the knowledge that we will have a live audience in front of us. In the film version, we were able to use the camera to dictate exactly what the audience would see through framing. However, with the live version, we have to consider the pacing, the clarity of the delivery and the visuals of the piece from the audience’s point of view. We also need to add elements such as lighting and sound cues, and everything that makes theatre different from other forms of presentation. This is challenging to do, but this is the art form we are most experienced in.

We have new members of the team now. Michael joins us as our technician and Debbie as our stage manager. The work becomes about supporting the performance and ensuring that what the audience sees is excellent every time.  Helen Gregg who adapted the text with me is the performer and she now has to consider the audience as they watch the piece and ensure that they are following what she’s doing as well as being entertained by the piece.

The live performance will be longer than the film as we allow for pauses, moments to linger a little and hopefully laughter. We work on ensuring that the narrative makes sense by itself. We work on the pace to ensure that the audience has something interesting to follow at all times, whether that is the soundscape, the visuals, or Helen’s performance.

As I write this, we are preparing to present the show for the first time at the Cork Midsummer Festival for an audience of children and their adults. We are excited, nervous, and hopeful that all of our work over the past few months will pay off and that the audience will enjoy the fruits of our labor. We hope that they will leave entertained and knowing a little bit more about Ulysses, written 100 years ago by James Joyce.

The Ark
Dates: 15 – 19 August 

Join the team at The Ark, Dublin and artist Jole Bortoli for this hugely popular hands-on, creative course focusing on a visual arts approach to exploring narrative, literacy and other subjects.

This is a five-day Department of Education EPV-approved summer course for teachers. Suitable for all levels of experience.

The aim of the course is to enable participants to start the new school year with an enhanced toolbox of skills and knowledge, in order to effectively deliver the visual arts curriculum in the classroom. Participants will be engaged ‘hands-on’ throughout this course so learning will be through doing. Working in teams and individually, you will cover a range of curriculum strands including drawing, painting, print, 3D construction, fabric, and fibre.

A strong emphasis will be on building skills and confidence. The group will also explore how visual art can be used to engage with aspects of the English, SPHE, History and Maths curriculum, as well as to promote visual literacy approaches. School self-evaluation exercises will be incorporated as an integral part of the course. Time will also be given for individual reflection and learning and group discussion.

This course will appeal to teachers of all levels of experience and will be facilitated by the visual arts and education specialist and founder of Art to Heart, Jole Bortoli. This is a continuing professional development opportunity not to be missed!

Tickets: €100/€90 (For ArkEd Members)

Dates & Time: Five day course, 15-19 August at 10am-3pm (with breaks) each day

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/summer-cpd-for-teachers-a-visual-arts-approach-in-the-classroom

 

Ballet Ireland
Dates: 4 – 8 July 

In Association with the School of Arts, Education & Movement, DCU

The Ballet Ireland CPD course for Primary School Teachers and Education Professionals provides participants with a secure understanding of how to teach dance, using simple, clear methods, easy steps and straightforward dance vocabularies.

Teachers are introduced to the fundamental aspects of dance education, including:

The course is based on workshop programmes which have been in operation since 2005, developed in collaboration with ten national schools in the greater Dublin area. All material covered in the summer course is suitable for primary school children of all ages, and for children with diverse abilities and experiences.

The Ballet Ireland educational approach for primary school teachers offers an interdisciplinary approach to teaching dance, music, and drama, and emphasises the potential for integrating curricular learning through dance.

The initial course is a week in length; each day comprises 2 two-hour workshops and an additional session, up to an hour, for discussion and feedback with the participants, totalling 25 hours. The programme employs specialists in several complementary areas, providing workshops in dance, anatomy, music, and mime.

Participants are supported with comprehensive course notes and access to specialised musical content online. Optional follow up days are held during midterm breaks in autumn and spring (at DanceHouse, Dublin), and ongoing support is available through closed social media groups.

“It helped me to understand the benefits dance can offer a child’s whole development, in terms of physical development, gross and fine motor skills, overall co-ordination, concentration and memory skills and social-emotional development. Dance can hugely benefit a child holistically and understanding this made me feel more confident that teaching dance wasn’t simply a ‘fun’ or frivolous’ treat lesson for a class, but a worthwhile endeavour”

2021 Summer Course participant

Course Details

The summer course will take place at DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra, in association with the School for Arts Education and Movement, DCU, July 4 th -8 th 2022.

The week will be led by Stephen Brennan, Education Officer at Ballet Ireland, supported by Hayley Cunningham, former Ballet Ireland dancer, Stott Pilates instructor, qualified ballet teacher and a member of the Ballet Ireland educational team.

Focused workshops will be led by Nolwenn Collett, composer and musician trained at the Paris Conservatoire, and specialist in dance accompaniment, and Deirdre McKenna, a Musculoskeletal & Dance Physiotherapist specialising in sports and dance training and injury prevention.

Cost of the course: €125.00

There are a limited number of places.

For more information and to booking, please contact:
Stephen Brennan stephen@balletireland.ie

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.

Creative Schools is delighted to announce two exciting opportunities for artists, creative practitioners and individuals working in organisations in the arts and cultural sector.

1.     Creative Associate Services for Alternative Settings

Creative Schools seeks to engage up to four Creative Associates, with relevant experience, to support the delivery of a project for schools in alternative settings from autumn 2022 for up to two years. This project will focus on schools from particular types of educational contexts that have not yet participated in the Creative Schools initiative.

2.     Creative Associate Services

Creative Schools seeks to engage a number of Creative Associates, with relevant experience, to work with schools in Mayo from autumn 2022 for up to one year.

Individuals or organisations that wish to nominate an individual may apply for these opportunities by 12.00 hours (local time) on Thursday 7, July, 2022.

All information and application forms are available at www.artscouncil.ie/creative-associate-opportunities/.

Earlier this month, teachers, artists and arts in eduction professionals gathered together – in-person and on-online – at the beautiful surroundings of the Kildare Education Support Centre. This was an opportunity to share experience, gather new ideas and network with colleagues. This event, the sixth of our annual Portal Regional Days, showcased arts in education and creative practice in the Mid-East. This year’s gathering was particularly special as it was the first in-person event in two years and provided a wonderful opportunity to catchup with members of the community, some of whom had only met virtually.

The morning of sharing practice began with visual artist Penelope Monaghan in conversation with Deirdre Rogers, Visual Arts Learning & Engagement Coordinator at the Solstice Arts Centre who shared their experience and learnings from the BLAST project with Stackallen National School, Co. Meath. As part of the presentation, Deirdre brought the audience on a Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS) journey of the painting ‘Three Space Unfolding’ by Lesley-Ann O’Connell, sharing a taste of how she uses VTS techniques in exhibition visits with schools.

“That’s so true, for me art and creative activities if you want to call it a subject is the only subject that can teach every other subject”, Deirdre Rogers

The morning continued with a thought-provoking panel discussion chaired by teacher and Teacher–Artist Partnership (TAP) Lead Facilitator Jennifer Buggie with speakers Michelle Furlong, Portal Committee member and Creative Schools Manager with the Arts Council of Ireland; Dr Triona Stokes from the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University and Mark Ball, Theatre-maker and Artistic Director of Super Paua. The panel explored the question ‘How do we ensure the voice of the child is heard?’. They shared insights into how, in their own practices, they consider the child’s voice and other practical ways to open opportunities for the child’s voice in the classroom or during a creative engagement.

Do we other children by calling them children? That old concept of not being fully a person in terms of traditional forms of education. But I really do think by using those terms ‘young people’, young people who are fully themselves… as Caitríona Ní Chullota used to say always, they are fully themselves in every moment of their existence. – Jennifer Buggie 

In the afternoon, attendees where invited to take part in practical creative workshops. Photographer Brian Cregan shared some practical tools and tips on using smartphone’s and tablet’s for photography with in-person attendees. They explored how smartphones and tablets can be a key tool in documenting creative engagement.

Creative Workshop: ‘Smartphone and Tablet Photography Skills’ with photographer Brian Cregan

Creative Workshop: ‘Smartphone and Tablet Photography Skills’ with photographer Brian Cregan

Online, artist Helen Flanaghan invited participants to explore their own connections to land, place and nature and to consider – what we stand to lose in the context of the climate crisis in the creative workshop titled ‘What is left and what left to lose?’. Through discussion, participants were invited on a journey of co-creation creating a piece collaborative writing which was then burnt in a fire pit at the end of the session.

Creative Workshop: What is left and what left to lose? with artist and writer Helen Flanaghan

Creative Workshop: What is left and what left to lose? with artist and writer Helen Flanaghan

“Lets try it and lets fail beautifully together”, Mark Ball, Artistic Director Super Paua

Thank you to everyone who joined us on the day. For those who missed the mornings discussions the live stream is available to watch back on the Portal’s Vimeo Channel here.

 

 

 

My Bloomsday

Schools engagement project

This month at Branar, we have been focusing our attention on the engagement element of ‘You’ll see…’, our adaptation of Ulysses by James Joyce, for children age 7+. This engagement from children was at the forefront of the creation of You’ll See. Ulysses tells the story of one day in one city and this inspired us to ask the children of Ireland to tell us the story of one day in their lives.

We have been working in conjunction with our colleagues in the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin to devise an engagement program that will allow children to respond to the video while also sharing their thoughts on what it’s like to be a child in 2022, 100 years after Ulysses was published.

We have a created a response template pack that is loosely based on some of the main questions or thoughts that are in the key episodes of Ulysses. The template pack consists of six prompts for the children to respond to. These prompts were created by Branar and MoLI after examining the school curriculum and deciding what prompts would allow the children who respond to be as creative as possible in their answers. The children are asked to respond to these prompts in their own way, be it through creative writing, or drawing images in response to the prompt questions.  Our hopes are that it will be a creative process that gives us an insight into the life of children in 2022. The children will be able to engage with these packs as a class activity facilitated by the teacher after they’ve watched the You’ll See… video.

All the details can be downloaded from the Ulysses22 website.

What is really exciting about this process is that the documents the children will create will be collected by the MoLI Museum and archived over the Summer. We decided that the archive should be created in a way that encourages engagement from children all over Ireland. We aim to do this by using technologies used by children on a daily basis to host the archived materials. This should hopefully allow children from all over the country to engage with each other’s responses.

 

 

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
Deadline 8 June 2022

Bring magic to your classroom with A Small Tale, a storybook that comes to life!

A Teacher-Led Adventure is a magical storytelling experience which aims to ignite and inspire a passion for writing whilst raising standards in reading, speaking and listening. This in-class adventure is suitable for Senior Infants – 3rd class.

Baboró, in partnership with Punchdrunk Enrichment, are seeking primary school teachers to take part in this project, which will begin with a 1-day teacher training during the 2022 festival in October.

Want to find out more? Watch the recorded Zoom info session at https://youtu.be/SBRhaoY6MKM.

Form Submission Deadline: Wednesday 8 June 2022

What is A Small Tale?
The teacher and their class read a mysterious old picture book about two mischievous and messy tiny people with a love of stories. But when they return to the book the following day the pages are all blank, except for two sets of tiny footprints… they discover that the tiny characters have escaped. Will the pupils be able to get them back to safety, before it’s too late?

A Small Tale aims to:

The project takes place across seven days which can be broken up over two weeks. It can be delivered year in, year out, to several classes, with the same set of assets and resources.

Who is eligible?
Primary school teachers who expect they may be teaching Senior Infants to 3rd Class students for the 2022/2023 academic year.

This experience is open to schools across Ireland however the training day will take place in person in Galway City on Saturday 22 October 2022.

How do I sign up?
If you are interested in taking part in the project go to www.baboro.ie/news-events/a-small-tale-punchdrunk-enrichment-2022 to complete the registration form.

Baboró will be contacting teachers who have registered at the end of June.

For full information and registration form go to www.baboro.ie/news-events/a-small-tale-punchdrunk-enrichment-2022.

FÍS Film Project
Deadline Extended: Friday June 27th 2022

The annual FÍS Film Awards competition is open to primary schools across in the Republic of Ireland. Designated Dept. of Education primary schools are invited to make a short film, up to 5 minutes maximum duration, and enter it to FÍS before 24th June 2022.

Teachers wishing to introduce film making into their primary classroom can avail of a wide variety of Teacher Resources at the website and hear what other teachers have to say about the benefits of film making to pupils. Whether you are a new comer to FÍS or want to refresh your skills before embarking on a new film making project with your pupils our comprehensive suite of resources will support you.

2022 Competition Details

Entry is via fisfilmproject.ie/competition/.

Judging Criteria Highlights

Full details of Rules & Guidelines and Judging Criteria are available at fisfilmproject.ie/competition/rules/. Entry is online via fisfilmproject.ie/competition/submission/

All entries will be acknowledged via email, judging will take place in early Autumn. The shortlist will be announced before the end of September.

Following this competitive process shortlisted schools will be invited to a ‘red carpet’ event at the Helix Theatre, Dublin, i.e. the National FÍS Film Awards Ceremony. Each year over 900 school children attend the prestigious ceremony which is filmed and broadcast via live stream by students from the Institute of Art, Design & Technology’s (IADT) National Film School.

BLAST Arts-in-Education Residencies
Deadline: 30 September 2022

Minister for Education Norma Foley invites primary and post-primary schools to apply for the arts-in-education initiative, BLAST 2022.

Minister Foley is delighted to confirm that BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers – will be running in 2022 for the second time. The 2022 programme will enable over 400 new arts-in-education residencies in schools over the course of the year.

The aim of BLAST is to provide pupils in schools all over the country with the time and the space to work with a professional artist on creative, imaginative and fun projects.

These innovative classes are designed and developed between the artist, teacher and the school under the coordination of the Education Support Centres in Ireland (ESCI) network of 21 full-time education support centres.

Minister Foley said:
“I am extremely proud to announce launch BLAST 2022, which builds on the great success of the BLAST 2021 Programme.

“When I launched BLAST last year, I had hoped that it would open up the minds and the hearts of our children by providing new and creative collaborative experiences and opportunities for our children and young people and for our schools. The evidence over the past year has shown that school communities have embraced BLAST beyond our expectations.

“In 2021, BLAST enabled over 480 new arts in education residencies in over 480 schools, ensuring over 12,000 students could benefit from this experience along with teachers and schools. Some of the trained artists available to schools covered topics such as multimedia, fine art, mosaics, stained glass sculpture/animation and performance art.

“BLAST has shown that school is a fantastic environment for children to have new and different experiences, to make new friends, to be creative and importantly to have fun while learning.

“I am delighted also to launch today the new BLAST logo, following a nationwide competition. The winning logo was chosen by a panel of judges including Louis Walsh, and Brenda Dermody of TU Dublin.

“The winning entry is both creative and practical, and does an incredible job of bringing different aspects of the alerts to life, in line with the spirit of BLAST. Well done to Lily Fleming from sixth class in Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Rushbrooke, Cobh, Co Cork.

“Lily will receive a go-pro camera, and their logo has now been adopted as the official logo for the BLAST programme. I hope they enjoy seeing it proudly adorn all BLAST activity in future!”

The winning entry was selected from over 1,411 entries from primary and post-primary schools all over Ireland. 5 runners-up were highly commended by the judges for their entries. All entrants will receive a BLAST certificate.
The runners-up were:

  • Tayla–Jae Morcombe, Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, Mouthhawk, Tralee, Co Kerry
  • Louise Corry Galvin, St. Joseph’s secondary school, Spanish Point, Co Clare
  • Szymon Krzyzanowski, Wexford CBS, Thomas St, Co Wexford
  • Grace Hilliard, Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown, Co Carlow
  • Julia Bartecka, Holy Family Secondary School, Newbridge Co Kildare

Applications will open on 25 May 2022. The closing date is 30 September 2022.

This initiative will be supported by the ESCI education centre network, Teacher Artist Partnership CPD programme, Arts in Junior Cycle, NAPD Creative Engagement Programme and the Arts in Education Portal.

For further information on the programme and to download the appliucation forms go to https://www.gov.ie/en/service/69096-blast-arts-in-education. 

The Ark
Dates: 4 – 8 July 2022

The Ark are excited to present this really popular engaging arts summer course focusing on the two curriculum areas of Drama and Music.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Working with two outstanding creative practitioners, you will enjoy a week of experiential learning and development. Your confidence and skills in both music and drama will increase through highly participative and inspiring course content.

Using themes drawn from SPHE, English and other subjects, participants will explore a variety of imaginative approaches to integrated curriculum delivery. Teachers of all levels of experience will be able to fully engage in this rich week of professional development.

Course content and highlights will include:

Cost  – €100/€90 (For ArkEd Members)

Dates & Times – Five day course, 4-8 June @ 10am – 3pm (with breaks) each day

For further information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/summer-cpd-for-teachers-creative-music-drama-in-the-classroom.

The Creative Ireland Programme 
Date: 11 June 2022

Taking place on Saturday, 11th June, young people can enjoy 450+ free creative events across the country.

Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, has announced details of Cruinniú na nÓg 2022, a day of free creative activity for young people.

The only event of its kind in the world, Cruinniú na nÓg 2022 is a collaboration between the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities and RTÉ.

At the launch of Cruinniú na nÓg 2022 at Killruddery House and Gardens in County Wicklow, Minister Martin said:

“Since 2018, Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key date in Ireland’s cultural calendar. It has provided wonderful opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2 million children and young people to try something new like circus skills, animation, perform at live music gigs, explore contemporary dance, showcase new work through youth theatre and so much more. All events are free.

This year the Cruinniú na nÓg team are delighted that most of the events will be live and in person. Alongside the events planned by strategic partners – Dance Ireland, Garageland, Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS), Nenagh Children’s Film Festival, Youth Theatre Ireland and the Historic Houses of Ireland – the programme has more than 450 events programmed by local authorities in venues around the country. The Cruinniú na nÓg team are so thrilled that the restrictions of the last two years are behind us and that this year everyone can join together to be creative, express themselves and have fun.

 

Going live Saturday 11th June 2022

The Creative Ireland Programme and its strategic partners have developed a number of creative projects, all planned to go live on Saturday 11th June 2022.

This exciting spread of events include:

Pop-Up Dance is a Dance Ireland project which aims to connect with young people who want to dance. There will be twelve pop-up performances around the country, developed by local youth dance companies to reflect their own communities and experiences.

Garageland is back! And this year they are going live with concerts in Dublin, Meath, Donegal, Waterford, Tipperary, Kerry, Wicklow, Cavan and Monaghan. Running alongside these live concerts will be Galaxyz, a dedicated online TV channel which will live stream the concerts, screen pre-recorded performances and host industry chats.

Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS) will host open days for young people who want to try their hand at circus skills and street spectacle at their dedicated venues in Cloughjordan, Cork, Dublin and Galway. For those that can’t be there on the day, there will be a full range of online tutorials available and 5,000 juggling balls will be given away so that young people can develop their circus skills at home.

Historic Houses of Ireland invites everyone to four of their gorgeous properties. Activities will include aerial acrobatics at Killruddery House and Gardens in Wicklow and a forest school a Kilmokea House in Wexford. Birr Castle will focus on astronomy and biodiversity and Enniscoe in Mayo will have a full programme of events in their historic gardens.

Nenagh Children’s Film Festival will run from 10-12 June with Crúinniu na nÓg at the heart of it. In an exciting development, the festival will collaborate with Foróige, Digital Animation Production TUS and the National Talent Academy for Animation to encourage young people to create and participate.
Highlights will include screenings of a commissioned animation dedicated to young audiences and 10 film shorts created in participating schools.

Youth Theatre Ireland will host introductory theatre workshops throughout the country.

This is Art 2022: Creative Ireland and RTÉ’s wonderful art competition for young people has returned, and the winning entries will be announced on 11th June 2022.

TG4 with support from the Gaeltacht division of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will produce Cruthaím 33 which will champion the talents of 33 children and young people from every county in the country as well as a representative of our young diaspora. Also included in the programme will be four films made by transition year students from Gaelscoileanna around the country.

For full events listings and further information go to cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie/

Ulysses, Ulysses 2.2

This month in Branar we have been working on adapting Ulysses by James Joyce for children aged 7 to 12. This is a challenging project, but equally rewarding as we get to engage with the amazing text that Joyce wrote 100 years ago. We had to explore ways in which we could adapt that text to make it interesting and suitable for younger audiences.

The MOLI museum, Landmark Productions and ANU Productions created a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the printing of Ulysses, Ulysses 2.2. They commissioned 18 contemporary artists to respond to various episodes of the book using different art forms.

Obviously, Ulysses wasn’t written for young audiences and there is a lot of content, plots and subplots that are not really suitable for children. But there’s also a lot of magic in it, in its content, language and in the story, one city in one day, the 16th of June 1904.

We made the decision to follow Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, (the main characters) on their journey through the city during this summer’s day. They are two very different characters; one is sad mostly and thinks in poetry the other happier and thinks in short sharp thoughts. This allows the audience to clearly identify them as we travel through the day switching from character to character.

After reading the book I decided on the images that would best represent the action for each of the episodes, then working alongside my colleague and friend Maeve Clancy, paper artist, we decided on what those images would look like, and Maeve created a pop-up book version of Ulysses. The pop-ups are animated by performer Helen Gregg, who worked with me in the adaptation of the piece.

The pop-up book allows us to create new scenes quickly but also adds an element of magic and an element of surprise that will allow the children to really engage with the story and with the people within that story. There are 39 pop up images and two for each of the of the episodes, none of the pop ups work in the same way so there’s loads of visual content for the children to follow.

The text of the story is delivered brilliantly by Helen Gregg.  Michael Chang, our composer, created a score that would complement all these elements. Adrian ferry, sound designer added a sound to the world and together with James Ryan who filmed it and we have created a film version of this pop-up story that will be available to schools nationwide they will be able to watch it and engage with the story and ultimately understand that Ulysses is a story about many many different characters in one city in one day.

The show is an invitation is to children two created their own story of their day on the 16th of June 1922 Bloomsday. All of these stories will be gathered by the MOLI museum and then they will be archived and the children will be able to access their stories online later in this year.

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership
Deadline: 3 May 2022

Kids’ Own are seeking to appoint an Operations Manager and Project Manager to join their team in Sligo. See details below:

Operations Manager 

Kids’ Own is now seeking to appoint an Operations Manager to support the smooth running of all of our operational activities.

Job Description:
Reporting directly to the CEO, the Operations Manager’s duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Terms: This is a part-time post, 3.5 days p/week. Fixed-term contract of one year, with a view to extension.

For full details go to kidsown.ie/job-opportunity-kids-own-seeks-operations-manager/

Project Manager

Kids’ Own has an exciting opportunity for an experienced individual to lead on the ongoing delivery of our collaborative initiatives with children and young people.

The Project Manager will report to the CEO and will work closely with our small team to support the delivery of our strategic aims through our projects and programmes with children and young people.

Key Responsibilities
The project manager’s duties will include, but not be limited to:

Terms: This is a part-time post, 3 days p/week. Fixed-term contract of one year, with a view to extension.

For full details go to kidsown.ie/job-opportunity-kids-own-seeks-project-manager-part-time/

Applications:
Candidates are requested to send a detailed CV and cover letter to:
Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, jo@kidsown.ie by Tuesday 3rd May at 5pm.

 

Class Dance!
Dates: 24 & 31 May, 7 & 14 June

Gain skills and confidence in putting dance ideas into practice with the children you work with. Join this new series of online workshops hosted by dance artist and teacher, Lisa Cliffe.

‘Class Dance’ is an online creative professional development programme for primary teachers and practitioners of all forms of dance working with children from ages 6 to 12. Together, participants will explore and share ways of engaging children creatively in dance. Perhaps you have an idea you would like to develop or you are looking for new inspiration? The four sessions are your opportunity to move, gain skills, celebrate creativity through dance and connect with your peers across the country. Working in small groups, participants will discover new approaches and build confidence in planning and delivering creative tasks and dance sessions.

The series is devised and facilitated by experienced dance artist and qualified primary school teacher Lisa Cliffe. Participants need to commit to all four online sessions, 7pm to 8:45pm on Tuesdays: 24th & 31st May, and 7th & 14th June. The closing date for registration of interest is May 19. Please note that places are limited. The research and development of this series of workshops has been funded through the Arts Council of Ireland.

Fee: €60

Register your Interest here – https://forms.gle/9xgLu6ervGS8ZvQx5

Read more about Lisa – www.danceireland.ie/members/directory/lisa-cahill

 

The Ark
Date: 4 May 2022

Calling all primary & preschool teachers! Join The Ark team for a cup of tea and learn more about their classroom resources and our Summer CPD courses.

The Ark are delighted to be able to welcome you back! This will be an informative and relaxed chat with like-minded teachers and the Ark team. There will be a short presentation by The Ark team highlighting the classroom packs and resources available which have been designed to complement the primary school curriculum. You will also get to hear about their exciting Teacher CPD Summer Courses on offer in-person at The Ark this year.

You’ll have plenty of time to chat and catch up with colleagues and The Ark team.

This event is free to attend but we do ask that you register your attendance.

For further information and to register go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-afternoon-tea

Solstice Arts Centre
Dates: Until 4 June 2022

Solstice Arts Centre invites schools to explore artworks from over 40 artists and craftspeople in their current exhibition, ‘Golden Fleece: 21 Years’, using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) to expand students’ thoughts on ‘what’s going on in these artworks’. Guided by Deirdre, our learning and engagement coordinator, students will be encouraged to engage in peer to peer discussion, and have the opportunity to focus and reflect on multiple perspectives, enhancing their engagement and enjoyment of learning through art. To conclude, students will learn about the artist or craftsperson who created the works, and may even be inspired to create artworks of their own!

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based teaching methodology VTS encourages oral and visual literacy, problem solving and positive collaborative interactions among peers. Based on the work of cognitive psychologist, Abigail Housen and veteran museum educator Philip Yenawine, VTS supports learner-centred thinking and feeling when looking at art objects.

Date & Time: Continues throughout the exhibition until 4 June 2022, various dates available (duration: 60 mins)

Ages: Primary 2nd – 6th class & Post Primary (all ages)

School Cost: Free, booking essential.

For more details and to book dates for your class group please contact Deirdre: deirdre.rogers@solsticeartscentre.ie

For further details go to solsticeartscentre.ie/event/school-gallery-tours-using-vts

The Ark
Date: 14 May 2022

Celebrate the beauty of Spring through this interactive dance workshop with The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist in Residence Monica Muñoz.
Meet Blossom, she is delighted that finally spring has arrived. Join her in a sensory movement adventure around a spring day: Hopping, skipping around flowers, leaping and jumping over rivers, meeting caterpillars and butterflies and touching the most perfect sky!

This delightful interactive dance workshop invites little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy imagining and moving 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.

Reminder: Please wear comfortable clothes

Date: 14 May 2022

For further information and to book go to ark.ie/events/view/bloom-bloom-interactive-early-years-dance-workshop

Arts in Education Portal 

Date: Saturday, 7th May 2022

The Arts in Education Portal’s regional tour continues this spring with our first in-person event in 2 years! On Saturday, 7th May join us and our hosts at Kildare Education Support Centre for a series of discussions and creative workshops sharing experience and best practice from the sector in the Mid-East.

The programme for the day includes a presentation with artist Penelope Monaghan and Deirdre Rogers, Visual Arts Learning & Engagement Coordinator at Solstice Arts Centre sharing their experience on the recent BLAST project with Stackallen National School, Co.Meath, along with a panel discussion chaired by Jennifer Buggie, Teacher and Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) Lead Facilitator exploring the question ‘How do we ensure the voice of the child is heard?’ with panel speakers Dr Triona Stokes from the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University; Michelle Furlong, Portal Committee member and Creative Schools Manager with the Arts Council of Ireland and Mark Ball, Theatre-maker and Artistic Director of Super Paua.

In the afternoon join Kildare based photographer Brian Cregan for a hands-on practical session to explore composition, framing, apps and editing techniques to learn and improve photography skills using smartphones and tablets.

The morning discussions will be live streamed to ensure accessibility for those who cannot travel to the event in-person. In the afternoon for those joining us online a virtual creative workshop ‘What is left and what left to lose?’ will explore the Ardee Bog in County Louth and connections to land, place and nature with artist and writer Helen Flanagan on zoom.

Please note: ISL Interpretation will be available at the venue and online.

If you are joining us in-person or online book your place for this FREE event at www.eventbrite.ie/e/arts-in-education-portal-regional-day-mid-east-tickets. 

Schedule

10:00am —registration & coffee

10.30am — Welcome

10:45am — The Portal: a brief introduction Emma Kavanagh, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership (Portal Content Managers)

11:00am — Project Presentation ‘Creative Connections’: Visual Artist, Penelope Monaghan in conversation with Deirdre Rogers, Visual Arts Learning & Engagement Coordinator Solstice Arts Centre sharing their experience on the recent BLAST project with Stackallen National School, Co.Meath

11:45am— Panel Discussion: Dr Triona Stokes, Educator and Drama Practitioner with the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education , Maynooth University; Michelle Furlong, Teacher and Creative Schools Manager with the Arts Council of Ireland; and theatre-maker, Mark Ball Artistic Director of Super Paua in conversation with Chair Jennifer Buggie, Teacher and Teacher-Artist Partnership Lead Facilitator.

1:00.pm — Q & A: whole panel of presenters

1:15pm —Lunch & networking

2.00pm — Hands-On Creative Workshops

3:00pm—wrap up

For further information email events@artsineducation.ie.

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the first of the two recipients of the 2022 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: ‘Music Makes Me Happy’ BLAST Project 

This project began as a Creative Clusters Project between St Brigid’s National School, St Patrick’s Girls National School and St Patrick’s Boys National School in Limerick.

As part of the project, we engaged with the school self- Evaluation process and identified music as an area for improvement in all three schools in the cluster. We agreed that we would like to create more opportunities for our pupils to learn an instrument, listen to live music and perform. We connected with local musical groups such as Comhaltas, The BUG’s ukulele group, St John’s Brass and Reed Band and local musicians. We designed a programme of work for the year to include opportunities for the children to learn ukulele, tin whistle whilst also bringing live musicians to our schools. We also set up after school ukulele clubs for both pupils and staff. This was led by Robert Moloney, a teacher in St Brigid’s National School.

We worked collaboratively to identify a theme for the project. The overarching theme of the project is ‘Music Makes me Happy’. The focus of the project is on participation and enabling as many children as possible to actively engage with the project. Pupils were involved in the early stages of planning through our Student Council.

Pupil voice will be key to the BLAST project. This will be achieved in very real terms with pupils in 5th class composing a Music Makes Me Happy inspired anthem in conjunction with Fiona Linnane, our BLAST composer. A staff ukulele group has also been established between the cluster to ensure the longevity of the project can be sustained through teacher CPD. Wellbeing has been an added bonus with staff being inspired by the project and creating an overall sense of excitement and fun.

Creative Cluster Artists

The Creative Cluster project currently engages with two musicians namely Paula O’Regan, a connection made through Comhaltas and Mike Hogan, a connection made through The BUGS ukulele group. These musicians visit the three schools weekly to teach tin whistle and ukulele.

BLAST Artist: Fiona Linnane

Composer Fiona Linnane will be working with St Brigid’s National School as the association BLAST artist.

Fiona Linnane is a composer based in County Limerick. Fiona is a Teacher – Artist Partnership Programme trained Lead Artist and has been involved in Artist in Schools schemes for almost 20 years. Her workshops are enthusiastic, energetic and fun and aim to give students a new perspective on sound, music and composition.

Fiona was awarded the Limerick City and County Council Individual Arts Bursary in 2018 and 2019, for work in the field of opera and Art song. She is a recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland Music Bursary Award 2020 and has been commissioned by Opera Workshop supported by the Arts Council of Ireland Commissions Award 2020.

Fiona will be working on the composition aspect of the music curriculum with the pupils in Mrs Sinead Nihill’s 5th class to create a ‘Music Makes Me Happy’ inspired anthem. All of the pupils will be incorporated into the composition process in various ways including our ukulele and tin whistle classes as well as our Peace Proms group.

Teacher: Avril Cross

Avril Crosse is a primary school teacher in St Brigid’s National School, Singland, Limerick. She graduated from Mary Immaculate College in 2013 after completing a Bachelor or Education with a specialism in Gaeilge and has recently completed a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and Management. Avril has always been interested in the creative arts and bringing learning to life; she tries to incorporate fun and playful learning experiences in the classroom including that of music. Avril is part of the staff ukulele group and can play the tin whistle and piano.

BLAST Artist: Chelsea Canavan

Chelsea Canavan is a Limerick based multidisciplinary artist interested in exploring ecological and naturalised belonging. Looking at invasive and naturalised plants as a way to challenge constructed narratives around globalised society within landscapes and nationalism. Chelsea received the Arts Council Agility Award 2021 to explore a practice drawn from kinships with invasive species through hyper-connected thinking similar to that of Anna Tsing, Timothy Morton, and Deleuze and Guarttari’s ‘Rhizome’ theory.

Chelsea is also involved in the Creative Schools Programme, Teacher-Artist Partnership Programme and BLAST Schools’ Project.

Chelsea Canavan will be working with St Patrick’s GNS as their associated BLAST artist.

Teacher & Creative Coordinator: Evelyn Hartigan

Evelyn Hartigan has been a teacher in a primary school setting since 1999. She has a keen interest in the Arts, and feels that exposing children to art in its many genres is a very important part of the curriculum. Currently teaching in SET and use various art forms weekly as a source of well-being for children with additional needs. Evelyn completed the Teacher-Artist Partnership project in 2019 which involved working with an artist where 2nd class learned all about the Ilen ship and signal flags. They designed and created their own flags, one which made it to a school in Madeira and another hangs in Limerick City Hall. Evelyn am currently involved in coordinating on both Creative Cluster and Blast projects at St Patrick’s Girls National School.

Teacher: Clare Farrell

Clare Farrell is the current fifth class teacher and Deputy Principal in St. Patrick’s Girls National School in Limerick. Clare have been teaching there since she graduated in 1999. She have always been interested in Art and using all strands of the art curriculum to enhance and promote, not only, creative thinking and expression in each student but also a love and appreciation for art in the world around us. “Allowing students to experience area of the curriculum permits opportunities for pride in their work, not limited by how well or not they can draw, write, or even complete mathematical equations. Art also allows the students exposure to personal expression and choice in a way that no other subject really does. Freedom of expression of personal choice and acceptance of difference of opinion is activity encouraged and developed in the looking and responding aspect of the curriculum. Having a real artist in the classroom encouraging and inspiring their ideas and work is an opportunity that cannot be underestimated”.

The Ark & Dublin Dance Festival
Date: 24 May

Explore how to use your creativity and inspire young audiences with dance artist Takeshi Matsumoto. The Ark and Dublin Dance Festival present a dance workshop for professionals interested in working with young audiences.

Join Takeshi Matsumoto for a workshop exploring a multi-disciplinary practice in working with and making performances for children and young audiences.

Combining contemporary dance, somatics, meditation and dance movement therapy practice, participants are invited to reconnect with their own senses, creativity and playfulness through dancing, drawing, reflecting and sharing.

This workshop is suitable for professional dancers and dance students interested in creating work for young audiences.

Tickets
This event is free but ticketed. Please register to attend via ark.ie/events/view/workshop-for-professionals-with-dance-artist-takeshi-matsumoto

Dates & Times
3.30pm-5pm, 24 May

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/workshop-for-professionals-with-dance-artist-takeshi-matsumoto

 

The Ark
Date: 12 March 2022

The Ark are delighted to announce this CPD workshop for teachers, were you will learn a range of easy, accessible skills which delve into the world of fabrics, textiles and the ways in which you can bring your learning into your classroom.

During this workshop, experienced arts educator and artist Carrie Lynam will discuss the building blocks needed for the delivery of the Fabric & Fibre and Construction strands of the visual arts curriculum. This workshop focuses on understanding the materials and tools needed for success and learning techniques that transfer to a busy classroom.

Often within the hustle and bustle of the classroom, the design process and preparation can become overlooked and focus can often lie on the finished products. This workshop will allow you to take the time to rediscover the importance of design research, experimentation and the creative process.

Attendees will explore the design process, discussing research, gathering stimuli, ideas for open ended experimentation with materials and the planning stages of creating an artwork. In this hands-on workshop participants will create their own unique samples to support in-classroom delivery.

Date & Time

Saturday 12 March at 10:30am to 12:30pm

Tickets

€15 (*€13.50 for ArkEd Members)

For further information and to book go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-cpd-explore-make-respond

Arts in Education Portal Events
Date: Saturday, 7th May 2022

The Portal Team is delighted to invite teachers, artists and anyone with an interest in arts in education to save the date and join us for our first in-person event in two years! The Portal Spring Regional Day will take place on Saturday, 7th May 2022 at the Kildare Education Support Centre, showcasing arts in education projects and creative practice in the Mid-East.

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.

This event will be live streamed to ensure accessibility and an online creative workshop will be available for our audience joining online.

Stay tuned for the full schedule and booking details which will be announced in the coming weeks. Pre booking will be essential for both in-person and online attendance.

National Print Museum
Ongoing

The National Print Museum offer a fun and interactive Mini Printer and Storytelling Workshop for pre-school/early Montessori groups. These workshops are most suitable for children aged from 3 – 5 years old.

The workshop takes place in the Museum’s Education Area, which is prepared for the children before their arrival. Children first join a storyteller who, using props and involving the children throughout, will read a fun and engaging story from the Museum’s Junior Library. The aim is that all stories are linked in some way to printing, books, museums or libraries.

Once the storytelling session is complete, children will don a mini apron and using crayons and ink stampers decorate their very own printer’s hat. Children are free to move around the Education Area to choose the items with which to decorate their hat. Once complete children become qualified mini printers!

How to book

The workshop is 45 minutes in duration and can accommodate up to 24 children. There must be a minimum of 10 children in the group and the National Print Museum require at least 1 adult per 4 children visiting. The cost per child is €2.00 and all leaders/ teachers go free. To make a booking for a pre-school visit please see www.nationalprintmuseum.ie/education/schools/preschool/ or contact the Education Officer education@nationalprintmuseum.ie.

Now it’s your turn! Here is a new toolkit to get you started

I am sure that by now, after reading previous blogs, you are ready to embark on a multilingual journey!

In this last blog I would like to share with you some practical tools and ideas that you can use and adapt to your environment.

Multilingualism in your day to day practice

If you are interested in shifting towards a multilingual approach, you will find many ideas for whole school approaches in One school, Many Languages, an interactive repository of resources, from blogs, to lesson plans, videos and podcasts, as well as articles based on the latest research and best practice from around Europe.

A fantastic example of some of these ideas put into practice can be found on the St.Mary’s Primary School website.

Celebrating multilingualism

As we approach International Mother Language Day, we can all get creative and imagine new ways to celebrate multilingualism with our children and our community. International Mother Language Day is a celebration marked by UNESCO on 21st February to highlight the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies to foster tolerance and respect for others. All over Ireland, people are now getting ready to mark the day on 21st February, and using this toolkit you can get involved too!

Toolkit – mothertongues.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/IMLD_lang_garden_up.pdf

Ideas shared by teachers

Here is a list of ideas shared by teachers on how to create a special celebration around multilingualism. Of course, these can work any time of the year, and you could turn some of these into regular events!

I hope that these blogs have brought you to think in a new way about languages and multilingualism!

Read the previous blogs in this commissioned series by Dr Francesca La Morgia here.

Chester Beatty 
Online resource

The Chester Beatty Learning and Education Department has collaborated with the Junior Cycle Religious Education Team and co-produced a number of learning resources for the RE curriculum, using artworks from their multi-faith collections as a starting point.

This collaboration is the result of the museum’s research and development of its intercultural school’s programme (launched in March 2020).

Teachers of the Junior Cycle RE curriculum attended an onsite CPD in March 2020 exploring how to work with the Chester Beatty multi-faith collections. Participants learned about key faiths with an object based handling session (OBL) looking at every day faith-based objects.

The Chester Beatty launched an updated website in December 2021. It features a new School’s page chesterbeatty.ie/learning/schools-page/ including a tailor-made section for the Junior Cycle Religious Education Curriculum. Teachers and students can learn about various aspects of the new curriculum through the incredible Islamic, East Asian and European collections with particular focus on key areas including developing knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. The course is built around three interconnecting strands: Expressing Beliefs, Exploring Questions and Living our Values.

Teachers and students can find Ways of Seeing II – a resource that looks at key faiths as reflected in the Chester Beatty collection as well as in Ireland and Northern Ireland chesterbeatty.ie/assets/uploads/2021/10/CBL_WaysofSeeing2_Junior_Cycle_RE_Resource.pdf

Originally co-produced with the Intercultural Education Service of Northern Ireland and Ulster Museum, the updated resource is in line with the new Junior Cycle Religious Education Curriculum.

Ways of Seeing II is best used with these teacher-friendly PowerPoints and focus on themes including Journeys: Islam, Celebrations: Hinduism, Parables: Christianity, Migration: Judaism, Lifestyle in the Past: Ancient Egypt and Creation: Similarities between Islam, Christianity and Judaism, see chesterbeatty.ie/learning/schools-page/junior-cycle-religious-education/2-3-stories-narratives-religious-non-religious/.

For further information and to access resource go to chesterbeatty.ie/learning/schools-page/.

 

The National Gallery of Ireland
Deadline: 18 February 2022

Following a successful programme in 2021, the National Gallery of Ireland is delighted to bring art to classrooms across the country again this year with Your Gallery at School, an innovative education initiative.

Your Gallery at School aims to break down the barriers that prevent engagement with the arts through holistic programming that ensures children transition to adulthood equipped with the life-changing benefits of art. They also aim to build in students a sense of ownership of their National Gallery so they have a positive place to turn to in adulthood. Engagement occurs in three key strands: learning through and about art, wellbeing, and creative careers.

Over the course of 2022–23, they will work with schools who would not usually be able to visit the Gallery. Participating schools will be selected via an open application process.

Selected schools will not have visited the Gallery in the past three years and will be from one or more of three key groups:

  1. DEIS schools to address socio-economic barriers to accessing culture.
  2. Boys’ schools to address the gender barrier to accessing culture.
  3. Schools geographically far away (over 2 hours away from Dublin) to address the geographic barrier to accessing culture.

There will be two windows of opportunity for primary and post-primary schools to apply, giving schools the option to choose what time of year suits them best to take part:

The deadline to apply for Round 1 is 18 February 2022.

For further information and to access the application form go to https://www.nationalgallery.ie/explore-and-learn/schools/your-gallery-school.

Or contact Catherine O’Donnell on 087 6436310 or codonnell@ngi.ie

Ireland’s National School Photography Awards
Deadline: 12am, 9 May 2022

The INSPA’s are once again open to all Primary Schools in the Republic of Ireland. INSPA is a national children’s photography competition and Positive Primaries Programme which introduces Creative Well-being into the lives of primary schools by engaging with the magic and art of photography.

This year’s theme ‘Me, Myself, and I’ is looking for images that explore ‘Self-Portraits’ in new and imaginative ways. Therefore, INSPA reminds schools that a ‘Self-Portrait’ is not necessarily a ‘Selfie’ and can incorporate many different things such as, objects, activities, and environments.

To help you along the way, INSPA have developed a 5 step Positive Primaries Programme which includes a series of free Creative Wellbeing Activities, all designed by professional artists and qualified mental health first-aiders. These will help you integrate the camera into your school-day and allow the children to explore Creative Wellbeing in their own unique ways. Once you activate your school account, you will be able to upload your school activities, share ideas and engage with other Positive Primaries as they prepare to enter the awards.

The INSPA’s are having a massive impact in classrooms nationwide, helping to boost the well-being of students by simply integrating the camera into your school day.  Participating in the awards helps your students increase their Confidence, Resilience, Connection, Kindness and Readiness. It also gives a platform for teachers to creatively explore their wider curriculum, allowing students from all backgrounds to actively engage with subjects in new and exciting ways.

This year, the awards are offering a range of fantastic prizes for the whole school community including; Weekend breaks away to the Amber Springs Resort Hotel, free Instax cameras and printers, Positive Portrait fundraising days, certificates and of course your schools Positive Primaries Flag. All entries will be judged by a national panel including Joe McKeown (INTO President), Enda Bowe (Photographer for Normal People and winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize), Brian O’Doherty (IPPN President), Fiona Foreman (Author and Teacher-Trainer), Majella McAllister (CEO The Museum of Childhood), and Richard Carr (Artist and Founder of INSPA).

Deadline: 12am, 9 May 2022

For more information and to register, see www.inspa.ie

Deadline: 25 February 2022

The Arts in Education Portal editorial team are pleased to invite applications for a documentation award. Through the award, successful applicants will receive services to the value of €5,000 that will support them in the documentation of a current or upcoming project and a €500 stipend.

The purpose of the award is to support the development of documented outcomes from Arts in Education initiatives in Ireland, which can be shared with the arts in education community and give insights into different processes of engagement. This is part of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee’s commitment to supporting and recognising the value of documentation and reflection as a key component within arts in education initiatives.

Two awards will be offered through this opportunity.

Outcomes of the documentation process will include: a project video, a project feature to be showcased on the Portal’s Projects/Partnerships, and the option of a critical essay, with a view to also presenting the work as part of the Arts in Education Portal National Day in 2022.

The process will involve meetings with the Portal Team and a schedule of up to 3 visits over the course of the project to capture video and photographic documentation and support reflective processes among participants. These visits and meetings can be conducted virtually if required. The portal team will work closely with the recipients to ensure all restrictions and protocols in terms of COVID 19 are adhered to during the process to ensure safety for all involved.

The portal team will edit and produce a project video, and will liaise closely with the project partners to develop the content for the project feature. The critical essay would be sited in the Portal’s Reading Room, and is optional. The author and focus of the essay can be decided by the project organisers in collaboration with the Portal Team.

Criteria

To be considered for this opportunity, projects must:

Additional criteria

Successful applicants will be asked to ensure that relevant permissions/consent have been sought for documentation of participants.
Please ensure your application has been approved by all project partners prior to submission.

How to make a submission:

Please send your submission to: editor@artsineducation.ie by 5pm, Friday 25 February 2022.

Building and touring the Interactive Museum of Languages for Young Audiences

There is a widespread belief that multilingualism is rare or special and that the norm is speaking only one language. This is far from true. There are more people in the world who speak more than one language than there are monolinguals.

It is often difficult to explain what it is like to have a language inside your mind that is “speaking to you”, that wants to emerge, but that has to stay silent. For years bilingual children in schools have silenced one of their languages (or more) to focus on the language of instruction, and this is something that will speak to Irish speakers all over the country.

This is what made me want to create a visual representation of multiple languages, which are normally invisible and intangible, but are present in our lives.

While this idea of creating a physical piece to increase visibility of languages and act as a starting point for discussion had been floating in my mind for a long time, but it was only a commission from South Dublin County Council Arts Office for Cruinniú na nOg that sparked my interest in pursuing it further. At the time there were several restrictions associated with Covid19, so a touring museum of languages seemed to be the right way to reach children in schools at a time of severe restrictions.

Creating IMLYA

The artist who was ready for the challenge was Tomasz Madajczak, who understood immediately the scope of the project and the potential impact it could have on all children.

Tomasz named his creation IMLYA, the Interactive Museum of Languages for Young Audiences.

Here you can hear Tomasz sharing a message for the children who are about to explore the museum.

In this video Tomasz talks about the different components of the museum.

Touring IMLYA

The museum started touring in May 2021 and has so far reached thousands of children in different parts of Ireland who have engaged with it in their own school, library or arts centre.

Through a collaboration with Wexford library, IMLYA recently visited children in schools across Wexford county and through the skilled facilitation of artist Fernanda Ferrari children created fantastic multilingual books that were then displayed in Wexford library and exhibited for all children, families and other visitors to enjoy. There is something quite magical about IMLYA, and children are immediately drawn to it, they want to touch it and play with it. There is also a very deep connection that children see in some of the pieces, as they remind them of their parents’ languages, of writing systems they see when they visit their family abroad, of sounds that “sound like home”. As an adult, I also am drawn to IMLYA and I see something new every time I look. There is a video of Tomasz himself telling a story in Polish, a poem by film-maker Jijo Sebastian in Malayalam, a fairytale told by artist Fernanda Ferrari in Brazilian Portuguese… so many people have contributed their knowledge, expertise, words and sounds, that IMLYA carries a very special meaning to me and my hope is that it will continue to inspire children around Ireland to be curious about languages and cultures.

Watch out for the next and last blog, where we will be extending an invitation to Celebrate UNESCO International Mother Language Day together!

The Glucksman & First Fortnight Festival 

Date: 15 January 2022

Join artist Inma Pavon and University College Cork students for a live participatory performance as part of the First Fortnight Festival.

Art Movements is a newly commissioned performance by Inma Pavon that will premiere as part of the First Fortnight Festival. The performance will invite an online audience to participate wherever they may be. If you are sitting in your office, at the kitchen table or in your bedroom, you too can join the artists and students from University College Cork in this unique event. A set of instructions, information on the project and further details on the event will be emailed to all participants.

In Autumn 2021, the Glucksman art museum in UCC invited university students to participate in a project that would result in the commissioning of a new artwork for the University Art Collection. The project saw students work with artist Inma Pavon over a series of workshops designed to explore mental health. Together they creatively examined aspects of wellbeing, recovery, awareness, and the challenges facing people today. The workshops included discussions, talks, field trips and practical movement and creative sessions enabling different conversations to emerge. These conversations and the content of the workshops have influenced the artist to create a performance titled Art Movements which will be premiered as part of the First Fortnight Festival in 2022.

The performance will be accompanied by the creation of a set of photographs and film documentation which will be accessioned into the university art collection before being disseminated widely to facilitate further discussions amongst the university community, and wider national and international audiences.

Time: Online 2pm – 2:30pm

To register for this event go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-movements-tickets-222617844967

Irish Film Institute (IFI)

The Irish Film Institute launches its comprehensive 2021/2022 IFI Schools’ Programme.  This year’s programme offers screenings in cinema and also online, on the platform IFI@Schools. Choose from brand new titles for Modern Foreign Languages, prescribed English titles, Irish films, and much more!

The ever-popular Modern Foreign Languages strand, encompassing French, German and Spanish are an invaluable way of promoting language and culture. Included in the 2021/2022 German selection is films Cleo, Zu weit Weg, Das freiwillige Jahr, and Nachtwald which are presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Irland. Screenings for the French language selection includes Petit Pays, Gagarine, Man Up!, and Fahim in partnership with the French Cultural Service.

If you can’t get to IFI or one of our partner venues, you can stream the majority of the films on the Schools’ Programme 2021-22 on IFI@Schools. For more information about the streaming platform go to ifi.ie/learn/ifischools-about.

Download the the full 2021/2022 IFI Schools’ Programme at ifi.ie/learn/schools

Or for more information please contact schools@irishfilm.ie.

 

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Deadline: 30 January 2022

Calling creators from underrepresented communities who have passion and curiosity for making theatre for young audiences! Applications open now for LEAP!

LEAP is a four day, paid workshop and community-building project open for creatives from underrepresented, ethnically diverse communities or migrant backgrounds. Facilitated by Moonfish Theatre practitioners, the workshop will encourage participants to share and exchange artistic and creative techniques and tools. Participants will play physical theatre and devising games and explore how to create stories using puppetry, multiple languages, music, and movement.

In partnership with Moonfish Theatre and NUI Galway, the LEAP workshop is a pilot programme and part of Baboró’s EDI strategy aiming to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in the TYA sector.

LEAP is funded by the Arts Council with further support from the Irish Research Council.

Applications are now open and close Sunday 30 January at midnight.

For further details go to www.baboro.ie/news-events/callout-for-leap

The Ark

Date: 7 January 2022

Join The Ark’s Team for a special January virtual coffee morning focusing on artists’ wellbeing, in partnership with First Fortnight.

At this dark time of year, if you are an artist interested in working with children, grab yourself a soothing hot drink and pop into this relaxed online get-together for informal chats and an opportunity to meet other like-minded artists as well as some of The Ark and First Fortnight teams.

Though life is opening up and live arts are slowly returning, challenges undoubtedly remain. These online coffee mornings have proved supportive for many artists around the country to stay connected over the past while. So The Ark is staying online in order to continue to give artists a chance to connect and meet with others regardless of their location.

The team welcome all artists, whether you are new to work with children or just curious, as well as those of you with more experience working with this unique audience.

Selma Daniel is the guest speaker at this artist’s coffee morning. Selma is an Associate Dance Artist with Solstice Arts Centre and has over 20 years’ experience in dance performance, choreography and education.

This is a free event but advance registration is required.

Date & Time: Friday 7 January, 11.30am-12.15pm

For more details and to register go to ark.ie/events/view/artists-virtual-coffee-morning-oct21-2.

 

The Ark

Dates: 18 – 28 January 2022

Taking inspiration from The Ark’s Winter Light exhibition and music show Tracks in the Snow, children will celebrate the magic of winter light and the variety of elements that are part of the natural world during this season.

In wintertime, light takes on a different more intriguing dimension. With frost glittering on trees and gardens, with ice forming beautiful designs on water and the moon creating magical shadows on a white landscape our imagination soars and stories unfold. There is so much to look forward to!

This workshop for primary school 1st – 6th classes is based on a simple 3D activity aimed at creating a shadow scene using a selection of white paper. Children can work on an individual piece or in pairs.

Artist Jole Bortoli will introduce the workshop through the projection of a sample of images on the theme of winter art and narrative for the children to work from and create their own artwork.

Curricular Links
This workshop links with the construction strand and drawing strand of the curriculum, allowing children to create imaginative and complex 3D structures from paper. They will explore shape, tone, line and form as they use paper in different ways to manipulate light and shadow.

The Ark is pleased to be able to offer these digital workshops for free to targeted schools outside of Co. Dublin, with the support of Rethink Ireland’s Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund.

For full details and booking information go to ark.ie/events/view/winter-magic-online-workshops.

 

Arts in Education Portal 

Earlier in November, over the course of seven days, more than 250 artists, teachers, and arts in education professionals attended our sixth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day, which this year moved online with a series of virtual events.

Over the seven days, the arts in education community came together to share, learn, talk, be inspired and interrogate best practice in the field. We would like to thank all our guest speakers, artists and all who joined us to engage in the conversation.

Connections, the value of community and relationships, critical thinking and the importance of children and young people being comfortable to make mistakes were all key threads in all discussions across the week. Our keynote speaker professor Adele Diamond, Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at UBC in Vancouver noted;

“The different parts of the human being are fundamentally interrelated. Each part (cognitive, spiritual, social, emotional and physical) is affected by and affects the others. The best and most efficient way to foster any one of those is probably to foster all.”

Sound Walk by Patricia Moriarty craeted as part of the creative workshop 'Exploring the Sound Walk' from composer Fiona Linnane

Sound Walk by Patricia Moriarty craeted as part of the creative workshop ‘Exploring the Sound Walk’ from composer Fiona Linnane

Composer Fiona Linnane facilitated a workshop entitled “Exploring the Sound Walk”. Here is the collaborative audio piece created by participants during the workshop.

‘Two Ducks’ by Kathleen. Stop Motion Animation crated as part of the creative workshop ‘Imagine, Play, Shoot’ with artist Ana Colomer.

For those who missed the discussions they will be available to watch back until the end of December on the Arts in Education Portal Facebook page.

Facebook Live Video Links

Opening Keynote Event with Professor Adele Diamond

In-Conversation Series: Demystifying Arts Career Paths

Documentation Award Series: Songs of Ourselves

Documentation Award Series: ‘Place’ Teacher Artist Partnership Project

In-Conversation Series: Zoom Out – New & Emerging Technologies

In-Conversation Series: Reflections on International Teacher-Artist Partnership (I-TAP-PD)

Session Resources

Fís Film Project

Best COVID Movie, most powerful Irish language production and more announced at 16th annual FÍS Film Awards. 

IRELAND: Lockdown, Irish language movies, outstanding contributions and achievements in filmmaking have been recognised at this year’s FÍS Film Awards. The renowned event which celebrates the moviemaking abilities of primary school students took place virtually earlier this month (19th November). Pupils from across the country tuned in to the online ceremony which was hosted by RTE’s Sinead Kennedy.

Guest of Honour, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, TD spoke at the awards filmed at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology’s (IADT) National Film School, Dún Laoghaire. Hosted jointly by IADT’s FÍS Office in collaboration with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST TiE). This year’s event was hosted virtually due to COVID, with the ceremony broadcast via www.fisfilmproject.ie. The Aileen MacKeogh Film of the Year Award 2021 went to film titled ‘Son of the Grabber’ made by pupils from St. Hugh’s National School. The County Leitrim 54 pupil, 3 teacher school also received the award for Best Direction for their Irish folklore film. A story, from their parish of Ballinaglera, is about a journey taken in the dead of night and the events surrounding it. It was a unanimous decision by the judging panel to award film of the year to Son of the Grabber.

Some other 2021 winners included:

Shortlisted films throughout Ireland battled it out for the contest with the judging panel shortlisting just 18 films. Counties represented across the award-winning films include Limerick, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Waterford, Cork, Sligo, Wicklow, Kildare and Tipperary. This year saw a variety of awards up for grabs with accolades for Outstanding Achievement in Film Making for: Costume Design, Sound Track, Adaptation, Special Effects, Best Newcomer, Best Junior, as well as awards for curriculum relevant films that included subject areas such as History, Science and COVID-19. A unique montage of all the award-winning films can be viewed HERE.  Each film can be viewed in full at the website fisfilmproject.ie.

The awards ceremony showcased the successes of the FÍS Film Awards project which exposed primary school students and teachers to all aspects of the film-making process. The concept behind FÍS is to help children not only develop essential communication and team working skills, but technological skills to assist them in a digitally driven world. It also aids teachers in developing children’s problem solving and investigative minds and is aligned with the Government’s digital strategy for schools.

This year marked 21 years since the inception of the highly successful FÍS project. To commemorate the occasion, the judging panel introduced a special merit award, to be presented to a school that demonstrated deep learning, imagination, creativity, tenacity and commitment in light of the challenges faced by all schools, pupils and teachers due to the pandemic. The FÍS Film Project 21st Anniversary Special Merit Award went to county Galway school, Scoil Eanna, Ballaun. The school also received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking Award for Cinematography for their film ‘Hidden’.

Vie the full winners list here.

For further information please go to fisfilmproject.ie/awards-event.

Exploiting the creative potential of multilingualism

It is widely accepted that if you express yourself through art there is no “right way”, because art is about exploring all creative possibilities, and not necessarily by following a set path. When it comes to language, our unique and incredibly creative form of human expression, we are often brought to believe that the right way is the one that is “conventional” and that we can master this art only by following rules in a very strict way.

In this blog I would like to dispel the myth that in order to engage with languages we need to be experts, and share some reflections based on the ‘Language Explorers’ initiative.

Language is power

As Frantz Fanon stated in Black Skin, White Masks, “A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language. What we are getting at becomes plain: mastery of language affords remarkable power.”

Language has always been the repository of cultural traditions, behaviours and beliefs passed down from generation to generation. Most importantly, language has an influence on how we think, how we behave, socialise and reason. Language is power because when we feel that we are not understood, we feel powerless. When we see that our mother tongue is considered less valuable than other languages, we feel inferior.

Language is power because if you possess the linguistic skills of those who have power you are privileged, if you don’t you face discrimination. So how do we shift and revisit this power dynamic?

Who is the expert in the room?

I created ‘Language Explorers‘ to offer children a space to listen to each other’s language stories, to examine the neighbourhood they live in and get to know about languages, sounds and linguistic differences. If I am working with a new group of children, I can’t tell if someone is an Irish speaker and whether the same person can also speak Polish until we get to have that conversation. So, my first step is always based on an initial conversation open to everyone in the group. This often starts with me learning to say each name correctly, a small effort which has always paid off, both with children and parents. The workshops in class vary: we use interactive games, art-making, singing, storytelling, story writing, and more.

The biggest challenge in this work lies in accepting that I don’t know much about other languages, and I have no power to decide what is right or wrong. As described by Phil McCarthy and Annie Asgard in this video, for multilingualism to thrive we need to let children be the experts, and by led by them.

A resource I use is the Mother Tongues podcasts, which carry us straight into the world of multilingual families and offer many points of discussion and reflection. Being in English, they are accessible to all, but they also allow for a short immersion in another language and culture, and the scenarios described will be very familiar to many children. It is quite astonishing to see the reaction of the children when different languages are used or heard in the classroom, and I think this is summed up really clearly in Soraya Sobrevía’s article on her experience.

When talking to older children, I enjoy using George the Poet’s poem Mother Tongue because it goes straight to the heart of the challenge that many young people face. The children’s creative responses to this poem have led us to tears multiple times!

Most of our creative work can become multilingual if we allow languages to emerge from silence. There is no ideal lesson plan, because this is mainly a shift in approach. The task of the person facilitating this work is to accept to be in a state of “not knowing the right answer”, and to make a clear statement that welcomes all languages. It might seem obvious or redundant, but since children are normally not offered this opportunity and sometimes not allowed to use all of their language skills outside of their home, this needs to be a clear statement of intent.

You will need to say that your space welcomes all languages, and to show in your own personal way that you are keen to have multilingual poems and songs, that you would like a bilingual dialogue in your next play, that you will regularly offer a creative space where no language is excluded or marginalised, and where English is not your only priority.

Once you create a space for every language to be unleashed and used as a powerful creative tool, you will notice that children will do the rest, and the change you have brought about will be long lasting.

The 6th annual National Arts in Education Portal Day 2021 is a virtual conference from 15 – 21 November.  The National Arts in Education Portal Virtual Conference will welcome hundreds of professionals from across the arts, education, arts in education and creative sector, who will attend various online events to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and interrogate best practice in the field.

The event represents an important landmark in the calendar for educationalists and arts and creativity in education sector professionals with a shared interest in quality and access to best practice arts provision for children and young people. This year the National Arts in Education Portal Day has once again moved online to ensure accessibly for all audience members as per government guidelines.

The Arts in Education Portal – an initiative of the Arts in Education Charter, a cross-governmental policy launched in early 2013 – is the key national digital resource of arts in education and creative practice in Ireland. This annual event is an extension of the Arts in Education Portal with specially commissioned activities and events that are funded by the Department of Education and supported by the Creative Ireland Programme. This is also part of a wider programme of national initiatives that have been developed as a result of the Arts in Education Charter and form part of the Creative Ireland, Creative Youth Pillar I programme, which was launched by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. in December 2017.

This year’s conference programme features an opening keynote address titled ‘How and Why Dance, Music and Storytelling Might Well Support Critical Cognitive Development in Children and Youth’ from guest speaker Professor Adele Diamond, Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Professor Diamond will share insights into the importance of the arts and creativity for children’s cognitive development.

A series of ‘in conversation’ sessions with artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector will bring discussion and critical thinking to a range of topics. We’re delighted to welcome the following speakers: Aoibhie McCarthy, Artistic Director of Sample-Studios; artist Kate McElroy; Jürgen Simpson, Director of the Digital Media and Arts Research Centre (DMARC) at the University of Limerick; IMMA’s SPICE Project Researcher, Adam Stoneman; primary school teacher Eibhlin Campbell; teacher and Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) lead facilitator Jennifer Buggie; drama facilitator Eirini Marna from the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network, Greece; and Manja Eland, Head of Education at Kopa in the Netherlands.

The programme also features discussions with the 2021 Portal Documentation Award recipients. The Dock Composer in Residence, George Higgs, teacher Noelle Igoe, artist Tunde Toth and teacher Alyson Hourigan will share insights from their experience on the projects ‘Songs of Ourselves’ and ‘Place’.

There will be a broad range of Creative Workshops delivered by artists and creators, Ana Colomer, Fiona Linnane, Daithí Ó Murchú, Sarah Fitzgibbon and Joanna Parkes.  These workshops aim  to support artists and teachers to explore new ideas, approaches and techniques to support their own professional development through creative practice. The virtual conference will culminate in a closing event with curator, artist, writer and educator Jennie Guy, who will share her reflections on the week’s events and discussions.

The 2021 National Arts in Education Portal Virtual Conference has been organised by the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee, who oversee the content management of the Portal on an ongoing basis, in collaboration with the current editors, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership.

Please note: ISL Interpretation and live captioning will be available for all publicly broadcast events on zoom only booking in advance is required.  artsineducationportal.eventbrite.com

English Version
Irish Version

The Ark
Date: 10.30am, 6 November

Using The Ark’s Winter Light exhibition as inspiration, artist Liselott Olofsson will lead the group on an exploration of the season of winter through the use of visual arts.

This hands-on workshop delivered live through Zoom will encourage teachers to use art as a tool with their class to investigate, learn and discover seasonal changes in nature during wintertime, giving them tools and techniques to recreate a lesson back in the classroom.

The workshop will focus on the drawing, colour and construction strand of the curriculum, creating a 3D wintry diorama scene that reflects the winter activity of woodland plants and animals.

This is an event aimed at primary school teachers or other educators at the primary level.

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-cpd-the-wintry-life-of-plants-animals.

How to create a culturally responsive environment

When my first child started primary school I was very surprised to be invited alongside all the other parents to spend 15 minutes every week in the class to read together in small groups. It was the first time I walked into a classroom of 4 and 5 year olds where more than 10 different languages were spoken. Each parent was very comfortable speaking to their children in Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, French and Italian, and all the children were quickly accustomed to this immersive sound experience.

For years I studied the development of language in the early years, visited homes to test and assess children, but only when I saw my own children growing up in their dual Italian and Irish cultural and linguistic identity I realised the important role the school community would play in developing their confidence in who they are.

This sparked my interest in developing Mother Tongues with the goal of supporting parents and teachers in making the most of the linguistic and cultural diversity that is already present in our children’s lives. Culturally responsive teaching means making an active choice to leverage each child’s cultural capital to benefit everyone’s learning experience. It shifts the populistic narrative of cultural diversity as a challenge and turns children and families into funds of knowledge, with their lived experiences becoming an integral part of the curriculum and informing the teacher’s approach.

As in the classroom, I think a shift in the conversations and approaches to cultural diversity needs to change in our society, with a stronger emphasis on each individual’s lived experiences as unique and valuable in creating the common space we share.

This is why the work of Mother Tongues takes so many forms in order to enact change inside and outside of the classroom.

In this series of blogs I will take you through some key projects developed by Mother Tongues to achieve our mission and vision, to examine how arts in education can be instrumental in building a culturally responsive environment.

The Hunt Museum

Deadline: 22 October 2021

Are you an experienced art in education practitioner with good knowledge of the primary school curriculum and established skills and expertise in ceramics and clay?  If yes, you really should check out this exciting opportunity.

The Three Muses Joint Education Programme, which comprises the Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art, are looking for suitably qualified and experienced individuals or teams to design, trial and evaluate teaching resources for the Clay Through the Ages digital teachers pack which they will also deliver.  Teaching resources include lesson plans on Clay Through the Ages objects/artworks and instructional videos which will assist teachers to plan and deliver clay based creative activities in the classroom inspired by Clay Through the Ages collections.

Clay Through the Ages is a new primary schools workshop programme currently being developed by The Three Muses. It will be offered to local schools next year. The digital teachers pack is an important component of this programme because it will be used by teachers to prepare their pupils for participation in the workshop but also to extend its learning potential.  In addition, the digital teachers pack should also work as a standalone resource for teachers who are not able to bring their pupils to this workshop but want to deliver a scheme of learning on clay.

To learn more about the services required for this project, the timeline and budget available,  please go to www.huntmuseum.com/vacancies/call-out-to-art-in-education-practitioners.

All queries and quotes should be sent to stephen@huntmuseum.com.

The deadline for the submission of quotes is 12 noon on Friday October 22nd 2021.

 

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

188 new schools join Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools

81 additional schools will join the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters initiative

Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Norma Foley TD, Minister for Education today (6 October, 2021) announced the 269 new schools that will participate in the Creative Ireland Programme initiatives – Creative Schools and Creative Clusters.
Announcing the schools selected to participate in Creative Schools, Minister Martin said:

“I am delighted to welcome a further 188 schools as our latest Creative Schools – the largest intake of schools in a single year since the establishment of the programme in 2018. This increased intake of schools, in line with the commitment made in the Programme for Government to expand the initiative, will enable even greater numbers of our youngest citizens to discover and develop new skills and talents that enhance their development and growth, and add to the richness of their overall learning experience through increased engagement with cultural creativity.”

Announcing the creation of 21 new Creative Clusters, Minister Foley said:

“Now more than ever, it is important that our students are supported to develop their creativity and given flexibility to express themselves in a variety of exciting new ways. Today I am delighted to announce the 81 schools that are coming together to form 21 new Creative Clusters. I would like to welcome these new schools into this Schools Excellence Fund initiative, and I look forward to seeing how these exciting projects develop over the coming two years. This year has seen a very significant level of interest from schools applying to participate in the 2021 Creative Clusters initiative across the country. I am hoping to increase the number of Creative Clusters in the 2022 intake.

“In addition, the new BLAST initiative I announced earlier this year will also provide opportunities for schools to collaborate with established artists, supporting our children and young people to collaborate and engage in creative and critical thinking – all crucial skills for their futures. Applications for BLAST closed recently and I look forward to finalising the details of this exciting programme in the coming weeks.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland said:

“The Arts Council is thrilled to welcome the wide range of schools and Youthreach centres across the country that are joining the Creative Schools programme for the period 2021-2023. These schools will participate in a guided journey to establish a Creative Schools Plan bespoke to each and every one of them. This creative and democratic process gives primacy to children and young people’s voices in creativity planning in their schools. It supports teachers in their work to embed creativity in the curriculum, and facilitates schools and centres to develop vibrant relationships with the arts and cultural sectors. This will help sustain artistic and creative practice for schools beyond their participation in the programme, and will help ensure that artistic expression is in abundance for years to come throughout the country.”

In addition to Creative Schools and Creative Clusters, the Creative Ireland Programme continues to support a wide range of both school- and community-based initiatives to enable greater participation by children and young people in all forms of creative activities.

Minister Martin added:

“Our ongoing commitment to Creative Schools and Creative Clusters has meant that in just three years almost 1,000 schools have been given the opportunity to engage with arts, culture and creativity in new ways, helping to enrich the learning experience of thousands of children and young people. Together with our continued investment in an array of community-based initiatives and projects, made possible by the Creative Ireland Programme, young people are being provided with evermore opportunities to engage in creative activities – not only as a support to their learning and development, but also for the sheer enjoyment and hopefully to develop a lifelong love of arts, culture and creativity.”

For further information go to www.gov.ie/en/press-release/368ac-ministers-martin-and-foley-announce-new-and-enhanced-supports-for-creativity-in-schools/. 

For more information about the Creative Schools programme go to artsineducation.ie/en/organisations/creative-schools/

Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival
Dates: 3 – 16 October 2021

Limerick’s only arts festival dedicated to children, all on your doorstep!

Lime Tree Theatre, Belltable are delighted to announce the return of their annual Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival this October. From the 3rd to the 16th of October an exciting programme of live and online events will be presented for families and schools.

The team hope the festival will bring some joy after a very difficult year for children and families. The programme offers a wide variety of events for all age groups, from our smallest citizens right through to our older primary school children.

One of the highlights this year is the Family Day at Belltable on Saturday 9th October to encourage family audiences back into the venue in a safe manner. Best-selling children’s author Dave Rudden will kick off the day with a 40 minute talk, it will no doubt fire up the creative juices of every child attending. Families can also pick up a Modernist Trail map by OpenHouse Limerick and explore the city with fresh eyes for an hour or two. The Bualadh Bos Human Library “drop-in” event will take place in the Belltable Hub throughout the afternoon. Children of all age groups are invited to come with questions about music, dance, writing and illustrations for four professional artists working in these areas every day. Cartoon Saloon’s screening of Wolfwalkers will complete a fantastic family day out. The Belltable Café will feed and water everyone with an appetizing family-friendly menu throughout the day so everyone can stay in the building for the full immersive arts experience.

Outside of the Family Day the festival presents a gorgeous theatre show by Barnstorm Theatre Company Alice and the Wolf, Riverbank Arts Centre presents A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings for families.

For schools they present Glór’s The Wild Atlantic Tales in Belltable and also host streamed events into schools with Music Generation’s Messin’ In The Musical Metaverse, White: The Film and Potato Needs a Bath. One streamed family show to watch out for is Hansel and Gretel complete with songs from Frozen and The Greatest Showman by Verdant Productions. This show is great fun and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own couch. For the real smallies there is a beautiful show by Anna Newell called I AM BABA and the Bualadh Bos On Tour programme presents a show by Manchán Mangan called Arán agus Im for 5th & 6th class pupils. There is guaranteed something for everyone.

Despite ongoing challenges due to the pandemic the festival team has rallied to present the best possible programme this October. They hope families and schools in Limerick city and county will engage and join in the fun. In order for children to engage all we need is you. The team encourage all grown-ups to have a look at the programme here and book in advance due to limited capacities for many events.

For the full programme of festival events with dates/times/age groups etc go to atwww.limerick.ie/discover/living/limerick-news/lime-tree-theatre-and-belltables-bualadh-bos-childrens-festival-2021

Irish Architecture Foundation
Dates: 15 – 17 October 2021

Open House Dublin returns from 15-17 October with an exciting mix of over 100 FREE events happening across the city and online! This year the IAF are delighted to bring Open House back on-site, with limited building tours making a triumphant comeback! See the city from a new perspective with Open House outdoor tours by boat, bus or bike! The digital programme allows fans of Open House to bring their festival home, with films, virtual tours, live streamed events, the Open House Journal and Open House Junior events all available to enjoy from the comfort of home.

The Open House Junior programme includes workshops and activities both in person and online for junior enthusiasts. Highlights include:

For more detail and bookings go to openhousedublin.com/whats-on/strands/open-house-junior/

 

 

Mapping Outside 

We went outside straight away to do some artwork. Tunde gave us a clipboard with two sheets of paper and explained what to do. Firstly we had to draw a bird’s eye view map of the school yard. Secondly we worked in pairs to use a view finder to find an interesting spot to draw. This was tricky as if you were holding the view finder you had to be still, our yard is quite big so it was hard to choose which area to map.

While we were outside, the portal filming crew called us in pairs to a quiet area to do an interview. We were asked questions like

“What was your favourite part?”

“What do you think art is?”

“What was hard about the artwork?”

“Can you tell us about Tunde?”

The interview’s were fun to do but at first it was a little awkward. It was our first time being interviewed so we were a little nervous but we really enjoyed talking about all the work we did this year.

Plaster

We collected materials outside to use to make prints. We collected things like sticks, leaves, flowers, feathers, twigs, grass ETC to put in. We mixed flour, hot water and cold water to make a plaster mixture. We all had a turn stirring the mixture. We poured the mixture into containers. We placed the materials we gathered outside into the containers and we left them to dry. We wanted this plaster to set and go hard so we could use it as a plate for printing, however, when we came back to class after the weekend, our plaster had stunk up the whole class. Unfortunately our plaster had not worked. We think we may have overfilled the containers or maybe used too much liquid. They never hardened and we couldn’t use them. If we were to try this again, next time we could; make the mixture differently and pour less into the containers, or use clay or plaster of paris instead.

Bridges

Our task was to make a bridge that connected or combined something in nature with something man-made. We were given a few materials to construct our bridges with – blue paper, skewers, straws and masking tape. We worked in small groups to make our bridges. We found it tricky to find a place to make our bridge as we had to find somewhere outside that had nature and man-made items. We enjoyed this activity as the materials were easy to use and we enjoyed being out in the sunshine working with our friends.

 

Bridges - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

Bridges - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

Recording our reflections

In class, we made a scrapbook to talk about the lessons we did with Tunde and Ms. Hourigan. We stuck in pictures from our lessons, art we made during our virtual, we wrote recounts about our sessions and we were able to write our thoughts and feelings about art in here also.

By Artur, Sochi, Katie and Renata

St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Deadline: 19 November 2021

St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, Co. Mayo, invites proposals for the commission of an Artwork / Artworks to be funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme in connection with their new school building. Artists / Architects / Designers are invited to tender for the project in a two-stage process.

Proposals are welcome from both individuals and collectives, and from those working across a range of disciplines and a broad scope of creative approaches. The school are interested in physical artwork(s) that integrate into and enhance the public spaces of the school, within the building and / or on the extensive exterior grounds. They welcome proposals that have an interactive and / or engaging element and that are vibrant and innovative in design / approach. They envisage that within the budget, a public art project that results in one or multiple physical artworks may be commissioned by an individual or a collective.

Budget
The value of the commission is €43,500 including VAT and taxes.

Stage One Deadline
Friday November 19th 2021 at 12:00pm

Brief
This is a two-stage open competition. Proposals will be short-listed for development in Stage Two. A fee of €300 will be paid to short-listed artists for further development of their proposal. Please read the brief for further details about the commission, location and school community. The brief, site maps, and a virtual tour of the new building are available on the school website:
stmarysballina.ie/Page/New-School-Development/372/Index.html

Site Visit
Wednesday October 13th 2021 at 2:30pm. Places will be limited. Please book your place by Friday October 8th at 12:00pm by contacting the Curator, Yvonne Cullivan, at percentforart@stmarysballina.ie

Deadline for Queries
Friday November 12th 2021 at 12:00pm. All queries should be directed to the Curator.

We are delighted to announce the dates of the sixth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day. This year, it will be moving online with a series of virtual events taking place over a week in November – Monday 15th to Sunday 21st.

The Portal Team are excited to welcome guest speaker Professor Adele Diamond, Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Professor Adele Diamond will open the conference on Monday 15th November.

Adele Diamond is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at UBC in Vancouver.

Professor Diamond’s specialty is executive functions (e.g., self-control, problem-solving, mentally playing with ideas, thinking outside the box).  She offers a markedly different perspective from traditional medical practice in hypothesizing that treating physical health, without also addressing social and emotional health is less efficient or effective. Adele offers a markedly different perspective from mainstream education in hypothesizing that focusing exclusively on training cognitive skills is less efficient, and ultimately less successful, than also addressing emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs. She has championed the roles of music, dance, storytelling, and play in improving executive functions and academic and mental health outcomes. When not working, Adele loves to be with her 4-year-old granddaughter and to hike, play tennis, and especially dance.

View Dr. Diamond’s TEDx talk on the power of Executive Function and its impact on learning below:

The full line-up of the conference will be announced shortly. It includes a series of ‘in-conversation’ sessions with artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector, bringing discussion and critical thinking to a range of topics. It also features series of online processed based creative workshops and a closing event.

These events bring 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.

Full programme details for the day will be announced shortly. For enquiries please contact events@artsineducation.ie.

Making Plates

We looked at different types of leaves common to Ireland on the board. We chose a leaf we liked and drew it on a card. We had to make sure that they were bigger than our hand.

We stuck foam and corrugated cardboard onto our leaf. We had to make sure that none of the pieces were touching as we wanted mosaic design. This leaf would become a plate for printing. We used a screw to dot texture onto our leaves by leaving marks in the foam.

making leaf plate - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

We used view finders to find an interesting view in our nature booklets. We drew what we seen in our view finder on to a piece of card and we enlarged it. After this Tunde called us up one by one to choose materials to stick onto our picture. Some of the materials used were wool, foam, string, piece of a woolly jumper, thread, netted paper, hessian, lace, matchsticks, grease proof paper and many other things. Next we used PVA glue to stick our materials to the plate.

making nature plate - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

Printing 

Our first printing session happened during our first day filming for the Arts in Education Portal as a part of the documentation award. We were very nervous at first but we soon grew confidence and we can’t wait to see ourselves on the video! Here’s what we did!

We used acetate, a roller, red yellow and blue block print ink to make orange on our acetate. We rolled the ink onto the leaf. We got another sheet of paper and placed it on the leaf plate. We gently rubbed the back of the paper in a circular motion to make sure the print transferred. We carefully removed the page and then ta-dah! Like magic, the print has appeared on the page.

printed leaf - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

printing - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare



We repeated this three times on white, green, and blue paper. We repeated this process using yellow and blue ink on our second plate (nature plate) to make two more prints. We hung our prints on a clothes line in the classroom to draw. It took our prints around a week to dry and our plates are still inky a month later.

We drew a leaf onto green or yellow paper and cut it out. We folded the leaf into quarters and we cut out three triangles on each edge. We opened our leaf to find a diamond pattern inside. We used blu tack to stick our leaves onto a massive, long piece of card. We used pouches made from hessian, cloth and thread, bubble wrap and Styrofoam sponges to create prints on the card using block ink.

Everyone in the class worked on this piece together. This was our teacher’s favourite piece that we made because everyone worked together. We left our piece to dry over the weekend, and when it was dry we removed it the leaves and we were amazed to discover the blank spaces they had left behind.

We really enjoyed using the printing ink and rollers. We liked the way we were able to use plates that we had made ourselves in previous sessions. It was great to have lots of artwork made from the same plate. We enjoyed removing the page from the plate as it was very satisfying to watch the ink appearing on the page.

By Seán, Pippa, Tyra and Ryan

 

Arts in Education Portal
Deadline: Friday 27 August 2021

Update: Conference Dates – Monday 15th – Sunday 21st November 2021

Artists, teachers, academics and arts education professionals… Do you want to be part of the sixth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day Conference?

The sixth National Arts in Education Portal Day will move online again this year with a series of virtual events taking place across a week in November. The conference aims to bring together members of the arts in education and creative practice community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

The Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee invites proposals from organisations or individuals who want to share practical approaches, new skills, new insights, open conversation and offer critical thinking from across the field.

This year, the Portal Committee is looking for the following:

‘In Conversation’ Series

Submissions for ‘in conversation’ style online sessions. We invite proposals that seek to explore or interrogate particular aspects of arts-in-education practice and/or that unpick common terminologies through a practice-based lens:

i.e. What do we really mean when we talk about ‘collaboration’?

How do we measure or understand ‘high-quality’?

What does listening to, or giving a platform to, the child’s voice really mean?

What does a child-led process look like?

Where does arts-in-education practice fall short? Who is left behind?

Proposals should clearly demonstrate an innovative approach to online delivery, ideally with dynamic presentation methods which stimulate audience conversation. Please note the committee will be selecting two ‘in conversation’ sessions for the conference.

Creative Workshop Series

Submissions for the facilitation of two online creative workshops over two days (one per day). The workshops should be focused and process-based, aiming to support both artists and teachers to explore new ideas, approaches or techniques to support their own professional development through creative practice.

The workshops will take place over a weekend (Saturday & Sunday) with the delivery of two 90 minute sessions with the same group of participants.

Creative Workshop 'Sensing to Action' with artist Kate Wilson as part of the 2020 National Arts in Education Portal Day Virtual Conference

Creative Workshop ‘Sensing to Action’ with artist Kate Wilson as part of the 2020 National Arts in Education Portal Day Virtual Conference

Would like to be included in the programme for this day? If so, please send us your proposal.

Please ensure your proposal includes the following:

The Committee will prioritise submissions from people from diverse communities, including but not limited to people of colour, those from ethnic minority backgrounds, migrant communities and those with disabilities.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 5pm Friday 27th August 2021.

Download the submission form National Portal Day Virtual Conference Proposal Form 2021.

For questions and submission please email events@artsineducation.ie.

National Portal Day Virtual Conference Proposal Form 2021

 

 

Crawford College of Art and Design

Extending the artist’s practice, grounding it in a social context. Looking at engagement through the intersection between the senses, society and the arts.

Crawford College of Art and Design CIT are delighted to announce a new Masters in Arts and Engagement. A 2 year part time course that prepares graduates to develop a professional practice in arts rich engagement with individual, group, and broader societal contexts. Participants on this Masters programme will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning, changemaking and the development of culture.

Employment Opportunities:

MA Arts and Engagement
The course will run part-time, one day a week, plus 2 day block monthly for elective module. Applications are welcomed from graduates of arts (visual arts/theatre or music) or social sciences interested in:

This Masters programme builds on a number of existing Special Purpose Awards all centred on learning through expressive meaning-making: Arts based facilitation training, creativity and change-making and art therapy. These programmes educate through and activate different modes of communication, promote learning through experiential and reflective practice, and engage with other perspectives and diverse intelligences.

Participants on the Masters will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning and engagement and will develop the skills to apply this to a range of contexts. Core modules over the two-year programme relate to the arts in engaged practices which recognise neurodiversity, equality, social justice, power and autonomy. Through research, reflection, group and practical work participants will explore different ways of learning, investigating the transformational power of the arts in personal and societal regulation through a broad scope of contemporary methodologies.

Through elective modules in year one, opportunities will be provided to broaden skill sets through Socially Engaged Theatre, Eco-Arts Practice or Art Therapy. In the second year, opportunity will be given for students to develop their ongoing arts practice informed by, and in relation to, one of two strands of engagement – Health & Wellbeing or Global Citizenship.

Duration: Part time over two years (1 day a week + 2-day block monthly for elective module)
Course Fee: EU Applicants: €6,000

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/ma-in-arts-and-engagement-/or for course enquires email Avril O’Brien avril.obrien@mtu.ie.

Two Additional Special Purpose Awards 

Certificate in Eco Arts Practice Level 9
Certificate in Socially Engaged Theatre Level 8

The Centre for Continuing Education in Art and Design at NCAD (CEAD)

The Centre for Continuing Education in Art and Design at NCAD provides opportunities for part time study leading to a qualification at University Certificate (NFQL7) and Higher Diploma (NFQL8). Each of the certificate programmes carries 30 ects. On completion students can progress to the two year part-time Higher Diploma in Art to achieve a further 90 ects and will be eligible to apply for Advanced Entry to up to the final year of the NCAD full-time undergraduate BA programme in Fine Art, Design or Visual Culture.

CEAD offers credit and non-credit options for adults who choose to study part-time. In an era of lifelong learning, CEAD aims to provide a diverse programme of courses, which offer flexible, quality learning opportunities, that enable access, and support progression and transfer for students who wish to further their visual arts education. Applicants to an accredited course must be 23 years or over.

You can choose from a range of part time evening University Certificate programmes:

VAP Certificate A/C modules
The University Certificate in Visual Arts Practice offers flexibility and variety and can be completed in 1 – 3 years. Alternatively individual modules may be taken in a non-credit (audit) capacity. Applications opening soon.

D+VI Certificate
The University Certificate in Drawing and Visual Investigation signals a departure in the provision of visual arts education and the role of CEAD in creating opportunities for lifelong learning. This one year programme is for mature students who are interested in participating in a challenging learning opportunity in visual arts education.

P+DI Certificate
The University Certificate in Photography and Digital Imaging is a one year part-time programme offering students an opportunity to extend their visual vocabulary and explore the creative possibilities of photography within contemporary visual art and design practice. Applications now open.

CEAD- Higher Diploma in Art
The two year part-time Higher Diploma in Art provides mature students interested in establishing a personal direction in their art practice an opportunity to attend a flexible programme leading, on completion, students will be eligible to apply for Advanced Entry to up to the final year of the NCAD full-time undergraduate BA programme in Fine Art, Design or Visual Culture.

For full course details and application details go to www.ncad.ie/continuing-education/part-time-continuing-education/ or email cead@ncad.ie

The Ark
Deadline: Friday 6 August

Are you a creative young person who loves drama, music, dance or art? If you are going into 4th or 5th Class in September then this could be right up your street!

The Ark Children’s Council is a dynamic and enriching year long experience exploring active citizenship through engagement with the arts as well as amplifying the voice of the child within The Ark, making sure that your voices are included in The Ark’s decision making.

The Children’s Council is FREE but spaces are limited and it does require commitment and consistent attendance to the program. You can find out more information about The Ark Children’s Council at ark.ie/projects/details/the-childrens-council.

Applications are now open for children who would like to join The Children’s Council 2021/2022. This Council term will run from October 2021 until June 2022 with at least one key event per month where attendance will be required. Sessions will commence remotely via Zoom in October with in-person sessions at The Ark in Temple Bar from November 2022 onwards, subject to government guidelines.

Please note that The Ark Children’s Council is strictly for children who will be going into 4th or 5th class in September 2021.

For further information and to apply go to ark.ie/news/post/be-part-of-the-ark-childrens-council-2021-22.

Applications should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 6 August 2021.

Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) 
Deadline: Friday, 6 August 2021

The Irish Architecture Foundation invites applications from architects and architectural graduates to participate in the 2021/22 Architects in Schools initiative. Starting in September 2021, it is a great opportunity to gain CPD points while sharing your knowledge of architecture with young people and teachers in a fun and engaging way.

You will work directly with students in their school, supporting them as they learn how to explore, research, design and communicate their ideas about architecture and the built environment. You will also collaborate with students and teachers to select work for the annual Architects in Schools exhibition in the Museum of Country Life, Mayo, in May 2022.

The Architects in Schools programme is entering into its 9th cycle. It is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. In 2020/21 the programme reached 63 schools nationwide (up from 28 in 2019/20). 36 dedicated architects delivered workshops in a wide range of school types nationwide.

There are two programme options for schools. Architects can work across a combination of these options if working with a number of schools:

Programme A: (Full)

Programme B: (Introductory)

If you have good communication skills and are looking for exciting ways to expand your practice, we would love to hear from you!

For further information and to access the online application form go to architecturefoundation.ie/news/architects-in-schools-2021-2022-open-call-for-architects/. 

For questions email learning@architecturefoundation.ie

 

Discussion led our project

On our first face to face session with our artist, we had a discussion about nature and mainly the bog. We learned about sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is good for the environment as it gives us oxygen. From this discussion on our project became focused on nature

Tunde gave us a booklet which we would add to throughout the project.  In this booklet, we drew our favourite nature place or thing. Many of the children drew woods, forests, trees, rivers, campsites and waterfalls. In this session we encountered our first difficulty by not being allowed to use rubbers. This was tricky as if you made a mistake you couldn’t rub out, so you would have to draw over it or turn it into something different.

 

After we drew our nature places, we wrote 3 words to describe this nature place.

We had a discussion about nature in danger. Sadly we were able to think of lots of places and things in nature which were in danger or in trouble.

Some of our ideas were:





We drew a picture of nature in danger in our booklet. We then chose and wrote three words describing our drawings.

We made nature in danger posters. We used our persuasive writing skills to try and convince people to save our nature places and things.

We liked making our nature booklets as we got to choose what we drew. It was fun to colour and draw in the booklets.

Post by Caoimhe, Igor and Fabian

Nature in Danger Poster - Third Class Pupils, Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Co. Kildare

 

The beginning…

Our project started in March during lockdown. We met our artist Tunde for the first time online. We did two sessions on video call on Google Classroom. Tunde showed us examples of her work and we came up with some ideas of what we might like to do in our project.

We completed our first art task at home. We drew a map of a place when we were at home. Some children drew real maps and some drew imaginary maps. Some ideas include : A map of school, A fairytale map, Memory map of a holiday in Czech, Inside a house, Japan, France, A layout of a ship.


When we got back to school we continued our project in person. We looked at real maps of counties, towns, places, countries. We looked at different symbols on the maps and tried to figure out what they represented. We listed all of our findings on the board.

We drew a map showing our journeys from home to school. We taped a long strip of white paper to our desk. The paper was cash register roll normally used for receipts. We had to draw everything we saw on our way to school. We choose three colours and we only coloured the things on the map which contained those colours. We recorded the sounds that we heard on our journey to school on our map by drawing symbols. We did the same thing for our other senses, what we smelled, touched and tasted.

We enjoyed using lots and lots of long receipt paper. We loved adding our senses to the map as this was something we had not done before.  We found this tricky at the beginning because we had to try and remember what we experienced each time but we figured it out.

Post By Noelle, Megan and Linards


 

 

 

Music Generation
Deadline: 22 June 2021

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invites applications for the following five year, fixed-term position:

Music Generation Development Officer (Limerick County)

Ref number: 21/11

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and will be responsible for managing a programme of performance music education on behalf of Limerick County Local Music Education Partnership.

The successful candidate will have a broad understanding of the diversity of effective, contemporary approaches across the diversity of performance music education; and will have the skills and experience to develop a programme that responds to the specific needs of young people in disadvantaged communities.

Music Generation Limerick County is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s national music education programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education, and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Application form and full particulars are available here. Completed application forms should be returned BY EMAIL ONLY to recruitment@lcetb.ie not later than 12 noon, Tuesday 22 June 2021.

Please indicate in the subject line of your e-mail “Ref Number 21 /11”. Late applications or CVs will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the candidates to ensure that the application form is received at the stated address before the stated deadline. Canvassing will disqualify. Garda Vetting will apply.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is an equal opportunities employer.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-limerick-county

The Creative Ireland Programme 
Date: 12 June 2021

Earlier this month (May) Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, announced details of Cruinniú na nÓg 2021, a day of free creative activity for children and young people under the age of 18. Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 is a collaboration between the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities and RTÉ and is the only event of its kind in the world.

Announcing Cruinniú na nÓg 2021, Minister Martin said:

“Over the past 3 years Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key date in Ireland’s cultural calendar. It provides opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2 million children and young people to be inquisitive, innovative and to fulfil an inner creative talent. The emphasis is always on participation and trying something new like knitting, drumming, stop-start animation, contemporary dance and so much more. All events are free and are accessible online.

This time last year we were forced to bring all our Cruinniú na nÓg events online, yet it proved to be our most successful Cruinniú to date with hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world joining us in our national day of youth creativity. This year we hope to replicate the same level of international excitement with new and exciting projects.”

Building on the success of 2020, hundreds of events have already been planned by Creative Ireland Culture and Creativity teams in local authorities around the country.  These teams are key to the successful delivery of Cruinniú na nÓg as their events are planned to respond to the needs of local children and young people. This year we will see events such as Circus Factory in Carraigaline in Cork, a live interactive workshop on Upcycled Clothes in Louth and Dublin Zoo are inviting young people to explore the wonderful world of animals without backbones!

In light of the public health restrictions that are currently in force, the Creative Ireland Programme and its partners have developed a number of creative, cultural and engaging “calls to action” which children, young people and their families can create in their own homes and gardens on Saturday 12th June.

These include:

Knitting Across the NationAirfield Estate in Dundrum will send out 400 wool packs to young knitters around the country. These packs will contain wool from Airfield’s own flock of Jacob’s sheep are designed to foster a long term love of craft making, sustainability and creativity in young Irish people.

Nenagh Children’s Film Festival: Working with Cartoon Saloon’s Grainne Fordham, children and young people will learn new film making and the latest in stop-motion animation skills in a series of on-line workshops. Children and young people are also invited to this year’s festival for free which will feature the work of young Irish film makers.

Garageland is a music project that gives young Irish bands an opportunity to step out of their bedrooms and onto Garageland Youth TV, a dedicated online TV channel designed to give young musicians the same opportunities as their older peers. Garageland is proudly supported by RTÉ 2XM.

Let’s Dance is a Dance Ireland project which aims to support youth dance companies around the country, and connect with hard to reach groups who want to find out more about dance in Ireland. An experienced creative team, including a professional choreographer, a digital producer and a dedicated coordinator will be in place to provide a full suite of online resources all aimed at connecting more young people with dance.

Imagine-Orchestra is presented by the world-famous Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) who want to create a world record for the biggest online youth orchestra. No formal musical instruments or training required! Imagine-Orchestra will also provide children with access to digital resources that explore the creation of music and sound, through instruments, the body, and items around the home.

Céilí in the Kitchen: A céilí in the kitchen can happen anywhere in the world and embrace all cultures and traditions. Following on from the success of last year’s céilí, Áirc Damhsa will deliver a series of Meitheal Workshops – connecting young people, youth groups and schools to take part in a set programme across the 4 weeks leading up to Cruinniú na nÓg.

Beat Your Drum: Working with drummer Brian Fleming, the Glór Arts Centre and the Creative Ireland Programme and the Department of Foreign Affairs will deliver an international drumming programme that will start in Ireland on the bodhrán and travel the globe utilising the indigenous drums of Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

TG4, with support from the Gaeltacht division of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will produce a unique series of Irish language projects including small tailor made features about the Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 national projects, Cruthaím 33 will champion the talents of 33 children and young people from every county in the country as well as a representative of our young diaspora and the day itself will be marked by a TikTok Debs fairy tale from the award winning writer Philip Doherty.

Online supports and resources are provided by the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with the Airfield Trust, Nenagh Children’s Film Festival, Garageland, Dance Ireland, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Áirc Damhsa, Glór and RTÉ to enable children and young people to unleash their creativity.

Further details and resources are now available from the Creative Ireland website and RTÉ platforms see www.creativeireland.gov.ie and www.rte.ie.

In addition, local authorities will also be hosting a range of cultural and creative activities and online events for Cruinniú na nÓg – full details will also be available at www.cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie.

The Ark
Booking closes 1st July 2021

The Ark, Dublin are delighted to present a number of creative courses for teachers this summer:

The Magic of Everyday Materials in the Early Years Classroom
Date: 5–9 July 2021

The Ark and Dublin West Education Centre are delighted to present an innovative new week-long online course for teachers working with children in the Early Years.

This hands-on, creative course focuses on a visual arts approach to working with very young children, supporting participants to develop and enhance their confidence and skills to deliver process and play-based art experiences. This year, due to ongoing public health restrictions, this face-to-face course will take place live online using Zoom video conferencing.

This is a five day Department of Education EPV-approved summer course for teachers. 

For booking and further information go to ark.ie/events/view/the-magic-of-everyday-materials-in-the-early-years-classroom

Creative Music & Drama in the Classroom
Dates: 5 – 9 Jul 2021

We are excited to present this established and popular engaging arts summer course focusing on the two curriculum areas of Drama and Music. This year, due to ongoing public health restrictions, this face-to-face course will take place live online using Zoom video conferencing.

This is a five day Department of Education EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

For booking and further information go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-5-day-course-creative-music-drama-2021-online

Bringing Science Alive in the Classroom through Drama
Dates: 12–16 Jul 2021

Now in its third year, we are excited to present a five-day arts-science summer course led by scientist and theatre-maker Dr. Niamh Shaw. This year, due to ongoing public health restrictions, this face-to-face course will take place live online using Zoom video conferencing.

This is a five day Department of Education EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

For booking and further information go to ark.ie/events/view/5-day-teachers-course-bringing-stem-alive-in-the-classroom-through-drama-2021-online

A Visual Arts Approach in the Classroom
Dates: 12 – 16 Jul 2021

Always hugely popular with teachers, we are delighted to be presenting this course once more. This hands-on, creative course focuses on a visual arts approach to exploring narrative, literacy & other subjects. This year, due to ongoing public health restrictions, this face-to-face course will take place live online using Zoom video conferencing.

This is a five-day Department of Education EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

For booking and further information go to https://ark.ie/events/view/teachers-summer-course-a-visual-arts-approach-2021-online

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the second recipient of the 2021 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: Songs of Ourselves

Songs of Ourselves is a participative song programme led by The Dock Composer in Residence, George Higgs with Scoil Mhuire, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Songs of Ourselves will explore the nature of communal song forms and result in the composition of a new song. The song’s composition will involve using words, music and gestures to make a multi-sensory composition that will be showcased in a digital song scrapbook. The song scrapbook will reflect the diversity in the school’s makeup, with well over half the students originating from countries such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and India. The song’s lyrics will therefore have a rich, multi-lingual character.

The Dock 

The Dock is a flagship arts centre in the North West of Ireland offering an annual programme of contemporary visual art, performances, residencies and workshops in three beautiful gallery spaces, residency spaces and an intimate performance space. This programme is augmented by arts education and outreach projects that provide people of all ages and interests the opportunity to engage with contemporary arts practice.

Teacher: Noelle Igoe

Noelle has a degree is in Early Childhood Education from DIT and a postgraduate diploma in primary education from Brunel University in London. She taught in the UK for 3 years and is teaching in Ireland nearly 10 years. At present Noelle is teaching 4th class in Scoil Mhuire Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Being a primary school teacher, Noelle (Igoe) has always been interested in teaching the visual arts with a specific interest in art and music education. She enjoys using a cross curricular approach to education. The children in her class have really benefitted from tours and workshop at The Dock. The Dock is a great local resource for the school, Scoil Mhuire. The children have also worked with some artists/musicians in conjunction with the Creative Ireland initiative.

Teacher: Orla Kenny

Trained in St. Pat’s in Dublin and is currently teaching 6th in Scoil Mhuire, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

As a primary teacher, Orla (Kenny) has always been interested and involved in arts education, particularly music.  Aspiring to provide a broader and richer experience for pupils in the area of visual arts, she has developed links with local arts theatre, The Dock, initially through musical collaboration, followed by workshops in visual arts and participation in the Creative Schools initiative. This included also gallery visits for both staff and pupils of Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Shannon.  Involvement with the arts in education has enriched her teaching experience, and has enabled both professional and personal development.

Composer, George Higgs
George Higgs is a composer and an Artist in Residence at The Dock in 2021. His approach to arts in education focusses on a balanced collaboration between artist and student: encouraging each to listen to the other as all skilled musicians should. George’s work comprises opera, film music, songs, chamber work, experimental electronics and music for instruments of his own making.

The Spirit of Eileen Gray lives on at Brownswood House
Date:  May 19 2021

The birthplace of Wexford born Eileen Gray, the pioneering modern architect, designer and artist, continues to be witness to the effects of her creative force.

This webinar, coming live from Gray’s place of birth in Brownswood House, Enniscorthy – now home to Meánscoil Gharman- marks the completion of an ambitious Creative Ireland and Creative Schools programme, in which transition year students worked with architect Ben Mullen on a project exploring the work and legacy of Eileen Gray. Over the school year the students studied this pioneering designer’s work, then designed, and created by hand, outdoor furniture for the grounds of their school campus.

The webinar will be free and open to the public, it will be hosted by art historian Karla Sánchez and will feature prominent guests Dr. Jennifer Goff, curator of the Eileen Gray collection of the National Museum of Ireland, and Eilis O’Connell, internationally renowned Irish sculptor, whom along with a selected group of students, will uncover some of the many design processes Eileen Gray followed and those which she has inspired in others.

This programme, funded by Wexford County Council’s Creative Ireland Programme and supported through Creative Schools and Creative Associate Laura Ni Fhlaibhín, sees the collaboration between the Irish Architecture Foundation, the Art Department of Wexford County Council and Meánscoil Gharman. It arose out of a shared interest in developing the legacy of Eileen Gray in County Wexford.

Architect Benjamin Mullen, of the Irish Architecture Foundation, who led the workshops with the students, commented:

“…the project set out to see past the formidable legacy of Eileen Gray and attempt to interpret her engagement with design itself as an activity in its own accord, and as a form of agency in the world. (…) Design is a type of behaviour and an instrument for imagining a future that does not yet exist. One of the project’s key aims was to provide this autonomy for the students to make what they imagined would represent their own experience of our world.”

This project would not have been possible without the vision of Laura Ní Fhlaibhín, the Creative Associate responsible for reuniting all the bodies involved:

“The Legacy of Eileen Gray is advanced through this project, bringing her ground-breaking approach and innovation to its ethos and overall aims. It has been so exciting and rewarding to develop this, from initial meetings and brainstorming in the Meánscoil Gharman art room, to a fully realised project that activates both the creative impulses of Eileen Gray and the ethos of the Creative Schools programme.”

The documentary “I do shuí le Eileen Gray – Sitting with Eileen Gray”, produced by Terence White, chronicles the process that the students went through to carry out their concept. Such documentary will also be shown during the Seminar.

Commenting on the programme, Wexford Creative Ireland Co-Ordinator Eileen Morrissey stated,

“The Creative Ireland programme aims to bring creativity and culture to the heart of the community in County Wexford. Through this seminar, we hope to shine a light on the world-renowned Wexford born architect Eileen Gray. We also hope to showcase too the results of an excellent creative project with the students of Meánscoil Garman. I would encourage members of the public to join the online seminar to delve into the fascinating world of the pioneering architect and designer who was  born in Co Wexford.”

Event Details: 

Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Time:  11.00am – 13.00 pm

Members of the public interested in joining the webinar will be able to register here:

www.eventbrite.ie/e/design-as-agency-in-the-world-the-legacy-of-eileen-gray-tickets-153944467045

For further information about the seminar please contact Karla Sánchez (087 7842503, karlasanchez@yahoo.com)

 

 

Creative Clusters
Deadline: 14 May 2021

The Department of Education are pleased to announce the opening of a new round of Creative Clusters. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 14th May 2021.

Each Creative Cluster will receive grant funding of €3,000 per school over a two-year period to implement their project in the 2021–2023 school years (e.g. a cluster of 3 schools would receive €9,000 over two years while a cluster of 5 schools would receive €15,000 over two years). Clusters will receive 50% of the total grant funding in Year 1, with the second 50% being provided in Year 2. In addition, but separate to the grant funding, all successful clusters are further supported with: A fully paid Creative Cluster Facilitator; paid Teacher Substitution to attend training and meetings; room hire, travel & subsistence.

– Schools can apply as part of a cluster which may be an existing network of schools.

– A school nearing the end of year 2 of an existing Creative Cluster can reapply to be in a new cluster where the other schools in the new cluster have not participated before.

– Schools nearing the end of 2 years with Creative Schools are eligible to apply.

– The local Teacher Education Support Centre will have a key role in identifying and supporting a Creative Cluster for their local area.

– A total of 21 Creative Clusters will be selected nationally – One successful Creative Cluster per Education Centre.

Applications should be sent to the local full-time Teacher Education Centre (list at Appendix 1 of Guidelines document on Department of Education/DoE website).

Any queries, please contact your local Education Centre or email Arts in Education Administration mairevieux@edcentretralee.ie.

Creative Clusters is an initiative of the Department of Education, led by and in partnership with the 21 full-time Teacher
Education Centres (Education Support Centres Ireland – ESCI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund.

For further information go to www.gov.ie/en/publication/f0342-schools-excellence-fund-creative-clusters/

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the first of the two recipients of the 2021 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: ‘Place’ Teacher Artist Partnership Project 

This project is a Teacher – Artist Partnership (TAP) residency project between teacher Alyson Hourigan and visual artist Tunde Toth in collaboration with the 3rd class pupils of Scoil Mhichil Naofa, in Athy, Co. Kildare with support from the Kilkenny Education Centre.

The overarching theme for the project is ‘Place’: we will explore natural and built environments, locality, home and belonging through a range of artistic processes both for individual and collective making. The thematic approach to the project will see many curriculum areas feed into the work the children will complete. Some activities the children will be interacting with include: creative ‘deep’ mapping, drawing, walking and collecting, book making, poetry, storytelling and creating materials and fibres. The focus of the project is on participation and enabling the children to actively guide their project and the choices and voices are listened too. The project is a hybrid of face-to-face and online sessions.

This project began in March 2021 when the children completed some online sessions with Artist Tunde Toth from their own homes via Google Classroom. . The Portal Documentation Award will allow the children to create a record of their own efforts and successes within the Arts curriculum and engage in reflective practice. This award will also give the children a voice within the Arts community and allow them to share their creativity with a much wider audience.

Artist: Tunde Toth

Tunde Toth is an artist, educator, arts advisor and researcher. Tunde has been involved with Arts in Education in Ireland since 2006 when she joined the Education Panel at Butler Gallery in Kilkenny City. She is an active member of the Creative Practitioners Panel at Dún Laoighaire Arts Office and Dún Laoighaire Libraries. She devises and delivers the Art Projects in Primary Schools programme in Co. Waterford in partnership with Waterford Arts Office. This year she will be undertaking a Teacher Artist Partnership with Scoil Mhichil Naofa Primary School, Athy.

Teacher: Alyson Hourigan

Alyson Hourigan is a primary school teacher in Scoil Mhichil Naofa, Athy, co. Kildare. She graduated from Mary Immaculate College in 2016 after completing a Bachelor of Education with a specialism in Special Educational Needs. Alyson has always been interested in the Arts, particularly Music, having been a member of Presentation Secondary School choir in Kilkenny and training in classical singing, completing the Royal Irish Academy of Music singing exams. Alyson has always put a huge emphasis on Arts Education in her teaching and completed a TAP summer course in 2020 with Kilkenny Education Centre.

Dublin City Council
Deadline: 14 May 2021

Dublin City Council is pleased to invite outline proposals from artists and arts organisations, working across all artistic disciplines, to be part of our Children’s Art in Libraries Creative Hubs Programme July 2021 – April 2022.

Creative Hubs are an initiative of Dublin City Arts Office and Libraries, that sustain high quality arts experiences for children, schools and families to access in their Library and locality, through partnership and engagement.

In co-creating this programme, in each of our three Creative Hubs Libraries – Coolock, Cabra and Ballyfermot – artists create new opportunities for children to engage with the arts through:

Apply online through Submittable, available here: dublincityartsoffice.submittable.com/

For more information go to:
www.dublincityartsoffice.ie/supporting-communities/programmes-for-children-young-people/childrens-art-in-libraries-programme/creative-hubs-call-for-proposals

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative
Date: 10 – 14 May 2021

Creative Schools Week is a celebration of creativity in schools which includes both In-School Celebrations and Online Celebrations. It is organised by the Creative Schools initiative which supports schools and Youthreach centres to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. The week is an opportunity to share, showcase, and connect all the exciting creative work that is being undertaken across schools.

Following a consultation process with children and young people the theme for CSW is Brave New Future, celebrating our children and young people’s courage in the face of a tough year, and looking forward towards a bright future.

In-school Celebrations:

All schools and centres across the country can generate and host their own celebration events. These events are a great way to involve and empower young people in the processes of presenting their creative journeys. To help schools/centres organise events, Creative Schools have provided Celebration Packs, full of ideas about creating their own in-school Creative Schools Week.

Online Celebrations:

Tune in to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/celebration-2021/ on the 12-14 May (from 12pm daily) as we will be; highlighting work from a selection of Creative Schools, as well as workshops, interviews and features across a wide range of different artists and arts and cultural organisations. It is a great opportunity to learn about school communities across the initiative as well as their creative approaches to learning and artistic responses to Covid 19. Schools highlighted are a representation of the over 460 schools who have participated in the Creative Schools initiative since 2018 and were selected following a competitive process open to those participants.

Follow #CreativeSchools to see the creative events that schools are sharing on their social media.

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 the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The initiative is also informed by the Arts Council’s ten-year strategy (2016–25) Making Great Art Work: Leading the Development of the Arts in Ireland.

This initiative provides opportunities for children and young people to build their artistic and creative skills; to communicate, collaborate, stimulate their imaginations, be inventive, and to harness their curiosity. More information on how to apply to be a Creative School is available at www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/schools-opportunities/.

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative
Deadline: 12 noon, 19 May 2021

The Arts Council of Ireland is seeking to engage the services of a suitably qualified Programme Director for the Creative Schools Initiative.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/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 the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The initiative is also informed by the Arts Council’s ten-year strategy (2016–25) Making Great Art Work: Leading the Development of the Arts in Ireland.

This initiative provides opportunities for children and young people to build their artistic and creative skills; to communicate, collaborate, stimulate their imaginations, be inventive, and to harness their curiosity.

The Arts Council of Ireland currently has an exciting opportunity at Assistant Principal grade for a Programme Director – Creative Schools.

The Programme Director will be engaged on a full-time basis for a 3 year FTC to lead and manage the Creative Schools programme and team. They will be responsible for strategy, policy, project planning and delivery, human resources and contract management, to ensure the effective delivery of the programme.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12.00 noon, Wednesday 19 May, 2021.

Further information is contained in the following: www.artscouncil.ie/jobs/ (scroll to the 2nd job listing on this page)

The Ark
Deadline: 5pm May 4th, 2021

The Ark is now seeking expressions of interest in the provision of Creative Hub project coordination services on a freelance contract basis to coordinate the delivery of their new strand of programming as part of the DCC Children’s Art in Libraries Creative Hubs. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who demonstrates an affinity for the values of The Ark, a talent for delivering multi-disciplinary arts programmes for children, and an ability to connect and collaborate with multiple partners to deliver both artistic and locally relevant aims.

This opportunity provides the right individual the chance to work with The Ark to deliver an exciting new programme for children in a community context working with key partners within the cultural sector for children in Dublin.

Deadline: 5pm May 4th, 2021

For more information, see ark.ie/about/work-at-the-ark/current-opportunities?fbclid=IwAR3GGiP1otV53-C7WoSR0J5wcawsO9BSlN1Io_K5T4rgWPdDGoYTjG8UgU8

Respond. Re-Imagine. Re-Connect.

The next chapter of my theatre adventures last summer was a re-imagining (or in fact three different re-imaginings) of my show SING ME TO THE SEA – created in 2018, SING ME TO THE SEA is a blissful watery adventure for children & young people with complex needs full of harmony singing, tiny waterfalls, shiny globes and rainbow fish that was created to be performed in hydropools with 3 performers and three audience members, each with an adult companion – with everyone in the water! [https://www.annanewell.ie/work/sing-me-to-the-sea/}

I’ve always said that the heart of my work is that it is flexible, that it is responsive, that it is nuanced moment by moment by our audience.  And in Summer 2020, I had to really walk the walk with that one and take that flexibility and responsiveness to a whole new level.

So, with huge support (and flexibility!) from our funders and venue partners, we created a dry-land at-home version of the show.  And we hired a campervan.  For three weeks in August 2020, we drove around Dublin, Meath, Carlow and Wicklow, taking the show directly to families in their own gardens and driveways.  We sang in the rain, we were stared at by milkmen, curious neighbour children gathered – and we were given the extraordinary opportunity to connect with our audiences where they were.

Later in the summer, we took this dry-land version to Baboró International Festival and performed the show in the magical setting of the gardens of the Ardilaun Hotel.  And although they were only a few weeks into what must have been the hardest term of their lives, the special schools came in their droves – not only did we sell out the schools’ performances but we had to add more!

And, then, astonishingly, the wonderful pool staff at St Gabriel’s School & Centre called us up and said they’d like to give it a go.  So, singing in masks and visors and working within AquaPhysio Guidelines, we were back in the water.

The unforseen adventures that were created by being forced to re-invent, re-imagine, to find ways to re-connect with our audiences at this time of distance and disconnection had a profound impact on me.

And it inspired a whole new show for 2021.  More of that in my final blog…

Arts in Education Portal

Last week over 100 artists, teachers and arts in education professionals joined us live for the annual Portal Spring Regional Event Series which this year showcased arts in education and creative practise in the Mid-West.

Portal Regional Events have been an opportunity to connect with the community at regional level, to share practice and to find out what initiatives are available in the local area. In these challenging times it’s now more than ever important to stay connected and be inspired.

The first in our series of discussions opened on Monday (22nd March) with one of the 2020 Portal Documentation Award recipients, the Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) Project ‘The Lonely Traveller’. Teacher Jacintha Mullins and composer Fiona Linnane brought us on the journey of their collaboration with the pupils of Mid-West School for the Deaf, Limerick.

On Wednesday Adam Stoneman, former Public Engagement Coordinator of ‘The Three Muses’ Programme (now part of the Engagement & Learning Team at IMMA) and The Hunt Museum’s Education Coordinator, Hannah Bloom took us on a dive into Mozilla Hubs an open source VR space. Adam and Hannah shared how they utilised the digital platform to creatively collaborate with school groups to explore the museum’s collection. The discussion was also joined by artist Jo-Anne Hine who shared her perspective of using Mozilla Hubs while working with primary school pupils as part of the project ‘ABC of The Three Muses’.

On Friday and Saturday participants joined artist Éilís Murphy of Folded Leaf for a hands-on creative bookmaking session ‘Stories Unfolding’ were participants where invited to experiment with various materials and book-making techniques. Below is some feedback from participants:

“I loved it because it was both intuitive and reflective, achieving very surprising results in a short space of time.” 

“This was great, a practical project that can be applied to my own practice or to future workshops.”

Image credit: Work created by Marie Brett during ‘Stories Unfolding’ .

To close the programme on Saturday (27th March) composer Fiona Linnane explored sound and the nature of listening in a the creative session ‘Éisteacht/Listen’. Participants in this playful exploration were invited to take a sound walk and explore how we interpret sound in our daily lives and how we can become more active listeners. Below is some feedback from participants:

“Using the act of listening to ‘slow-down’, to come into a sense of being and mindful practice. I’ve already embedded active listening into my own daily walks since the workshop, as a practice of self-care”.

“It was a joy to attend this workshop. I particularly enjoyed how each activity was designed to be accessible and transfer easily either to a classroom, a community setting or working with children and young people…. Tuning in to the environment around me, deepened my focus”.

Sound Walk Recording – Julie Forrester ‘Rain Zipper Birdsong’ created as part of ‘Éisteacht/Listen’.

Thank you to everyone who joined us across the week. For those who missed the discussions they will be available to watch back until the end of December on the Arts in Education Portal Facebook page or click on the direct video links listed below.

“A great platform to meet, pool expertise and help. It encourages discussion and sharing”.

Watch Back the Live Discussions:

Links for Further Information: 

Discussion One Links: 

Discussion Two Links: 

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

How Spiderman Inspired Me Last Summer

In 2019 (which now feels like a decade ago), I made a new show for early years audiences called BigKidLittleKid.  It’s a wordless physical theatre piece for ages 3-6 years about the complicated world of sibling rivalry.  It opened at The Ark for Dublin Theatre Festival and toured to the Mermaid, the Civic and Draiocht.

Through the summer of 2020, I grew surer and surer about my commitment to finding a way to keep a live connection with my very particular audiences.

During what had become my weekly check-in with my wee brother, he was talking about some guy somewhere in England who’d dressed up as Spiderman and spidey-ed his way through his local streets to the utter delight of the children forced to stay at home in these first shut-in weeks of the first lockdown.

I’ve always been interested in making the ordinary extraordinary and believe that if you can literally change the landscape, you make visible the possibility of change and of hope.

So I hatched a plan.

Thanks to the Ready Steady Show programme run by my main producing partner the Civic, a wee pot of money was found to create a PopUp Play version of BigKidLittleKid which we played on a tennis court outside a summer camp, in a massive hall inside another summer camp and outside a nursery.

My favourite picture of the whole summer was the picture of the one pod sitting watching the extraordinary adventure that unfolded in their tiny playground with the second pod who weren’t allowed to share the same space as them, determinedly pressing their noses against the window intently watching the entire show.

For us as artists, being out there with our audiences again, hearing that very particular laughter of children delighted with a new story, a new connection, was extraordinary.  Our hearts soared and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t shed a tear or two of hard-won joy and hope.

 

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/

 

Arts in Education Portal 

Dates: 22 – 28 March 2021

The Portal Team are delighted to invite teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to connect with us online for the 2021 Portal Spring Regional Event Series from the 22nd to 28th March 2021.

The programme features a series of sessions sharing experience and best practise from the sector in the Mid-West. It includes a discussion on Monday, 22nd March with the 2020 Portal Documentation Award recipients teacher Jacintha Mullins and composer Fiona Linnane. Jacintha and Fiona will share insights from their experience on the project ‘The Lonely Traveller’, a collaboration with pupils at the Mid-West School for the Deaf, Limerick.

On Wednesday 24th we’re delighted to welcome The Hunt Museum’s Public Engagement Coordinator, Adam Stoneman and Education Officer, Hannah Bloom who will share their experience of how the museum engaged with schools using a virtual collaboration platform.

On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th, artist Éilís Murphy invites participants to two hands-on creative bookmaking sessions. Participants will be introduced to collage and bookmaking techniques, experimenting with various materials, textures and surfaces in this process-led workshop.

For further information email editor@artsineducation.ie

Schedule

View all the events here – artsineducationportal.eventbrite.com

Please note:

You may need to install the Zoom app which can be downloaded zoom.us/download#client_4meeting.

Architecture at the Edge

Deadline: 8 March 2021

Architecture at the Edge a new outreach project in collaboration with Matt + Fiona is looking for creative and engaging architects, artists and designers to participate in Design Lab 2021 / a space for belonging.

Join this exciting initiative to empower the next generation to develop their ideas for the future of the local area.

Through Design Lab, you will enable them to develop ideas for a ‘Space for Belonging’ – with AATE and MATT+FIONA’s support. The initiative will involve training, facilitating creative workshops and joining an ambitious ‘Proto-Build’. Starting in April 2021 and culminating with the ‘Proto-Build’ in Autunm 2021, Design Lab is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and creativity with young people and teachers in a fun and engaging way.

If you have good communication skills and are looking for exciting ways to expand your practice, AATE would love to hear from you!

Deadline for applications is Monday 08 March at 12noon.

To apply, please email a completed application form and CV to architecture.edge@gmail.com

Supported by the Arts Council’s Capacity Building Support Scheme.

For further information and application details go to www.architectureattheedge.com/opencall2021

Deadline Extended: Friday 26th March 2021

The Arts in Education Portal editorial team are pleased to invite applications for a documentation award. Through the award, successful applicants will receive services to the value of €5,000 that will support them in the documentation of a current or upcoming project and a €500 stipend.

The purpose of the award is to support the development of documented outcomes from Arts in Education initiatives in Ireland, which can be shared with the arts in education community and give insights into different processes of engagement. This is part of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee’s commitment to supporting and recognising the value of documentation and reflection as a key component within arts in education initiatives.

With many Arts in Education initiatives moving to online engagement in 2020 and that continuing into 2021 the Portal Editorial Committee want to ensure that while the community is adjusting to this form of engagement that the Portal continues to offer support and assisting the community in sharing learnings through this time.

Two awards will be offered through this opportunity.

Outcomes of the documentation process will include: a project video, a project feature to be showcased on the Portal’s Projects/Partnerships, and the option of a critical essay, with a view to also presenting the work as part of the Arts in Education Portal National Day in 2021.

The process will involve meetings with the Portal Team and a schedule of 3 visits over the course of the project to capture video and photographic documentation and support reflective processes among participants. These visits and meetings can be conducted virtually. The portal team will work closely with the recipients to ensure all restrictions and protocols in terms of COVID 19 are adhered to during the process to ensure safety for all involved.

The portal team will edit and produce a project video, and will liaise closely with the project partners to develop the content for the project feature. The critical essay would be sited in the Portal’s Reading Room, and is optional. The author and focus of the essay can be decided by the project organisers in collaboration with the Portal Team.

Criteria

To be considered for this opportunity, projects must:

Additional criteria

How to make a submission:

Please send your submission to: editor@artsineducation.ie by 5pm, Friday 26th March 2021.

Arts in Education Portal

The Arts in Education Portal Team are delighted to announce that the 2021 Portal Spring Regional Event Series will take place online during the week of March 22nd, showcasing arts in education projects and creative practice in the Mid-West.

The series aims to connect regional audiences with the Portal. Practitioners can learn more about the Portal and what it offers, tell us about their work, connect with the community, share practice and find out what opportunities or events are available in the region. We welcome teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free series of online events which will include online discussions and creative workshops.

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

 

National Youth Council of Ireland

Date: 4 February 2021

NYCI commissioned UCC to carry out an independent mapping of youth arts provision in youth work settings in Ireland. Join NYCI at the virtual launch of the research to find out:

Why Attend?

Who Should Attend
Youth work managers, youth workers, youth arts practitioners, ETB youth officers, arts officers and anyone working with young people, academics in the field of youth studies, youth work students, policy makers, stakeholders from relevant government departments.

Who You’ll Hear From
Eileen Hogan, University College Cork
Eileen Hogan is a Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork. She is Course Director of the Masters in Youth Arts and Sports Education, which won the grad Ireland/HEA award for Best Postgraduate Course (Arts and Humanities) in 2017. Eileen is also Deputy Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Youth Work.

Through these roles, she is involved in the professional development of youth workers and youth arts practitioners and has strong connections with youth work organisations. Eileen is also a member of the Board of Directors at Youth Work Ireland Cork. She is also Chairperson of the IndieCork Film and Music Festival, which is a volunteer-led organisation that supports youth arts as an element of its broader cultural programme.

NYCI have a an exciting panel lined up to join Dr Hogan in reacting to and dissecting the research and what it means for your work.

For further information and to register go to www.youth.ie/event/research-launch-mapping-youth-arts-provision-in-youth-work-settings/?mc_cid=bc2c636276&mc_eid=a6a29c2666

Irish Film Institute

The Irish Film Institute today (1st December) launches its comprehensive 2020/2021 IFI Schools’ Programme. For the first time, the programme will be available to view nationwide online on the Institute’s brand-new IFI@Schools
platform at www.ifischools.ie. Films to feature as part of this year’s offering include Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated Little Women, Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade, Neasa Hardiman’s Sea Fever, and three films from Cartoon Saloon, Kilkenny’s beloved animation studio.

The entire programme is available to view for schools through an annual subscription for either the Primary or Post-Primary programmes. With the generous support of the Arts Council Capacity Building Grant, the IFI has been able to heavily subsidise costs so that an annual Primary subscription costs €100, and annual Post-Primary subscription costs €250.

Each subscription allows 10 teachers per school to watch 10 screenings each. Unlike booking student groups for
cinema screenings, the subscription allows the teacher a greater degree of flexibility as to when material is viewed in the classroom and will encourage increased media literacy across a wide range of ages.

The ever-popular Modern Foreign Languages strand, encompassing French, German and Spanish, presents five Irish premieres. Eagerly awaited by teachers and students alike, the films are an invaluable way of promoting language and culture. Included in the 2020/21 Spanish selection is Berlinale prize winner Wolves and classroom drama One For All. French students will enjoy teen comedy-drama Man Up! for Senior Cycle, while Junior Cycle drama Fahim, The Little Chess Prince rides on the coattails of The Queen’s Gambit, and focuses on a young Bangladeshi immigrant who discovers he has a gift for playing chess. The German choices this year are Ulrich Köhler and Henner Winckler’s A Voluntary Year (Das freiwillige Jahr) for Senior Cycle, and Sarah Winkenstette’s Too Far Away (Zu Weit Weg) for Junior Cycle.

Speaking about the launch of the platform, IFI Director Ross Keane said, ‘The advent of IFI@Schools is a truly transformational moment for IFI Education, bringing our hugely popular and successful schools programme directly into classrooms all around Ireland. While Covid-19 has presented huge challenges for arts organisations, it has also made us all examine what we do and how we can continue to engage with our audiences in new and innovative ways. We are therefore delighted to offer this exciting new online platform to schoolchildren nationwide, marking the beginning of a new era for IFI Education’.

Head of IFI Education Alicia McGivern commented, ‘While school trips to cinemas and arts venues may be on hold for the moment, the appetite for quality arts engagement remains undiminished. IFI@Schools offers teachers the opportunity to bring film content directly into the classroom in a smart, affordable and accessible way. We’re very excited to bring the magic of cinema into schools and to continue to foster a love of film in students during these unprecedented times.’

Arts Council Head of Film and Architecture Fionnuala Sweeney added, ‘The Arts Council is delighted to have funded the development of the IFI@schools platform. At a time when cinema doors are closed, this dedicated new platform will bring the world of film into classrooms all over Ireland so that children and young people can continue to collectively experience, explore and enjoy film.’

For English this year, Senior Cycle students can look forward to Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence in Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, and Paddy Breathnach’s acclaimed drama Rosie, starring Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford. For Junior Cycle, there’s a hugely entertaining and thought-provoking slate of films including Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Peanut Butter Falcon starring Shia LaBoeuf, Ken Wardrop’s touching Irish documentary His & Hers, and Saudi Arabian comingof-age drama Wadjda.

IFI is delighted to present a particularly strong line-up of Irish films, and as part of our ongoing commitment to support Irish filmmakers, IFI has confirmed a number of special guests to speak as part of this year’s online programme, including Oscar-nominated animators Nora Twomey and Tomm Moore, documentarians Brendan J Byrne and Ross Whitaker, and Vivarium director Lorcan Finnegan.

Other films available for Senior Cycle include documentaries In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America, Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Iris, Risteard O’Domhnaill’s Atlantic and The Pipe, and drama Black ’47. Transition Year students will be treated to environmental and socio-political documentaries Now, Spaceship Earth, Gaza, Push and 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets. Art and Geography students will delight in the anime film Weathering With You, while sporting documentaries Katie and Climbing Blind look at the physical and mental hurdles sportspeople overcome to achieve their goals. A special Inclusion and Diversity section for Transition Year Wellbeing/SPHE includes Sundance winner Clemency, powerful civil rights drama Selma, and the funny and tender LGBT+ drama Love, Simon.

This year’s Primary programme features a fantastic range of titles for younger pupils including the charming Little Women with Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson, Irish drama A Shine of Rainbows, plus animations Minuscule, Dreambuilders, and the Cartoon Saloon trio of Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells and The Breadwinner.

Finally, the IFI is delighted to announce the 2021 edition of its hugely successful Careers in Film Day events next March, in association with the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. IFI will also run special events in association with Screen Skills Ireland, which will allow students to engage directly with filmmakers and their craft; these Q&A and ‘First Steps’ events will be held in January.

For more details and to download a full IFI Education 2020/2021 Programme, please visit www.ifi.ie/learn. For more information and booking, please contact Richard or Amy at schools@irishfilm.ie.

Full details of the programme can be found at www.ifischools.ie.

 

FÍs Film Project

Deadline Extended to Friday March 26th 2021

Irish primary schools are invited to enter the FÍS Storyboard Storytelling competition, a one-off Covid-19 special initiative open to all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland.

The FÍS Storyboard Storytelling competition provides an opportunity for pupils to visually interpret a story or concept or curriculum topic, use artistic media and different types of shots to convey that story in an imaginative and creative way.

A full brief, judging criteria and how to enter this exciting competition is available at www.fisfilmproject.ie. The brief provides suggested themes and topics, storyboard presentation tips, judging criteria and general competition guidelines for teachers.

Check out the supporting video tutorial ‘How to use storyboards to storytell’.

Entries will be categorised on the basis of class age / level and prizes will be awarded across a variety of categories.

Deadline Extended to Friday March 26th 2021

For further information go to www.fisfilmproject.ie

Arts Council of Ireland

Opens: 15 December 2020

Application Deadline: 28 January 2020

The Young People, Children, and Education Bursary Award supports individual professional artists working with, and producing work for, children and young people across a range of artforms. The purpose of the award is to support professional artists to develop their art practice.

A recording of a webinar session about the YPCE Bursary Award is available for all potential applicants at the link below.

www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Young-People,-Children,-and-Education-Bursary-Award/

The Arts Council encourages you to view the full 1.5 hour session or move to the time codes of particular interest. If you have questions that are not covered in the webinar session, please contact ypce@artscouncil.ie.

Please make sure to read the Guidelines in full.

Closing date: 17:30, Thursday 28 January 2021
Maximum awarded: €20,000
Apply from 15 December 2020

For guidelines and details on applying go to www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Young-People,-Children,-and-Education-Bursary-Award/

Earlier this month over two weekends 480 artists, teachers and arts in education professionals attended our fifth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day which this year moved online with a series of virtual events.

Over the two weekends the arts in education community came together to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and interrogate best practice in the field. Although this year we couldn’t meet in person we were overwhelmed with the response and level of engagement. We would like to thank all our guest speakers, artists and all who joined us to engage in the conversation.

Speaking at the event Roundtable Chair Professor Gary Granville said, “We talk about this concept of community, of practice and practitioners but in a very real sense I think what the Charter has facilitated and what the Arts in Education Portal provides is an opportunity to make real that notion of community”.

Video of digital artwork created by artist Julie Forrester as part of  the creative workshop ‘A Dive into Digital Art’ with illustrator Wayne O’Connor.

For those who missed the discussions they will be available to watch back until the end of December on the Arts in Education Portal Facebook page.

Facebook Live Video Links

Cultural Diversity in the Arts

Quality and Access; Can you have both?

Cultural Practice and the Digital Realm

Roundtable Panel Discussion

Session Resources 

Cultural Diversity in the Arts – Resources & Reference Document

Quality and Access; Can you have both? –Resources & Reference Document

Cultural Practice and the Digital Realm – Resources & Reference Document

Roundtable Panel Discussion –Resources & Reference Document

 

 

 

 

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

Solstice Arts Centre

Exhibition running until 22 December 2020

Solstice Arts Centre are delighted to announce two new online resource packs for schools to accompany the exhibition ‘New Era – Exploring Climate Change’.

New Era is an exhibition featuring four Irish visual artists Rachel Doolin, Siobhán McDonald, Martina O’Brien and Méadhbh O’Connor whose work explores different aspects of climate change in the natural world.  The exhibition includes new and recent art works by these artist/activists and advocates for both local and global climate change.

Resource Packs:

Look Draw Think Respond – Primary Schools

This fun learning resource, originally designed to be completed in the gallery is now accompanied by a virtual 360° tour of the exhibition New Era, with links and additional information on each of the four artists on our website at solsticeartscentre.ie/ event/new-era-exploring- climate-change.

This resource embraces many subjects across the curriculum including art, geography, SPSE, science and literacy and a personalised tour and virtual creative activities can be arranged for individual classrooms.

Download Primary School Resource here

Solstice Secondary Resource New Era – Post-Primary Schools 

This learning resource is designed to assist Leaving Certificate students and teachers interested in opting for the gallery question on the History & Appreciation of Art paper.

It can be used in conjunction with the virtual 360° tour of the exhibition New Era. with links and additional information on each of the four exhibiting artists on our website at https://solsticeartscentre.ie/ event/new-era-exploring- climate-change for a comprehensive response to this or similar exam question.

Download Post-Primary School Resource here

Solstice Arts Centre can also arrange a Zoom meeting with any class group to give them further insight into the show and information on the artists involved.

For further information go to solsticeartscentre.ie or email deirdre.rogers@solsticeartscentre.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.

 

 

Music Generation Leitrim

Deadline: 12 noon, 8th December 2020

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the following position:

Music Generation Development Officer (Leitrim)

This is a five-year fixed term contract.

Application form and further details are available at: msletb.ie

Closing Date: 12.00 noon, 8 December 2020

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that applications must be made through the MSL ETB website. Any queries should be directed to employment@msletb.ie.

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is an equal opportunities employer.  Canvassing will disqualify.  Shortlisting may apply.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is registered as a Data Controller.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-leitrim 

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’.

 

 

The 5th annual National Arts in Education Portal Day 2020 has adapted the annual event into a virtual conference over two weekends this November.  The National Arts in Education Portal Virtual Conference will welcome hundreds of professionals from across the arts, education, arts in education and creative sector, who will attend various online events to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and interrogate best practice in the field.

The event represents an important landmark in the calendar for educationalists and arts and creativity in education sector professionals with a shared interest in quality and access to best practice arts provision for children and young people. This year the National Arts in Education Portal Day has to move online as per government guidelines.

This year the programme features a series of three Keynote Sessions, each exploring and interrogating specific areas of focus to open discussion on these important questions. We are delighted to welcome our keynote speakers: writer Kit De Waal; artist Leanne McDonagh; lecturer Aoife Titley; Arts Council of Ireland Director, Maureen Kennelly; IMMA’s Head of Engagement and Learning, Helen O’Donoghue; teacher Jennifer Buggie, and digital artist John D’Arcy.

There will also be a broad range of Creative Sessions delivered by artists and creators, Joe Caslin, Wayne O’Connor, Melatu-Uche Okorie and Kate Wilson. These workshops aim to share practical skills and approaches. The virtual conference will culminate with a panel of professionals and practitioners from across the arts in education, education and creative sectors in conversation with Chair Professor Gary Granville, exploring the current landscape of arts in education in Ireland and beyond.

Click on the image below to view the full programme, and to book your place go to artsineducationportal.eventbrite.com

 

Art School 

Thursday October 29th saw the launch of a new publication ‘Curriculum: Contemporary Art Goes to School’ edited by Dublin-based curator and writer Jennie Guy and published by Intellect Books.

Curriculum explores the intersection of contemporary artistic practice and school education in the 21st century.

At the heart of Curriculum is Art School, an independent curatorial framework founded by Jennie Guy in 2014. Operating throughout Ireland, Art School establishes interfaces between contemporary art and schools as sites of education, inviting students and artists to work collaboratively to question how the conventions of learning – as typically encountered in schools – might be extended or reimagined.

It takes place as a series of workshops, residencies, exhibitions and new writing that explore how contemporary artists can intervene within systems of education in order to inspire and expand might also help to fracture and revise.

Curriculum features contributions by: Clare Butcher, Gerard Byrne (Foreword), Juan Canela, Helen Carey, Daniela Cascella, Fiona Gannon, Jennie Guy, Andrew Hunt, Hannah Jickling & Helen Reed, Alissa Kleist, Rowan Lear, Peter Maybury, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Nathan O’Donnell, Sofia Olascoaga & Priscila Fernandes, Matt Packer and Sjoerd Westbroek.

The book explores Art School projects by artists: Sven Anderson, John Beattie, Sarah Browne, Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Ella de Búrca, Vanessa Donoso Lopez, Priscila Fernandes, Hannah Fitz, Jane Fogarty, Kevin Gaffney, Adam Gibney, Fiona Hallinan, Elaine Leader, Maria McKinney, Mark O’Kelly, Sarah Pierce and Naomi Sex.

Curriculum will be available to purchase online at www.intellectbooks.com/curriculum

This publication was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and the Arts Office of Wicklow County Council.

CURRICULUM: Contemporary Art Goes to School

CURRICULUM:
Contemporary Art Goes to School

 

Ireland’s National School Photography Awards        

Deadline extended: 31 May 2021

INSPA 2020/21 sees the fourth open call for Ireland’s prestigious National School Photography Awards [INSPA]. INSPA is a national children’s photography competition and Positive Primaries Programme which introduces Creative Well-being into the lives of primary schools and their communities by engaging with the magic and art of photography.

This year’s theme ‘Accessible Places | Safer Spaces’ is run in association with the Children’s Rights Alliance and is looking for images that focus on giving a voice to children in their new and changing environments. Therefore, we are calling on students and teachers in primary level education, to once again, get creative and integrate the camera into their school day. To begin your Positive Primaries Journey and participate in the awards you must register your school at www.inspa.ie

The INSPA’s are having a massive impact in classrooms across Ireland, helping to boost the well-being of students by simply integrating the camera into your school day.  Participating in the awards helps your students increase their Confidence, Resilience, Connection, Kindness and Readiness. It also gives a platform for teachers to creatively explore their wider curriculum, allowing students from all backgrounds to actively engage with subjects in new and exciting ways.

Once you activate your school account, you will be able to upload your school activities, share ideas and engage with other Positive Primaries as they prepare to enter the awards. You will also be able to access our free and easy-to-follow Creative Well-being Activities. These will help you integrate the camera into your school-day and allow the children to lead the way.

This year, the awards are offering a range of fantastic prizes for the whole school community including; Weekend breaks away to the Amber Springs Resort Hotel, free Instax cameras and printers, Positive Portrait fundraising days, certificates and of course your schools Positive Primaries Flag. All entries will be judged by a national panel including Mary Magner (INTO President), Colm O’Gorman (Director: Amnesty International Ireland), Damian White (IPPN President), Karla Sánchez (Curator, Art Historian & Educator), Áine Lynch (CEO of National Parents Council Primary), and Richard Carr (Artist & Partnerships Manager for INSPA).

In whatever way you choose to respond to this year’s theme, be creative, take lots of photos and most importantly have fun. We look forward to seeing all your schools’ entries and all those positive changes you are making in your school. If you think your school could become one of Ireland’s next Positive Primaries, register as soon as possible at; www.inspa.ie

For further information and to apply to go www.inspa.ie.

The Ark

Available until 31 December

Explore the importance of all creatures small and large in this video drama workshop from The Ark for ages 2-4 with their grown-ups led by Early Years Artist in Residency Joanna Parkes.

Mouse may be small and shy, but does that mean he can’t help the lion? Let’s see!

Using the Aesop’s Fable of The Mouse and The Lion as a starting point, pack your make-believe backpacks, set off to find the proud lion and see where your imaginations can take you.

If you like, you can bring a few things with you:

A cushion
A small bag or backpack
A soft toy (any favourite cuddly animal will do)
Wear an adventurer’s hat of any kind if you want!

Combining drama, story and play, this video workshop invites little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy imagining together. So if you’re a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunty, godparent or carer, join in with a 2 to 4 year old to discover, explore and create together in this delightful workshop adventure.

Recommended:

Watch Free Online – ark.ie/events/view/video-workshop-lion-mouse

For ages 2-4 and their grown-ups
Video duration: Approx. 15 mins, plus pauses for you to pretend and play in your own time at home

 

Growing during Closing

October, falling leaves and creeping numbers. It was a month of growing in a season of closing. My colleague Ciara Heffernan led our school approach to Creative Clusters within our theme, Connecting and Reconnecting. This creative collaboration between Cluster Schools is an exciting new dimension to our arts programme. The extension of the Creative Schools programme with Associate Gabi McGrath has enabled us to develop creative partnerships with artists from a range of different disciplines. Early Years Music Specialist Nuala Kelly returned to complete a partnership with Mrs. Cushen and Ms. Heffernan, while a range of classes from Junior Infants to 2nd Class will work with multidisciplinary fine artist Francesca Hutchinson, dancer and visual artist Kate Wilson and storyteller Thomas McCarthy. It is a privilege to work with and support artists in the current climate.

Teacher Artist Partnership would like to wish all our summer course participants well as they engage in their TAP residency and we look forward to sharing in the work. Our Design Tutor Team are extremely proud of the work and achievements of our National TAP Coordinator Dr. Katie Sweeney, Tralee Education Centre Director, Terry O Sullivan and Administrator Máire Vieux in securing Erasmus + funding to develop our programme on a European level with partner countries Serbia, Austria, Netherlands and Greece. Within this initiative our Design Team have been working on a series of mini-creative moments called Take Ten with TAP which we look forward to sharing with you soon…watch this space!

Thank you, Portal, for this space to share. Thank you, reader, for reading.

The Ark

Date: 7 November Saturday 

This half-day visual art CPD workshop for teachers with The Ark which will focus on skills, techniques and processes teachers can integrate into their lesson plans and easily adapt to all ages.

Every season has its own beauty and winter is certainly not lacking. It may not display the soft pastel tones of spring, the bright and bold splashes of summer or the fiery range of autumn’s colours, but the winter season has its own very individual palette.

Through the theme of winter, artist Jole Bortoli will lead the group on an exploration of the visual art curriculum through hands on activities which will be completed in real time via zoom. Together, the group will examine the many manifestations of winter in the diverse environments and habitats found in Ireland. Looking at how various visual artists have interpreted this theme, participants will create their very own artwork, giving them the tools to approach a winter-themed art workshop with children in the classroom.

Each participant will be asked to gather simple materials and tools that they should easily find around the house. They will also be sent a small art pack by post with any speciality materials that they will need during the workshop.

Date: 10.30am-12.30pm, 7 November Saturday

Tickets: €15 (€13.50 for ArkEd Members)

Booking closes at midnight on Thursday 29 October to allow adequate time for your art pack to be posted to you. Postage of the art pack is available within the Republic of Ireland only.

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-cpd-wintertime-2020

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the guest speakers for the fifth annual National Arts in Education Portal Conference which this year moves online with a series of virtual events taking place over two weekends in November – Friday 6th, Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th and Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.

This year the programme features a series of three keynote sessions, each exploring and interrogating specific areas of focus to open discussion on these important questions. We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

Friday, 6th November – 7pm
Writer Kit de Waal, visual artist Leanne McDonagh and lecturer Aoife Titley
Writer Kit de Waal and visual artist Leanne McDonagh in conversation with Aoife Titley, lecturer in Development and Intercultural Education (DICE) at the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University discussing cultural diversity in the arts.

Saturday, 7th November – 11am
Maureen Kennelly, Arts Council Director
Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland will be joined in conversation with a co-presenter (TBC) to explore the challenges of achieving reach and depth. Are they mutually exclusive? What are the hallmarks of quality and can they be attained in large scale programming.

Saturday, 14th November – 3pm
Teacher Jennifer Buggie and digital artist John D’Arcy
Teacher and TAP lead facilitator Jennifer Buggie will be joined in conversation with digital artist and lecturer John D’Arcy to explore what role technology can play in supporting and enhancing creative practice.

The full line-up which will be announced in October includes a broad range of practical creative workshops and skills sharing as well roundtable discussion exploring the current landscape of arts in education.

We look forward to welcoming members of the arts in education community from all across Ireland and internationally, to share, learn, talk, get inspired, and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

Full programme details for the events will be announced shortly. For enquiries please contact events@artsineducation.ie

 

 

Irish Film Institute – IFI@Schools

Stream new films into your school with a brand new film platform from the IFI@Schools, launching in October.

With school trips on hold and very different learning situations arising in schools across the country, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) is launching an online streaming platform, offering films to support a whole range of subjects and interest areas.

In return for a one-off annual fee to cover film rights, your school can access the complete catalogue, using an easy, user-friendly teacher pass.

For more information email schools@irishfilm.ie

Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF)

Dates: 8 – 11 October 

This years Open House Dublin from the Irish Architecture Foundation is set to take place on the weekend of 8 – 11 October. This year’s event will differ from previous years with a strong focus on online and digital events.

Open House Junior is a programme of workshops and activities for children and young people, with highlights including a Digital Design Challenge, and virtual workshops hosted by the Chester Beatty Library, Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Fighting Words and others.

With self-guided family ‘Architreks’ and ‘Make your own’ building templates from O’Mahony Pike Architects.

For more detail and bookings go to openhousedublin.com/whats-on/strands/open-house-junior/

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/

It’s lovely to do something with our hands, other than sanitise.

Returning to school felt different this year and the children were wonderful. They marched down hallways leaving parents at the gate, washed hands and met the new school measures with their best efforts to work together and keep each other safe. Our school leadership did everything in their power to make children, staff and parents feel as safe and comfortable as possible in school during these uncertain times.

However, and undeniably, Covid 19 has disrupted the familiar flow of school rhythms by adding its own disjointed systems of distancing, washing and vigilance. But the primary focus of our work remains as it has always been, to meet the deepest needs of the children in our care through education and with love. From lower numbers of referrals to Tusla, to a decline in educational attainment for some children, school closures have had a detrimental effect. In my reopening, arts-based learning and the role of embodiment has been crucial to connecting mind, body, and spirit in the classroom. This is especially relevant in Infants, where the teacher’s physical proximity and comfort of touch has been severely limited.

Teaching is about listening, to the body and the words. This September, children have been communicating. From a child who needs to run at full tilt for an entire PE lesson, to a quiet daily request “Teacher, will you read us a story?”. Though I always do, the request is about reassurance and meeting a need. In the absence of a hug or handhold, I have looked to the arts to affirm the place of comfort, grounding, and reassurance. We have used music, dance, visual arts, yoga, stories and meditation, concentrating on the sensory nature of experiences, objects and materials. Twisting, cutting, playing, pasting, moving and focusing, it has been lovely to do something with our hands other than sanitise.

Image copyright: Jennifer Buggie

Irish Film Institute

Deadline: 5pm, 12th October

The Irish Film Institute wishes to appoint two Education Officers to contribute to and develop its education programme both onsite and online.

Key Responsibilities for the roles include:

Download the full job description here – ifi.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Job-Description-Education-Officer.pdf 

Applicants should forward a cover letter and CV by email to Alicia McGivern, IFI Head of Education, at amcgivern@irishfilm.ie, or by post to Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Dublin 2.

Closing date for applications is 17.00 on Monday, October 12th.

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.

We are delighted to announce the dates of the fifth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day which this year will be moving online with a series of virtual events taking place over two weekends in November – Friday 6th, Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th and Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.

The full line-up which will be announced shortly includes a series of keynote sessions from artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector bringing discussion and critical thinking to a range of topics. The programme will include a series of online processed based creative workshops and a roundtable event.

These events bring 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.

Full programme details for the day will be announced shortly. For enquiries please contact events@artsineducation.ie

 

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

“I believe that two lines of poetry can save a life”, Paula Meehan 

As a teenager my wonderful English teacher Ms. Meade guided us with heart and skill through the Leaving Certificate poetry curriculum. In subsequent college years, the melancholy, timeless glory of John Keats poems gave solace, comfort, and a lexicon of poetic potential to my growing adult mind and experience. In fact, his anthology became a strange amalgam of thoughts, diary, and scrap book throughout my college years.

Just before Laois went into lockdown, I had the deep, nostalgic pleasure of returning to a house on the coast built by a dear friend’s Grandfather. While standing in his beautifully eclectic functional cobbled kitchen, I listened to a John Bowman interview with John Hume, where he spoke of influential teachers in his young adult life and their impact on the man he became. My friend’s Grandpa passed away in my 3rd year at university. On return home to Stradbally, I found my Keats anthology and there with “On the Sea” was a dedication to Mr. Rafter, a man who shared his home and life perspective with a granddaughter’s friend. It was a powerful blend of comforting memory and poetry. The power and confluence of memory and art.

It packed a punch, because in June I had a miscarriage. Denise Blake, my TAP colleague, and friend introduced me to Paula Meehan’s a most wonderful phrase; “I believe that two lines of poetry can save a life” (www.irelandchairofpoetry.org; www.deniseblake.com). I never really thought poetry was for me, I certainly never expected to write a blog about it, but in June nothing else would fit. It helped. All the learning, loving, yearning, and feeling given by the poetry of others heaved my pain on to the page. John Keats never had a miscarriage, but he knew about loss. The poetry of others gives a window to their soul and a template to the lived human experience that sustains through sharing.

When we, teachers, artists, and humans, give arts-experiences and heartfelt connections, we can never know or ever fully document the possibility and power of that exchange. So, this blog stands in defence of, and to champion the unknowable outcome of arts education to a life being lived.

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

Youth Theatre Ireland

Deadline: 5pm, 14 September 2020

Youth Theatre Ireland is pleased to announce two grant schemes to offer assistance to Youth Theatres in these challenging times, with the generous support of the Creative Ireland Programme. The first, “Include YT – COVID Relief Inclusion Grant”, is available to affiliated theatres and the second “Join In – Youth Theatre Inclusion Grant” is available to developing Youth Theatres.

The Include YT grant will provide a maximum of €3,000 to help affiliated theatres to increase young people’s access to youth theatre and address exclusion on social or disability grounds. Emerging from Covid-19, youth theatres’ capacity to include new members may be severely challenged as they face additional costs and extended workshop programmes in order to comply with public health measures and social distancing guidelines. This grant is designed to help youth theatres keep social inclusion at the heart of their practice by resourcing approximately 6 youth theatres to engage with young people who have difficulty accessing youth theatre on social or disability grounds.

During these extraordinary times, this once-off grant is designed to support youth theatre inclusion initiatives in the Sept – Dec term 2020 and will assist with many measures including bursaries to cover membership fees for young people whose families are facing challenging circumstances, resources or additional staff to support the participation of members with disabilities or additional needs. The total fund available to youth theatres through this scheme is €18,000.

The “Join In – Youth Theatre Inclusion Grant” will provide a maximum of €3,000 to  developing youth theatres operating in areas of social deprivation, to help increase young people’s access to youth theatre. During these extraordinary times, this once-off grant is designed to support the development of new youth theatres that are addressing social exclusion and that aim to affiliate in 2020. The total fund available to youth theatres through this scheme is €15,000.

Rhona Dunnett, Acting Director of Youth Theatre Ireland said, “Youth Theatre Ireland is delighted to be working with the Creative Ireland Programme to offer these once-off grants to youth theatres. Like many sectors, youth theatre is facing difficult financial circumstances in 2020 and these grants will support youth theatres to keep inclusion at the heart of their practice and increase young people’s access to youth theatre in socially disadvantaged areas. In these challenging times, young people need youth theatre more than ever to help them feel connected and give them a safe, creative space to express themselves and their ideas.”.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday, September 14th 2020.

For further information and application details go to www.youththeatre.ie/news/press/youth-theatre-ireland-announces-2-supporting-grants.

 

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.

 

The Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA)

Deadline: 12 noon, 27 August 2020

The Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA), through its joint arts in education programme, ‘The Three Muses’, wishes to appoint an artist/facilitator with an established track record in the development and delivery of multi-disciplinary and interactive art workshops for primary school children. The artist will design a series of workshops in which participants will engage with and creatively respond to the three permanent collections, using the alphabet as a conceptual frame. Given the uncertainty around schooling arrangements in the months ahead, we encourage candidates to explore alternative online and digital forms of engagement, in the event that physical workshops are not possible.

The Three Muses: Exploring Art and Identity’, is an innovative programme for primary schools, launched in November 2019, which aims to increase access, ownership and enjoyment of the collections of The Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and LCGA, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. The Three Muses programme is supported by Limerick City and County Council and Friends of the Hunt Museum. ‘ABC of the Three Muses’ is sponsored by Affinity Credit Union.

For further information on this opportunity and to find out how to apply, please go to https://www.huntmuseum.com/vacancy-artist-facilitator/

Mermaid Arts Centre, The Civic & Riverbank Arts Centre

August 2020

Due to tour to hydropools this July and September, this magical watery adventure is now scheduled to tour in August in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre, The Civic and Riverbank Arts Centre. Rather than cancel the tour, Anna Newell Theatre Adventures and the partner venues were determined to bring high quality live art experiences to this very particular audience and so the ‘dry land’ ‘at-home’ version was invented. The “at-home” version is specifically for children/young people with PMLD.

Taking the responsiveness of the show to a whole new level, this re-imagined ‘dry land’ version will be performed in the gardens/drives/outside the windows of homes of families of children with complex needs. Still full of ethereal live harmony singing and gorgeous costumes (created by award-winning composer David Goodall and renowned costume designer Susan Scott), reflective silver balls, rainbow fish and water moving through colanders like waterfalls will all happen at an appropriate distance from our audience members, with their accompanying adults mirroring the action to add the up-close sensory element.

A process of a virtual pre-visit will take place to ensure that each different private ‘at-home’ adventure is magical, calm and, of course, safe.

Anna Newell is a Bray-based theatremaker who has been making theatre adventures for many different audiences since 1989. She was the first Irish-based theatremaker to create theatre designed especially for children and young people with PMLD and her work for Early Years audiences has been seen on 6 continents and off-Broadway.

Contact your nearest partner venue for booking details – click on the relevant link below:

SING ME TO THE SEA is co-produced by The Civic, Tallaght and funded by the venues, Wicklow County Council and Sunbeam Trust with additional funding from Arts Council of Ireland

Becoming and Understanding Through Partnership…Teachers, Artists, Children

“Art is a fundamental human enterprise…In making art we make ourselves. In understanding art, we understand ourselves”

(Council of National Cultural Institutions, 2006)

A few years ago, Jane O’Hanlon from Poetry Ireland shared the quote above at a Teacher-Artist Partnership planning meeting. It nestled into my soul and over years bore unexpected fruit in unanticipated times. March 2020 was both unexpected and unanticipated.

As a Primary Teacher in Holy Family Junior School, Portlaoise I had been enjoying the roll-out of our 2nd year with Creative Schools, planning a Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) Residency with Senior School and visual artist Caroline Conway  and asking the Arts in Education Portal if I might blog the process.

Then…global pandemic.

Teaching and learning shoved online, Dojo launched, and Teams formed. Some school relationships wound tighter while others were jettisoned into the unknown…uncontactable, yet still loved and worried about. In the connected isolation of primary teaching in a pandemic, during the seismic refocusing of the Black Lives Movement, the personal and professional values that are lived through teaching felt more important that ever. In this context our TAP Design Team began to rewrite our summer training programme for delivery online.

TAP Online 2020 was controversial for us to commit to as a concept. We strive for a deeply creative, reflective and connecting style of professional learning that hinges on face-to-face interaction. Where we lost this in-room exchange for artists and teachers, we gained a most incredible, technicolour window into the creativity, emotionality, and deep-commitment of teaching professionals to working in artistic partnership with and for the children they teach. The artist-teacher partnerships of TAP 2020/21 will be led by our community to process pain, heal hearts, and build new identities through creativity, connection and love-in-the-arts for the children of Ireland.

“School should foster an environment that allows children access to explore their identity in the sanctuary of ART – I aim to do this in my classroom.” James O’Donnell TAP Participant 2020

The Creativity and Change programme & CIT Crawford College of Art

Application Deadline: 18 August 2020

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

Amplifying Voices Scholarships

During the unprecedented time of Covid 19, the Creativity & Change team have had to radically rethink how they engage their learners, as the educational work they do is so embedded in a heart connection with others. They don’t yet know what restrictions and guidelines will be in place for the next academic year, but they know that when it is any way possible for learners to engage safely in shared spaces, that’s where they want to be. The team are excited to share that they have acquired funding to purchase a mobile studio classroom, transported on a cargo e-bike so that they can facilitate learning spaces on the move and outdoors. So, much of next year’s course will be on wheels!

They are also excited to share the news of their new Amplifying Voices scholarships. The core of Creativity & Change’s work is to explore and address global justice and they value the perspectives and experiences of a diverse participant group when doing so. They are consistently seeking to improve the accessibility of the programme and would love to provide opportunities to those who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing post-graduate education, such as those in the Direct Provision system, or Travellers. The Creativity & Change team are now in a position to offer a number of free places on their course to those who may not have otherwise been in a position to apply. Application is via the CIT website, Amplifying Voices should be cited in the title of your application statement.

What is Creativity & Change?

The CIT-accredited award is two 10 credit modules combined within a level 9 Special Purpose Award. It ordinarily takes place one weekend a month from September to May in the new campus of the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork City Centre, but much of the 2020/2021 will take place outdoors around Cork City centre and suburbs, and online.

The first module is an experiential module where you will engage in a wide range of hand on creative processes including visual arts, creative writing and theatre. You will engage in a wide range of global justice topics and reflect on your own identity as a global citizen and on the process of transformative learning. In the second module, you will put learning into practice in designing learning experiences for a range of contexts.

The course fee is heavily subsidised by Irish Aid. Application deadline is 18th August. Please note that places may be offered on a rolling basis, so early application is still advised.

For further information and to apply online go to www.creativityandchange.ie/accredited-award/

The Ark

Dates: Running until 21 August 2020

This summer, enjoy a range of delightful online events and experiences in visual art, drama and dance, inspired by creatures big and small, meek and mighty! Through new online workshops, video tutorials, at-home activities and inspiring experiences, children will be encouraged to look closely, listen, imagine and make!

A selection of events are listed below:

Flap, Glide and Soar like a Bird: Online Visual Art Workshop
Date: 17 July, 11am & 2pm
Ages 5 – 12

Under Water Moves: Online Early Years Dance Workshops
Date: 17 July, 10:15am & 11:45am
Ages 2 – 4

Animal Transformations: Online Visual Art Workshops
Dates: 31 July & 7 August, 11am & 2pm
Ages: 5 – 12

Forest of Fun: Online Early Years Dance Workshops
Date: 7 August, 10:15am & 11:45am
Ages 2 – 4

Beautiful Beasts: Early Years Visual Art Adventures
Date: Running until 12 August 2020
Ages: 2 – 4

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/season/beautiful-beasts-at-home

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

 

Arts in Education Portal

Over three days as part of the the first virtual Portal Regional Series last month teachers, artists and sector professionals joined visual artist Maree Hensey in an invitation to explore, question, feel and enquire using a variety of materials during a ‘collective making’ creative process entitled I AM IN THIS.

We share some of the responses from participants:

An emotional release…..Very moving….

It was so nourishing,

a very beautiful intimate, very considered, session… so very exciting and freeing.  

 

I felt like a child playing with new things!  It all began with the arrival of a tempting package which came with strict instructions –  must not be opened until we are all ‘together’. We Zoomed for an hour.  Opening the package revealed a small selection of simple materials – some bright white tissue paper and straws, paper clips and an envelope of white feathers.

We explored the idea ‘I AM IN THIS’.  Minimal instruction : tear the paper;  carry the feathers outside, let them off on the breeze; except one; create a cocoon for it and a  place to secure it. Bring it outside.

Soon I got caught up in the making, aware that there were others there but not concerned about them, a quietness set in as I got on with my own ideas and imagination taking me off!  Reflecting on the sense that although we are all in this together each of us is responding in our own personal way.

Read Part 1 – Virtual Portal Regional Series Round Up

Links for further Information:

Arts in Education Portal

This year the Arts in Education Portal celebrates its five year anniversary, as part of these celebrations the Portal Team have been undertaking an exercise to assess how well the Arts in Education Portal is working. Strategic Development Resources (SDR), an independent market research consultancy, has been commissioned to assist us with this work.

We would like to thank everyone who assisted us in the first step of this research by completing our audience survey and sharing your views on the Portal’s content and how it might be improved. View the summary report from this survey here – Arts in Education Survey Summary Report 2020

Following on from that survey, the Portal team is now seeking a small number of participants for additional qualitative work through the Portal Audience Forum. This work will comprise a questionnaire which will take 30-45 minutes of your time to complete (with written answers rather than multiple choice), followed by your attendance at a Zoom focus group which will last approximately 90 minutes.

As a token of our thanks for your help with this research, we are offering participants a fee of up to €100. If you’d like to be considered for this research, please click here and complete the registration questions.

For further information or queries please email editor@artsineducation.ie

 

 

 

Branar Téatar do Pháistí

A new multi-platform project presented by branar for children of all ages up to 6 years

Tales of teddies, moments of magic, comforting cuddles and worlds of wonder are celebrated in an exciting new collection of poems and nursery rhymes for young children.

Pop Up Poetry for Lil’ Peeps is a new multi-platform project presented by Branar for children of all ages up to 6 years. Irish writers and artists Inni-k, Mary Murphy, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin and Liz Weir have created new poems and nursery rhymes in Irish and English for this unique project. Audiences can enjoy this work online through vivid audio recordings and new animations by artist Maeve Clancy.

Originally commissioned by the Galway County Council, Creative Ireland Programme led by the Arts Office in partnership with Galway City Council and Roscommon County Council’s Creative Ireland programmes, in association with Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland.

Originally presented as part of the Criunniú na nÓg 2020 programme.

For further information to to access resources go to www.branar.ie/popup-poetry

 

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.

Teacher Artist Partnership (TAP) Initiative

Deadline to register: 3pm, 3 July 2020

Teacher Artist Partnership (TAP) Online CPD Summer Course is an arts-in-education initiative where Artists and Teachers train to work in partnership. This programme can lead to opportunities for a TAP trained teacher to host a fully funded TAP artist residency in his or her school in coming academic year.

This Creative Youth, Department of Education and Skills led Primary initiative is a highly innovative, creative and participant-responsive programme that promotes professional learning towards partnership.

TAP Online maximises engagement through a broad range of on and offline activities. Learning activities include practical, multidisciplinary arts experiences through multimedia interactives, video instruction, collaborative posting boards and discussion forums and reflective practices.  Tutors, teachers and artists provide responsive feedback and encourage collaborators to reflect on personal and professional development through the co-creation of learning. TAP’s core focus is the development of creative partnership between teachers and artists. Join us in learning together.

Course Dates: 

6 -10 July 2020

Register to take part by 3pm, 3 July 2020

Please use the following links to access the TAP Online Summer Course:

edcentretralee.ie/cpd-courses-tralee-kerry/online-courses/1180-teacher-artist-partnership.html

www.mayoeducationcentre.ie/cpd-courses/summer-courses/57-teacher-artist-programme.html

Follow the Teacher Artist Partnership initiative on Twitter @TeacherArtistP1pm

 

Online collaborations, TAP’s new online course and ‘busting the myth of the solo artist’

I have been very lucky over the past weeks to have the company of two exceptional dancers, joining me virtually as part of my ongoing research, looping embodied movement and drawing practices. I have been surprised at the level of connection that is felt in these sessions despite the lack of real physical presence and the dodgy internet connections!

Taking time with discussions and reflections along with the moving, writing and drawing are essential parts of the research and perhaps it is this multiplicity of audio and visual modes that has helped to bridge the virtual gap.

Having this research alongside the Magnetise Project, ‘A call for Home’ has been mutually beneficial, with many cross overs emerging. The shift in dynamic from group to one to one has also brought important insights for my virtual platform collaborative practice.

Now that the last of the 360 cameral equipment for the project has finally arrived it is great to be at the stage of exploring this new potential for our collected video works and live interactions.

The last couple of weeks have also been busy ones for the TAP (Teacher Artist Partnership) design team. In particular, for the two members who took the helm and within a very short timeframe have created a fantastic online version of the TAP CPD summer course. Next week we will run the course in its online format for the first time. We are looking forward to the live aspects and forums, and to interacting and assisting participants on their journey through the modules. As part of the course I will host a live dance session mid week and was delighted have the opportunity recently to create a short video with one of my long term collaborators, artist Isolde Carmody. The video is a reflection on arts and diversity and will be featured in the course. Embracing diversity in arts and education, understanding the inherent collaborative nature of practice, and in Isolde’s words ‘busting the myth of the solo artist’, all feel as vital as ever to keep to the fore, in todays wider sociopolitical context.

Art is Life by Kate Wilson and Isolde Carmody

“Curious Minds” is a series of booklets with lessons for primary school teachers created by professional Visual Artists.

This free digital resource offers more than 16 projects, with 43 lessons in total, divided into five books: one with the foundation; and four with projects for every season (most projects or lessons can be used any time of the year). It also includes various “warm-up” and awareness exercises (including “gymnastics for the brain”).

The content focuses on four main themes: belonging, identity, consumerism, and the environment. It is organised in such a way that allows for flexibility. Most lessons are suitable for a diverse range of ages, from 1st to 6th classes. There are projects of short, medium and long duration (from 1 to 8 lessons). The design of the books will allow anyone to print each project by lesson or in its entirety.

“Curious Minds” is the brainchild of Karla Sánchez and Els Dietvorst, who met through the “Living Arts Project”, an innovative art education program run by Wexford Arts Centre and the Art Department of Wexford County Council.

Karla and Els share an interest in multi-disciplinary and holistic education, and invited a group of creatives to collaborate in this endeavor: Clare Breen (who also did the illustrations), Laura Ní Fhlaibhín, Orla Bates, David Begley and Colm O’Neill (graphic designer).

For further details please see: livingartsproject.ie/book-1-introduction-and-fundamentals/

“Curious Minds” is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme.

Curious Minds Pollinator Project

Curious Minds Pollinator Project

Music Generation Kildare

Deadline: 12 noon, 19th June 2020

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) are delighted to invite applications from suitably qualified persons for the following:

Musician Educators

Suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time Musician Educators for the following Music Generation Kildare Programmes:

Post details and application are available on http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Administrator

Applications for the position of Music Generation Kildare Administrator, Clerical Officer Grade III (3 year fixed term contract)

Musical experience is desirable, but not essential. No CV’s accepted. Applications will not be accepted after the closing.

Application form, job specification and person specification, are available on: http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms for both positions is: 12.00 noon, Friday 19th June 2020

Kildare has been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme- that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation Kildare is locally funded by KWETB and Kildare County Council.

KWETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Ireland’s National School Photography Awards

The INSPA team would like to congratulate every school who participated in the 2019/20 National School Photography Awards. The national winner is Dominika Ilecko from Stepaside ETNS who submitted the photo entitled Two Chairs into the Senior Category of the awards. The winner of the Junior Category is Jack Kelly Sharkey from Courtnacuddy NS with his entry Old Phone Box Library.

Dominika Ilecko, Two Chairs, Stepaside ETNS, Senior Category

Dominika Ilecko, Two Chairs, Stepaside ETNS, Senior Category

INSPA is the national children’s photography competition and online academy which is open to all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. This year, young creatives from around the country were encouraged to engage with digital technologies and the creative process to explore the theme; Second Life.

The awards are having a massive impact in classrooms and homes across Ireland as they provide an inclusive model for children of all backgrounds and abilities to get involved. Through photography, INSPA introduces creative well-being into the lives of primary school students while building a future generation of people who are confident, resilient, connected, kind and ready.

The awards are free and offer a range of fantastic prizes including trips and stays at the Amber Springs Resort for principals, teachers, pupils and families, cameras for winners and schools, framed photographs, certificates and national recognition as a Positive Primary School. All entries are judged by a national panel of experts and over 300 primary schools have already registered their accounts.

We would like to take this opportunity, once again, to congratulate Dominika from Stepaside ETNS and Jack from Courtnacuddy NS on their recent successes and we look forward to working with all finalist schools when they re-open in September.

If your school would like to begin its Positive Primary Journey and participate in the 2020/21 awards, you can register your school at the INSPA website – www.inspa.ie

Arts in Education Portal 

Over 130 artists, teachers and arts in education professionals joined us live across the week for the first virtual Portal Regional Series which showcased arts in education and creative practise in the South East.

On Monday curator Karla Sanchez and artist Clare Breen shared with us their experience on The Living Arts Project,  a long-term primary school arts in education initiative supported by Wexford Arts Centre in partnership with the Arts Department of Wexford County Council.

Exhibition of artwork from Living Arts Project

Exhibition of artwork from Living Arts Project

Key themes that arose from the discussion were the importance of partnerships, relationships and adaptability; how these values have allowed the project to organically develop and strengthen over its thirteen years.

We were delighted to be joined in the discussion by Wexford Arts Office Liz Burns, Elizabeth Whyte Executive Director/CEO of Wexford Arts Centre and Visual Art Curator Catherine Bowe who spoke about the value of evaluation. How listening and building on the feedback from the children, artists and teachers involved has allowed the project to organically grow and adapt year on year.

Karla also introduced us to ‘Curious Minds’ a resource pack for teachers which was developed this year by Karla and artist Els Dietvorst with the aim of disseminating the learning from the project. Curious Minds will be launched as part of Cruinniú na nÓg in June with a local launch in September.

In Tuesdays session artist, educator and researcher Tunde Toth led us in a presentation exploring co-ownership and participation within a classroom setting, where we truly value children’s questions, responses and doubts.

Tunde introduced us to the idea of taking creative risks and the importance of creating a space where children can make decisions and voice their opinions.

Tunde Toth - creative risk taking with children

Tunde Toth – creative risk taking with children

For those who missed the discussions they will be available to watch back this month on the Arts in Education Portal Facebook page.

Facebook Live Videos Links: 

Discussion: The Living Arts Project

Presentation: Danger Art with Tunde Toth

Links for further Information:

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

IMMA invites children, young people and their families to join them every week on their social channels for #ExploreratHome.

While IMMA is closed the Explorer at Home art activities are available for children and adults to do and make at home. IMMA’s team share a new art activity every Wednesday afternoon on their social channels. You will find specially selected artworks, inspired by the IMMA Collection Online and IMMA’s temporary Exhibition Programme, as starting points for creative activities.

IMMA invites you to share your creations with them online by tagging IMMA and using the hashtag #ExploreratHome so you can see your work on IMMA’s website.

For more information go to imma.ie/whats-on/explorer-at-home/

 

Gaiety School of Acting

Recognising the struggle so many parents are currently facing as they broach the mountainous task of home schooling their children during the Coronavirus restrictions, the Gaiety School of Acting has released a series of comprehensive and fun lesson plans to inject a little creativity and some POSITIVE drama to your household.

With 34 years experience in drama training, the Gaiety School of Acting teaches over 2000 children across their Young Gaiety schools in Bray, Malahide and Temple Bar annually, in a range of classes from Parent and Toddler Drama to Musical Theatre Company, Acting for Camera to an eclectic offering of seasonal camps.

Our Home Drama Resources have been developed by the GSA’s education team, and in addition to creative drama, provide a selection of science, craft and film-making activities for you and your children to explore a variety of themes, have fun, and escape from reality!

Every Thursday a new resource is released with the following themes already available on the website: The Lion King, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, Monsters from the Movies, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

For further information and to access downloadable resources go to gaietyschool.com/home-resources/

 

Theatre Lovett

Dates: Late June/July 2020

Theatre Lovett are delighted to announce Teddy Talks; a series of clinics for theatre practitioners with a focus on Theatre for Young Audiences.

Led by Muireann Ahern, Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Lovett, along with invited guests, these sessions will cover:

To Apply: 
Please send your C.V. or biog with a note outlining why you are interested in registering for Teddy Talks to muireann@theatrelovett.com.

Next Course Dates:
Late June/July 2020 (exact dates and times TBC depending on slots available due to demand). These clinics will be conducted online due to COVID-19.

For further information go to www.theatrelovett.com/workshops/httpswwwtheatrelovettcomworkshopsteddy-talks-advice-clinics

 

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/

Trócaire & National Youth Council of Ireland

Closing Date: 30 June

During these extraordinary times as we all do our best to stay at home, Trócaire in partnership with the National Youth Council of Ireland, have created a new competition for young people called Trócaire Game Changers Home Challenge.  This is a competition for young people who want to change the world and believe games are a way to do this. It is a fantastic opportunity for young people to engage with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have a lot of fun while they do it.

Young people could create their games by recycling materials such as cereal boxes, bottle caps etc. The competition is open to young people of all ages and prizes will be awarded to the best entries.

The closing date is 30th June and entries can be submitted by post or electronically.

for further information go to www.trocaire.org/education/gamechangers/

Trócaire Games Challenge

Trócaire Games Challenge

Irish Architecture Foundation

Deadline: Friday 19 June 2020

The Irish Architecture Foundation are delighted to announce that applications are open for the 2020/21 Architects in Schools programme.

The Architects in Schools initiative for Transition Year students places architects and architectural graduates in schools across Ireland. Students learn how to research, design and communicate architectural ideas, always reimagining the spaces around them and sometimes even affecting change in their local built environment.

Check out Architect Frank Monahan’s guest blog series here on the Portal about his experience on the initiative.

For further information and to apply go to https://architecturefoundation.ie/news/architects-in-schools-2020-2021-open-call-for-schools/. 

Or email learning@architecturefoundation.ie for queries.

Closing date Friday 19 June

Finding rhythm in life and work and remembering John McGahern

Whilst the Magnetise project is blossoming online with added excitement about our first order for VR equipment this week and a new online project with RYCP just beginning, I am taking the opportunity granted by a slower pace to reflect on some of the fundamental shifts in my own life and practice.

Virtual Duets - March 2020

Virtual Duets – March 2020

I find it hard to think of a colleague who has not in recent years expressed a wish for more time, and perhaps particularly those of us that are both artists and parents.

Lately busy has looked very different for many of us. For me there has been no driving kids to school and later on to classes. No traveling to schools near or far for residencies, or to arts centres or arts offices for meetings. No trips to London for MA modules, and no trips to Glasgow to look at accommodation and courses with my eldest daughter. And whilst time seemed to expand in the first couple of weeks, recently it’s quickly filled with domestic and family time. Lunch has become an event rather than a sometimes forgotten extra. Baking bread all part of the reduced shopping trips and growing vegetables has presented itself as essential. Dealing with the new shifts and at times struggling to find the time I want for my practice it’s still a case of exploring where the balance lies.

These last weeks, I have a sense of returning to a forgotten rhythm. A working life here in the north west in the late 90’s, before family and before the Celtic Tiger. The rhythm and pattern of my days relating more to the season and weather than schools and institutions. Living and working simply, and taking inspiration from the land in a way that felt not unlike the surrounding local farmers, back before the boom.
I was commissioned by the council to paint John McGahern at that time. A beautiful and generous man, who gave up the best part of a week to sit in the small cow shed that was my studio, each day insisting on taking me out to lunch. In a documentary I watched sometime later he talked about how since returning to Leitrim his days were divided between writing and farming. Four hours writing in the morning was enough and then his time was with the land and the animals. In a sense an artist never really stops working and when I think of Mcgahern’s afternoons I think about how his work lived and breathed this land. I think about time to process and his afternoons being a focus and a contemplation. A focus I was finding at that time having left the big city for a rural existence. Perhaps now there is again opportunity to reconnect with the rhythm and pace of this beautiful land and from here come closer to our own patterns in life and work and the importance of balancing activity with contemplation whilst knowing it’s not necessarily about returning and but a reimagining of a way we’ve long known.

The Magnetise Project is currently highlighted on The Creative Ireland Programme website.

www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/news/magnetise/

Arts in Education Portal 

Dates: 25 – 29 May 2020

The Portal Team are delighted to invite teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to connect with us online with the first series of Virtual Regional Events from the 25th to 29th May 2020.

In light of the current situation, the Spring Regional Day which was planned to take place at VISUAL, Carlow has unfortunately been cancelled but we are delighted to be able to move the programme online with a series of events taking place via Zoom from 11am each morning from Monday 25th May until Friday 29th May.

The programme features a series of sessions sharing experience and best practise from the sector in the South-East. It includes a discussion with curator Karla Sanchez, with artists Els Dietvorst and Clare Breen sharing their experience on the Living Arts Project, along with an exploration of collective ownership and participation in Primary Schools with artist Tunde Toth.

From Wednesday 27th until Friday 29th Carlow based visual artist Maree Hensey invites participants to explore, question, feel and enquire using a variety of materials during a hands on creative session.

Click on the book ticket links below for further information and to book your place to take part in the discussion online. 

Schedule

Please note:

You may need to install the Zoom app which can be downloaded https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting.

 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Deadline: 14 May 2020

Kids’ Own has a special opportunity for young people, aged 10–13, to participate in an online visual thinking initiative.

Working alongside artist/curator Vanya Lambrecht Ward, young participants will have a special role in supporting and shaping the development of a new exhibition featuring artwork and writing from Kids’ Own’s extensive 23-year archive. Over a series of 6 online sessions, the team will explore aspects of the Kids’ Own archive – our books, our way of working, and visual art processes before selecting artwork and writing for the exhibition, as well as thinking about physical spaces of the exhibition and ways of presenting work for young audiences.

The work of the Visual Thinking Team will be instrumental in developing the exhibition, which will premiere at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon in late 2020, before moving to other venues in 2021/22. It is also important to Kids’ Own that the young participants have a physical presence in the exhibition, be that through inclusion of their voices and artwork in the exhibition brochure, or video presence in the exhibition itself.

The project will take place over six weeks in June and early July 2020.

As places are very limited, children are asked to visit the Kids’ Own website at the link below and fill in the application form and return by: Friday 14th May 2020.

To apply go to kidsown.ie/kids-own-visual-thinking-team-call-out-for-participants

Kids’ Own welcome applications from children of all backgrounds and abilities and from anywhere in Ireland.

Creative Schools 

Date: 6.30pm, 3 May 2020

The Creative Ireland Programme are delighted to announce that their documentary ‘Creative Kids’ which follows the journey of a number schools through the Creative Schools process airs this Sunday 3 May on RTÉ 1 at 6.30pm.

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The initiative 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 Kids followed five schools over the course of the academic year as they implemented the Creative Schools project and encouraged their pupils to think about the Arts and creativity in a whole new way.

The schools involved are:

 

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said: “As everyone will see from this wonderful documentary, the Creative Schools programme is already a great success, and has changed the lives of hundreds of young people from a broad range of schools across the whole country.

“The Arts Council is very proud to be delivering this programme, and I would strongly encourage principals and teachers to consider applying so that their schools can participate in Creative Schools. The closing date has been extended to June 25 2020.”

Join the conversation online using the hashtag #Creativekids.

All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools, special schools and Youthreach centres are eligible to apply. Deadline to Apply: 25 June 2020

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

To apply go to www.artscouncil.ie/available-funding/

 

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/

Fighting Words

Send Your Creative Writing to Fighting Words!

During this time when we might find ourselves with more time,  it’s time for more stories! Fighting Words is inviting children and young people to write and share their writing with us..

Primary School Age Writers (Age 6-12): The Fighting Words Story-Starter

Fighting Words have invented the Story-Starter, which they hope will spark your imagination and help you get started on a story.  You can change anything you want in the story – you don’t have to include all the ideas generated in the Story-Starter.

How do I submit my writing?

After you have written your story, ask your parent/guardian to send it to info@fightingwords.ie. IMPORTANT: Please include the words Primary Story in the subject line.

Happy writing!

For further infromation and submission guidelines go to www.fightingwords.ie/news/we-want-your-stories-send-your-creative-writing-fighting-words

 

 

 

Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Deadline: 5pm, 1 may 2020

Do you have an idea for a show for young audiences?
Would you like to explore that idea?
Do you want to work with new art forms?

Branar’s Tiny Shows/Seóanna Bídeach initiative offers artists & theatre makers time and space to explore & develop new skills, new roles and new work in a developmental context.

This weekend long residency will facilitate the early stage development of ideas for new shows for young audiences.

The residency provides artists with the opportunity to:

Expected outcomes of this initiative include:

Previous applicants are welcome to apply again, with the same or new idea.

For further information or questions about Tiny Shows, please contact Niamh on info@branar.ie or go to www.branar.ie/tiny-shows.

 

Calling Young People, Musicians and Educators!

Have Your Say! A Survey on Music Education Opportunities for Children and Young People in Fingal.

Fingal County Council, in partnership with the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board, invite you to complete a survey that will help us understand your views regarding access to performance music education for children and young people in the county.

This research will support a submission to Music Generation, the national performance music education programme, to extend and enrich the partners’ commitment to children & young people in Fingal.

This step taken by the partners emphasises the importance of retaining support for arts and education initiatives now and in the times ahead as we build connections with one another and ignite hope and inspiration.

Your views are important to this process and will enable the partners to develop and deliver music education programmes that suit the needs of those aged 0 – 18 years, now and into the future.

There are three surveys to choose from:

We invite Children & Young People to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicYoungPeople

We invite Schools, Music Education Providers & Musicians to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicProivders

We invite the General Public to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicGeneralPublic

Should you require assistance or alternative mechanisms to complete a survey please email Fingal County Council’s Youth & Education Officer julie.clarke@fingal.ie

Be in with a chance to win!

Children and Young People are invited to enter a draw to win a gift voucher for one of Fingal’s Arts Centres – Draíocht and the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, upon survey completion. See information within Children &Young People survey link.

 

 

Deadline for survey submission: Thursday 30th of April 2020.

FÍS Film Project

Home Movies Anyone? Let’s Have Some Fun While Learning At Home!

FÍS Film Project would like learners to use the current COVID-19 social distancing policy as an opportunity to learn film-making skills for making really cool home movies!

Their new blog series #MakeFilmsAtHome is aimed at children and their families who might like to try their hand at making a stop motion animation or short live action film during the stay home phase and beyond.

With two separate blog postings per day. 1 for animation and 1 for live-action film-making. Presented in a simple easy to use format, with sample films made by Irish primary school children for the FÍS (film in schools) project and are accompanied by short video tutorials made by undergrad students at the National Film School in IADT.

Film-making is a fun, creative, imaginative and educational process and FÍS hope that families will find the tips and tools provided useful. They are encouraging parents / guardians a child or children who make a film to upload to you tube, vimeo, instagram or similar platform to share.

All you need is a mobile phone or tablet device and lots of imagination!

So, let’s have some fun and get filming!

To view the blog go to fisfilmproject.ie/blog/

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 Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum are delighted to bring you The Three Muses Activity Pack, a learning resource inspired by the collections of The Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art.

It is bursting with open-ended, creative activities which support Visual Art, History and English curricula, and comes in a full colour version for screens and a reduced colour version for printing at home. Explore and learn from Limerick’s museums without leaving your house – all you need is a pencil, paper and your brilliant imagination!

The Three Muses is a learning programme designed to increase access, ownership and enjoyment of three Limerick museums, with a focus on modern and contemporary visual art. The programme includes workshops and learning resources like this. Watch a short video on the programme here.

The Three Muses programme is supported by Limerick City and County Council and Friends of the Hunt Museum. This Activity Pack is sponsored by Unity Credit Union.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

To download the activity packs go to www.huntmuseum.com/the-three-muses-activity-pack/⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

 

Frank is an Irish designer /cultural producer with an interest in film, the arts & architecture. His professional practice includes the design of buildings, & set design for film/television production. He holds a BA in Architecture, 2008 and a Professional Diploma in Architecture, 2012 both from London Metropolitan University. Prior to this he recieved a B.Des. in Production Design for Film/Television, from IADT. This background has informed his approach to practice, which is collaborative, interdisciplinary and site specific.Interested in the critical potential of design he established Architecture at the Edge in 2017, for which he devised and curated the events programme. He produced an outdoor installation, ‘Ghost Chapel’ for Galway International Arts Festival 2018 in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Growing our Connections – Blog 4

Having taught the National Architects in Schools Initiative for the past three years I find it can still be quite a daunting task when faced with a new group of students.

Many of the students don’t understand the value of their built environment because they have never seen the benefits it can offer them.

It’s difficult for students to learn without experiencing connections as to the concepts we teach them. This can be achieved through providing both context and relevance. Without that connection there is no interest, and interest always precedes meaningful and authentic learning. So it’s essential that we are making strong learning connections to help them develop the thinking habits they need to succeed.

Schools are comprised of the people in the community. Coming from outside it’s important to understand the community your students are a part of. Mountbellew is a quiet rural market town 45km from Galway on the N63 to Roscommon. Once the home of the Grattan-Bellew family, famous Galway parliamentarians during the 18th and 19th centuries. The former demesne is now a delightful wooded area of forest walks and picnic areas, filled with interesting historical items.

Upon my first visit to Mountbellew, whilst seeking out a connection to the place, I was drawn down an inviting avenue of beech trees where I was immediately taken by the sight of a 7m high wall, the enclosure to an extensive eighteenth century Walled Garden which was once part of the large Bellew estate.  For a century and a half this walled garden was used in the manner of all such Victorian/Edwardian gardens, although simply because of its size, more than household fruit and vegetables were probably grown.

I learned that the long term aim of the local heritage group here is to rejuvenate, conserve and develop the 18th century walled garden. Developing this existing heritage resource will provide a new amenity for the area. It will also complement other local heritage and recreation assets helping attract visitors to the area stimulating rural tourism.

From the outset I knew it was important to set a clear and engaging agenda with the students and so by way of introduction find something in their common experiences to which the lesson can be attached. Here in the walled garden is a space to explore, walk, discover and feel inspired by all it has to offer; a reminder that as times change natures story goes on. To function as a place to grow food, for pleasure and wellbeing.

Before we launched into making any propositions it was important to give time to the students and allow them articulate their ideas. Topics were selected for the students to share in groups. Investigation into the history and functions of various types of garden generated one starting point for beginning transformational change such as should its use be as a kitchen garden distinct from a decorative one. The many ways we experience gardens were discussed. The pleasure garden, the kitchen garden, the memorial garden and/or as a place to re-connect with nature. A presentation by the local heritage group committee members was followed the following week with a guided site visit.

In speculating on its potential one of the students reminded us that the parents of Anna Kriegel had planted a white cherry blossom at her favorite spot and unveiled a bench which bears an inscription with her name. Another then talked of the seat under a tree at the Mountbellew walled garden which ladies once sat how they might propose to do the same. The sense of a connection to place and how that can relate to our own experience of the world underpinned the project. This is about learning how everything is interconnected and interdependent. Understanding the relationship between things can help people see and understand their community in different ways. That association with people and place is fundamental.

Students learn by exposure to real life examples and their experiences and observations of these examples greatly accelerates their learning. Part of this task required the students to ‘Look Locally’ i.e. Find clear links between the lessons and the things that are transpiring in the local community, and even get them actively involved with community individuals. It’s about teaching and learning that is focused on student centered inquiry.

A second field trip was organized, with a group assigned to conduct an on-site survey which would inform the task of making of a 1:100 site model.

Making the model allowed the re-imaging of the walled garden to take shape. The resulting design links a series of new public spaces/ rooms and reuses an existing building as a community hub / cafe to give purpose and a variety of gathering places to the center of garden.

The aim here was to create space for every young person to be at the center of co-designing their own future, community spaces, projects and campaigns. To give voice of the student and allow them give that voice back to their community.

In working with the students like this I hope that it will stimulate them to become actively involved and engaged in shaping their local built environments and landscapes. Place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place—and it promotes a place-specific, sustainable approach to living, working and playing in our 21st century rural communities. The main objective is to attract interest and support from the community at large and to help re-educate ourselves about the importance of sustainable and healthy living.

Young people need a space where they can be unafraid to explore. As a result, the sense of place created by a village’s cultural heritage links directly to a community’s sense of identity, which can ultimately enhance people’s overall sense of being and belonging and quality of life. The walled garden at Mountbellew offers this. They need to live it, grow with it, tend to it. For them, it can be a space of hope and promise:  if we put in the right effort and intention just about growing our connection to nature, it is essentially growing our connection to each other.

Due to the current COVID situation this call has been places on hold. We will be announcing further details in the coming weeks. 

Artists, teachers, academics and arts education professionals… Do you want to be part of the fifth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day?

The fifth National Arts in Education Portal Day will take place in Limerick this Autumn. The event aims to bring together members of the arts in education and creative practise community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

The Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee invites proposals from organisations or individuals who want to give dynamic and inspiring presentations or workshops that can offer sharing of skills, practical approaches, new insights and critical thinking across the field, from a range of perspectives.

This year, the Portal Day will have a special focus on ‘access and inclusion in arts in education and creative practise’. The Committee therefore will particularly welcome applications which respond to this theme.

Do you have a workshop or presentation that you would like to be included in the programme for this day? If so, please send us your proposal.

The deadline for submission of proposals has been extended to 5pm Friday 22nd May 2020.

Download the submission form National Portal day Proposal Form 2020.

CoisCéim Dance Theatre

CoisCéim is heading inside for the coming months and they’ve got some lively new moves to share with you.  From performance and participation projects to curated online classes let’s dance to keep our spirits up, stay in shape and reflect on the positive change our strange new world may bring.

Highlights for children and young people include:

Sofa Cinema Series: 

Kicking off next week (2 April) and featuring exclusive online private screenings from the CoisCéim archives starting with…

The Wolf and Peter | Live at the Sydney Opera House
2 April | 10am & 4pm
David Bolger’s award-winning work for children and their families was filmed in Sydney and streamed live to 21 schools in New South Wales in July 2017.

To view the full sofa cinema schedule go to coisceim.com/digitaldances/

BROADREACH | CREATIVE STEPS  
28 April – 02 May 4pm & 9pm
A selection of short films from the BROADREACH archive of Creative Steps Youth Dance Theatre and a preview of LANDSCAPE, the latest Creative Steps Project led by Laura Macken.

Online Workshops for Children aged 6 – 10:

CoisCéim are developing a short online series of interactive dance workshops for children aged 6-10 based on DANCE YOUR OWN DANCE that runs in parallel with David Bolger’s Francis Footwork – for more information please contact philippa@coisceim.com.

For further information and to view the full schedule of digital activities go to coisceim.com/digitaldances/

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the second 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: Crossing the Line

‘Crossing The Line’ is a year long collaboration between 9 early years children, artist Helen Barry, Lead Educator Audrey Fagan and the multi-practice team made up of special needs assistants, therapists and medical staff who support the children attending Pre-School One in the Central Remedial Clinic School. Their collaboration began in October 2019 and together they have been exploring, playing, experimenting, learning and creating through an experiential and multi-sensory programme of creative engagements that responds to the individual and group cognitive, emotional, developmental and medical needs of the children. They are creating enabling opportunities to build the children’s imagination, language and ability to think creatively. The programme’s enquiry will explore the perpetual visual and aural palette of sensations and frequencies through which we interpret the world around us. Helen’s position as artist-in-residence in the CRCS is being supported through her YPCE Bursary, awarded by The Arts Council in 2019 and is also supported by the National Concert Hall.

The ‘line’ we refer to in our title ‘Crossing the line’, is the physical mid-line of the body that needs to be crossed, e.g. the right arm crossing over in the left area of the body and vice versa, this is essential for the development of using both sides of the body together. We are there to grow and support each child to reach their full potential. We are there to give freedom to their investigation. As much as the artist brings the creative know how to this collaboration she too is learning a deeper understanding of the physical and cognitive developmental aims whilst observing the pedagogical practice that enable how these goals can be supported and achieved.

A few words from the artist Helen Barry

Creativity may require the dexterity of the fingertips but it is with every pore of their body that the early years child absorbs, explores and responds to the world around them. Through play they learn and if learning is work, work is play! Why then do some of us continue to learn this way and others take a different direction. My methodology and approach to working with early years children is governed by my preferred learning style; I am a kinaesthetic learner and the early years child is my idea co-creator. We don’t just need to touch it, we need to be in it, outside of it, hear it, wear it and be it to truly understand what it is we are doing or even just thinking about doing. Nothing is impossible there is little separation between the physical and the imaginary.

My belief that children bring with them their own narrative underpins the approach to my collaborative practice. The work evolves through a process of exploring shredding, questioning and observing the children at work. First I observe, I play and I listen to both the children and the adults in this environment. My methodology relies on the knowledge and observations of early years educators, specialists and parents with whom I engage. It is only then that I offer a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary palette of interactive engagements, tools, sounds and textures that supports the exploration and development of their narrative. It is the children’s responses to the aesthetic and aural palette that I bring that drives the direction of the collaboration and shapes my response back in the studio.

‘I may not be able to hear you, but I can still be listening’.

Hearing impeared Visual/sound artist Alison O’Daniel USA.

My current artist-in-residence with the CRCS is supported through a YPCE Bursary awarded by the Arts Council in 2019.  Alison’s words are a driving force to what my ambition is for this YPCE Bursary*. Her work challenges us to look at the worlds of others not from a ‘loss’ or ‘lack’ of sound, sight or motor or cognitive skills considered ‘important’ or ‘normal’ but from the position that everything exists on the horizon; a perpetual visual and aural palette of sensations and frequencies through which we interpret the world around us. This exploration began in early October 2019 and as we play together and create together we shall discover, learn, reflect and be open to where the journey takes us. To date I am having a wonderful time engaging, playing and observing the responses of the children and their relationships with each other. I am astounded by how young the children are yet so acutely aware of their empathy and the care they give to each other. Sometimes it seems that what is emanating from their emotional bond has an actual physical presence that should I reach out I may be able to touch it.

*My ambition is to design and create works that stem from the textured language informed through researching and expanding my understanding of what exists on these horizons through two new residencies, one with the Central Remedial Clinic School (CRCS) primary school facility and the second with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Unit of Stepaside Educate Together Primary School. ‘Crossing the Line’ involves the CRCS and will focus on the collaborative process in the school and hopefully share elements of what happens during the response time in the studio.

I am a visual artist and a trained dancer. My collaborative work with early years children is intrinsic to my practice.  I have over 35 years experience through creativity and play with small babies to older people in residential homes. My work draws from the nuances and disciplines of various art forms through collaborations and interactions with other arts practitioners, e.g. Jessica Kennedy of Junk Ensemble, Alex Petcu of Crash Ensemble. My work stems from the audience it is aimed at yet my ambition is to ensure that this work remains sustainable within the same critical and aesthetic platforms of professional arts spheres.

‘Sculptunes’ interactive sculptural installation in the National Concert Hall 2019

‘Spine’ for promotional purposes 2017 (3 mins)

‘The Kaleidoscopic Child’ 2018

A few words from lead educator Audrey Fagan

Children have a natural disposition to wonder, to be curious, to pose questions, to experiment, to suggest, to invent and to explain.  The child with additional needs is no different.  I trained as a National School teacher and began working in the area of special needs in 1996.  I taught all the age groups and it wasn’t until I began teaching the early years students of my school that I really found my purpose.  I have immersed myself into their world of learning, exploring and discovery.  I have read books to inform my methodologies and children’s learning styles.  I have googled the internet for inspiration and like-minded individuals in the fields of education and the Arts.   To play and work with children with complex needs, fundamentally, beginning and sustaining positive relationships is the basis for all their learning.  Relationships between them and you, between each other and between their parents and you!  Building relationships involves creating “an environment in which children feel secure and confident enough to take risks, to explore, to take part in challenging experiences, and to direct and co-direct their own learning” (NCCA, 2009 p.28)

I attended ‘Space Invaders – International Early Years Arts Festival in Farmleigh Estate back in June 2014.  I attended as many of the workshops I could and one of them, was Helen Barry’s workshop.  To this day I use the many wonderful and intriguing ideas she passionately encouraged us to engage with – threading lengths of wool with various coloured pieces of foam and paper/pasta and then creating a dome-like overhead structure with them, building with boxes and insulating foam piping, decorating clear umbrellas with stickers and/or paint and/or scarves, tracing our body shapes onto coloured paper and sticking these along clear cellophane in the outdoors!  Needless to say, I returned home a very happy teacher, discovering like-minded creators who worked with younger audiences to open and ignite their minds through multi-sensory experiences. Since then, I have attended many workshops/seminars/training for the early years, each time asking more questions, making more discoveries, implementing many ideas and adapting them to the special educational needs of the children I am fortunate to work and play with every day.

In September, 2018 I thought of re-connecting with Helen, having read about her project ‘sculptunes’.  I learned of ‘The Kaleidoscopic Child’, Helen’s new project and one that would suit the children in the school.  Last February 2019, Helen arrived at our School and within an hour had created an amazing, colourful, interactive piece.  Many classes, ranging in age from 3 to 12, with multiple disabilities enjoyed and interacted with Helen and her performance.  Comments from teachers and SNAs afterwards included –  ‘I didn’t know if the children would stay focused for long but they did!  There was just enough looking and observing and then they (the children) got to explore’

‘Brilliant!  Thought Helen was lovely with the children.  She didn’t rush them when they were looking or touching or just listening’

‘There was something for every child – Lewis wanted to figure out how the tubes made sounds with the pump and then Conor was so happy listening to the drum that sounded like the sea.  Milly loved the shiny mermaid material and Molly could have beat the dome-shaped metal drum for ages!’

Our children have a primary physical disability but many have multiple disabilities, including ASD, ADHD, emotional and behavioural and a visual or hearing impairment.  Engaging with the children requires a multi-sensory approach so each child can participate,explore and enjoy at their pace and level of ability.  It is about creating an enabling environment, one that enables all to play and create.

“Relationships are at the heart of early learning and development” (NCCA 2009 p. 27) Creating a rich, learning environment, giving time and space to the children and reminding the adults of ‘being in the moment’, sitting, waiting, being still to catch the glint in the eye, a flash of a smile as a child processes, absorbs, reacts and responds to the creative experience.  Teaching children with complex needs requires an holistic, creative approach, all their senses need to be engaged and a trusting reciprocal relationship with their educators enables all involved to be open to this. This is the essence of what we hope to document.

The documentary award will provide us with the potential to show how children living with profound and complex needs are, as with all children, need and want to play, to learn, to engage, to explore, to create, to communicate, to belong, to make and have friends, to be happy and secure. They are, as all children are, mischievous, eager, curious, playful and reckless, have selective hearing and are full of devilment!  We as the adults, are there to offer the space and freedom, the creative environment to cross the line.

A Call for Home

Magnetise 2020 and collaborative practice in lockdown

In these unnerving times of isolation, connecting through collaborative projects will be an important life line for many artists. And although at times worries may override our ability to work at our best, the possibility to be together, to keep working, inspiring each other and reflecting together may well turn out to be even more important than pasta and toilet roll!

I have spent some time in the last few days considering the possibilities and challenges in this new climate for some of my ongoing projects. As an artist who has continued to embrace the sensorily rich materiality of charcoal and fabric and paint, has veered a little shy of technology and whose performance practice often involves contact dance forms, I find myself looking squarely at the important role online technology will now take going forward. An example is the Magnetise Project. This project, which was selected for both local and national awards last year, has to date centred around week long residencies and workshop periods where the internationally based artists and local community groups have collaborated in a combination of professional development and community based practice. We are delighted to have secured the funding to continue the work this year and build on the existing relationships and themes. The project investigates the potential of renewed attention to gravity, through somatic movement, sound and drawing practices as a means deepening our connections to landscape.

At the end of 2019 we began developing the next phase, ‘Magnetise, a call for home’. This title, (increasingly poignant in the current climate), reflects an interest to explore the connections not just between ourselves and landscape but relationships between land and identity, and the idea of being at ‘at home’; in our body, our community and environment. The six dance artists collaborate with participants from two of the community groups this year, (three adult performers who are wheelchair users and three youth dancers) towards the creation of a joint performance. For now all work will happen remotely and a final performance space may take the form of a split screen video rather than theatre. We will explore the potential of zoom for discussion and workshop facilitation and the website for sharing and reflecting. We will also explore the use of VR sets and cameras for live streamed and filmed work, combining layering and real time interaction.

For now keeping connected in meaningful and creative ways feels as important as ever, as does deepening connections with home and land. Magnetise, like other projects, will, I hope offer a frame to keep a group together and to keep collaboratively making. To read more about Magnetise visit www.undercurrentdancefilmtheatre.com/magnetise

Image copyright: Kate Wilson

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

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Dates: 12 & 13 June 2020

Baborókabinet k and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture present a workshop for professionals with an interest in making performances with and for children and young people.

This is a unique opportunity for directors, dancers, choreographers and performance artists seeking to develop their practice in this area.

This two day workshop, on 12 & 13 June, will be facilitated by Joke Laureyns and Kwint Manshoven, Co-Directors of kabinet k. Kabinet k is a Belgian dance company which creates work with and for children. The company has toured all over the world with their performances and workshops for professionals and for children.

The artistic language of kabinet k has a playful, energetic, yet subtle power. Joke and Kwint will share an insight into their dance vocabulary which is demonstrated in their world-renowned production of ‘Horses’ (view the production trailer here). This practical movement workshop is a playful encounter between the choreographers and the participants, revealing some aspects of how they work with different generations on stage and how a work like Horses was created. It’s about dance in its purest and most essential form: the articulation of a moving body.

kabinet k will challenge the participants to go deeper into their image of childhood and question and develop their own practice.

This workshop will suit professional dancers, choreographers, directors, theatre makers and dance/performance teachers with an interest in producing or participating in theatre made for and with young audiences.

Workshop Dates: June 12 & 13, 2020.
Application Deadline: 5pm, Friday, April 3

For more information and to apply go to www.baboro.ie/artists/kabinet-k-movement-dance-workshop

Arts in Education Portal

Update: Due to the current COVID-19 situation this event has now been postponed until Saturday 16th May 2020

The Arts in Education Portal’s regional tour continues with a stop at VISUAL, Carlow on Saturday, March 28th, 10.30am to 3pm. Tickets are free but must be booked ahead on Eventbrite here.

Following on from successful events at the Glucksman in Cork, the LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire in 2018 and the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in 2019, the Carlow Regional Day is planned to be an informal day of sharing experience and best practice from the sector. The programme includes a presentation with curator Karla Sanchez and artist Els Dietvorst discussing their experience on the Living Arts Project, along with an exploration of collective ownership and participation in Primary Schools with artist Tunde Toth.

Book early as tickets are already being reserved – www.eventbrite.ie/e/arts-in-education-portal-regional-day-carlow-tickets

Schedule

10:30am —registration & coffee

10.45am — Welcome

11:00am — Introduction: VISUAL: Artist Clare Breen

11:15am—The Portal: a brief introduction Emma Kavanagh, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership (Portal Content Managers)

11:30am—Presentation: The Living Arts Project, a discussion with curator Karla Sanchez and artist Els Dietvorst

12:15pm—Presentation: ‘Danger Art’ Collective Authorship, Shared Ownership and Participation in Arts Projects in Primary Schools with artist Tunde Toth,

1:00.pm—Q & A: whole panel of presenters

1:15pm—Lunch & networking

2.00pm—Hands-on Creative Workshop: Visual Artist, Maree Hensey

3:00pm—wrap up

National Gallery of Ireland

A comprehensive new photography resource has been developed for the National Gallery of Ireland by artist/educator Brian Cregan.

Medium, Materiality and Magic: Photography at the National Gallery of Ireland is suitable for both primary and post-primary schools. It provides an introduction to photography, exploring key works in the Gallery’s growing photography collection, along with ideas for students to create their own photographs.

The resource is accompanied by a video tutorial providing an easy step-by-step guide of how to make a photogram. Some of the Gallery’s most popular resources are now also available in Irish: Tuiscint ar Thaispeántas; Céard é Portráid; & Tírdhreacha in Ealaín na hÉireann.

For more information go to www.nationalgallery.ie/what-we-do/education-department/schools/resources-schools

Download Medium, Materiality and Magic here.

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership

Date: 7 March 2020

Kids’ Own is really proud to be celebrating thirteen years of their virtual arts in education project, Virtually There, with a large-scale exhibition and special launch event at Belfast Children’s Festival.

On Saturday 7th March 2020, a new exhibition will open in Belfast to showcase work developed by children, artists and teachers over the past three years. Funded for eleven years by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation since 2016, Virtually There was developed by Kids’ Own with a pioneering approach whereby artists connected virtually from their studios with children in the classroom.

Kids’ Own has partnered with Belfast Children’s Festival, Young at Art and University of Ulster to develop this exciting exhibition for public audiences, which runs from 6th-28th March.

A special exhibition opening event takes place at the Ulster University Belfast Campus on Saturday 7th March, 1pm-3.30pm. This event will include the launch of Open Space: An action research report from the Virtually There project by Dr Bryonie Reid. It will be launched by Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast.

There will also be a panel discussion entitled What does collaboration really mean? This discussion will be chaired by Mark O’Brien, director of axis, Ballymun, in conversation with artists and teachers who participated in the project.

Date & Time

Saturday, 7 March 2020. 1pm – 3.30pm

Venue

Belfast College of Art, York Street, Belfast

Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to info@kidsown.ie

For further information go to kidsown.ie/kids-own-celebrates-13-years-of-virtually-there-project-at-belfast-childrens-festival/

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.

Diversity and Every Duck is Different

In October last year I was invited to attend the Europe in Perspective conference in Dortmund with Dr Katie Sweeny and the TAP (Teacher Artist Partnership) design team.

Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD focuses on enabling teachers and artists to jointly develop their understanding, expertise and creativity in ‘arts in education’ work with children and young people. The initiative was developed under the Arts in Education Charter and has run since 2015 and is now delivered each year first week of July in Education Centers under the Creative Ireland Programme. To date in excess of 1,000 teachers and Artists have been trained under TAP CPD in Ireland. There is now a big interest at EU and international level on Teacher-Artist partnership as a model for enhancing Arts education in Schools.

The conference in Dortmund, ‘Every Duck is Different, Challenging our perspectives on Europe and Culture’ was the final conference/ training in the Transnational Training on Diversity and Cultural Learning.

(For more information and great resources visit their site! europe-in-perspective.eu. )

This conference was developed to explore how diversity can be addressed by arts and education practitioners. The two days were packed with thought provoking group activities and presentations from speakers including Dr Ipek Demir and Szilvia Németh. Two young activist groups, Europe Fiction and Polotics of Hope, had been invited to close the conference. The fresh perspective, intelligence and passion of their interventions added an incredible further dimension.

I’ve been thinking about how I address diversity in my own practice. Cultural diversity is increasingly part of the rich fabric of our communities and schools, and it is important to keep checking in with established frameworks and methods, being conscious of the need to be flexible in this context. Diversity is about recognising that ‘every duck is different’. That we support each other to grow through recognition of the strength of our individuality, and our ability to think critically and independently. To fully enjoy difference, finding interest and inspiration in this so that we can move towards a world where not just cultural, but also intellectual and physical difference is truly supported and celebrated.

It was great to bring some of the learning and inspiration from the conference to the TAP lead facilitators up skilling day in February. Many of the lead partners have a new residency this year which is a fantastic opportunity to keep bringing the theory in to practice.

An exciting development for TAP since the conference is the creation of international dimension to TAP, (ITAP). Building on relationships with new partners from the conference, we are in the process of developing a European programme of shared practice and exchange.

Solstice Arts Centre

Date: 7 March 2020

Primary school teachers, artists and those working within the classroom are invited to a one day CPD at Solstice Arts Centre, Navan to experience the potential of the gallery as an educational resource for the primary school curriculum and how this can be applied to the classroom context.

Exploring ‘You are Made of Stardust’, Solstice’s current exhibition by George Bolster participants will engage in a responsive workshop led by professional artist/educator Jane Fogarty. Supporting and enhancing artistic skills through discussions on art and a hands-on printmaking workshop. This CPD is suitable for those working with all primary class years and has links to the print and drawing modules from the visual arts curriculum.

€25 including lunch in Solstice café, places are limited.

10am – 3:30 pm, no prior art experience necessary.

For further information and booking go to www.solsticeartscentre.ie/learning-participation/the-gallery-as-a-classroom.2939.html

CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Dates: 29 February, 28 March, 9 May 2020

Early Years Arts & Play Education workshops, delivered by Artists/Educators, Rachel Doolin and George Hannover. CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Grand Parade Campus, Cork.

This series of CPD Masterclasses at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design will focus on early years experiential and creative play methodologies, with each workshop exploring a different material theme such as: LIGHT Play, PAPER Play, CARDBOARD Play and POP UP Play. ‘Simplicity’ and ‘wonder in the ordinary’ are at the very core of this holistic series of workshops. Artists will guide, offer ideas and materials to inspire and ignite curiosity in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Participants will be encouraged to activate their imaginations and to explore ‘ways to play’ that encourage and embrace spontaneity, open-ended exploration and unpredictable impulses!

Dates & Times

For more information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/masterclasses-for-early-childhood-educators-and-childcare-professionals/

Barnstorm Theatre Company

Dates: 4th, 5th, 6th – 9th of March 2020

Barnstorm Theatre Company is delighted to present its new production of ‘Alice and the Wolf’ by Tom Swift.

Alice spends virtually all her time in Wolf Wood. You know, the world’s deepest, darkest online game. Why not? Her dad isn’t around, her mother’s gone to Canada to meet a lumberjack and her best friend’s dumped her for a YouTube star.

But what happens when the people you meet online come looking for you in real life? Who can you trust, and who is the Big Bad Wolf? This re-telling of the Little Red Riding Hood story is a digital fairy tale that’s deliciously funny and full of dangerously dark twists.

Workshop
For County Kilkenny schools attending the play, we offer two in-school workshops:

These sessions are optional and capacity is limited, therefore they will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Teachers’ Resources
A resource pack will be provided to participating teachers. Linked to the SPHE syllabus, the pack will provide a focus for exploration and discussion of themes raised through the play.

Performances of ‘Alice and the Wolf’ will take place at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny.

Dates & Times

Wednesday 04 March at 11.30am
Thursday 05, Friday 06 and Monday 09 March 2020 at 10.00am & 12.30pm

School Group Rate €10, one teacher free with each booking of 12

For more information or to obtain a resource pack, please contact Barnstorm Theatre at admin@barnstorm.ie, or call us on 056 7751266

Tickets are available online at watergatetheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873615598

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

 

EVA International

EVA International is delighted to announce the release of free copies of Better Words, for primary school libraries nationwide. It is a new book that offers an introduction to contemporary art and culture through the eyes of 8 – 12 year olds.

It features new artistic terms, words and word-forms, that describe many aspects of contemporary art today, all of which were invented by children through a workshop process that took place across 5 schools in County Limerick, in Spring 2019.

Organised into thematic sections, Better Words offers an introduction to key themes in contemporary art practice today, while also reflecting the cultural curiosity, creative energy and humourous irreverence of the participating school children.

Published by EVA International the book features contributions by acclaimed author Kevin Barry and notes on the workshop process by curator Maeve Mulrennan.

Please contact Eimear Redmond (Better Words Programme Coordinator) at eimear@eva.ie, to redeem a free copy of Better Words for your school library.

Please note that a small nominal fee of €3 for post and package will apply, one copy per school while stocks last.

For further information go to www.eva.ie

Irish Film Institute

Date: 4 March 2020

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) and the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, in association with Screen Skills Ireland, will once again offer an inspiring and innovative day of events for young people interested in finding out more about working in the film and tv industries.

This event, aimed at Senior Cycle second-level students aged 15 to 18, is an opportunity for students to hear from a whole variety of film industry practitioners, to learn about their work, how they got there and what advice they might give to young people starting out. Whether it’s the craft side of the industry, working in front of the camera or behind, as well as other areas such as production or casting, there will be something for every interest.

A number of third-level institutions will also be on hand to offer guidance on the day.

Last year’s guests included director Lenny Abrahamson, producer Ed Guiney, costume designer Consolata Boyle and DOP Cathal Watters.

Booking essential. See www.ifi.ie/schools

 

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

Grow from Seeds Programme

Date: 17 January 2020

The Grow from Seeds project intends to provide a programme designed to foster intercultural dialogue in Primary Schools recognising European Parliament priorities to address anti-social behaviour through social cohesion and inclusion, active citizenship and the empowerment and participation of pupils. The methodology used to deliver this education programme adopts multiple strands of Creative Drama, storytelling and performing arts which are proven to be highly motivating, multi-sensory and active learning tools. The Grow from Seeds project engages partners from Ireland, Germany and France, and is supported by Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership.

Teachers, policy makers, researchers, artists, drama practitioners and academics are invited to attend the International Conference in Intercultural Education for Primary Schools to explore new ways of understanding Intercultural Education in Primary Schools and the use of the creative arts as a tool to foster intercultural dialogue in primary schools..

Keynote Address

The conference event will include a keynote talk from Joe Little, RTÉ Religious and Social Affairs correspondent. The event will also showcase the work from the Grow from Seeds project as well as presentations and contributions from practitioners and educators through a panel discussion.

Venue: Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin

Date: 17th January 2020, 9.30am registration

RSVP by January 6th to educate@gaietyschool.com

 

 

Branar Téatar do Pháistí’s – Galway 2020

Dates: 2 – 29 March 2020

Sruth na Teanga: an adventure through the story of the Irish Language

As part of Galway 2020, Branar Téatar do Pháistí’s Sruth na Teanga is an epic and unique immersive theatre show that imaginatively tells the story of the evolution and life of the language. Branar will transform the terminal building of the old Galway Airport for a walk-through performance in which one class group of thirty pupils will enter at a time. Experience a true sense of adventure with cinematic levels of detail as you travel through four worlds experiencing live performance, puppetry, music, design and beautiful imagery. The children’s journey will culminate with an opportunity to explore a response room that will enhance and deepen their engagement with the show.

Branar’s world-class brand of storytelling will enchant audiences aged 8-plus and adults alike.

Tickets are €7 per child and teachers go free.

For further information and school bookings go to www.sruthnateanga.ie.

 

The Ark

10 – 11 January 2020

As the fun of the festive season fades and the new year sets in, this early years drama workshop for little ones aged 2-4 will explore how to cope when things go wrong. Part of First Fortnight festival and led by The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence, Joanna Parkes.

Oh dear! Elliott the Dragon is having a bad day. It’s a cold, snowy day and he’s fed up. Everything’s going wrong and he doesn’t know what to do. He says he’s going to give up and not try anymore but… maybe we can help him? Maybe we encourage him to try again? Maybe we can help him bounce back?

Join in to discover, explore and find out if you can help Elliott figure out how to be resilient 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.

For further information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-first-fortnight2020

Deadline: Friday 24th January 2020

The Arts in Education Portal editorial team are pleased to invite applications for a documentation award. Through the award, successful applicants will receive services to the value of €5,000 that will support them in the documentation of a current or upcoming project and a €500 stipend.

The purpose of the award is to support the development of documented outcomes from Arts in Education initiatives in Ireland, which can be shared with the arts in education community and give insights into different processes of engagement. This is part of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee’s commitment to supporting and recognising the value of documentation and reflection as a key component within arts in education initiatives.

Two awards will be offered through this opportunity.

Outcomes of the documentation process will include: a project video, a project feature to be showcased on the Portal’s Projects/Partnerships, and the option of a critical essay, with a view to also presenting the work as part of the Arts in Education Portal National Day in 2020.

The process will involve meetings with the Portal Team and a schedule of 3 site visits over the course of the project to capture video and photographic documentation and support reflective processes among participants. The portal team will edit and produce a project video, and will liaise closely with the project partners to develop the content for the project feature. The critical essay would be sited in the Portal’s Reading Room, and is optional. The author and focus of the essay can be decided by the project organisers in collaboration with the Portal Team.

Criteria

To be considered for this opportunity, projects must:

Additional criteria

How to make a submission:

Please send your submission to: editor@artsineducation.ie by 5pm, Friday 24th January 2020.

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 Hunt Museum

School bookings open from 21 November for spring and summer terms 2020

The Hunt Museum, Limerick Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art are delighted to invite primary schools to take part in ‘The Three Muses: exploring art and identity’ programme.

Through this innovative visual arts programme for primary schools, pupils from schools across Limerick will engage with modern and contemporary visual art from the collections of three Limerick museums. Through workshops and activities participants will develop their confidence and understanding in visual art, while exploring the theme of identity.

The programme also includes one-off events such as children-led tours of the collections, training sessions for teachers and a summer showcase.

This programme is underpinned by Visual Thinking Strategies and links with Arts Education, History and SPHE curricula, giving participants an opportunity to connect in a relevant way with three Limerick museums and to generate an understanding and appreciation of the importance of visual art.

This programme is supported by Limerick City & County Council and Friends of The Hunt Museum.

School bookings from 21 November for spring and summer terms 2020.

For further information and booking details go to www.huntmuseum.com/learn/primary-schools

Irish Film Institute (IFI)

Date: 18 December 2019

In advance of the Irish Film Institute’s (IFI) annual Careers in Screen Day, 2020, IFI Education, in partnership with Screen Skills Ireland, is offering a First Steps morning event, to introduce participants to the world of short filmmaking, through presentations from three flourishing filmmaking companies.

Presenting samples of their work and talking about their paths into the industry, guest speakers from Paper Panther Productions, Tailored Films and Failsafe Films, will each discuss their own career and answer participants’ questions relating to their work and their roles in the industry. The event is ideally suited to young people who are exploring different career options, perhaps considering third level courses in film, media or TV, or keen to learn from Irish filmmakers about working in the thriving screen industries.

Admission costs €5 per person and tickets are strictly limited. Suitable for ages 15-18. Event will last approx. 75 mins.

For further information go to ifi.ie/careers

 

The Ark

Dates: 14 – 29 December 2019

Little Bigtop in Association with The Civic

Escape into space in this fantastic interactive theatrical adventure for ages 3-5 from Little Bigtop in association with The Civic.

Moon Woke Me Up Nine times
It was still 4am
So I built a rocket with my friends
And went on a journey that never ends

Come up and away with us. Come and play with us.

You are invited to come and build a rocket that will BLAST OFF and take us on a magical adventure. Once inside their homemade rocket children are treated to a magical shadow show as they journey to the moon! Come with us all the way, up there, into outer space!

I wonder if it smells of cheese?
I wonder if it will make me sneeze?

Let’s find out!

Inspired by a Haiku of the same title by Basho Matsuo, Moon Woke Me Up is an interactive theatrical adventure to space for ages 3-5, using a wonderful blend of performance and interactive drama, construction play and sensory explorations.

For further information and bookings go to https://ark.ie/events/view/moon-woke-me-up

 

 

The Glucksman

Dates: 14-26 January 2020

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to the ‘The Classroom Museum’ exhibition.

The Classroom Museum enables schoolchildren in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. In Autumn 2019, with the support of Kerry County Council and Creative Ireland, the Glucksman brought the Classroom Museum initiative to Caherdaniel NS and Portmagee NS in South West Kerry.

Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers had the opportunity to interact with artworks by Irish contemporary artists Dara McGrath and Fiona Kelly.

The Classroom Museum is built around the value of providing children with an opportunity to engage with works of art in a personal and continuous way. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and 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.

The students from Caherdaniel and Portmagee will visit the Glucksman in January 2020 to see their artworks on display. The exhibition is open to the public and runs until January 26th.

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

 

Music Generation

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) County Council invite applications for the position of: Music Generation Development Officer

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by dlr County Council and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of dlr Local Music Education Partnership.

Music Generation dlr is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Temporary five year fixed term contract (Salary range: €47,588 – €58,157 per annum)

Application forms and full particulars are available online at – www.dlrcoco.ie

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

dlr County Council is an equal opportunities employer.

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019 (Late applications will not be accepted)

Job reference: 008488

Liz Coman is an Assistant Arts Officer with Dublin City Council.  She is a certified Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator with VTS/USA and has completed training to coaching level.  She is responsible for monitoring the quality of Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – an EU project for Dublin City Council that is testing the VTS training pathway with educators in classroom and gallery settings. Liz has a background in History of Art and Museum Studies and fifteen years experience in designing innovative projects that support arts, education and learning.  She has led trainings in enquiry led approaches to mediating artwork for visual art facilitators in The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Turner Prize, Derry and offers ongoing mentorship for individual artists, arts educators and teachers.

“Observation is more than one thing –  we use our eyes to analyse an image, and we also use thinking, and our senses and emotions to interpret what we are seeing” – Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder  – Blog 4

A Conversation with Primary School Teacher, Jane Malone

For this fourth and final blog about Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder, it is timely for me to reflect on some of our learnings from the VTS training pathway for educators.  Over 150 educators, from classroom and museum settings, were supported to access the VTS training pathway with VTS/USA. This happened, through a partnership approach that allowed a range of partners across local, national and European to fund a unique training programme.

The research evaluation framework for Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder will capture the ‘impact’ of the VTS training pathway on educators training and practicing VTS in schools and museums across.  Findings will be presented by VTS Nederland at our Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder Conference on 21 April 2020 in Dublin Castle.

Between now and then, we are considering what is next for our work with VTS.  What are the existing mainstream teacher and artist training pathways that could offer support to the VTS training pathway?  How do we hold on to the value of  peer to peer learning across a the mixed cohort of educators – artist, art educators, secondary (art) teacher and primary school classroom teachers? How do we support mixed groupings of trainees to continue to access enjoyable and deep VTS learning experiences about art, learning, classroom and community where every individual voice is valued and heard?

The cross-disciplinary potential for VTS is striking.  Art is the starting point and the transferrable skills for the trained VTS educator and for the participating group become more and more obvious with regular practice.  For me, the most obvious win for VTS practice is within the primary school or early years classroom.  In these classrooms, multiple subject areas sit alongside each other, but objectives for building patterns of learning, thinking and communicating are overarching priorities. This is approach to learning is more and more mirrored in the modern workplace.  Artists, lawyers, farmers, employees and entrepreneurs across all disciplines must show flexibility in their thinking and their approach to running their business/getting their product out there/meeting their client needs. Problem solving and team communication skills are key in order to do that.  Teams must use their observational skills and thinking skills in tandem with a bigger picture approach which is supported by being open to differing points of view, to allow for benefit from other people’s experience along with their own.

Below, Jane Malone, a primary school teacher from St Catherine’s NS, Donore Avenue, talks about how VTS has strengthened her practice in facilitating students’ learning; how this practice is a tool for communication skills, such as deep listening and respectful discussion;  how it is a tool for opening students up to their own thinking processes to support how they learn, access knowledge and problem solve; how this practice can transfer from art, to maths, to science to SPHE, to oral language development, to project development.

What do you find VTS brings to your practice as a primary teacher?

In a primary school classroom of today, we are facilitators of learning, more so than the traditional idea of teachers. VTS definitely highlighted to me the skill of being a facilitator. You facilitate the thinking skills you want them to have or the writing skills you want them, but where they take it is theirs, as long as it’s appropriate.

I find our VTS sessions are a great tool for demonstrating and practising active listening.   When someone is making their observation, and when I’m paraphrasing back, they are all listening. Their hand isn’t up with their point, it’s a shared listening experience where they can see what the speaker is seeing. That has really helped in terms of general classroom management, but also for turn taking in terms of respectful conversation.  This is something that can’t be explicitly taught. At the same time, it permeates all the other lessons, because we all get so used to the process.

I also find our VTS sessions very inclusive, because it’s not about ability, it’s about the picture or the piece of art that you were looking at, and ‘my opinion’ is not the rightopinion, it may vary very differently to what ‘your opinion’ is. It’s accessing art on all levels for all children of all abilities, not just for the ‘arty’ children or the people who like that piece of art.  It takes how art used to be untouchable, it was in galleries, behind frames, it’s opening it up to multiple possible interpretations.

For me, VTS impacts all the curriculum areas, particularly the language elements and the social and emotional aspect of things as well. I use it with ‘Number Talks’, and with anything I’m doing in SESE where I’m facilitating project-based learning and they’re determining where they’re going to take the project. VTS fits well in particular, with the New Language Curriculum, with Irish and English, and how it describes the role of paraphrasing the students comment, that no comment is incorrect, but the paraphrase back is the teaching and learning moment. The children are becoming more aware of how I am teaching them, more familiar with the paraphrasing process, and this gives them the confidence to make the comment, in a language lesson, without worrying about being right or wrong.

What have you noticed happening in your work in the classroom with VTS?

The group I have this year is sixth class. I had them in fourth class, when I started practicing VTS in the classroom. So this year, when I do VTS with the children, I begin a session by talking with them about the broad concept of thinkingthat happens when we do VTS – ‘what is observing?’ We talk about using our eyes, and the role of listening. We go deeper with an art image and talk about how we use our senses to observe, and also how our emotional response informs our thinking.

I began this year’s science curriculum with an exercise where we took a roll of Sellotape and passed it around the room. Each child had to make an observational comment about it, as it was passed from person to person. The reason why I blended VTS with this exercise, is because in VTS with art images, you are naturally talking about story, setting, materials, bringing in previous experience and knowledge. So, in this Sellotape exercise, I was really conscious that it can push them to build more sophisticated language for what they are describing.  I keep my paraphrasing conditional and label the thinking processes so that the children can recognise that their thinking processes can transfer from the VTS exercise we do with art, to this exercise, which is more about introducing scientific language for observation. It’s a really successful exercise because you can hear them talking about texture of the Sellotape, using language to describe it based on their senses, describing it’s shape based on their knowledge of maths, making metacognitive statements that are bringing information from other bodies of knowledge.
I see that this is how I am going to bring my VTS practice forward.  In the classroom, I’m trying to create an atmosphere of STEAM versus STEM.  VTS is one of the methodologies that supports me to do this.  I use mind maps and Elklan (a process to meet the speech, language and communication needs of children) with topics where we build vocabulary and language. I find VTS coming into play more for the more technical curriculum subject areas such as the literacy skills of breaking down a language, looking at and attempting maths problem solving, and also for science.

How important do you think that silence at the beginning to observe is?

Very. But we do that in another form in our ‘number talks’ as well, so you put up your number sentence and then you literally wait. It’s very hard when you’re initially doing it as a teacher, to wait long enough, standing in silence is quite difficult. Because we had been doing it in ‘number talks’, I was then able to marry it, so I give them quite a bit of time. It does occur to me each time I do it “I wonder how long everybody else gives?” Sherry Parrish is the number talks guru, so if you watched one of her videos you’d understand the similarities. It’s “how would you do this?”, “how did you come to your conclusions?”, “now, tell the rest of the class how you got that answer or why you went that way” or “what does everybody else think of the way X did that sum?”. So again, it’s similar a similar process of supporting thinking and social learning.

Can you recall a favourite VTS Image Discussion?

One of my favourite VTS sessions was when I was practicing on the Permission to Wonder training in Helsinki.  I was looking at the image for the first time and not sure where it would go with the group.  There were many different interpretations of the image from individuals and so I had to really concentrate on my paraphrasing.  It showed me that my paraphrasing was really working well for me, I was hearing as I was speaking. It was really challenging, but there seemed to be a flow. I remember this as I learned so much from it.

Another one that sticks out in my mind, with sixth class last year, they kept on trying to identify the images as being staged. ‘Oh this has been deliberately set up as though it was in the 1960s and it was deliberately provocative because….’ – they were really cynical about the image and it felt like there was an inflexibility of their engagement with it.  They were more about creating the backstory about why the artist did it, than observing what it was in front of them. I found that really interesting.

One other one, was a picture of a woman in a subway surrounded by a lot of men. She is to the foreground, and one of the children that has anxiety identified it as her experiencing great anxiety and nobody around her knowing it. So that kind of projecting their own emotional states onto the images we are looking at, I find that really interesting.

It sounds like for you, in a VTS image discussion you are observing the ‘thinking’ going on – either your own thinking or the students thinking?

It definitely would be part of my practice as a teacher.  We are here to teach skills, in particular to understand that there are thinking processes and to help them to figure out how to support these processes for themselves in the future. So they can access the facts.  Who remembers all the rivers and mountains of Ireland, it’s more about how you going about researching that information and your thinking process around researching the question that’s important.

How did Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder support you to develop your VTS practice?

It greatly supported me to put aside my learning and experience and become open to a new way of engaging with languages. I found that really interesting as languages are ‘my thing’. I have a degree in French and Italian, English and Gaeilge are my favourite subjects to teach, and I love grammar, so it was fascinating to me how I struggled with the VTS questions at first. They felt so American and strange to me but when I saw the huge body of research behind them and experienced firsthand how effective they were in keeping a rein in on the facilitator’s natural bias, I was completely converted. It was also really comforting to work with such experienced artists and art professionals and see how my lack of experience did not impede my ability to facilitate a VTS session. Finally, it was an exhausting but really wonderful experience on a personal level. I really feel I grew as an individual and my love of learning was reignited. So thank you to all involved.

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

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 24 January 2020

Founded in 2012, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating and supporting music in Irish schools. The Music for Schools Competition is produced by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school music groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music Ireland, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

2020 Calendar 

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

 

 

 

Museum of Literature Ireland

The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) are excited to offer a free primary school creative programme ‘Shut your eyes and see’ to Irish primary school teachers and students in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class. Workshops explore Irish literature, past and present, hoping to inspire the next generation to read, write, and unlock their creative potential in whatever form it takes.

Developed in collaboration with students from our learning partner schools, teachers, educators, administrators and librarians, our programme is designed with different learning styles in mind.

We offer a two-hour experience in MoLI from 10am–12pm, during term time. Teachers and students participate in a creative workshop and a tour of our exhibition space and gardens.

Connecting to our exhibitions and gardens, and reflecting elements of the school curriculum, workshops seek to develop critical thinking and research skills as well as visual, verbal and information literacy.

When booking, primary school teachers can choose from one of three workshops:

To book go to moli.ie/book-a-primary-school-workshop/

For further information and to download a teachers resource pack go to moli.ie/learning/schools-and-teachers/

 

Fingal County Council Arts Office

Date: 29 October 2019

Artist Jane Fogarty will introduce primary school teachers to Estuary – an exhibition of artworks from Fingal County Council’s Municipal Art Collection, as a starting point for generating ideas for use with students back in the classroom.

Teachers will be supported to enhance their artistic skills and expand their approach to teaching in the classroom by exploring the potential of the gallery context as an educational resource for the primary school curriculum. There will be an emphasis on looking and responding to contemporary artworks, group discussion, and identifying curriculum links.

This event is Free to attend. Lunch will be included.

For further information and booking please contact:  julie.clarke@fingal.ie

There are limited places available.  Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

About Estuary, Sept 12th – Nov 16th at Draíocht

Fingal County Council presents this significant exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the council and its Municipal Art Collection. Curated by Una Sealy (RHA), James English (RHA), Joshua Sex and Sanja Todorović, the selected artworks represent an evolving collection of painting, print, photography, literature and sculptural work by some of Ireland’s most prolific artists.  There is a strong theme of nature flowing through much of the selected works chosen by the curators specifically with Fingal’s landscape in mind. We hope that you enjoy the exhibition and participation in the public engagement programme.  www.fingalarts.ie

Date & Time:  

Tuesday 29 October 2019, 10am – 3pm

Location:

Draíocht, Blanchardstown

Facilitator:

Artist Jane Fogarty

The Ark 

Date: 1 & 2 November 2019

Embrace the wonders of the wind in this fun drama workshop for little ones aged 2-4, led by The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence, Joanna Parkes.

It’s a whirly, swirly, windy day and the Wind Wizards are busy at work. Not everyone likes the wind though, as it whips up fallen leaves and tousles their hair. Can the wind wizards help people see how wonderful the wind can be?

Join in to explore, imagine and discover your own secret love for the whistle and whoosh of the whispering wind.

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 1st November, 10.15am & 2pm
Saturday 2nd November, 10.15am & 11.45am

For ages 2- 4

45 minutes

For more information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-whirly-swirly-wind

Update: Minister Kyne T.D. to attend 4th annual National Arts in Education Portal Day

The Portal team are delighted to announce that the fourth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day will be attended by Seán Kyne TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.

We are pleased to announce our full programme of presentations and workshops for the National Arts in Education Portal Day 2019. The programme was selected following a call for submissions in summer 2019 and reflects a broad range of projects, approaches and art forms from within the arts and education sectors; both practical and theoretical.

The day will culminate in a special performance by members of Symphonic Waves Youth Orchestra with group leader and soloist Mary Duggan.

To view the full programme click here and to book your place go to national-arts-in-education-portal-day-2019.eventbrite.ie

The Ark 

Dates: 10 October – 2 November 2019

The Ark invites schools to the world premiere of a brand new show by Wayne Jordan and Tom Lane for Ages 8+.

Labhraidh Loingseach has a secret. He wears his hair long and he has it cut only once a year. Once a year on the same night in the same place and in the same style. But never by the same barber.

The Haircut is a cautionary tale with a live musical soundtrack. The Haircut is a fairytale remixed and retold.

The Haircut is a play about secrets and about creativity stifled. About fighting for what you believe in and standing up to power.

About music and magic and hair.

Set in a magical modern day Ireland, The Haircut is a new commission written by Wayne Jordan, delivered with ineffable charm by bright new talent Thommas Kane Byrne and accompanied by Tom Lane’s vibrant score played by three outstanding musicians.

Classroom Activity Pack

A new Classroom Activity Pack is available for teachers is available to download to accompany the production.  Created by Joanna Parkes and Anita Mahon – renowned specialist facilitators for educational drama and music programmes – the pack uses the show’s rich themes and ideas as a starting point for a range of engaging classroom activities and is a useful resource to teachers, whether or not they have seen the performance.

To download the full Classroom Activity Pack for The Haircut! go to ark.ie/news/post/just-released-the-haircut-classroom-activity-pack

Dates & Times

10 October – 2 November

School Days
Wednesday 16, Friday 18, & Wednesday 23, Friday 25 Oct @ 10.15am & 12.15pm

Mid-Term Break
Tuesday 29 October – Friday 1 November @ 2pm
Wednesday 30 October @ 7pm

Relaxed Performance Wednesday 30 October @ 2pm

For further information and ticket booking go to ark.ie/events/view/the-haircut

 

 

 

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

We are delighted to announce the guest speakers for the fourth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day on November 9th at The Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in partnership with ILAS and Baboró. Our day begins with a welcome from Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair for Children Youth and Civic Engagement, and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and Dr. Katie Sweeney – National Director for the Integration of the Arts, Department of Education and Skills (DES).

We welcome guest speaker Professor Bill Lucus, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester. 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.

Full programme details for the day will be announced shortly. For enquiries please contact events@artsineducation.ie

Professor Patrick Dolan, UNESCO Chair for Children Youth and Civic Engagement, and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at The Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), NUI Galway

Professor Pat Dolan holds the prestigious UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, the first to be awarded in the Republic of Ireland. The UNESCO Chair delivers a comprehensive programme of work towards the objective of promoting civic engagement and leadership skills among children and youth. The programme is built around core strands of research, teaching, policy and good practice and is underpinned by a range of national and international collaborations. Prof. Dolan is also joint founder and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has worked as a practitioner and  academic for over 30 years. Prof Dolan has completed an extensive body of research on children youth and family issues including longitudinal research on adolescents, their perceived mental health, resilience and social support networks and has published in a wide range of international academic publications. His major research interests are Civic Engagement in Children and Youth, Family Support, Youth Mentoring Models, Empathy, Resilience and Social Networks. Prof. Dolan has also extensive practice and policy experience, both nationally and internationally.

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.

Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester

Bill is a member of the academic team on the Durham Commission on Creativity in Education, adviser to the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, chair of Eton’s research and innovation centre, a patron of Pegasus Theatre in Oxford and a member of the LEGO Foundation’s advisory board.

In 2017 Bill was appointed co-chair of the strategic advisory group for the new PISA 2021 Test of Creative Thinking. Bill is currently advising the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority on the implementation of critical and creative thinking and has worked extensively across Australia.

A prolific writer, Bill has authored more than 100 books and research reports. With Ellen Spencer he has recently explored how key dispositions for learning can best be cultivated in  Teaching Creative Thinking: developing learners who have fresh ideas and think critically.

His acclaimed critique in 2015 of education systems, Educating Ruby: what our children really need to learn, written with Guy Claxton, asks challenging questions about the future of schools. Zest for Learning: Developing curious learners who relish real-world challenges, to be published in Autumn 2019, continues this theme.

 

Launch of archive to preserve Arts in Education content and showcase the work of creative organisations in Ireland

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. on Monday September 23rd announced the opening of a new free-to-access online archive to showcase creative activity of teachers, artists, researchers and others.

The Arts and Culture in Education Research Repository (ACERR) will be open to people working in education and the public, allowing them an insight into the inspirational ideas being developed for schools.

Some of the work available in the archive includes an essay from the UCC School of Digital Humanities on using Minecraft as a tool for creative engagement in the classroom and a project on using rap music as a creative method in research with children and young people.

The repository also details the experiences of Lisa Cahill, a dance artist in residence at Maynooth University in 2016. The repository has allowed for videos of Lisa’s work to be recorded and uploaded for the public to view.

It is hoped the archive will be expanded as teachers, schools, arts and cultural researchers, academics, colleges and universities and artists offer resources including video, music, dance, drama and art.

The repository will also help to overcome traditional barriers to publication for arts and creative practitioners.

Making the announcement, Minister McHugh said: “This Government is doing huge work to put creativity to the fore of a child’s education and development, not least with the 300 schools in the Creative Ireland programme or the growth of Music Generation.

“The new archive will grow over time and help to cement the great work already being done every day in our classrooms as well as giving researchers and parents and others an insight into how we can inspire the next generation.”

The ACERR has been developed as part of the Creative Ireland Programme and has been supported by the Dormant Accounts Funds.

To access the ACERR click on the link here.

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

Ireland’s National School Photography Awards

Deadline: Tuesday 21 January 2020

INSPA 2019/20 sees the third open call for Ireland’s prestigious National School Photography Awards [INSPA]. INSPA is a national children’s photography competition which is open to all primary schools located in the Republic of Ireland. This year, the awards are brought to you by the INSPA team in partnership with ReCreate.ie, FujiFilm Instax Camera’s and the Amber Springs Resort Hotel.

The awards aim to encourage young creatives in primary level education to engage with both digital technology and the creative process to create striking visual images. They will inspire and ignite passion in students, increase engagement with digital arts within primary level education while at the same time educating students about the importance of the creative process.

The awards are offering a range of fantastic prizes for finalists, winners and their schools including; Free entry to the Amber Springs Easter Train Experience for the overall winner and their classmates, FujiFilm INSTAX cameras for winners and their schools, a year’s membership for the winning school to ReCreate’s ‘Warehouse of Wonders’, a two night stay in the Amber Springs for the Principal of the winning school, a one night stay in the Amber Springs for the teacher of the winning class, INSPA certificates, framed photographs and an #INSPAsmiles School Photography Fundraising Day in aid of the 2019/20 charity theme partner; ReCreate.ie

This year’s theme is titled ‘Second Life’ which asks both teachers and their students to integrate the camera into the school-day, allowing their students explore their classrooms, corridors and schoolyards. We are specifically looking for fun images that focus on the wonders of waste while utilising the creative techniques of photography to transform spaces/places or give a new lease of life to familiar objects/things.

All entries will be judged by a national panel including Cristín Leach (Art Critic: The Sunday Times Ireland), Feargal Brougham (INTO President), Cathy Baxter (Manager: Green Schools), Páiric  Clerkin (CEO of IPPN), Anya von Gosseln (Curator & Co-Founder of Kamera8 Gallery), Ángel Luis González Fernández (CEO Photo Ireland Foundation), Mandy O’Neill (Visual Artist) and Richard Carr (Artist & Partnerships Manager for INSPA).

If you think your school has Ireland’s next top creative, all you have to do is register your school at the INSPA website – www.inspa.ie. The deadline for entries is midnight on Tuesday 21st January 2020. However, make sure you register your school asap to give yourself time to activate your school account and upload your students’ entries.

For further information go to www.inspa.ie

 

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

The Ark 

Date: 16 November 2019 

The Ark are delighted to invite Primary School educators to join dance educator Emma O’Kane for this enjoyable CPD course that to deepen and expand the understanding of Dance within the P.E. curriculum with an emphasis on creativity. In a relaxed and playful atmosphere teachers will be provided with the necessary tools to deliver dance activity with confidence for all ages and classes. The course will demystify dance for teachers and focus on the exploration, creation and performance of dance through easy exercises and manageable approaches.

Working within an integrative approach the course will explore how dance can also support learning across the curriculum in relation to SPHE, English and other subjects.

Suitable for all levels of confidence. No experience necessary.

Date & Time: Saturday 16 November, 10.30am-1.30pm

For further details and ticket booking go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-cpd-creative-dance

Music Generation 

Music Generation is delighted to announce that Paula Phelan has been appointed as Head of Quality, Support and Development within the National Development Office. In this new senior role, Paula will drive the implementation of a new national Music Generation Quality Framework,  support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs), and lead on professional development and learning programmes and initiatives for Music Generation over the coming years.

Paula brings a breadth of experience to the role, spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice. Most recently she held the position of LMEP Support Manager at the Music Generation National Development Office. From 2013-2018 she was Programme Director for Music Generation Carlow. In addition to her extensive work with Music Generation, she was previously General Manager of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service.

A native of Kildare, Paula completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

For further information about Music Generation go to www.musicgeneration.ie

Music Generation

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 27 September 2019

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board wishes to recruit and place on a panel suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following Music Generation Kilkenny programmes:

Musicians/music tutors will work with children and young people in group/classroom contexts and may work on one or more programmes at any given time. A willingness to deliver programmes in more than one location in County Kilkenny would be desirable.

The closing date for receipt of applications is: 12 noon, Friday 27th September 2019

Late applications will not be considered.

Provisional interview date: Week commencing 7th October 2019

For further information and application forms go to  www.kcetb.ie

Liz Coman is an Assistant Arts Officer with Dublin City Council.  She is a certified Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator with VTS/USA and has completed training to coaching level.  She is responsible for monitoring the quality of Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – an EU project for Dublin City Council that is testing the VTS training pathway with educators in classroom and gallery settings. Liz has a background in History of Art and Museum Studies and fifteen years experience in designing innovative projects that support arts, education and learning.  She has led trainings in enquiry led approaches to mediating artwork for visual art facilitators in The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Turner Prize, Derry and offers ongoing mentorship for individual artists, arts educators and teachers.

We Are Mirrors” – Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder  –
Blog 3

A Conversation with Visual Artist, Kathryn Maguire

Visual Thinking Strategies is a research based method, founded on the doctoral work of Abigail Housen(Co-Founder of VTS) and her research on aesthetic development. Housen’s research focused on the question – ‘What Happens Cognitively When You Look at a Work of Art?’  Her methodologydevised an ‘Aesthetic Development Interview’ to understand how a spectrum of differentviewers understand and interpret the same artwork.   With this data,and drawing on constructivist learning theories, in particular Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget, she designed a stage theoryfor aesthetic development.  Her stage theory tracked common features of five stages.  According to Housen, each stage is inherently important.  No stage can be rushed or bypassed. Growth occurs with repeated and regular exposure to viewing art.  In her collaboration with Philip Yenawine and MOMA, New York, Housen’sresearch identified that the majority of visitors attending the museum and its programmes were stage 1 & 2 viewers.  Stage 1 & 2 viewersjudge an artwork is based on what they know and like, their observations may appear idiosyncratic and imaginative, and they have their own sense of what is realistic and this standard is often applied to determine value.  Stage 1&2, as aesthetic learners, are  storytellers.  Storytelling is a universal means of making meaning. Meaning making requires critical thinking, personal reflection, the consideration of multiple possibilities, communication and respectful debate.

Part of the challenge for me was unlearning earlier teaching practices. I had to…learn a new paradigm, one that put people ahead of art, one that focused on enabling not just engaging people. I had to step back from what I thought people should learn, to create a teaching/learning method that would help them realize their full potential at any given moment.  – Philip Yenawine

Professional visual artists, that have trained in Visual Thinking Strategies with us, tell us that VTS can offer them a useful framework to critically appraise their own artwork in development. It is a tool that can inform their understanding of a diversity of interpretations that audiences will bring to the artwork.  This can be a valuable input into an artwork’s development before it arrives into the gallery or public space.  Visual artists that have trained with us, and been implementing VTS as part of their practice, specifically in schools,  report that the neutrality and rigour of the VTS method is their biggest challenge.  For me, this is completely understandable. When you love art and have dedicated your life to its study and practice, you want to share all your knowledge and skills with your audience.  The visual artists we work with are very generous and committed to sharing with their audiences.  However, the time and appropriate support to do this is usually very limited.

Within schools, there may only be one shot – the one class visit to a gallery in a year.  Or a school or artist might get support for a suite of sessions or a medium-term residency. Following  Housen’s theory, we can propose that more consistent and supported time for art and artists to work with students allows greater opportunity for embedding aesthetic growth and learning.  In addition to the time limitation, there are very few training opportunities for artists in understanding pedagogy, curriculum and developmental stages of children and young people according to age, ability and cultural tradition. Therefore, the skill of facilitating meaning making with visual art and children and young people, for many artists, is based on their own process of discovery and how discovery emerges in their practice.

Kathryn Maguire’s practice is inspired by science, history and the social world.  She works in the field of socially engaged art,  therefore, contrary to making an artwork in isolation, she develops artwork with a community in a way that honours both her areas of inspiration and a community’s vested interest in their neighbourhood.  Kathryn has effective collaboration skills that allow space for experts and knowledge from varied backgrounds and sources to inform the development of her work. She is a sculptor, and in particular, specialises in social sculpture.   She uses mirrors regularly in her work and understands the value of using mirrors as a reflective tool, that can work equally well in the gallery/museum and also outside, in nature.  An example of this is Kathryn’s artwork is ‘Us’ Again – a floating mirrored shed, created in 2013, in collaboration with the Men’s Shed Group based in Rialto’s St Andrew’s Community Centre as part of Maguire’s residency at 468, Common Ground.

Image of ‘Us’ Again -Kathryn Maguire

Image of ‘Us’ Again -Kathryn Maguire

The shed, made completely of mirrors, journeyed along the Grand Canal, Dublin, to celebrate the impact the waterway has had on labour and leisure in Rialto and as demonstration and reflection on community and commonality.  Kathryn’s mirrored shed informs her practice today, as she continues to investigate what is the common between us and our environment.

What do you find VTS brings to your practice as an artist?

As an artist, I feel like an investigative journalist in some ways.  I gather knowledge and information and transfer it into an artwork. VTS is a powerful tool for me, as a learner. I’m constantly learning so VTS allows for my knowledge to be fluid. It is really important to me, in my life, and as an artist, that there is more than one answer. Facilitating VTS allows me time to listen to the different ideas coming from each person, to stay neutral, and not buy into one opinion or another. It is really important to stay listening to all the different facets of the conversation.  We all come with so much ancestral knowledge. Perhaps allowing time and space for different perspectives, hopefully we can find our way to some common ground.  This is what ultimately keeps me motivated – the search for our commonality. It’s why I still work with mirrors – we are mirrors.  As an artist, I feel now is an important time.  Artists have an incredible opportunity to look more closely, then take that knowledge and make it into an artwork and then take that artwork and go to the audience – it’s a gentle, fluid, domino effect.

What have you noticed happening in your work with schools and galleries in VTS image discussions? 

I am currently Artist in Residence with Rathfarnham Educate Together National School (RETNS). I recently did a VTS facilitated discussion the school’s 5th class children at The LAB Gallery and Anita Groener’s incredible exhibition ‘The Past is a Foreign Country’. I observed that the children were highly environmentally aware and were able to articulate very clearly their understanding that if our environment is not harmonious, then that is not good for us either. They mirrored, for me, my own thinking that we are all part of the same ecosystem. This is an emotionally charged exhibition, exploring migration and the migrant crisis in Syria. I didn’t have to tell the children what the work was about.  I didn’t have to give them a script.  The script was inside them already.  It just needed a gentle prise open.  VTS allowed us time, and slowing down, deep looking, being comfortable in the silence.  There is so much chatter, phone or screen time in our lives that just listening and communicating with each other is an amazing thing.  This amazing thing happens when we communicate in a VTS session and I’m still not sure what the ‘thing’ is.  This ‘thing’ is what Permission to Wonder has given to me as a person and as an artist.

Can you recall a favourite VTS Image Discussion?

I have been testing the VTS Image Curriculum and the Permission to Wonder images for the project image bank.  I have been practicing VTS with test images in Scoil Mhuire, Marino and St Vincents BNS.

Some feedback on the VTS sessions with Kathryn from the 3rd class boys of Scoil Mhuire, Marino, gathered from teacher, Jennifer Gormley

‘It was very enjoyable and I liked that it wasn’t just based on one artist. I liked the way we got asked to say what we thought of the picture.’

‘It was really nice and I liked the way it was arranged, like the questions we were asked.’

‘It was really fun. I liked looking at the pictures and telling what I thought of them.’

‘I thought the paintings were really good and it was fun answering questions.’

Out of this image testing I find that Remedios Varo ‘Creation of the Birds’ 1957 gets a very powerful response, no matter what the age and stage.

Another memorable experience was a Wonder Club session with a Patrick Scott artwork in The Hugh Lane Gallery.  The discussion went from a very religious metaphorical discussion into a more polarised religious and political debate.  This was surprising as the beautiful abstract painting was a vehicle for adults to vocalise knowledge, and equally prejudices, that the group and I had to negotiate.  Perhaps most valuable with adults, you get to access people’s wealth of knowledge due to their lived life.

** Wonder Club is monthly VTS sessions for adults that take place in Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and The LAB Gallery

How did Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder support you to develop your VTS practice?

I would describe VTS practice like muscle that needs to be exercised.   In Permission to Wonder, the trust within the group of educators, and the care within the partner group was really special.  There was a silent strength in this support that was very nurturing for me to help me push me out of my comfort zone and become more confident in how I facilitate a VTS session. The logistical supports that were put in place for me were really important.  Financial access to the training in Europe and then also being supported to practice at home in the schools and galleries allowed me to build this confidence.  On foot of it, opportunities for me to work with galleries and schools have been increasing.  In the past year, I’ve been really lucky to work with The LAB Gallery, The Hugh Lane Gallery, IMMA, The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny and all have been very supportive of me using VTS as a strand of my sessions with school groups.  I use VTS at the beginning of my sessions almost as a way to bring students into a space where they will absorb the artists’ intentions by osmosis and then the session will evolve from there.   I usually do a VTS session, followed by an observational drawing, followed by more formal object making in the education room.  I find that the students, when they are sketching after the VTS image discussion, are not copying each other, they are more confident in how their own ideas are coming out of the artwork.

What would you like to work on next in your VTS practice?

The most important thing that I feel I need to work with most is staying neutral.  I think that art can bring up a lot of stuff for people, very strong opinions are aired, a lot of debate and also emotional responses.   I have to be careful to manage my own assumptions about why somebody might make a particular remark.  I have to remember, that it’s okay if a group member does not want to contribute or may pull back or be quiet in the discussion.  The strength of the silence may indicate that there may be a reason why somebody remains silent, something may be triggered for that person within the image or the discussion. There is learning in discomfort, but also learning to keep in mind safety and care for the group, and also keep in mind self care for me.  I will always talk to a teacher at the outset of a session to find out if I need to be mindful of a member of a group. It’s that communication that needs to happen between us as educators – between teacher and artist – in order that the viewer is allowed to be silent or to be heard, depending on their need.

I would envision that I would like to push my VTS practice further.  To move my VTS facilitation outside of art, into other areas such as science, history, mathematics.  That I can move it out of the artworld and into other areas of education. I think VTS sits in the artworld but also has the flexibility and ability to move beyond the artworld.

 

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.

 

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 13 September 2019

Louth and Meath ETB is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Meath.

Post Reference Number: C218

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by Louth and Meath ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Meath Local Music Education Partnership.

Meath has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from – www.etbjobs.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms is: 12 noon, Friday 13th September 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Louth and Meath ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-meath-re-advertisement/

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

Tipperary County Council Arts Service

Dates: Ongoing

Tipperary County Council Arts Service offers schools in Tipperary the opportunity to borrow and display an exhibition of thirty-two contemporary prints by Irish artists. The prints from twenty two artists include works by Cecil King, Alice Hanratty, Patrick Hickey, Gene Lambert,  Suzannah O’Reilly and Des McMahon.  Print mediums include monoprint, relief print, etching, silkscreen, lithograph, collograph, and dry point. An informative exhibition catalogue for educational purposes is included with the print exhibition.

A one-day printmaking workshop in the school is also available as part of this opportunity. The prints are specially packed for easy handling and transport.

Teachers and schools can arrange to borrow the exhibition by contacting the Tipperary Arts Office by phone at 0761 06 5000 or by email at artsoffice@tipperarycoco.ie.

Deadline Extended: 5pm Friday 9th August 2019

Artists, teachers, academics and arts education professionals….Do you want to be part of the fourth annual National Arts in Education Portal Day?

The National Arts in Education Portal Day will take place at The Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) on Saturday 9th November in partnership with ILAS and Baboró. The event aims to bring together members of the arts in education and creative practice community from all across Ireland, to share, learn, talk, network, get inspired, and continue interrogating best practice in the field.

We are inviting proposals from organisations or individuals who want to give dynamic and inspiring presentations or workshops that can offer sharing of skills, practical approaches, new insights and critical thinking across the field, from a range of perspectives.

Do you have a workshop or presentation that you would like to be included in the programme for this day? If so, please send us your proposal.

Deadline for submission of proposals has been extended to 5pm Friday 9th August 2019.

Download the submission form National Portal Day Proposal Form 2019.

 

Ciara Gallagher Profile Pic

Ciara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as Administrative and Development Officer.

Blog 4 – On Practising Creativity and Change

The second half of the Creativity and Change course focused on “application to practice” – on applying the forms and modes of creative engagement we had experienced and worked with in the first half of the course. Over numerous weekends, we practiced creativity across a variety of forms. In small teams, we co-facilitated creative workshops to critically focus on important local and global justice issues with our peers. We created a 60 foot piece of street art – participating in the entire process from beginning to end.  We planned and designed a number of creative street actions to engage the public in Cork city in support of Climate Case Ireland.

A core part of the Creativity and Change course is its focus on connecting learning that occurs through the head, hand, and heart – through reflection and critical thinking, through doing, making and taking action, and through affective learning and creating connections. Each weekend, each activity, actively engaged all three modes of learning. Not only did we practice the application of creativity and creative processes to encourage a critical reflection and action to change on global justice issues, we also built a community, a collective, however temporary, within which these experiences became all the more meaningful.

This head, hand, and heart model is not just something to apply to just certain learning experiences, but something that can inform so many areas of our lives, our learning, our teaching, our living. This too, like creativity, is something to practice each day and to continually build on.

Now, perhaps more than ever, it seems like the time to take action in our world, to resist retreating into apathy. The scale and persistence of the global justice issues that we face can make taking action seem like an impossible task. What the Creativity and Change course encourages is a sense that this continually coming back to these issues need not feel futile, or as evidence that things do not change despite our best efforts. That instead, circling back to social justice issues in new, creative, and diverse ways, is also something to live, and to make part of our lives.

 

Yvonne

Yvonne Cullivan is a visual artist and educator based in the West of Ireland. She has fifteen years experience in Fine Art practice, Arts Education, Public & Participatory Arts and Arts Management. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, and an M.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University. Yvonne is a Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, on the First Year Fine Art & Design Programme and in the Fine Art Media Department. She is also currently engaged as a Creative Associate with the Creative Schools Programme.


Working across a broad range of documentary-style media, including sound, video, photography, interview/conversation, drawing and writing, Yvonne’s practice is underpinned by a strong participatory and collaborative approach. She often works within communities of place, rooting the engagement in site-specific research and interdisciplinary knowledge generation. Sustained processes of observation, documentation, collaboration and experiential engagement with place, lead to the creation of new work that is reflective of, appropriate to and shaped by the process.

 

Blog 4 – Reflect and Refine

My first year working as a Creative Associate on the Creative Schools Programme with my three allocated schools has ended. Nothing feels finished however; it feels as if we are just starting. While creative activities took place in each school as a direct result of the consultation process, I view this years work as research and development and I won’t be surprised if year two feels like more R&D. The consultation process in each case was very thorough and the conversations with the coordinators and, less frequent but equally important, with management, were robust and wide-reaching. Through evaluation with a selection of children from each school, for the most part, they report having both enjoyed and learned from their participation in the programme so far.

In my mind, the role of the Creative Associate is to assist in embedding creative approaches to teaching and learning (one could say to thinking and being) within the school environment. Reflecting on this, it would be easy to be disappointed with the years work, it falls far short of achieving that aim. There were small disappointments; not all teachers participated in the organised activities, not all children made the connection between the opinions they put forward in the consultation process and the resulting activities that they participated in, some of the planned activities didn’t materialise, some people didn’t enjoy the activities. There were larger logistical issues at play too; the late commencement of the programme combined with the lengthy intensive consultation process meant that most activities took place at the very time of year when schools are most busy. This had the most impact at G.E.T.N.S. where we developed and implemented an ambitious whole school programme of activities in May and June. The whole school cohesiveness we needed to realise the holistic nature of this programme got lost in the end of year ether. I choose to reflect on all of this as learning.

My three schools and I are building relationships together, we are reaching levels of understanding, finding out what works and what doesn’t in each setting. We are journeying. As a result of this long-term attitude and shared vision for trying to go a level deeper into creativity within the school environment, we have clear pointers for 2019/20. A large part of our work together will be investing in creative professional development for teachers. This would appear to be the most necessary and sustainable use of our time together. Our main challenges will be freeing up staff time and reaching beyond the arts curriculum. G.E.T.N.S. will engage in a Per Cent for Art project that will hopefully build, in a very exciting way, on our work together this year; the boys at Athenry are leading us toward a programme around creative play and the outdoor environment; Eglish are going to further their digital skills acquisition. The process is creative and child-led and this makes sense to me.

Frank is an Irish designer /cultural producer with an interest in film, the arts & architecture. His professional practice includes the design of buildings, & set design for film/television production. He holds a BA in Architecture, 2008 and a Professional Diploma in Architecture, 2012 both from London Metropolitan University. Prior to this he recieved a B.Des. in Production Design for Film/Television, from IADT. This background has informed his approach to practice, which is collaborative, interdisciplinary and site specific.Interested in the critical potential of design he established Architecture at the Edge in 2017, for which he devised and curated the events programme. He produced an outdoor installation, ‘Ghost Chapel’ for Galway International Arts Festival 2018 in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture.

 

Learning from the power of place – Blog 3

“I walk because it confers- or restores- a feeling of placeness …I walk because, somehow, it’s like reading …” 

Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London

Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin wrote a while ago about the modern man, who walked the city in order to explore its history, the architecture, the changing environment.

That idea of exploring and thinking is about making sense of things, the places and people we encounter, and this approach can also be applied to adolescence children in their world, by interacting, investigating, questioning, and forming, testing and refining their ideas.

Place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in what is local— the unique local history, environment, economy, culture, landscapes, and architecture of a particular place – in mapping the students’ own “place” or immediate schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community. And walking is like mapping with your feet.  It can promote a place-specific, sustainable approach to living, working and playing for all.

Following an introduction to the IAF Architects in Schools Programme to the TY students at St. Raphael’s College, Loughrea we started by asking the students a little about the town, the whereabouts of where they live and by what means had they travelled to the school that day. I wanted to find out about their lived experience and connection to the place. From this informal survey it soon became clear that the majority lived in either peripheralhousing estates or ribbon development on the towns fringes – the exception a few living on farm settlements in the environs of the county side. Not one it seemed lived within the town itself. I suggested walking the town together would allow us to stop – take a detour – and explore the form of that built environment.

Finding a historic street map from the local library and placing a glass, rim down, onto the map, we drew round its edge. We then instructed the students to pick up the map, go out into the town, and walk the circle, and keeping as close as they can to the curve, record their observations. This also helped them to get an idea of where we were in the context of the place.  Loughrea town is compact and so in short, the walk would show us all the key places in the town, and help us see some hidden gems in the process. By walking  – not only do you get great exercise –  you won’t miss details and you’re much more likely to go in different buildings, squeeze down alleyways, etc.

Loughrea lies at a number of boundaries, both historic and geographic and its pattern and form of development has been shaped by these features at the various stages of its development. The lake and medieval moate are wonderful but one could easily pass through Loughrea without noticing either. Its existing street plan closely follows that of a medieval layout. Many tall narrow properties on either side of the Main Street occupy burgage plots laid out in the 13th century.

The Temperance Hall / Barracks road complex is a palimpsest in which the layered history of Loughrea is revealed. Signs of the walled town, the original Gate House and successive military occupations are evident at even a quick glance. Behind the Temperance Hall, built c1780s as a Cavalry Barracks, we found a complex of buildings enclosed by fragments of a defensive wall. The site backed up to the lake with picturesque views out to the crannogs and surrounding landscape beyond. Student research later revealed the arrangement had once also included a hospital, infirmary and forge. Part currently provides social, cultural and educational services for the people of the town. This was the chosen site for the student’s design project. One of the first tasks we set in carrying out the survey was to photograph and to draw these buildings.

The aim, to adapt the assembly of buildings and introduce / incorporate new housing typologies into it to form a new ‘piece of town’. One that faced the lake but which also utilized the existing network of lanes which connect back from here into the town proper. The project was somehow about revitalizing this forgotten space, repopulating it and in so doing, assist in remedying the vacancy seen in the adjacent streets at the town center.

Adopting this strategy, the workshops which followed were designed to place the student at the center of this process, and resulted in propositions for a new linear public park, a café on the crannog and a new mixed residential community. All this, a clear demonstration for the potential of architecture to enhance the experience of living and working in the 21st century Irish town, coming from the students themselves.

It goes to show that if we start with small steps …. to support novice viewers become more observant and more thoughtful about what they are looking at then this can empower them to present an alternative vision for their existing built environment. It is so vital that our towns are living vibrant places, of social and cultural exchange, community and interactions and so they must be constantly maintained as adaptive changing entities.

We see that legacy of bad planning in towns like Loughrea. It’s one symptomatic of the challenges facing many small communities in Ireland – contradictory forces in the commercial landscape due to changing consumer behavior patterns, with resultant accepted sprawl of housing leading to vehicular predominance, and the changing demographics  – have pulled and shaped the town, and continue to do so resulting in increased vacancy at its core. In the context of climate change walkable and compact small towns have so much to offer us. The aim must be to shift the narrative from ‘conserving’ or ‘preserving’ small town settlements to ‘re-thinking’ and ‘championing’ them.

The students demonstrated an understanding of how these challenges faced by smaller communities can be overcome through sensitivity, creativity, collaboration and long-term stewardship. The projects demonstrate the possibilities of working in historic fabrics, re-connecting town centers to their surroundings and integrating a mix of uses into town centers. They arrived at a way of living which might suggest a more flexible approach to the town plot. It’s about creating a learning experiences that leverage the power of place. In fostering students’ connection to place, help their understanding of where they live and how taking action in their own backyards helps to take care of the world around them.

 

 

 

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.

In full swing – Blog 3

School days in May and especially June are incredibly busy. It always seems to creep up unexpectedly, but yet every year is the same! This business presented our biggest challenge when it came to implementing our Creative Schools programme. Starting up a creative programme for the whole school community at the same time and at this time of the year isn’t ideal. Myself and Yvonne had made a conscious decision that every single child would have access to the creative programme, and thus we spread it over 15 classrooms and over 400 children, rather than focusing in on a smaller cohert of children, and delivering a more comprehensive, focused programme. We decided this because we felt it was in line with our ethos of equality and inclusion and we didn’t want there to be a feeling that some children were accessing the creative schools programme when others were not. The reality of this decision was that we had to try hard to fit everything in to what was an already packed end of year schedule.  There were successes, but undoubtedly there were also some disappointments.

The stand alone workshops were a great success. The infant classes had workshops with Down to Earth Forest schools, who demonstrated wonderfully creative ways to use our outdoor school environment to engage the children. First Class had workshops related to the importance of bees and pollination. Second Class went to visit an organic farm and brought back with them a box of organic vegetables that they cooked up creatively. Third Class designed nests for bees, and designed an outdoor area for sowing wildflower seeds. Fourth and Fifth classes visited woods near our schools and managed to forage over 15 different types of plants growing in our woods. Afterwards, they made some tinctures and elderflower cordial from their pickings. Sixth class had a workshop with Yvonne, discussing food production and the methods that Yvonne used to create her visual short film.


The workshops brought a great buzz to each class level and certainly opened the children’s minds to environmental issues as well as seeing how to creatively utilise the resources that we have easy access to in our immediate environment. Feedback for the workshops was universally positive from the children. We held a feedback meeting with the children’s creative committee and I will discuss the outcomes from this feedback meeting in the next blogpost.

The Ark 

Dates: 2 & 3 August 2019

The Ark continue our monthly early-years programme Seedlings with a special workshop perfect for children ages 2-4 to get creative with their older relatives.

We’re heading to the sea this August in this early years drama workshop for little ones led by The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence Joanna Parkes.

Come on an imaginative journey to the beach! It’s a fine sunny day and the children are having fun playing in the sand. Then some unexpected visitors arrive and seem to behaving in a suspicious manner.

What is going on? Join in and explore what happens in this delightful workshop adventure by the sea.

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

For further information and ticket bookings go toark.ie/events/view/seedlings-early-years-workshops-aug19

The Ark 

Dates: 19 – 23 August 2019

Back for a fourth summer, The Ark are excited to present this really popular engaging arts summer course focusing on the two curriculum areas of Drama and Music.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Working with two outstanding creative practitioners, you will enjoy a week of experiential learning and development. Your confidence and skills in both music and drama will increase through highly participative and inspiring course content.

Using themes drawn from SPHE, English and other subjects, participants will explore a variety of imaginative approaches to integrated curriculum delivery. Teachers of all levels of experience will be able to fully engage in this rich week of professional development.

Course content and highlights will include:

 

Artists – Anita Mahon (music) & Joanna Parkes (theatre)

Dates & Times – Five Day Course
19-23 Aug 2019, 10am to 3pm each day

Presented by The Ark & Dublin West Education Centre

For further information and ticket booking go to https://ark.ie/events/view/teachers-5-day-course-creative-music-drama-1

 

 

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Deadline: 4pm, Friday 12th July 2019  

Pathways to Production is an artist support programme led by Baboró, who has partnered with Druid, the Mick Lally Theatre, Branar Téatar do Phaistí, The Irish Theatre Institute (ITI) and Galway Theatre Festival, to support artists and young companies to develop their ideas with a view to presenting a full performance piece.

What GROW ‘Pathways to Production’ offers:

 

The exciting scheme involves workshops, sharing of works-in-progress with peers, as well as support in developing funding strategies. Baboró, Druid and the Mick Lally Theatre, Branar Téatar de Phaistí, The Irish Theatre Institute and Galway Theatre Festival will make our collective organisational experience and resources available to participants.

The Pathways to Production programme runs from October 2019 to October 2020.

Who is it for?

 

Deadline for submissions is 4pm, Friday 12th July 2019. 

For further information including the application guidelines and submission from go to www.baboro.ie/about/work/grow/pathways

 

 

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.

Angie Kinsella of Nature Way (www.naturway.ieis a passionate Forest School leader and sustainability teacher who have a firm belief in nature pedagogy. Angie feels that connecting with nature on an experiential level and encouraging learning in the outdoors is becoming ever more important in this increasingly digital age. Angie also works for Heritage in Schools.

Creative Experiences in a year at Forest School – Blog 3

Creative experiences this year at Forest School took on a slightly different feel for me and the children.  I chose to fully immerse myself into celebrating and living with and through the Celtic calendar, also known as the Celtic Wheel. The Celtic calendar is focused on the cyclical change of seasons.  Seasonal changes were very important to the Celts, who depended on the Wheel of the Year to dictate when to plough, sow, harvest, and rest.  The turning of the Wheel represents the continuing birth, death and rebirth of nature. I felt the integration of this ancient way of being was appropriate for how I wanted to work in Forest School this year. I felt it was a helpful tool to inspire us to re-member, re-claim and re-weave our ancient heritage and what better place to share this than within the holding of the forest.

September was the return to school for children and also the month where we begin a new cycle around the Celtic Wheel.  I started a long-term Forest School programme in the West of Ireland at the beginning of September. The first few weeks we entered into the woods and the children started to get to know the lay of the land. The forest floor still had plenty of flora present and the trees were full of leaves. The days were mostly warm and bright which helps, I feel, on many levels for myself, the children and their teachers.

I was met with a huge diversity of cultures within this group of children, which was such a delight; to witness the universal language of play that softly unfolds in a natural setting with the support of the Forest School principles. I witnessed children whose language skills may have been a challenge in a classroom setting blossoming in this environment. Some of these children had never been to a forest although it was only 10 minutes away from their school.

One girl joined us each week in her wheelchair with the incredible support and encouragement of her school teachers who were determined to make Forest School  all-inclusive.

She would often spend time with other students crafting, or sometimes just take time out to relax in the hammock. There was always allocated time for free play. To climb trees, build forts, whittle sticks, or simple take time to be in the forest, alone or in groups, to relax in the hammock, to enjoy the canopy of the trees.

As we moved into October, I began to share and explore through fireside stories and crafts the meaning of Samhain, more commonly known as Halloween. I shared with the children how on this land we once celebrated ‘New Year’ at this time, how we honoured our ancestors, and how it was time to prepare ourselves for the winter ahead.

We made incredible sand helters stick skeletons. We whittled wands and swords and bows and arrows. We developed our fire lighting skills. We learned about wild foods and how to prepare wild foraged teas and cook feasts on the fire. We also explored how the fauna and flora of the land are preparing themselves and responding to the changing seasons. We crafted hapa zome (eco plant printing) with autumn berries, an explosion of colour. We also made nature journals so we could take note of the changes in the woods through drawing and words.

Each week that we met I asked the children to keep a close eye out and to feel the changes they noticed. As the leaves started to change colour on the trees and drop, I could certainly sense Nature starting to drop back into the underground. As the months passed and the darkness grew, I observed a shift in all our energy.

And then through Spring and now as the wheel continues through this time of blossom where we come close to Summer solstice. I feel the calling to play more energetic games and crafts that weave in the summer flora and fauna. I have learnt and continue to grow through this creative journey in the forest, in rhythm with the Celtic Wheel.

I recently received this feedback from a teacher who attended some of these sessions with her class. “The children grew mentally, physically and emotionally. They laughed and cried and sang and screeched and splashed and pushed themselves and explored and shared and learned so much about themselves and each other.” I feel this is a wonderful summary of our time in Forest School and the possibility it offers for creative expression for children, and for adults.

Yvonne

Yvonne Cullivan is a visual artist and educator based in the West of Ireland. She has fifteen years experience in Fine Art practice, Arts Education, Public & Participatory Arts and Arts Management. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, and an M.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University. Yvonne is a Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, on the First Year Fine Art & Design Programme and in the Fine Art Media Department. She is also currently engaged as a Creative Associate with the Creative Schools Programme.


Working across a broad range of documentary-style media, including sound, video, photography, interview/conversation, drawing and writing, Yvonne’s practice is underpinned by a strong participatory and collaborative approach. She often works within communities of place, rooting the engagement in site-specific research and interdisciplinary knowledge generation. Sustained processes of observation, documentation, collaboration and experiential engagement with place, lead to the creation of new work that is reflective of, appropriate to and shaped by the process.

Meaningful Actions – Blog 3

At this stage in the process, my role as Creative Associate on the Creative Schools programme is one of support. Here is an outline of the activities underway at each school and the decisions that informed them.

The boys at Athenry N.S. voted for the medium of construction and vocalised a desire for greater creative autonomy within activities. Staff voted to explore environmental arts and expressed an interest in professional development around the arts curriculum and cross-curriculum creativity. Both commented on the need for greater cohesion across the school community. Tom Meskell led a willow project, involving the whole school in a large-scale collaboration, with additional CPD for staff. Creative sustainability is encapsulated within the experiential process; the school sees that a whole-school project is possible and how it might work, the staff undertake a tailored exploration of creative collaboration with cross-curricular linkage, the children collectively shape a participatory experience that brings them together as a creative community, and everyone learns a new skill. The resulting work was celebrated with a magical installation at the school for Cruinniú na nÓg. 150 native tress were also planted on the school grounds.

Everyone at Eglish N.S. voted for up-skilling in Digital Media, specifically film and animation. The school has a very creative approach to curricular delivery, but the staff wished to expand on the creative confidence of everyone at the school toward greater self-expression. Again, the children vocalised a need for more creative autonomy and decision-making. Louise Manifold has been engaging the whole school in an exploratory journey of what creativity looks like, using accessible software such as green-screen and stop-motion on the school’s i-pads, and incorporating the children’s interests in movement, performance and nature. Staff are participating in customised professional development sessions that compliment the work with the children. The aspiration is to create a digital ‘guide to creativity’ informed by the children for children, which will be shared with families and peers and used by the school into the future.

Forest School Workshop by Down to Earth at Galway Educate Together National School

A programme of activities around food and nature, considering sustainability, regeneration and wellbeing, and involving talks, events, workshops and screenings, is in flow at Galway Educate Together N.S. The children voted overwhelmingly for cooking; a category that a voluntary children’s panel added to my long list of creative media. The staff showed a preference for nature-based activities. There was a shared desire to interact with external partners and off-site activities and an overall ambition to recognise, celebrate and communicate creative activities within the school and across the school community. The fifteen classes are each engaging in specialised workshops and choosing from an additional menu of activities around the expanded theme. Examples include foraging, farm walks, herbal tincture making, pollinator workshops, documentary screenings, wildflower sewing and forest school activities. The consultation process and this devised programme are also providing valuable research for an upcoming Per Cent for Art project for the school.

Liz Coman is an Assistant Arts Officer with Dublin City Council.  She is a certified Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator with VTS/USA and has completed training to coaching level.  She is responsible for monitoring the quality of Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – an EU project for Dublin City Council that is testing the VTS training pathway with educators in classroom and gallery settings. Liz has a background in History of Art and Museum Studies and fifteen years experience in designing innovative projects that support arts, education and learning.  She has led trainings in enquiry led approaches to mediating artwork for visual art facilitators in The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Turner Prize, Derry and offers ongoing mentorship for individual artists, arts educators and teachers.

Stepping Back – Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder in a Post Primary School Art Room – Blog 2

A conversation with Anne Moylan, Art Teacher, Hartstown Community School, Clonsilla, Dubln15.

My experience with VTS has taught me that supporting authentic VTS practice, for our educators, our students, and myself is not a linear process.  It thrives on a spirit of collaboration, time, and some resources to access training and share understandings of the method.

In 2016, Dublin City Arts Office piloted a partnership approach with the NCCA to test the VTS training pathway with a group of Irish educators from different backgrounds –  professional educators who are from early years settings; primary school classroom teachers; secondary school (art) teachers; art educators (freelance museum and gallery educators, including teaching artists). It supported professional educators to train in Visual Thinking Strategies via Beginners and Advanced Practicums, with VTS/USA Programme Director, Yoon Kang O’Higgins. Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder extended this approach to six European partners, allowing us to deepen our understanding of the educators’ VTS practice journey through a research evaluation framework led by our partners, VTS Nederland.  The intended impact is that, through supporting educators, children and young people will have access to opportunities for critical thinking & thoughtful citizenship; will be actively encouraged to trust their own perceptions and be open to the thoughts of others; will feel their observations are valued and valuable when dealing with visual expression.

Change has been apace in secondary school curriculum re-design in Ireland in recent years. The ‘new’ Junior Cycle places an emphasis on students’ holistic development, linking subject areas, and turning a titanic history of ‘information giving’ towards scaffolding students’ life skills to equip them for a rapidly changing technological and global world.  This is a welcome change, and long awaited by us in the field that bridges arts, education and learning. It also invites challenging questions. I wonder what really happens in the classroom when we ‘step back’ and support our students to take the lead?  In my conversation with Anne Moylan, a secondary school art teacher, and educator participating in Permission to Wonder, we discuss how her training in VTS has supported a shift in her teaching practice and heightened her awareness of the value of “stepping-back” for her students.

How does VTS inform your teaching practice?

For me, the method is very much about stepping back.  It has definitely simplified down the process of looking at a painting, an object, a sculpture, piece of assemblage, for the first time.  To ask the question – what is going on in this work? – and then to actually hear what the students can see and what they are thinking about it. You always come with your own knowledge but in a VTS image discussion you have to step back out of that.  It is about allowing them to take you on any sort of a journey with their observations.

It is surprising when they point out something that you haven’t thought about or know already. You have to be prepared to go with the flow and therefore, your role completely changes with your students. You can make connections, bridge comments and themes, always developing the journey of their observation of the artwork. At the beginning, I found this difficult. Sometimes, as teenagers, you will find they are quiet or are afraid they are going to make a mistake.  That really gets easier with experience and practice as the students get used to the process over time.

We are not looking at images on the art history course. These are images from the VTS/USA website or the Permission to Wonder project, chosen specifically for use in a VTS image discussion. They are images that I am not familiar with myself. So, I am out of my comfort zone. I find this invigorating.

*Permission to Wonder partners are building and testing a European based image bank specifically for use within the project by the educators.  This will be available shortly on the project website www.permissiontowonder.com. Other images we have practiced with are drawn from the VTS/USA image curriculum for specific age groups available on https://vtshome.org/

What have you noticed happening for your students in a VTS image discussion?

Often, in a VTS session, you will find that students, who are very quiet usually, will begin to have a lot to say about a work. Some of these students would never talk, even in a practical art class. Then you show them an image, something will strike them in that image, and they really want to let you know what they see in it.

I have a number of students whose first language is not English. They have difficulty trying to say what they are looking at in their second language. Yet VTS gives them the space to do this.  The atmosphere is very calm. That is the shift for me.  Instead of giving them facts, dates and information about artwork, you are waiting to find out what they want to say about it, first and foremost.

With VTS, you really are connecting with their world. VTS allows the space for their world to connect with an artwork and indeed with me, as somebody from a different generation. You just see into their minds. Therefore, you could show them an image and the theme of mental health or family issues might come through from them. Of course you have to be careful and manage the discussion, not to flinch or be surprised.  You might be flummoxed by what might come out of them.  So holding your neutrality, and keeping the space safe for students, is important. VTS training helps you learn to do this effectively.  You sometimes think they might be talking about their own lives, and yet they are not, they are talking about an artwork.

Your role becomes very much the facilitator of the discussion. Often I would have students, saying to me ‘When can we do this again?

Have you practiced VTS with images that are on the art history course?

Yes, for example, with Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Wedding. When you ask the first question – what is going on in this work?-  you get “I know all about this, we studied this in religion / we studied this in history”. This is an image that is a little bit recognisable to them. They are able to share what they have been taught. However, when you manage the discussion with conditional paraphrasing and ‘What more can we find?’ it deepens their engagement with the work. Even though they think they know as much as there is to know about it, it refocuses their attention back on the image. It deepens their concentration and gets their eyes back on the key elements of the picture.

‘The Arnolfini Wedding’ by Jan Van Eyck
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-eyck-the-arnolfini-portrait

As part of teaching art history, I take the opportunity to bring the students into galleries in Dublin.  The guides tend to lead the tour with one voice- the guides voice. As an art teacher, I just want them to know you can walk into a gallery in any city, you do not have to pay, you can go in, see two pieces, and go back out again. With VTS and the three questions, it is a framework for them to use for looking at artwork, no matter where they are or what artwork they are looking at.

Can you recall a favourite VTS image discussion?

I have used VTS with all the year groups. However, I particularly remember a VTS discussion with a group of sixth years, at the end of the year, in May. We were finished the practical side of the preparation for the exam. With sixth years, you do not want to make anybody have to speak. It is fine if they don’t want to say anything.  However, in this session, there was one boy from China. He had so much to say about a particular image. He related it back to his own country. It was a painting, with a bright yellow palette and all the children depicted had these red neckerchiefs. The Irish children read them as the scouts, or being members of a group, or a club. This boy went in a completely different direction. He described that this is what it is like in China, in school. He talked about his own experience. He spoke for a few minutes and got a round of applause from the other students. A girl in the group said to him ‘in all the years that you have been in the school, that is the most, I’ve ever heard you say’.  So that is the kind of profound experience I remember coming from my VTS image discussions.

‘Mask Series No. 6’ by Zeng Fanzhi,
https://muse.union.edu/aah194-wi19/2019/01/30/zeng-fanzhi-mask-series-no-6/

How do you think VTS complements the Junior Cycle art curriculum?

In the new junior cycle art curriculum, student voice is very important.  It means stepping back and letting the student do the work, lead their learning process.  This does not mean that your job is easier. Within the structure of classroom-based assessment, a lot of reflecting, verbalizing and building the visual vocabulary for teachers and the students, is required.  The change is that you are putting the ownership for their learning and describing their learning process back on the student.  Therefore, you need to facilitate the classroom environment more in order to achieve that.

What we are all nervous about is that it this is difficult to assess. For students and parents it is difficult to understand this change in emphasis. I gave my students a VTS image discussion as a piece of homework to try out with their parents.  They took the framework and used it to look at any artwork or any piece of visual information with their family. The students were surprised with their parent’s observations and the conversations about the art work at home. I use it with my own family and it works very well!

How did Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder help you develop your VTS practice?

I really value that I have been involved in Permission to Wonder. As an art teacher in a school, you might be the only art teacher. You could be on your own, in your creative world.  You are so busy day to day with project work. It is amazing to step out of it with VTS and to have an opportunity to meet other educators-to look at artwork with them using a different format. It is really quite enlightening and refreshing. There are four of us educators from Dublin and we are all coming from completely different backgrounds – gallery, artist, primary school and secondary school. Being involved in our own Irish group was brilliant. We helped each other to explore our own context and look at theirs. I really enjoyed the collaboration and it was invigorating to explore art with others.

The training practicums were very well paced out. In the Beginners Practicum, you had the three questions. But you have to get them right, and in the right order, remember the exact wording, and that was tricky for me in the beginning.  It was also a challenge to learn to paraphrase accurately.  That requires a lot of skill. In the Advanced Practicum, I loved learning about linking and framing comments. How you, as facilitator, can connect comments and really build the learning in the group. I enjoyed the training and understand that it is also up to me to support my own practice and keep  motivated in using VTS.

What would you like to work on next in your VTS practice?

I did a VTS session with a society and politics class. None of these students were art students. We looked at images I selected specifically looking at politics and society – race, childhood issues, gender etc. VTS worked so well in this class. Students had so much to say and the images stimulated insightful conversations. I am interested in how VTS could be used in other subject areas and how I might help other teachers integrate VTS into their subjects in our school.

The Ark

Dates: 5 & 6 July 2019

Enjoy participating in this joyful early years (ages 2-4) drama workshop about a beautiful imagined garden led by our The Ark’s Early Years Artist in Residence Joanna Parkes.

In this workshop, little ones will meet a king who loves spending time in his gorgeous garden surrounded by flowers, bees and butterflies.

One day he learns that other kings have wardrobes full of shiny cloaks and crowns so he buys himself a new cloak, and another, and another. Soon he has lots of dazzling cloaks of many colours but what about the garden? He has no money left to pay the gardeners and the garden is overgrown, the flowers are dying and the bees have gone.

Maybe you can make the King see sense and save his garden before it’s too late!

Combining drama, story, play and props, this interactive drama workshop invites little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy imagining together.

Dates & Times 

Friday 5 July at 10.15am & 2pm
Saturday 6 July at 10.15am & 11.45am

For further information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/seedlings-early-years-workshops-jul19

The Ark

Dates: 12 – 16 August 2019

The Ark, Dublin are delighted to be presenting this course for the fifth year in a row. This hands-on, creative course focuses on a visual arts approach to exploring narrative, literacy & other subjects.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

The aim of the course is to enable participants to start the new school year with an enhanced tool box of skills and knowledge, in order to effectively deliver the visual arts curriculum in the classroom. Participants will be engaged ‘hands-on’ throughout this course so learning will be through doing. Working in teams and individually, you will cover a range of curriculum strands including drawing, painting, print, 3D construction, fabric and fibre.

A strong emphasis will be on building skills and confidence. The group will also explore how visual art can be used to engage with aspects of the English, SPHE, History and Maths curriculum, as well as to promote visual literacy approaches. School self-evaluation exercises will be incorporated as an integral part of the course.

This course will appeal to teachers of all levels of experience and will be facilitated by the visual arts and education specialist and founder of Art to Heart, Jole Bortoli. This is a continuing professional development opportunity not to be missed!

For further information and booking go to https://ark.ie/events/view/teachers-summer-course-a-visual-arts-approach

National Gallery of Ireland

Deadline Date: 12th July 2019

The National Gallery of Ireland this year are developing new resources and outreach programming, taking the Gallery off-site to schools across the country that may find it difficult to travel to Dublin. To help shape this programme, the Gallery will be forming a national network of teachers who will guide their research, planning and evaluation.

The Gallery are looking for teachers from across the country to be part of this network. They want the network to be as inclusive as possible, with every county represented, and a good mix of rural and urban, and primary, post-primary and special schools.

The network will primarily exist online, but each year we will hold programme-development workshops at the Gallery, where participants will help co-produce new programming. The Gallery also hope that members will host local events, helping to share learning and resources with their peers.

For further information and details on how to apply please go to www.nationalgallery.ie/schools/teacher-network

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: Celebration Time – Blog 4

As the end of the school year approaches we have been looking forward to celebrating all our creative work that we have engaged in throughout the year.
On the 31st May all students in Scoil Bernadette participated in our Creative Schools Celebration Day. All students arrived in the hall to participate in eight different creative stations in small groups. There was a doodle corner, a lego station, a dance station, jenga, hook a duck, incredibox and a card making station. Everyone got a chance to try out each station to create, dance and play! A lot of fun was had and we all enjoyed ourselves.

In the afternoon, we all assembled in the hall to see some creative performances. In our school this year, our first years participated in the Music Mash Up programme where they learned to play different instruments and sing in a band. Music Mash up provides access for young people of all abilities to music in a fun, relaxed and inclusive way. This project was facilitated by Eamonn Nash.  For more information see musicmashup.ie/about. We were lucky to see two performances by this group.

Our next performance we saw a dance piece that a selection of students from throughout the school were involved in. These students have been attending dance workshops every Thursday in the school with dance artist Lisa Cahill. The dance piece was part of the international movement of Global Water Dances. More information can be found on the website globalwaterdances.org/It was clear that the students had put in a lot of work and practice into their performance and it was a pleasure to see them express themselves so creatively.

We then saw a dramatic re-enactment of Johnny Cash’s song ‘A Boy Named Sue’ by the LCA 2 class. The group devised and performed the piece themselves. The play was entertaining and funny and the audience really enjoyed it.

Our main focus this year as a Creative School was to offer students additional Visual Arts Workshops for students across the school. These workshops culminated in a friendship tree which is proudly displayed outside our school. Each student coloured and drew on a series of discs which formed part of this collaborative picture. To conclude our Celebration Day we watched a photo story which documented these workshops. We saw the process of the work which involved a lot of teamwork and collaboration. These workshops were facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, and led by Mairead O’Callaghan of Crawford Supported Studios. For more information see crawford.cit.ie/supported-studio-project-with-gasp-and-c_ig-artists/.

All of the participating students received a certificate from the principal for their role in the Creative Schools project this year.

This year we have developed existing relationships and also we have made new links and friendships with a lot of artists and organisations outside of our school. We were privileged to have all the artists who have worked with our school this year as guests on our Celebration Day.

The Creative Schools Project has ended for this year but creativity continues in Scoil Bernadette. Towards the end of the June we will be running an X Factor Competition where all students will again be taking to the stage to sing and dance. We are looking forward already to next year when we can get planning for our next Creative School project. Students already have an abundance of ideas of what they would like to do. We are delighted that we took part in the Creative Schools project this year and are proud of our participation and achievements.

Music Generation 

Deadline: Thursday, 20 June 2019

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by SDCC and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of South Dublin Local Music Education Partnership. Music Generation South Dublin is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Specific Purpose Contract (Maternity Cover) (Salary range: €46,771 – €57,157 per annum)

Application form, job description and person specification available online at – www.sdcc.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Thursday, 20 June 2019

Late applications will not be accepted.
Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. SDCC is an equal opportunities employer.

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.

Getting the Show on the Road….. – Blog 2

This second part of the process, putting together a programme of events on our theme of Food, Cooking and Nature, is a really exciting and energising process. It felt like it took such a long time to get to the point of settling on a theme that reflected the needs and wants of the children, their parents, and school staff. There was so much to choose from, the net was very wide. When we finally settled on the theme, it was really exciting to be able to brainstorm and come up with ideas that would reflect the needs of the school community in a programme of activities.

Yvonne had been busy behind the scenes putting the feelers out and getting in touch with artists and professionals working in these circles. All of the professionals that Yvonne contacted were very enthusiastic about participating in the Creative Schools Programme and delighted to link in with our primary school in a sustainable way. We have now arranged for every class level to have a workshop/trip off site, which could only have been achieved as a result of the funding we received as part of this process. We are very grateful to have had access to this funding and it’s a wonderful asset to have for our second year programme as well. Through these workshops the children will be bug hunting, foraging in our local woods, making tinctures, becoming Bee Aware and making our school grounds pollinator friendly, visiting an Organic Farm and a workshop with Yvonne on some short films she made around the butter making process.

Our Creative Schools panel of teachers and children also brainstormed together and came up with a “Menu of Activities” (pardon the pun!) that every classroom can engage with over the next few weeks. These activities range from Science experiments with food items, setting classroom up as a restaurant and having a healthy shared lunch; inviting parents in to classroom to bake with the children or to share their skills, screenings of food related programmes and documentaries. We are hoping to document the activities that the children are engaging in over the next couple of weeks so that we can celebrate this creativity when we come back after the summer holidays. It’s going to be an action packed few weeks and we are looking forward to it immensely!

Lucy Elvis is a director of CURO, a not-for-profit organisation committed to public philosophy. CURO helps communities think together more effectively by inviting them to become Communities of Philosophical Inquiry. CURO works in schools, libraries, galleries and festivals as well as organising clubs and camps that include scholarship streams for children from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds. They like to get people thinking in places where they least expect it and to listen to the ‘big ideas’ that matter to groups who often aren’t given a voice.

When Lucy isn’t engaged in public philosophy, she is completing her PhD thesis and lecturing in Philosophy at NUI Galway. She is also an independent visual art curator and a board member of the TULCA Festival of Visual Art.

Talking about thinking and thinking about Talking – Blog 2

Sometimes, our young philosophers’ work can appear deceptively low tech. Walk in on a CPI (a community of philosophical inquiry) and you’ll find children sitting in a circle, some speaking, some listening and sometimes a cuddly toy, or a ball being used to indicate who should be talking. But, in these seemingly straight-forward talking shops, mind-bending ideas are explained, exchanged, and even worlds reimagined.

So far, so not-so-different from ‘circle time,’ right? However, there’s much more happening in philosophical dialogue than ‘talking.’ Unlike conversation, where I might share some news, and then hear from someone else, content in the CPI is anchored in a philosophical question (a ‘big’ ‘tricky’ ‘contestable’ and ‘open’ question) that the community have voted on together. In the CPI our learners are trying to solve ‘big problems’ together. This requires careful critical thinking before making a contribution. In answering big questions like ‘Should we always be punished for stealing?’ I have to decide my overall position (yes/no) and the reason why I think so.

If the only goal of a CPI were sharing opinions, then the result would be a straight-forward debate. But, undertaking philosophical inquiry together, means finding the best possible answer we can to our ‘big question’- a tally of yesses and nos won’t cut it. We will have to test the consequences of any overall position we adopt, and this might mean imagining scenarios, (‘what about stealing something small from your sister?) adjusting them, (‘what about stealing something back?) or clarifying what you mean by using analogies to point at similarities and differences (‘stealing something back is like creating fairness.’*)

The creativity described here needs critical thinking too, to support the new possibilities it imagines, and to create boundaries for creative thinking to ‘go-beyond.’ Because of the ways being critical and creative work together, the CPI allows our young learners to see how thinking from radically different areas of the curriculum work together, and how, scientific discovery and creative expression are both united by care and curiosity that powers our passion to ‘find out more.’

The CPI is a place for talking through, exploring and building possible answers together. Making thinking about concepts or big questions’ share-able’ can be a challenge, and demands creativity, and a rethinking of what ‘being creative’ can be, if we can move from just sharing ideas to making and revising them together.

*The examples here are based on a workshop with Ballyroan National School, at Ballyroan Library, who asked the question: ‘Should we be punished for stealing’ after they read ‘The Whopper’ by Rebecca Ashdowne together.

Liz Coman is an Assistant Arts Officer with Dublin City Council.  She is a certified Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator with VTS/USA and has completed training to coaching level.  She is responsible for monitoring the quality of Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – an EU project for Dublin City Council that is testing the VTS training pathway with educators in classroom and gallery settings. Liz has a background in History of Art and Museum Studies and fifteen years experience in designing innovative projects that support arts, education and learning.  She has led trainings in enquiry led approaches to mediating artwork for visual art facilitators in The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Turner Prize, Derry and offers ongoing mentorship for individual artists, arts educators and teachers.

Setting the Scene for Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – Blog 1

My first encounter with Visual Thinking Strategies was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in 2001.  I was on a public tour of the collection and the guide stood us in front of an artwork by Jackson Pollock and said ‘What is going on in this picture?’.  I was challenged by the question. I was also surprised by the long, silent pause that followed it! The group discussion began slowly.  All opinions offered by the group were considered by the guide, validated and acknowledged as a valuable contribution to the meaning of the work.  But in truth, I was disappointed that the guide did not offer any explanation about history of the artwork. Being a graduate of history of art, I had visited a lot of museums and always enjoyed the experience of being told information and stories about the artwork and the life of the artist. The Pollock work was figurative, with references to native American iconography.  I wanted to be told the ‘right answer’ about its intended meaning.

Soon after, I began an internship with SFMOMA and discovered that the discussion-based approach used on public tours was called VTS – Visual Thinking Strategies.  I began to think more about visual learning and constructivist pedagogy.  I was introduced to the basics of VTS facilitation – three questions – what’s going on in this picture? – what do you see that makes you say that? – what more can we find? –  backed up with carefully considered paraphrasing on the part of the facilitator.   I then did a piece of action-research with a group of adult learners with literacy difficulties from San Francisco Public Library which deepened my understanding of the role of the art museum as an active learning space which could  harness rich opportunities for literacy/language development.

Visual Thinking Strategies is a teaching framework and a practice. It was devised in the late 1980s by Philip Yenawine, art educator and Abigail Housen, cognitive psychologist. At the time, Yenawine was Director of Education at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City and was primarily concerned with making museum education programmes more effective. Yenawine and Housen’s research found that most viewers participating in museum programmes (specifically MOMA’s education programmes) were novice viewers, meaning that they had little experience looking at art, and their interpretations were relatively naïve.

VTS is based on three questions that aim to support novice viewers become more observant and more thoughtful about what they are looking at. This approach seems deceptively simple. However, with regular practice and when implemented effectively with a group, by a trained VTS facilitator, the (educational) outcomes are strong. Participants learn to acknowledge that every idea is important as they concentrate on justifying their idea with physical elements present in the work they are observing.  This improves observation skills and builds confidence in understanding works of art, giving participants a sense of ownership and empowerment over their opinions about art.   VTS involves no art-historical information and it does not require that the VTS facilitator have the answers to questions that arise in the course of discussion.  However, it does require educators to accept that they are not teaching aboutart.  Rather they are facilitating critical debate and thinking about art and indeed the bigger themes that emerge from an artworks’ powerful mirroring of the world.  I have learned from my own training with VTS/USA, that while VTS is a valuable method in my arts in education toolkit, my VTS practice requires consistency and reflection to genuinely support students’ thinking, learning and aesthetic growth.

While art museums are increasingly more open to audience centred approaches in mediating art, historically, this has not always been the case. French sociologist, Pierre Bordieu, went so far as to claim that the “true function” of the art museum was to “reinforce for some the feeling of belonging and for others the feeling of exclusion” and his research highlighted a public perception of art institutions as a type of holy shrine for artwork to be admired but not necessarily understood. [i] The opposite is the agenda for the durational work with VTS at Dublin City Council’s LAB Gallery.  As a contemporary art space for experimentation and risk taking in the visual arts in Dublin, The LAB Gallery has played a critical role in giving professional development, time and space for contemporary art, educators and local children in Dublin 1 to collaborate in a shared investigation of VTS.  Sheena Barrett, the LAB’s Curator, highlights the importance of VTS in providing a safe space to practice discussions that support our capacity to ‘wonder’ as opposed to moving too quickly to judgement about an artwork and/or complex social issue.

Fast forward to 2017, and Dublin City Council Arts Office is successful in achieving a European Union Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership Project Funding for Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder.

Artist Claire Halpin, Art Teacher Kieran Gallagher & Liz Coman at the MACA Contemporary Art Museum Alicante

Artist Claire Halpin, Art Teacher Kieran Gallagher and Liz Coman at the MACA Contemporary Art Museum Alicante

Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder aims to widen the network of VTS peers through training and sharing learning.  The project focuses on supporting ‘educators’ to develop a Visual Thinking Strategies practice over time. Over the course of this blog series, I hope to introduce you to the Irish educators who participated in Permission to Wonder. Kieran Gallagher is a secondary school art teacher based in St Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda and is a member of the visual arts Junior Cycle training team. Claire Halpin, is a professional artist and art educator and is the co-ordinator of the VTS Neighbourhood Schools Programme led by Central Model Senior School.  Anne Moylan is a secondary school art teacher based in Hartstown Community College, Dublin 15. Jane Malone is a primary school teacher based in St Catherine’s National School, Donore Avenue, Dublin 8. Sile McNulty Goodwin is Education Curator at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane. Kathryn Maguire is a professional artist and art educator.

 

Assistant Arts Officer Liz Coman, Teacher Anne Moylan, Education Curator Sile McNulty , Teacher Jane Malone and Artist Kathryn Maguire in the David Museum, Copenhagen

Assistant Arts Officer Liz Coman, Teacher Anne Moylan, Education Curator Sile McNulty , Teacher Jane Malone and Artist Kathryn Maguire in the David Museum, Copenhagen

 [i]  As quoted in Stephen E. Weil, Esq, “On a New Foundation: The American Art Museum Reconceived,” in  A Cabinet of Curiosities: Inquiries into Museums and Their Prospects (Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 106.

 

Yvonne

Yvonne Cullivan is a visual artist and educator based in the West of Ireland. She has fifteen years experience in Fine Art practice, Arts Education, Public & Participatory Arts and Arts Management. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, and an M.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University. Yvonne is a Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, on the First Year Fine Art & Design Programme and in the Fine Art Media Department. She is also currently engaged as a Creative Associate with the Creative Schools Programme.


Working across a broad range of documentary-style media, including sound, video, photography, interview/conversation, drawing and writing, Yvonne’s practice is underpinned by a strong participatory and collaborative approach. She often works within communities of place, rooting the engagement in site-specific research and interdisciplinary knowledge generation. Sustained processes of observation, documentation, collaboration and experiential engagement with place, lead to the creation of new work that is reflective of, appropriate to and shaped by the process.

 

Collate and Prioritise – Blog 2

I collected a lot of information from the schools I have been working with as part of my role as Creative Associate on the Creative Schools Programme; written notes, visuals, statistics, survey information. The biggest school (Galway Educate Together on Newcastle Road) has over 500 pupils and 50 staff. Regardless of the size of the school, everyone was asked for their opinions. This took time and investment from myself, the coordinators, staff, voluntary Children’s Creativity Panels and, at G.E.T.N.S., a voluntary Staff Creativity Panel. Questions were asked such as: What are the challenges to being creative in the classroom? What are the opportunities for this Creative Schools Programme? If you were the principle of this school and had money to spend, what creative things would you spend it on? Age-appropriate surveys were completed with in-depth questions regarding the level of engagement with creativity in the classroom, staff planning, allocation of funding, parental awareness of creative activities etc. There were votes, by all parties, in relation to areas of interest and creative media to explore. Everywhere I went I brought colored sharpies and hundreds of colored post-its, blue-tack and masking tape, large sheets of paper and visual aids. The workshops were active and inclusive and very enjoyable.

I then worked through the valuable information, stored on sheets and post-its or documented through photographs, in the same way that I would with research for any project; by laying it all out and finding the overlaps and patterns within it. I moved post-its around, joined them with arrows and written notes. Through this process of collating and prioritising (staff were involved to a certain extent during workshops), I produced a visual mind-map for each school. I returned to present the findings and discuss suggestions as to how we might address the prioritised information. My hope in each case was to find a way to marry the medium / media of choice with a methodology through which prioritised learning could be imparted and to also encompass the larger contexts, aims and ambitions, outlined by each school. Context, method, medium, not necessarily in that order, are the three strands that merge to inform and form my own artistic practice and individual projects and are the main elements of my teaching methodology.

There followed a consultative process involving staff, staff panels, children and children’s panels, through which my suggestions were padded and shaped collectively. In each case we made decisions on ‘projects’. These projects have a beginning, middle and end, however they are not stand-alone. Rather, they have been devised as a way to carry experiential learning on a number of levels and to keep this learning open so that it can be expanded upon. They have also been devised in collaboration with specific artists; the ‘who’ is as important as the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. In each case I approached particular people and engaged them in conversations, alone and then with the schools, to further shape what might happen. We are now at that wonderful point where the work is starting to unfold.

Frank is an Irish-born designer /cultural producer with an interest in film, architecture & the arts, design and technology. An honors graduate in Production Design for Film, TV and theatre, he spent the best part of a decade in this sector. Coming from a film and set design background, he has always been passionate about the power of buildings and spaces to tell stories and he developed this interest further when he later moved into interior and architectural design work setting up practice in London in 2001. This experience led to a decision to study architecture at London Metropolitan University where he was awarded an BA Honors’ Architecture in 2008 and a Professional Diploma in Architecture 2012.


His professional practice includes the design of buildings & set design for film and television production. This has informed his approach to practice, which is collaborative, interdisciplinary and site-specific. With a long term interest in the critical potential of design he established the Architecture at the Edge Festival in 2017, for which he devised and developed the events programme through all stages: planning, development and administration, including the curation and production of an annual symposium on Placemaking  & associated workshops. He recently produced an outdoor built installation, ‘Ghost Chapel’ for Galway International Arts Festival 2018 in collaboration with Bartlett School of Architecture.

Cities Need Old Buildings – Blog 2

‘Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them…. for really new ideas of any kind—no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be—there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.’

From; The Death and Life of Great American Cities , Jane Jacobs

In my last blog I described how we extended the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) – Architects in Schools learning programme at The Bish into engagement beyond the school gate. Incorporating urban sketching on Nuns Island and other activities within the workshop itinerary in an attempt to encourage and allow the students an opportunity to examine their city from another perspective … to be creative. To be imaginative.

With the school located on part of the under-utilized parcel of land at the edge of Galway City center, the regeneration of Nuns Island lands need careful and detailed consideration it being directly between the City and NUI Galway it easily facilitates an expansion of the University campus or an expansion of the City creating a civic space to carefully bring both City and University together. NUI Galway and Galway City Council recently launched a public consultation for this very purpose. The aim here is to transform Nuns’ Island into a new quarter that will enable the city to capitalize on its creativity, enterprise and quality of life. The masterplan is being prepared by internationally-renowned planners BDP, business strategy advisors Colliers International and quantity surveyors AECOM. It is supported by the Government’s Urban Regeneration Development Fund. Focusing on this regeneration of Nuns Island we were delighted that Gareth McGuire, Architect Director BDP agreed to lead the students on a mapping exercise.

So we took a walk through their Island, mapping the existing spaces and their functions, recording the grain of the place and also seeking out opportunities for future interventions.

Amongst the key programmatic functions identified by the students in this process a number of themes evolved;

Amongst these functions one of the activities identified by the students is the sight every July of the Big Blue Tent at Fisheries Field, erected for the duration of GIAF Arts Festival. It’s a signifier of the festival status which is core to the public life of the city and a landmark for the summer. We discussed with the students about this ‘creative arts entertainment’ intervention and the potential for other spaces on the island, such as the old derelict Persse’s Distillery Building for adaptive reuse purposes. What might those buildings and spaces become? Student accommodation? With the meeting of ‘Town and Gown’ perhaps a shared library building for the city would be useful? Or a new Distillery? A Contemporary Art Gallery? Co-working spaces to foster a creative community? The students could quite readily foresee that in the creative use of these spaces lies the key to regeneration for the entire masterplan.

GIAF Big Top

GIAF Big Top

During the process I was reminded of a famous line from the late great urbanist Jane Jacobs: “New ideas must use old buildings.” So how to interpret and translate that into a way which might allow the students to engage directly in the process of reimaging Nuns Island?

Attending the Galway International Arts Festival 2019 programme launch last Thursday, the Artistic Director Paul Fahy, referred to the lack of cultural infrastructure in the city, reaffirming the festivals need to ‘Adapt old spaces and turn them into something new … ’he announced that as in previous years having utilized the former Connacht Tribune Printworks for the Festival Gallery, and this now being is no longer available, (again its being repurposed but now as an indoor food market),  GIAF is out of necessity appropriating and re-adapting the old GPO Sorting Office for the Festival Gallery 2019. Situated just off William street this building is just one other city center site which has lain vacant and idle for many years. Out of sight and just screaming for rejuvenation!!

The GIAF festival have always been the cultural pioneers in this city whom out of necessity occupy overlooked and abandoned spaces and transform them into vibrant active places. They understood that a former printing works, or an GPO sorting office can accommodate exactly the kind of framework needed for a creative hub /district. Both examples demonstrate a pragmatic response, creating flexible public buildings that give scope for further development. That kind of loose-fit re-apportion of space does not dictate how it should be used, the potential for revival is already there in the infrastructure and Galway has the cultural riches to attract people in the first place. It’s a matter of turning it to the right purpose. To look at the seeming familiar from another perspective …

As Architects we are often challenged to respond to these kinds of circumstances by conceiving new ideas for the design or re-design of existing spaces. In this process architects can become both activist and educator, championing the cause and helping to galvanize the support of the local community.

This was the approach taken with the students at the Bish. Bringing the class out into the town to explore and experience spaces and familiar places on their door step. To invite them to contribute and make decisions on what buildings or spaces they would like to create in their own local area. You could sense the excitement among the student participants in engaging as stakeholders themselves in that process which shapes their environment, in opening up new ways of looking and engaging with the world, and just perhaps pathways to creative careers as master planners or cultural pioneers for a few.

National Gallery of Ireland

Date: 1 July – 5 July 2019

This CPD course offers a unique opportunity for primary school teachers to expand their artistic skill set in a national cultural institution.

Join facilitators Claire Hall and Sinéad Hall for this National Gallery of Ireland CPD course comprising a series of presentations focusing on the six strands of the primary school visual arts curriculum, followed by workshops in drawing, painting, print, fabric and fibre, construction and clay. The sessions will involve hands-on, practical activities, and lessons that can be used at all class levels, with direct references to related works of art in the Gallery’s collection.

The course will cover all strands and strand units of the visual arts curriculum; the elements of art; linkage and integration across the curriculum; and assessment and self-evaluation. The course will also focus on the centrality of looking and responding and process throughout the strands. Course attendees will participate in tours of the Gallery’s current exhibitions, and some workshops may take place in gallery rooms.

All attendees will receive an information pack detailing all that the Gallery has to offer primary schools. Produced by the National Gallery’s Education Department, the information pack will include advice on visiting galleries and cultural institutions with students; suggestions on how to introduce primary school children to art and art history; and details on how to access online resources.

The course fee covers all materials, handouts, equipment and supplies. All art work completed during the course may be photographed and/or taken home at the end of the course as a reference for classroom use.

Dates and time: Monday, 1 July – Friday, 5 July | 9.30 am – 2pm
Course Fee: €90.00
Max. number of participants: 25
Suitable for: Primary school teachers
For information and to book, please email: sineaddehal@gmail.com | claire.hall3838@gmail.com

For further information go to www.nationalgallery.ie/whats-on/teachers-cpd-course-art-primary-school-making-and-appreciation-skills 

IFSA Kerry WalkerThe 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.

In this second blog post, Kerry Walker talks about how the Forest School principles can be used to unlock creative potential in children (and adults!)

Kerry Walker is a passionate Forest School Practitioner and Art Therapist. Her appreciation for nature and art has brought her on creative journeys around the world. She has facilitated creative arts programmes with a focus on using art and nature as a tool for integration, connection and awareness. Kerry is the co-founder of Down to Earth Forest School, a nature based educational programme where children are supported to learn and create through nature. (www.downtoearthforestschool.com)

Unlocking Creativity through the Forest School Principles – Blog 2

The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences. – Loris Malaguzzi

The Irish Forest School Association follows six guiding principles set out by the Forest School Association in the UK in 2011. These principles form the foundation that gives the learner the freedom to choose how they approach challenges and activities in natural spaces.  Forest School, based on these principles, creates a space to encourage and support us to think critically and creatively. I am going to look at each of the principles and highlight how they are key to unlocking and supporting the creative development of children, as well as promoting resilient and independent learners.

In short, Forest School:

 

By using a woodland setting for Forest School sessions, we are providing an open-ended natural environment for the children to explore. The Forest School setting is abundant with sticks, leaves, soil, stones, and many more natural objects. They are materials that can be carried, moved, combined and redesigned – they are what Simon Nicholson (1971) referred to as loose parts. He proposed that access to loose parts encourages children’s creativity and provides a greater range of opportunities (Nicholson, 1971).The woodland setting is also providing the learner with continuous access to the natural environment where they are able to immerse themselves in the creative stimulation that nature so freely provides.

Ensuring that Forest School is a long term process of regular sessions is an important factor. As the sessions are continuous, the children are given time to return to their woodland site on a weekly basis throughout the seasons. With this time, they are afforded the opportunity to work on a certain craft or skill at their pace, and develop and share their own ideas. They are not rushed or told to have a final product; they get to experience the process of creating something over time.

By using a range of learner-centred processes, Forest School aims to create a community for development and learning.It provides a platform for all learning preferences. Play and choice are an integral part of the Forest School learning process, and play is recognised as vital to learning and development at Forest School (FSA, 2011). Child-led play is central to Forest School and play facilitates a creative response in us all.

Promoting holistic development and opportunities for supported risk taking are considered central to Forest School and also to enhancing creativity. Forest School aims to develop, where appropriate, the physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the learner (FSA, 2011). It encourages children to lead activities, it can help improve fine motor skills, promotes self-awareness and gives the child ownership of the sessions. Forest School encourages children to step out of their comfort zone. In doing so, the children are able to become more aware of their physical and mental limits and are more able to assess situations. They are supported to think creatively and to trust themselves.

Qualified FS Practitioners are aware of the importance of child-led activities and so they do not teach or tell children what to do. Instead they provide ideas, activities and resources and facilitate opportunities for children to pursue their interests. Over time this supports the children’s confidence and fosters creative thinking.

By providing children a long-term learning process within a woodland setting, while supporting risk and holistic development, and by creating a community for learning with a qualified practitioner the Forest School principles are key to unlocking and supporting creativity in children.

Gill, Tim, (2007) No Fear: growing up in a risk adverse society

Nicholson, Simon (1971) The Theory of Loose Parts, An Important Principle of Design and Methodology. Open University.

 

 

Music Generation

Deadline Date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Kerry ETB, Kildare and Wicklow ETB, Longford and Westmeath ETB, Louth and Meath ETB and Tipperary ETB are now each inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

Post Reference Numbers:

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by each education and training board and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Local Music Education Partnership in each county.

All five counties have recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from –

Kerry: www.kerryetb.ie
Kildare: www.kildarewicklow.etb.ie
Longford: www.lwetb.ie
Meath: www.etbjobs.ie
Tipperary: www.tipperary.etb.ie

Closing date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. For more information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/new-opportunities-in-kerry-kildare-longford-meath-and-tipperary/

Music Generation

Deadline: 7th June 2019

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Sligo.

Post Reference Number:MGSO19

The Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by MSL ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Sligo Local Music Education Partnership.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at – www.msletb.ie

Applications on the official MSL ETB Application Form are only accepted by email to: employment@msletb.ie

It is vital to insert the Reference Number of the Post in the subject line of your email.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Friday 7th June

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. MSL ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

Baboró 

Dates: 1st – 5th July 2019

Baboró releases final spaces for ‘Drama Tools for the Classroom’, an EPV approved Continuous Professional Development (CPD) course for educators, therapists and artists.

A limited number of tickets are now available for Baboró’s annual Continuous Professional Development (CPD) course, Drama Tools for the Classroom, taking place from Monday 1st to Friday 5th of July at the O’Donoghue Centre, NUI Galway.

Develop practical, fun and engaging teaching methodologies in this EPV approved CPD course; delivered by teacher, dramatist and facilitator Irene O’Meara, B.Ed., LLSM, MA Drama & Theatre Studies.

The week-long course of workshops is designed for primary school teachers but is also open to educators, therapists, artists and facilitators. It is for those who value the art of communication, empathy and co-operation, and wish to use drama and the creative arts to effectively engage children in teaching a range of topics.

The course will cover all the required teaching methodologies such as Active Learning; Problem Solving; Collaborative Learning and Discussion and Use of Environment, while also developing skills that can be used in a multitude of settings with many subject areas. Participants will then be guided through the processes of using drama as a methodology that supports the Using, Understanding and Communicating as per the New Primary Language curriculum.

Booking and Event Details:
Course cost of €70.00.
Taking place from 9.30am – 2.00pm Monday 1st to Friday 5th of July at the O’Donoghue Centre, NUI Galway.

Tickets available on Eventbrite at bit.ly/2JbUBG0. Places are limited and advanced booking is required.

For further information go to www.baboro.ie/news-events/cpd-2019

This is an EPV Department of Skills and Education approved course and participants will receive a certificate of completion. For further information contact admin@baboro.ie or call 091 562 667

Music Generation

Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary have been announced as the next five counties to join the Music Generation programme.

As part of Music Generation, each of the five new areas will receive funding to create access to affordable performance music education for children and young people in their communities. Minister for Education and Skills Joe Mc Hugh T.D. welcomed this next big step on Music Generation’s road to nationwide expansion by 2022:

‘Giving our young people access to high quality musical education is a key element of Creative Youth, part of the Government’s Creative Ireland plan.

‘Music and the arts inspire us all and Music Generation is having enormous impacts in communities, with young people having instrument, ensemble, voice and choral experiences that simply wouldn’t be possible without this programme…’

Music Generation projects are benefitting from €3.485 million funding from the Department of Education and Skills in 2019.

Responding to the news, U2’s The Edge said: ‘Every milestone reached on this journey is a source of great pride for the band as well as everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen. With this latest announcement, the finish line is firmly in sight and our dream of an accessible music education for every young person in Ireland is getting ever closer. We are beyond excited.’

Music Generation was originally co-funded with philanthropic donations from U2 and The Ireland Funds, supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, along with funding from local partners.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/music-generation-announces-expansion-into-five-new-areas-of-ireland/

National Gallery of Ireland

Dates: May & June 2019

Spanning 250 years, Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland comprises artworks by fifty artists, exploring the relationship between people and the natural world.

In addition to artists of the past, such as George Barret, Paul Henry and Jack B. Yeats, it includes contemporary practitioners like Dorothy Cross, Willie Doherty, Kathy Prendergast and Sean Scully, as well as Niamh O’Malley, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Samuel Laurence Cunnane and others.

Encompassing a range of artistic media and perspectives, this exhibition examines different land types and uses, revealing the significant role artists have played in visualising aspects of human impact on the environment.

Shaping Ireland for Schools

The exhibition presents an opportunity for cross-curricular learning, and the  accompanying schools programme focuses on the environmental issues raised by the exhibition. 

School Tours

Dates: Tuesday – Friday in May & June

Schools from across the island of Ireland can avail of free tours of the exhibition in English and Irish. To book, email tours@ngi.ie or phone + 353 1 663 3510

Primary Schools Workshops

Dates: Tuesdays & Wednesdays in May & June
Time: 10am – 12pm
Cost: €150 per workshop (Max. 30 students per group)

Explore the exhibition with artist Emily Robyn Archer, and discover the important role of bees and other pollinators in the Irish ecosystem. This cross-curricular workshop will take students outside into Merrion Square to creatively explore the local environment. Students will make seedbombs to take home and help spread flowers across Ireland! To book click here

Primary Schools Resource: Art and the Environment

Teacher Sinéad Hall has developed a resource pack inspired by the exhibition, and designed to be used in the classroom, showing how art and creativity can be embedded across the primary curriculum. To download click here.  

For further information and booking go to https://www.nationalgallery.ie/art-and-artists/exhibitions/shaping-ireland-landscapes-irish-art/education-programme

 

 

Irish Architecture Foundation

Deadline Date: Friday 31 May 2019

Applications are now open for schools to participate in the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Architects in Schools 2019/20 initiative. An initiative aiming to encourage collaboration between architects and teachers, giving Transition Year students a hands-on design experience.

Now in its seventh year, Architects in Schools has been delivered in over 80 schools nationwide to date, with students exploring how design and architecture affect their school and local environment, learning a range of skills and gaining insight into a range of career options. The initiative begins with a skills sharing day for all participating teachers and architects in late September, projects/workshops are delivered in classrooms in terms 1 and/or 2 and the initiative culminates with a national exhibition in mid April.

Places on the initiative are limited to 30 schools per year, and the IAF selects schools through an application process, aiming for a broad geographic spread, a mix of school types and a balance between new and returning schools. To give your school the best chance of participating, apply online by Friday 31 May.

For more information, visit the IAF website at architecturefoundation.ie/ news/architects-in-schools- 2019-20-open-for-school- applications/

To apply online go to  https://docs.google. com/forms/d/e/ 1FAIpQLSf9ZICqLfJ- CdcHVH8buyWLfdpNk1LyixWF7FS7CW XUrJEenw/viewform

Music Generation

Deadlines: 8th & 10th May 2019

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan:
CMETB invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced persons to be placed on a panel for part-time musicians/music tutors for the following Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: http://www.vecjobs.ie/index.cfm/section/job_one/vacancy_key/5062

Closing date for receipt of applications: 12 noon, Wednesday 8 May 2019.

Music Generation Kilkenny:
KCETB on behalf of Music Generation Kilkenny wishes to recruit suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: kilkennycarlow.etb.ie/vacancies-2/musicians-tutors-music-generation-kilkenny/

Closing date for receipt of postal applications: 12 noon, Friday 10 May 2019.

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.

Creative Schools:  An Exciting New Journey – Blog 1

Our school was delighted  to hear about this new Creative Schools initiative and were eager for our school to participate. Our school has traditionally been very lucky to have creative teachers and parents who have shared their talents with the children over the years. Schools have changed dramatically over the years, the advent of technology means that the wider world has become much more accessible to children, and any amount of content is now available at the other end of their fingertips. The information presented on the training day for Creative Schools was so relevant and interesting. The notion that 65% of jobs our current cohort will be doing as adults have not yet been created blew my mind. That the World Economic Forum lists Creativity third in the top ten list of skills that our young people will need to navigate their future highlights how much skills development is now required in schools into the future.

We have been working in close collaboration with Yvonne Cullivan, our Creative Associate all year and this has been a great experience for our school. Yvonne has been successfully able to help us as a school identify the relationship we have with creativity through the eyes of the teachers, the children and the parents. What emerged out of that process was that as a school, we have a lot to celebrate, much to communicate and a great roadmap for how we can develop further as a school. There was a huge amount involved in the information gathering stage of the project, due in part to our large school population – surveying, collating and analysing over 1000 opinions was a long process.  We were relieved to hear that there would be another year to engage with the project, as we felt that we would need a lot more time to embed the learning from the information gathering, and having another year next year will allow us to do that.

The outcomes for our school are that all members of the community wish to engage more with creativity and the arts, we wish to engage with each other and the wider community more, we wish to see more cross curricular creativity and we wish to communicate and celebrate the many wonderful aspects of creative work that we already engage in. The children voted to do more work around cooking, nature and horticulture, so myself, Yvonne and the other wonderful teachers on our Creative School committee are currently working to put together a programme to run over the course of May and June. I look forward to sharing how we are getting on in the next blog post!

Frank is an Irish-born designer /cultural producer with an interest in film, architecture & the arts, design and technology. An honors graduate in Production Design for Film, TV and theatre, he spent the best part of a decade in this sector. Coming from a film and set design background, he has always been passionate about the power of buildings and spaces to tell stories and he developed this interest further when he later moved into interior and architectural design work setting up practice in London in 2001. This experience led to a decision to study architecture at London Metropolitan University where he was awarded an BA Honors’ Architecture in 2008 and a Professional Diploma in Architecture 2012.


His professional practice includes the design of buildings & set design for film and television production. This has informed his approach to practice, which is collaborative, interdisciplinary and site-specific. With a long term interest in the critical potential of design he established the Architecture at the Edge Festival in 2017, for which he devised and developed the events programme through all stages: planning, development and administration, including the curation and production of an annual symposium on Placemaking  & associated workshops. He recently produced an outdoor built installation, ‘Ghost Chapel’ for Galway International Arts Festival 2018 in collaboration with Bartlett School of Architecture.

Threshold – Blog 1

TY students from schools around the country completed their IAF Architects in Schools project this month with a presentation at GMIT’s Cluain Mhuire campus to IAF, GMIT staff and Architect Dermot Bannon. Devised and delivered by the Irish Architecture Foundation, this initiative provides students with first-hand experience of the design process under the guidance of design professionals.

This was my third year participating in the programme, and alongside architect Sybil Curley returning to my alma mater at St. Josephs College, ‘the Bish’, Galway we undertook to deliver a series of workshops which might allow the students to develop their visual spatial skills. Art is not taught as part of the curriculum at the school, so it was important that we find a way to allow the students the opportunity to express their inherent creativity. The teacher was keen for us to assist the students to work on design concept development that would prepare them for Design Communication and Graphics (DCG) subject challenges. To this aim, prompting visual research was very important as it helped the students investigate that process. Taking steps to intentionally address any lack of confidence in their own creativity the students surveyed areas of the school and recorded observations on materials, light levels, circulation etc. Critical thinking and visual awareness was encouraged throughout the course.  Exploratory site visits further increased the students’ visual vocabulary and ability to convey design concepts through sketching.

In the first year we explored the idea of ‘Threshold’ in creating an aedicule, between the school institution and the city. There are plans to relocate the school away from Nuns Island and out of the city to a new site in the coming years so the idea was to think about designing a ‘gateway’ into the new institution. Starting with an exercise to create their own school motto to place above the entrance to the existing school building we brought the students out to sketch the Spanish Arch and other historical approach’s to the city. Following mapping exercises of the schools existing entrances and reception areas as well documenting the access roads/bridges onto the Island in which the school is located the students constructed a 1:100 physical model of the school upon which they could place designs of their own ‘aedicule’ interventions.

The following year we continued this exploration of that kind of creative flexibility which extended into how we can engage with the city beyond the school. Inspired by dePaor Architects refurbishment of Druid theatre, the students reimagined the adaptive reuse of their existing school building, turning it towards the river, and incorporating the adjacent Nuns Island Theatre into the schools buildings programme.  Careful consideration was made to how best retain the character of this building, a former Methodist Church repurposed as an arts venue, and how this might give greater flexibility for improvements throughout the entire schools built infrastructure.

The design brief encouraged them to practice a culture of sustainability in our built environment through adaptive reuse of existing building stock located in and around the school’s current location at Nun’s Island. This initiative has the potential not only to encourage the students to better understand their built environment and gain skills in design, sketching, photography, model making & computer graphics. But also to encourage them to explore their local history & geography, engage in environmental studies, develop knowledge of material & construction studies as well as a practical use for ICT skills. The ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions—is being recast as a prized and teachable skill.

I find that these experiences have not only reinforced my belief in the importance and benefits to be found in ‘learning from making’ for a student’s development, but it has enabled them develop their own identity/interests, skills, sense of self confidence, and the possibilities for integrating this into all aspects of their learning process.

When we think about communicating something essential about the world be it through art/drama/storytelling etc. to young people in particular, it does not help to be didactic, to focus on technical or technological skill. I would encourage an emphasis on the enjoyment and the value of the process of making more than the result or final product. What is of benefit to the youth is found in the freedom, experimentation and exploration that went into their creation. Expect to make mistakes. There is no right way or wrong way. It is in finding solutions that make the value of creative imagination most valuable. My approach would be to get something across playfully. To equip students with valuable life tools which enhance their public speaking and communication skills, social development, emotional development as well as the cognitive benefits. Actually, to get playfulness itself across.

Lucy Elvis is a director of CURO, a not-for-profit organisation committed to public philosophy. CURO helps communities think together more effectively by inviting them to become Communities of Philosophical Inquiry. CURO works in schools, libraries, galleries and festivals as well as organising clubs and camps that include scholarship streams for children from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds. They like to get people thinking in places where they least expect it and to listen to the ‘big ideas’ that matter to groups who often aren’t given a voice.

When Lucy isn’t engaged in public philosophy, she is completing her PhD thesis and lecturing in Philosophy at NUI Galway. She is also an independent visual art curator and a board member of the TULCA Festival of Visual Art.

We thought we’d never ask…. – Blog 1

Often in our haste to increase engagement in arts education, we want to get children making. This is a liberating process: they meet makers, learn about their practice and have a go at creating work in that way these experiences are exciting, motivating and arguably help to create our future artists.

But, what about our future art audiences? Visual Thinking Strategies have dominated museum and gallery education programmes, and these have value too. They focus on looking slowly and carefully, getting lost in the work itself and wondering what it’s all about by answering the questions ‘What do you think is happening in the picture?’ and ‘Why?’

What happens though, when you allow young audiences to take charge? What new understanding can emerge by allowing them to frame the questions they are really wondering about after experiencing a play, roaming an exhibition, absorbing a story, watching a film or listening to some music?

This is what CURO aims to do when we think about art with our communities of young learners. Our focus is on reconnecting the experiences of art, with our experiences in and with the world using them to think deeply about questions that matter for everyone. So, where visual thinking strategies stay within the edges of the canvas and practice-oriented art interventions are focussed on making something, we encourage our communities to run with the work by devising a common, contestable and enduring question that it sparks for them.

In this process the group votes on one such question and enters into a structured dialogue to find a collective answer. Questions we’ve explored with communities include: ‘Is everyone creative?’ (inspired by the work of Sam Basu and Liz Murray), ‘Are there more than two genders?’ (sparked by Bassam Al Sabbah’s Walking, Walking with The Sun Upon my Back) and ‘Could we exist without negative emotions?’ (prompted by the experience of Richard Profit’s The Shortcut: Don’t Follow the Black Dog).

These fascinating questions are just the start of a process of exploring possible answers, the reasons for them and the imagined worlds where ‘that’s the case.’ In our next post, we’ll talk about the ‘how’ of structured dialogue and the creative thinking skills it can foster through the context of our work in Galway County Libraries.

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.  Some of our members will describe their engagement in Forest School in this series of blog posts. First up is Claire Murphy:

MarieClaire (Claire) Murphy is a primary school teacher, forest school leader and a PhD researcher in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Thanks to funding from the Heritage in Schools scheme, Claire is currently working collaboratively with a Forest School Leader to bring a high-quality learning experience to primary school children.

Exploring the Visual Arts Curriculum in Primary School the Forest School Way – Blog 1

We know that one in six Irish parents don’t think it’s safe for their five-year-old child to play outside at home during the day (Early Childhood Ireland 2019). So opportunities to explore and to be in natural environments are increasingly limited for young children. Forest School inspires learning through interactive games, activities, songs, stories, nature crafts, foraging and sensory nature meditations. The sensory exploration deepens the children’s connections to nature as a result igniting curiosity and questioning, a fantastic gateway to learning about nature.

Forest School occurs as a weekly session in the child’s standard preschool or primary school context. The primary aim of Forest School is the development of children’s self-esteem, self-confidence and independence skills. A second aim is to encourage children to appreciate, care for and respect the natural environment (Maynard 2007). Taking risks is also an important element of this approach. The learners engage in activities such as building shelters, cooking on camp fires and identifying plant and wildlife (Harris 2017). The focus is on the whole child and their experiences developing the child’s independence and self-esteem through their engagement with the natural environment (Murray and O’Brien 2005).

The Visual Arts Primary School Curriculum presents a range of activities for the child to perceive, explore, respond to and appreciate the visual world, this involves ‘looking with awareness and understanding of the visual elements and their interplay in the environment and in art works’ (NCCA  1999, p. 2). One of the general aims of the Arts in Education includes the development of the child’s awareness of, sensitivity too and enjoyment of visual, aural, tactile and spatial qualities in the environment (NCCA 1999, p.4).

I explored the Visual Arts ‘Construction’ strand through this Forest School approach in a small-scale study. This was conducted in a 1st Class in a large, urban, DEIS status school. Overall, I found that there was a positive response as the majority of children noted that they ‘liked’ the lessons. There was evidence that children were engaged in the learning process and they displayed a development of new vocabulary associated with Forest School. I observed enthusiasm and engagement in the visual arts making process. I also found some unanticipated results of the study; I tended to structure group work in the classroom, but I found that this occurred more naturally during the Forest School sessions. Children had space to move from group to group, some enjoyed working in small groups of 2 or 3 children, while others preferred larger groups. Children had control of their social space. One child in particular tended to become frustrated with children at his group in the classroom. I observed that he moved away from the group for certain periods of time to work on his own, returning to the group when he was ready. There was a change of attitude towards the outdoors and the creatures found outdoors. One example of this is the class’ decision to protect an earthworm from the sunlight with leaves.

I am now continuing this research in a larger scale study. I am investigating the impact of the introduction of weekly Forest School sessions in an Irish Primary School setting. The Forest School sessions will take place in four mainstream classes, ensuring that there are observations of each of the curriculum levels as delivered in the Irish Primary school system. This is being conducted over the period of an academic year which ensures that each class engages in Forest School sessions for 10 weeks. The impact will be explored through the perspective of the teacher and the child to explore whether the teaching and learning methodologies used during Forest School sessions are consonant with teaching and learning methodologies advocated in the Irish Primary School Curriculum

Further reading of the integration of the Irish Visual Arts curricular objectives through the Forest School approach can be found in Claire’s paper in The Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14729679.2018.1443481

Yvonne

Yvonne Cullivan is a visual artist and educator based in the West of Ireland. She has fifteen years experience in Fine Art practice, Arts Education, Public & Participatory Arts and Arts Management. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, and an M.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University. Yvonne is a Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, on the First Year Fine Art & Design Programme and in the Fine Art Media Department. She is also currently engaged as a Creative Associate with the Creative Schools Programme.


Working across a broad range of documentary-style media, including sound, video, photography, interview/conversation, drawing and writing, Yvonne’s practice is underpinned by a strong participatory and collaborative approach. She often works within communities of place, rooting the engagement in site-specific research and interdisciplinary knowledge generation. Sustained processes of observation, documentation, collaboration and experiential engagement with place, lead to the creation of new work that is reflective of, appropriate to and shaped by the process.

Creative Schools: Fresh Eyes – Blog 1

One of the aspects that I love most about working as an artist, particularly when engaging with a group or community, is the unknown. When I begin a project, nobody really knows what is going to happen, including me! This can be daunting. However, it is also a wonderful space to hold; one that allows for active listening and open response, intuitive exploration and discovery.

What I do know and trust entirely, is the creative process in which all my work is embedded. There will always be a thorough, considered and inclusive engagement. This will have a loose starting point; like a question, intention or broad theme. It will involve research, discussion, observation, documentation, and collection of information. As my sole agenda is usually to create an artwork of some description, I like to get a sense of the ‘bigger picture’ with all its nuances and particularities, whatever the situation. As the engagement unfolds, I constantly review and refine the information that comes to me, slowly shaping a response without feeling any obligation to make it fit a particular form. Eventually, as a result of this entire process, an outcome manifests. Usually it is one that is reflective and relevant, and will take a form that is both surprising and no surprise at all, because it was taking shape throughout the process. The pattern is always the same. Time and time again I doubt the process, usually when I am in the middle of it. Then, when I reach the end, I am reminded that it absolutely works. This is how I work as an artist and as an educator and this is how I am approaching my current role as Creative Associate on the Creative Schools Programme.

Schools are extremely active places. There are enormous pressures of time and workload on staff, pupils and management. The arts subjects are the easiest to squeeze out or the hardest to fit in. However, I am finding an overwhelming desire, from staff and from young people alike, to have more creativity, more freedom and experimentation and play within the curriculum and within school life. There are challenges around this of course, and there are some fears too. I have been engaging in active, visual and collaborative ways with my school coordinators and communities to unearth these challenges and fears and to also explore the opportunities and wishes around a ‘creative school’. Through workshops, surveys, activities, discussions and votes, I have been capturing all relevant voices; from those of the youngest pupils to that of the principle. We have been considering all aspects of the question of creativity in schools, from small practicalities to large visions.

The three schools that I am working with are thoroughly invested in this programme and are bringing great enthusiasm and honesty to the table and placing complete trust in the process that we are undertaking together. They are three very diverse schools, and three very different shapes are beginning to emerge…

Music Generation

Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 9th May 2019

Established in 2010, Music Generation’s ambition is to transform the lives of children and young people through local access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education.

To enable Music Generation to reach its next stage of development, the National Development Office is now seeking to appoint a Head of Quality, Support and Development. This new senior role within the organisation will be key in the implementation of Music Generation’s Strategic Plan during a significant period of growth, planned from 2019 to 2022.

The successful candidate will be a skilled professional with a demonstrable track record of delivering results, high standards and achievement in music education development. The position requires someone with leadership and senior management experience that can support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships, and enable the stated priorities for Quality in line with the organisation’s Strategic Plan.

The current strategy maps out an exciting period of growth and change for Music Generation and this role provides a rare opportunity for an experienced and dynamic music education development professional to contribute to and shape those ambitions.

For a job description and details of the application process, please contact John Deely at Pinpoint:
Email: Recruit@pinpoint.ie
Phone: +353 1 642 5721

Closing date for applications: 5pm Thursday May 9, 2019

Music Generation is a Music Network initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation

Deadline for Clare: 26th April 2019

Applications are currently being sought for the roles of musician/music tutor in Clare.

Music Generation Clare:
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas of practice within Music Generation Clare

 

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: https://lcetb.ie/recruitment/

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

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: Working Together – Blog 3

As Spring slowly emerges with its brighter days and new beginnings, we too are delighted to get started with our new creative project in Scoil Bernadette.

After lots of planning and negotiating with calendars, our first visual arts workshop started on the 8th March with ten enthusiastic students, one from each class group, ready to pick up their pencils and get drawing.

During our first workshop we were introduced to our facilitators, Ailbhe Barrett and Rosaleen Moore who showed us some of their work and told us about their professional careers as artists. Ailbhe and Rosaleen are two artists who work in a supported studio as part of the Gasp programme. Gasp artists meet on Tuesdays in the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and are facilitated by Mairead O’Callaghan (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists) We were certainly impressed to see their beautiful paintings and to hear of their celebrity appearances on the Late Late show.

We played a few icebreaker games to settle the nerves and to get to know each other a little better. Soon we were ready to get down to the busy work of creating. We each chose a word that represented the feeling of being at the workshop. Some of the words chosen were ‘happy’,’ listening’,’ together’, and ‘Cork’. It was the first step in expressing ourselves within the group. We then drew our words on paper, decorating them to our liking.

We finished the workshop with another fun game where in a circle we threw a ball of string from one person to another. We ended up with a visual representation of a very connected group. As one student remarked, it was all about ‘teamwork’.

The following workshop re-enforced this theme of working together. We were divided into two groups. Each group had to build a structure as high as they could. It was challenging, stressful, but lots of fun!

On the 22nd March the group set off for the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City to get some inspiration. Here we met with Julie who gave us an extensive tour of the gallery where we viewed and interacted with the current exhibitions. We met with Ailbhe and Rosaleen there and got to visit the studio space where they work. We were lucky enough to have time to do some drawing in the Art Gallery at the end of our tour, taking inspiration from the paintings and installations we had seen.

So far the project is going well. The students look forward each week to having extra time in the school timetable to draw, build and create, taking inspiration from each other and the work of professional artists. After three weeks of working together, I feel that the group has bonded well and there is a collegial and supportive atmosphere which adds to the enjoyment of the workshops.

We have three weeks left to continue this work of creative collaboration. We are eager to continue to develop our skills and to discover our talents.  We hope to have a day of celebration in the coming months to display the finished and unfinished work to parents, friends and the rest of the school community. We are proud to be a creative school.

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Beginnings – Blog 3

The Creativity and Change course continually pushes its participants, encouraging us to engage, act, and reflect in new and different ways. One of the most fundamental ways it stretches its participants is simply through giving students the opportunities to start something new – to begin new actions, challenges and experiences, and in the process, to unearth new confidence for future beginnings.

At each of the course weekends, we participate in intensive workshops on different creative forms. For example, one weekend focused on poetry and theatre. We moved from creating poetry as a collective to individual creative writing and finally into spoken word performances and a poetry slam. The following day, performance and action were channelled into theatre as we engaged with some of the techniques of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Throughout the course of the weekend we moved through reflection and action; from our own words to shared action and performance through poetry, and from the action and movement of the Theatre of the Oppressed to reflection again. Not only did we experience this as participants, we considered this process as facilitators – thinking through ways we could engage people through these creative forms in a manner that encourages interaction with beginning to write and enact change.

Our next task on this weekend was putting this cycle of reflection and action to use in a new context as we moved from the safe space of the Creativity and Change workshops to the public space of the city. Part of our challenge for the afternoon was to engage the public in some way, encouraging people to contribute to creating something as a group. My group set about getting people to contribute to a line poem, written in chalk on the street, beginning with the line “I know I am home when…” I was surprised at how readily and generously people got involved, moved by their openness and warmth. Individuals and small groups contributed their lines, writing on the pavement, marking the city space out as theirs a little bit more.  Groups of people contributing collectively take away some of the pressure and open up new possibilities. The same was true for our groups, as our styles of interaction with the public crossed and intersected, and we reflected on and learned from each other’s actions. Even though our engagement with the public was small and transient, we learned it is possible to bring people together to create something worthwhile, that people care and will get involved.

The willingness and want to be part of a collective is encouraging in these times when we need it most. Now to find all our different ways of starting.

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: An Insight into the Creative Schools Project: Barryoe National School – Blog 4

My schools are at a very exciting stage of the Creative Schools Project. Plans are being brought to life in all schools. At this stage, I thought it would be interesting to give you an insight into the project so far in one of my schools: Barryroe National School. The school is located on the Ibane peninsula and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and countryside. It has 176 pupils enrolled and a speech and language unit. The school is very lucky to have a wealth of creative local people and staff who are open to new ideas and projects. Parents strive to give and provide the best all round education possible for their children and encourage involvement in the arts. The school was delighted to receive entry to the Creative Schools Project this year and are thrilled to be accepted again next year. Their enthusiasm for the project is evident and they are very much making the most of this fantastic opportunity. They have dedicated a lot of time to the project and I have had the opportunity to engage in meetings with all staff and students. There is a core team of staff within the school working on the project including: the Creative Schools Coordinator, two teaching members of staff and local artist: Eilbhe Donovan.

Puppetry:

All students in the school were lucky enough to attend ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance of ‘Listen Janey Mac’ in the school. They were given this opportunity to inspire them to create their own work.‘Dowtcha Puppets’ are a renowned puppet specialist company based in Cork. They came to the school and did three separate performances of their show for different class groups. It tells the tale of a character called ‘Janey Mac’ and her puppy ‘Pepper’. They make a wish in a magical stone circle in their aunty Megan’s back garden and find themselves transported back in time, trying to find each other and their way home. One aspect of the Creative Schools project is the importance of finding ways in which the arts/creativity can be linked with and used to enhance the teaching of other subjects. Along with giving the students an appreciation for puppetry, the show produced by ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ also provided students with a history of Cork and Ireland. All students really enjoyed the experience:

“It was great to see the puppet show before we did our own one”. (Student)

“The setting and the props were great and how they showed the puppets when they were far away –it was a very funny story”. (Student)

“It was strange working behind the puppet stage. The lighting made it exciting. The show was great the way the characters were going to another dimension”. (Student)

Voice of Young People:

As I mentioned previously there is an importance emphasis on ‘The Voice of Young People’ in the Creative Schools Project. At the beginning of the year, I was given the opportunity to do a workshop with a group of students (with representatives from each class). I also met with all class groups and teachers to gain a further understanding of student’s artistic/creative interests. We regularly consult with the ‘Creative Schools Student Advisory Group’ when making plans. Having gained inspiration from watching ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance, a group of students (from all classes) worked with their drama teacher Annemarie to write their own devised puppet show piece. Other classes had the opportunity to make stick puppets and perform in puppet shows linked to fairy tales for their fellow students. Students are also very lucky to have the opportunity to work with renowned artist: Eilbhe Donovan to create their own air dough puppets. It is evident from their feedback that the process is very much child led:

“It was great fun – we were in charge of what we wanted to do. It took a long time but it was worth it when you saw how it played out in the end. We would love more time to work on it!” (5th Class Student)

“We did all the work”. (3rd Class Student).

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

Sustainable Creative Teaching:

It is important for all arts and creative activities undertaken by the school to be as sustainable as possible. Teachers in Barryroe National School are learning about puppetry as a new art form which they can incorporate into their teaching into the future. Teachers have been enabled to develop experience and expertise in this new creative area and implement their acquired skills across the curriculum with confidence. Here is some feedback from teachers about the puppetry workshops.

“It really encouraged turn-taking and team work. Children had to change their voices to suit the characters”. (Teacher)

“We had less control over the output. Junior Classes needed more scaffolding to bring the story to life using the puppets. Senior pupils lead the classes”. (Teacher)

“One class was completely child lead – teacher only had to facilitate. Children took on the responsibility and worked on their stories at home”. (Teacher)

“Without a lot of effort, I worked on puppetry, which I was not comfortable with, and found once the idea was suggested to the pupils, they took ownership of it and followed through”. (Teacher)

Stop Motion Animation:

The sixth-class students are also learning about how to create their own stop motion animations. They created a fantastic animation piece called ‘Jack and Jill Cycled Down the Hill’ which was very exciting to see.

“We were so excited. We were looking forward to the lesson as it was so different to anything we had done before. I had never done anything like animation before”. (6th Class Student)

“Taking the pictures and when they were all moving having put it all together was so cool”. (6th Class Student)

“It wasn’t like being told what to do and how to do it. You could make up your own story and put it together whatever way you liked. Our stories were brought to life through animation”. (6th Class Student)

Creative Schools Continues:

I was delighted to hear a recent announcement from Creative Schools which indicated that the schools currently involved in the project will have the opportunity to continue next year. Furthermore, there will be a further one hundred and fifty schools added to the project. Things really are going from strength to strength for the Creative Schools Project. The project is having a ripple effect across Ireland as there is an increased recognition of the importance of the arts and creativity in the lives of young people.

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.

 

Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre

Nationwide tour begins March 30th

Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre tour their new children’s show Hatch, focusing on the transformational cycles of life with a special educational resource and activity pack has been developed for the show linking to the curriculum and is available to primary schools.

Hatch tells the story of Bláithín, she loves caterpillars, moths and butterflies. She joins her Uncle Rusty on an adventure to find Pearl, the most extraordinary butterfly with the most exquisite colourful wings. Learn all about two little caterpillars and their journey to fly as moths and butterflies.

Hatch weaves Irish language, Irish dancing, music, comedy, theatre, contemporary dance and aerial dance into this wonderful story for 4 – 10 year olds.

The show tours nationwide from March 30th, tour dates and venues can be found at www.fidgetfeet.com/touring/

The show is made in association with Siamsa Tíre and Shortworks Network, Ireland and support from the Arts Council of Ireland.

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.

Music Generation

Music Generation is delighted to share news of the appointment of three new Music Development Officers in Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Mayo.

Mairéad Duffy has taken up the position at Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan, one of the most recent Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs) to commence participation in Ireland’s national music education programme, led by Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board with support from Cavan and Monaghan County Councils.

Karen Dervan has commenced the role at Music Generation Galway City, another new LMEP under the leadership of Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board together with Galway City Council.

One of the first LMEPs established as part of Music Generation, Mayo now welcomes Laurie Barrett as new Music Development Officer. Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is the lead partner on this programme.

In their new posts, Mairéad, Karen and Laurie will have responsibility for developing and managing affordable and accessible local performance music education programmes for children and young people ages 0 to 18.

This will include the coordination of music tuition services within the counties, working in partnership with schools, community music groups and centres in the formation of choirs, ensembles, multi-genre performance initiatives, and more.

Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For further information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie

 

 

 

Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI)

Deadline: 19th march 2019

DRI are seeking applications for the role of Oral Historian, a 14-month fixed-term contract with the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Atlantic Philanthropies Archives project. This project is a partnership between The Digital Repository of Ireland, Atlantic Philanthropies, and Cornell University Library to explore the impact and legacy of time-limited grant making. It will be based in the Royal Irish Academy.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 19th March 2019.

The project has two main aspects

For further information including criteria and application details go to www.dri.ie/were-hiring-oral-historian-atlantic-philanthropies-archives-project

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.

Touring Nationwide

What is considered “typical” or “normal” behaviour for girls and for boys? Highly energetic, fun and whimsical,Princesses can be Pirates, playfully questions our gender preconceptions.

Two versatile performers join forces as they journey into unknown territory, where play is everything and everywhere. In a series of hilarious scrapes and lively escapades, they swap toys and activities in their quest to defy stereotypes and break the norm.

The world holds endless possibility for us to discover who we are and who we want to be, and this duet celebrates it all. A dynamic and humorous dance performance – created for children but inspiring for all. Talks and workshops will follow the performance to engage with children and teachers.

School Performances

For further information go to www.facebook.com/Monica-Munoz-Marin-Dance-1050022975170040/?modal=admin_todo_tour

The Arts Education Research Group (TCD) and the Association for Drama in Education in Ireland (ADEI)

Dates: 9th & 10th March 2019

The School of Education in Trinity College will host an exciting international conference on drama and theatre in education on March 9th and 10th.
This is a timely event in today’s world, and explores the theme of the social and political in children’s and young people’s drama and theatre. This conference will be of interest to teachers, artists and anyone working at the cutting edge of drama, theatre, education, creative and cultural studies, arts education, sociology and social policy, political science and education, psychology, and related fields.

The conference features an impressive line-up of speakers who will explore the conference theme with reference to their own practices in different parts of the world. With subsidised rates available for attendees (€105,) and a bursary scheme available for full time students (€38 for the 2 day event).

For further information and booking go to www.tcd.ie/Education/Drama-Davis-Conference19/

Arts in Education Portal

Teachers, artists and other interested members of the sector gathered in the beautiful Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton on Saturday last for a day of sharing experience, gathering new ideas and networking with colleagues. This, the third of our Portal Regional Days, focused on best arts in education practice in the Northwest, after having had well-attended events in Cork and Dún Laoghaire last year. After a morning of sharing practice (from Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, the Irish Architecture Foundation and Teacher – Artist Partnership artist Kate Wilson) the group enjoyed a fab lunch catered by local Dromahair-based Edergole Kitchen.

The afternoon session was led by  artist Vanya Lambrecht-Ward— a fun, sometimes challenging, hands-on activity using folded paper to create shapes, which opened up endless possibilities for further use in classrooms and farther afield. Read Vanya’s essay ‘The Value of Folding’ in the Portal read room – artsineducation.ie/en/reading-room/

Well done to all!

Portal Spring Regional Day - Q&A Panel Discussion with Aideen McCole & Stephen Gilmartin from the Irish Architecture Foundation, Jo Holmwood & Mary Branley from Kids' Own Publishing Partnership, Artist Kate Wilson from the Teacher - Artist Partnership (TAP)

Portal Spring Regional Day – Q&A Panel Discussion with Aideen McCole & Stephen Gilmartin from the Irish Architecture Foundation, Jo Holmwood & Mary Branley from Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, Artist Kate Wilson from the Teacher – Artist Partnership (TAP)

 

Participants during the hands-on workshop: Spatial Exploration Through Folding Vanya Lambrecht-Ward

Participants during the hands-on workshop: Spatial Exploration Through Folding Vanya Lambrecht-Ward

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

Barnstorm Theatre Company

Dates: 6th – 9th of March 2019

School Shows: 10am & 12.30

Barnstorm Theatre Company is delighted to present its new production of ‘Boy with a Suitcase’ by Mike Kenny. Directed by Philip Hardy, the play deals with migration, focusing on the stories and cultural touchstones that sustain a young boy on his perilous journey to Ireland. The play has been written specifically for children aged 8-12 but is an interesting and thought-provoking piece that can be explored by all.

Like his hero, Sinbad the Sailor, who undertook many perilous voyages in search of his fortune, Naz must travel half-way around the world to reach the safety of his brother in Dublin. Naz teams up with Krysia, a young girl in similar circumstances, who helps him dodge soldiers and find safe passage over mountains, across seas and through the mire of a city slum.

A gripping tale of adventure and stories, Naz’s journey throws a spotlight on the real dangers faced by children in other parts of the world, and the lengths to which they must go to reach safety in the relative security of a country like Ireland.

A resource pack, developed in association with Ann Murtagh (Teacher/Tutor at Kilkenny Education Centre) , will be provided to participating teachers. The pack with provide a focus for exploration of the themes that arise throughout the play.

For more information or to obtain a resource pack, please contact Barnstorm Theatre at admin@barnstorm.ie, or call us on 056 7751266

Performances of Boy With a Suitcase will take place at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from the 6th-9th of March.

Tickets are available online at watergatetheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873602052

 

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/

Eva International

EVA International is delighted to announce ‘Better Words’, a new educational initiative which seeks to empower children’s access and understanding of contemporary art through creative language.

Over the course of a five week programme of workshops between March and May 2019, school groups aged 8 to 12 will develop new word-forms that articulate their experience and encounter of contemporary art. Led by workshop coordinator Maeve Mulrennan and developed in consultation with Patrick Burke (Dept. of Language and Literacy Education, MIC, Limerick) the workshops will involve visits to galleries and meetings with practicing artists, in addition to classroom-based activity.

The selected schools are:

A publication of new art terms developed through the workshop process will be published by EVA International in Autumn 2019, featuring a foreword by author Kevin Barry. Better Words is developed with support from Creative Ireland’s National Creativity Fund.

For more information go to www.eva.ie/project/better-words/

Fingal County Council

Deadline: 8th March 2019

Fingal County Council is announcing a new opportunity titled Musician-in-Residence Programme 2019 ~ and is inviting expressions of interest from Musicians who wish to be included on a Musicians’ Panel, with a view to delivering high quality music lessons to children in primary schools during the academic year 2019 – 2020. The application deadline is March 8th 2019.

For further information go to www.fingalarts.ie/education to download the Application Guidelines & Criteria and Application Form.

 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Deadline for bookings: Friday 29th March 2019

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to offer West Cork Primary Schools an opportunity to engage with our Dance Artist in Residence, Mairéad Vaughan in a short summer project – Mapping the Divide.

Mapping the Divide is a creative exploration into the effects of technology on our body, mind and environment.

Uillinn invites three primary school groups to take part in a short series of workshops at school and at Uillinn. Two will take place in the school and one at Uillinn and will creatively investigate the impact that technology, and in particular the use of mobile phones, can have on us.

Students will be invited to journey into the body and out to the landscape, to bring awareness of the direct sensory and kinaesthetic relationship we have with our environment. Using gathered materials chosen from the landscape, they will explore textures, patterns, smells, sights and sounds. Then movements will be choreographed from this investigation to create a site-specific, pop-up performance.

About Mairéad Vaughan

As an artist, I am passionate about the transformational power of dance and creativity. My teaching practice highlights the need to reconnect with body-mind, specifically through cultivating sensory awareness (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste). I teach a practice called ‘Attuning’ which develops all of these aspects. This practice is the result of my PhD research and highlights the need for inclusive arts education.

Project Details:

Ages:  The workshops are suitable for 5th and 6th class groups, aged 10 to 13 years. Limited to 22 children.

Venue: Your school for two workshops and Performance Space at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre,  Skibbereen for one workshop.

Dates / Times:  Workshops will take place on Wednesday afternoons during May / June, duration 60 to 90 minutes. Dates and times to be arranged to suit the schools involved.

Clothing: Children should wear loose clothing like tracksuit bottoms, rather than school uniform when taking part in the workshops.

Booking Details:

Fee for series of three workshops is €2 per person

Closing date for bookings is Friday 29 March 2019

To find out more or to book your class please contact Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

The Ark in partnership with Mark Create Innovate

Date: 9th March 2019

This engaging workshop will provide you with an introduction to hands-on, simple creative technology tools that support cross- curricular learning through play for STEAM subjects at Primary level – particularly in Science, Technology, Arts and Maths.

You will work in teams with Make Create Innovate to design and develop your own prototype games. You will be introduced to creative technology such as MaKey MaKey and learn about more advanced uses of software such as Scratch. You will see first-hand how games can teach students about competition and cooperation as well as supporting the development of concentration, perseverance and other skills through ‘fine-motor play’. For students, including those with special needs, the design of games and the process of rule- making are ideal ways to explore ethics. It gives the opportunity to reflect on their own values, motivations and behaviour as well as society’s. This can reinforce the strands within history, geography and SPHE relating to human intervention.

For further information and booking to go ark.ie/events/view/teachers-cpd-gaming-in-the-classroom

The Ark – Lucy Hill & Christina Macrae

Date: 28th March 2019

Join artist Lucy Hill, our inaugural John Coolahan Early Years Artist in Residence, and her residency mentor Dr. Christina Macrae from Manchester Metropolitan University to celebrate, reflect on and discuss their experiences together as Lucy’s residency draws to an end. The fascinating discussion will include illustrations of key moments and learnings during the residency, the mentoring process, as well as research and ideas in early years and visual arts practice more generally.

Thought-provoking for parents, preschool and primary teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in art and children.

For more information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/talk-for-grown-ups-a-year-of-early-years-visual-art

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 22nd March 2019

Running since 2011, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating music in Irish schools run by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments, accessories, books, music technology or PA equipment from Waltons Music, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

 

Friday, 22 March 2019, 5 pm • Entry Deadline 
Friday, 29 March • Announcement of Finalists
Tuesday, 7 May • Finalists Concert, National Concert Hall

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

Arts in Education Portal

Date: Saturday, February 23rd 2019

The Arts in Education Portal’s regional tour continues with a stop at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton on Saturday, February 23rd, 11am to 3pm. Tickets are free but must be booked ahead on Eventbrite here.

Following on from successful events at the Glucksman in Cork in March 2018 and the LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire in October 2018, the Leitrim Regional Day is planned to be an informal day of sharing experience and best practice from the sector. The programme includes a presentation by Aideen McCole of the Irish Architecture Foundation and participants in the IAF’s National Architects in Schools programme as well as a hands-on, experiential workshop on folding and creating three-dimensional space led by artist Vanya Lambrecht-Ward.

Book early as tickets are already being reserved – arts-in-education-portal-leitrim-regional-day-2019.eventbrite.ie

Schedule

10:30am/10.45am—registration & coffee

11:00am—The Portal: a brief intro Dermot Carney, NAPD

11:20am—Collaborative Publishing with Children: Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership Mary Branley, Jo Holmwood

11:45pm—Arts in Education Artist – Teacher Partnership TAP: Artist Kate Wilson

12.10pm—National Architects in Schools ProgrammeIrish Architecture Foundation Aideen McCole, Stephen Gilmartin

12.45pm—Q & A: whole panel of presenters

1:00pm—Lunch & networking (catered by The Edergole Kitchen, Dromahair)

1.45pm—Hands-on Workshop: Spatial Exploration Through Folding Vanya Lambrecht-Ward

3:00pm—wrap up

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: New Beginnings in 2019 – Blog 3

Step Two: ‘Develop’

2019 has been great so far with the continuation of the Creative Schools Project. Having completed the ‘Understand’ stage, I have moved onto the next stage: ‘Develop’. Using the planning framework, I work with schools to firstly develop a ‘Creative Schools Vision’. This is a long-term vision for placing the arts and creativity at the heart of the school. It should be aspirational but realistic. It is used to enable the school to develop aims, success criteria and activity plans. The aims state what the school ideally hopes to achieve by introducing the plan. As I previously mentioned, the voice of young people is of key importance to all stages of the project. The school must outline the role of young people in the development of their plan. The success criteria must then be detailed which states how the school will know if their plan is having the desired impact on the school and wider community.

The next step I take is to work with schools to develop a ‘Creative School Plan’. This plan is used to support the ‘Creative Schools Vision’. It includes key areas for development which should be implemented over a number of years. It is used to support the following areas for development: children and young people, teaching and learning, leadership and management & school environment, opportunities and networks. The work completed to date in the ‘Understand’ stage is used directly to the benefit of the ‘Develop’ stage.

I also work with the school to develop an activity plan. The school uses this plan to detail the exact arts and creative activities they wish to undertake this year. A series of questions must be answered which ensure schools think thoroughly about the long-term benefit of chosen activities for example: Which areas of the curriculum are involved (including the potential for collaboration/integration across subject areas)?

Linking Schools to Opportunities:
Every school is unique and they each have particular strengths and arts/creative areas which they wish to develop. I am now working to link schools to relevant opportunities according to their plans. Some activities which have come up so far include: staff undergoing CPD training in drama education to learn how process drama can be used in a cross-curricular fashion as a means to enhance learning in a practical, engaging way. Another includes: students working with a street artist over a series of weeks to create their own work. There has been a fantastic response from arts/creative organisations and artists to the project. Some of the links I have made so far include: artists (in a variety of disciplines), Arts Officers, Creative Ireland Officers, Education Officers (from arts organisations), art galleries, university drama department, music organisations and dance companies.

Student Advisory Group:
To ensure students play an active role in the implementation and evaluation of the project I work with schools to set up a ‘Student Advisory Group’. This is a cross-section of students from different class groups that I engage with on a regular basis. These students give us a valuable insight into their own artistic & creative interests. Their views must be taken on board in the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Arts in Education:
This project is raising the level of importance of the arts and creativity in education across the board. It is not only creating opportunities for schools but also for artists that are highly skilled and trained with vast experience. Personally speaking, my career to date has revolved around creativity. On a regular basis, I hear about the benefits creativity has to mental health and well-being. Exposure to the arts and creativity is something which needs to be made possible through the education system in order to ensure equal opportunity to young people. In a world that is constantly changing, creativity is needed more than ever.

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

Christopher McCambridge is a Special Educational Needs teacher at St. Colman’s Primary School, Lambeg. St. Colman’s Primary is a mainstream school of 400 pupils with two learning support unit classes. Christopher is also an active member of the Belfast art scene. He co-founded the arts organisation Belfast Platform for the Arts (Platform Arts) in 2010, which continues to provide an exhibition space and studios for artists.

In 2016 Christopher and his Primary 6/7 class were chosen to take part in the Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership ‘Virtually There’ project. ‘A virtual artist in residence project which explores the potential for creative engagement between artists working from their studio and children and teachers in the classroom using video conferencing technology’. (Orla Kenny, Creative Director of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership). Now in their 3rd year, artist John D’Arcy has been working collaboratively with Christopher and his class at St Colman’s P.S as virtual artist-in-residence. 

Away Day – Blog 4

2018 marked the completion of my 2nd Year working as part of the Kids’ Own, Virtually There project.  The two years have flown in and I have found that the pupils throughout those years have been given an enjoyable and unique experience. This project has also helped me to develop creatively as a teacher and an individual. This development was furthered through the ‘creative away day’ that the Kids’ Own organisation offered to all the teacher – artist groupings. Each teacher-artist grouping would be able to organise their own creative away allowing us the opportunity to re-charge our creative batteries, broaden our horizons and prepare for the next project year.

After much discussion, John D’Arcy (Artist) and I decided to take a day trip to Dublin to view a number of exhibitions that we both found of interest. These exhibitions included Land / Sea / Signal at RUA RED in Tallaght and ‘Prototypes’ by Doireann O’Malley, Rachel Maclean ’Just be yourself’ in The Hugh Lane gallery. The exhibitions involved the use of digital technology, an aspect that has been integral to our project.

The journey to Dublin provided us both with an opportunity to reflect on the project from the previous year. Discussing aspects such as the pacing of the individual elements of the project, aspects of planning, pupils’ enjoyment, as well as discussing what we felt worked well or could be improved. This time, especially outside of term time, was invaluable as it allowed us to discuss the project without any other distractions.

In Year 2, the central theme of our project was Hacking.  This word was the starting point from which all other ideas would develop from. I felt this worked particularly well as it meant we could develop ideas from this central theme, allowing ideas to either develop as stand-alone lesson or develop into their own mini-project . This flexible approach, gave me more confidence in allowing each idea to develop at its own pace, with the children developing and realising their ideas across a number of weeks. Thus, allowing for a greater insight into the work. This is an aspect which I hope we further refine, allowing the children to critically reflect on their workings within each session.

During our first two years working together, technology has played an important role within our projects. This year the use of apps had allowed the children to explore hacking in a variety of ways. In one of the mini-projects we focused on the ‘hacking of time’, exploring how we could speed up or slow down different movements from the mundane, the children completing work, to the more exciting, running a race. This mini-project was achieved through the app Hyper-lapse. I felt the variety and use of different apps had engaged the children. These apps were later used by the children to create a ‘coded film’ which the viewer was required to hack, using a code developed by the children during our sessions. Due to an interest in technology, I was interested in viewing these exhibitions in Dublin.

The exhibition, Land / Sea / Signal, was a group show featuring artists, Alan Butler, Gregory Chatonsky, John Gerrard, Nicolas Sassoon & Rick Silva and Santa France. The exhibition brought together these artists whose practices ‘mediated on the materiality of internet infrastructure and the complex socio-political conditions that are embedded within them.’The exhibition examined our modern day relationship with the internet, particularly how we ‘maintain, update and adjust our relationships … and reconfigure ourselves through technologies and with one another.

Image copyright artist Alan Butler - Land / Sea / Signal at Rua Red

Image copyright artist Alan Butler – Land / Sea / Signal at Rua Red

As with any exhibition, there were artworks which held my interest longer than others. In Land / Sea / Signal, the artist Alan Bulter piece was one of these. The artist documented the lives and experiences of the homeless … within the video game, Grand Theft Auto V. Upon first viewing I had initially mistaken these photographs as documenting real people in the outskirts of rundown cities. Once realising my error, I was taken aback by the uncanny resemblance to the real-life and how unfortunate circumstances can lead to these positions for people.

After exploring RUA RED, we moved on to the Hugh Lane gallery to view the exhibitions by Doireann O’Malley and Rachel Maclean.

Dorieann O’Malley’s exhibition Prototypes was a multi-screen film installation exploring ‘transgender studies, science fiction, bio politics and psychoanalysis, AI and experimental music. She skilfully ties these to phantoms of modernist utopias, epitomised by the post-war architecture of Berlin, which serves as a dreamlike scenography for the main, protagonists’ ghostly actions’ [Jury Statement, Edith Russ Haus fur Media Art Stipendium, 2016]

Some of the work of Doireann O’Malley was as a result of collaborative methodology, using a combination of CGI, film and Virtual Reality of interest. This was of interest to both John and I, as we have discussed the use of Virtual Reality as a line of enquire in Year 3 of our project.

Rachel Maclean’s exhibition ‘Just be yourself!’, also at the Hugh Lane gallery, was a series of video installations and digital artworks. Her work uses “satire to critique consumer desire, identities and power dynamics … she parodies fairy tales, children’s television programmes, advertising, internet videos and pop culture … combining her interests in role-play, costume and digital production in works of cinematic collage.

Image copyright Rachel Maclean - ‘Just be yourself!’, at the Hugh Lane gallery

Image copyright Rachel Maclean – ‘Just be yourself!’, at the Hugh Lane gallery

I would like to thank Kids’ Own and their funders for giving John and I the opportunity to organise this creative away day. It has provided us with the opportunity to discuss and critique our project work to date and allow us to view exhibitions that could influence our thinking for future ‘Virtually There’ projects.

Year 3 of our ‘Virtually There’ project is currently underway, and as documented in my previous post, we are exploring the theme of ‘Radio.’ We have developed our own radio identity, WECHO FM. Since my last post, the children have created their own DJ names, such as Smooth T, Aidan Big Shot, Jump Bam Sam and Charley KAPOW to name a few.  They have also used these names to design portraits, using a variety of different materials and techniques, which reflect their radio personalities.

As the project continues to grow and develop, the children are beginning to record talk shows, news stories, weather reports and create music and jingles, advertising WECHO FM and their own individual shows. At the end of the project, we intend to visit a local radio station, where we will have the opportunity to play our content to a live audience.

The ‘Virtually There’ project continues to allow the children the opportunity to express themselves artistically, as well as giving me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and develop as a teacher.

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Date: Saturday 2nd February, 10:00am to 12:30pm

Explore print-making during a studio workshop and enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition IMMA Collection: Freud Project, Gaze. IMMA guided tours for primary schools are focussing on this exhibition until May 2019.

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 but on-line booking is essential. Places are limited and booking is on a first come, first served basis.

You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience of art-making.

Book your place: imma.ticketsolve.com/shows/873601916

The Ark

Dates: 28th February – 31st March

The Ark presents ‘PEAT’ the world premiere of a brand new theatre show for ages 8+ by Kate Heffernan. Directed by Tim Crouch.

Delivered with lightness and humour, this new play for children asks big questions about life, death, time and history. A conversation between two 11-year olds who find themselves standing on top of everything that has ever happened, it is a story of friendship, loss, and finding our place in the world. The production will be performed by Curtis Lee Ashqar and Kwaku Fortune. The creative team includes lighting by The Ark’s Franco Bistoni alongside set & costume design by Lian Bell and sound design by Slavek Kwi, two acclaimed artists making their debuts at The Ark. The Ark invited consultation with children at several junctures throughout the process. The childrens’ input, including input from The Ark’s Children’s Council, greatly influenced the direction of the piece and has been at the very heart of this production.

School Days
6th -29th March (Wednesday-Friday) @ 10.15am & 12.15pm. (No show Wednesday 20th March)

For more information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/peat

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: Until 2nd March 2019

Elemental an exhibition with interactivity, tactility and spacial enquiry, where children are the primary audience.

School Group bookings available. 

Aimed especially at children aged 4-12, Elemental is an exhibition that invites children and people of all ages to encounter contemporary art through touch and movement, as well as sight. Leading artists Caoimhe Kilfeather and Karl Burke are transforming the galleries with their interactive, tactile sculptures and installations that explore scale, texture, space and light.

Primary school groups of all levels are encouraged to come and experience this artwork throughout the exhibition.  A tour of the work is not necessary, teachers can bring along their school group to spend time in the galleries interacting and investigating the artwork and then take time to The Make Space – by practising primary school teacher and trained artist Anne Bradley – a calm room where children can take time to creatively respond to the themes and materials of the works on exhibition; using materials such as sand, small objects, pieces of wood and fabric to explore pattern, visual order, touch and more.

Charlotte Donovan, Uillinn’s Artists in Residence for Learning and Engagement will be available for schools on Friday’s to facilitate a workshop where the children can respond to their experience in the gallery and make their own work to take away.

Elemental contains a major commission from Caoimhe Kilfeather, with artworks that suggest an imagined forest of both indoor and outdoor elements. One element, created from hundreds of metres of green Indian silk, hanging 3 metres high, will offer pockets of space for children to inhabit. A tree house will perch 5 metres high overlooking the exhibition space, and the floor will be covered with cushions and ‘leaves’ fashioned from organdie, with brooms and sweeping brushes to tidy up. In the upstairs gallery, children will be able to walk around and through a steel sculpture by artist Karl Burke (entitled ‘Taking a Line’), which stands 2.5 metres high, and creates a very subtle optical illusion that implies density in empty space. Both Caoimhe and Karl have also each made interactive works that speak to children’s oft held desire to creatively arrange objects found in nature.

During the final weeks of the exhibition, a number of additional artworks will be exhibited throughout the gallery. These commissioned works will be made collaboratively by local primary school children from Dromore National School Bantry and artist Siobhán McGibbon, who will be working together over eight sessions in Uillinn to research, experiment and create their own artworks, responding to the exhibition themes.

Curated by Superprojects

To book your free visit, just call 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

To find out more about the artists go to www.westcorkartscentre.com/Elemental

Further images of work available on Superprojects website at www.superprojects.org/projects/#/elemental/

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Making Connections – Blog 2

The Creativity and Change programme meets once a month for one full weekend, each weekend bringing new experiences, challenges, and connections. These full weekends allow participants a depth of experience in learning, critical thinking, and creativity. There are also spaces for pause, reflection, and making connections woven into the structure of the course, and I begin to appreciate the space for reflection that the weeks between each course weekend allow too.

The idea that creative engagement is key in facilitating transformative learning experiences that might effect change in the way we see, exist, and act in the world is at the core of the Creativity and Change programme. With this focus, new possibility is discovered within seemingly simple, everyday acts. Listening, speaking, and observing, core components of many adult education courses, are first given renewed attention. For example, as part of our learning in a day dedicated to transformative learning and the creative process, participants pair up and take turns speaking and listening without interruption. The experience of listening intently and actively, and that of speaking uninterrupted demonstrates perhaps how often we take these acts of speaking and listening for granted in teaching, in facilitation, and in learning, and in simply communicating with others.

Consideration of communication and creativity is furthered in a weekend dedicated to the exploration of visual facilitation, which broadly refers to a process of facilitating meetings, seminars and other exchanges in visual form using images, words and symbols. As someone used to working only in the written word, this was a challenge for me. We began by visually representing sounds and playfully making marks on the page in groups. Once those daunting first marks were made on our paper canvases, the temptation to overthink into inaction was removed, at least temporarily. As we gradually built toward the challenge of visually documenting the conversations of other participants, the merit of incorporating creatively challenging work into my own facilitation and my learning became clear. A completely different part of my thinking and concentration was engaged. I gained new insight into the process of how I listen as well as how I order and create meaning. Just as the exercise on speaking and listening drew attention to the dynamics of dialogue, this act of visually representing the groups’ words brought a new attention to how I interpret and document, as well as a feeling of responsibility to accurately reflect and honour the group’s conversation.

Developing new ways of seeing and interpreting continued throughout the weekend on visual facilitation, which concluded with the class working in small groups, each tasked with creatively representing different sets of data. Groups worked on visualising data relating to the deficiencies of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, the difficulties people with disabilities face when trying to access social housing, and on numbers of people on housing lists against the units of social housing available – important data that can become meaningless in spite of its devastating reality. From an assortment of seemingly random materials, groups created stop-motion animations, made clay models, assembled sets, and designed performances incorporating material to represent this data. What emerged from the varieties of modes and forms through which this data was visually represented was perhaps the force of that which could not be measured or visualised, the shock of what this data represented that could not be contained or incorporated numerically. Through this creative process, the groups began to find new ways to see and explore some of the most pressing justice issues in our contemporary moment.

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 Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Deadline: 12noon Friday 18th January 2019

The Arts Council of Ireland is seeking to engage the services of a suitably qualified Programme Manager for the Creative Schools Initiative.

Scoileanna Ildánacha/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 draws on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter. Creative Schools will give expression to this goal as part of an integrated implementation plan for arts in education. Drawing on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter, Creative Schools (formerly ARIS/Arts Rich Schools) aims to understand, develop and celebrate the arts, as a core aspect of school life, and to foster children and young people’s creativity and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education in Ireland.

It will establish a range of collaborative opportunities for schools and will develop and strengthen the relationships between schools and the broader cultural and community infrastructure within which they operate. The long-term aim is for every school to be supported to fully embrace the arts and creativity, ensuring a positive experience and strong outcomes for children and young people.

The initiative is informed by research that tells us that young people’s participation in the artsleads to a range of positive outcomes for children with regard to their cognitive development, socio-emotional wellbeing and attitudes to school. Children who participate in the arts in school are more likely to participate outside of school, including reading for pleasure. (Arts Council/ESRI, 2016)

The Arts Council is seeking to engage the services of a suitably qualified Programme Manager.

The Programme Manager will be engaged on a full-time basis and will work as part of a core team, made up of two full-time Education Advisors seconded to the programme and the Creative Schools Project Leads. The Programme Manager will be responsible for policy alignment, project planning and delivery, to ensure the effective management of all key policy, operational and logistical elements of the initiative, liaising internally to ensure effective integration with Arts Council systems, policies and procedures where required; as well as assisting with the design and implementation of new systems and processes specific to Creative Schools. The Programme Manager will work with the Creative Schools Project Leads and will report to the Arts Director, Performing Arts.

Full details and application available through etenders at the direct link below:

https://irl.eu-supply.com/app/rfq/publicpurchase_frameset.asp?PID=140170&B=ETENDERS_SIMPLE&PS=1&PP=ctm/Supplier/PublicTenders

 

 

 

Kids’ Own has published a brand new book by children experiencing homelessness. The book was launched in partnership with Focus Ireland on Friday 9th November, and offers a rich resource for teachers and schools to explore themes of social justice, children’s rights and SPHE topics. The book was developed by 15 children, aged 8–12, during the summer – through a creative process with writer Mary Branley and artist Maree Hensey –and includes a beautiful mixture of artwork, photography, poetry and personal stories.

To buy a copy, visit Kids’ Own’s website.

The Ark 

Date: 19 January 2019

Meet the King who has banned feelings and colours from his Kingdom in this fun and interactive workshop for 3 to 5 years olds and their grown-ups at The Ark, Dublin. In partnership with First Fortnight.

The King finds feelings confusing so he says no one can laugh or cry when he’s around. Feelings of happiness, sadness or anger are not allowed. He wants everything and everyone to be grey and gloomy all day long – so he’s banished colours as well.

Be part of a group of brave, young adventurers who decide this can’t be right, so go an a mission to collect the missing feelings and colours and bring them back to the Kingdom.

About Joanna Parkes

Joanna Parkes is a freelance drama facilitator and theatre practitioner working in Primary Schools and Teacher Training Colleges. As well as devising and delivering drama programmes in schools she has also written a number of teacher’s resources packs and publications. She has been running workshops and teacher-training at The Ark since 2013.

About First Fortnight

First Fortnight is a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. The First Fortnight Festival creates a consistent space in the cultural calendar where citizens can be inspired through arts events and experiences to talk about mental health issues in a non-scripted manner. This year they are delighted to host the European Mental Health Arts & Culture Festival in Ireland. Find out more at www.firstfortnight.ie. 

For more information and bookings go to ark.ie/events/view/the-king-who-finds-feelings-confusing.

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

 

First impressions of the Creativity and Change programme, (CIT) Cork – Blog 1

I’ve always had a keen interest in the creative arts and concepts of creativity. Issues of social justice have also always been to the forefront of my concerns, very much connected with my interest in creativity and literary forms, and informing much of my research. It’s not surprising then that the Creativity and Change course, a programme aimed at “anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes”, piqued my interest. However, having spent most of my career to date firmly on the analytical and critical side of creativity, and perhaps on issues of social justice too, it took some courage and the making of some pros and cons lists before I applied. Though I’ve invested much time in thinking about how literature can help us think about, see, and shape the world in different ways — in other words, how engaging with a form of creative expression might form new pathways of understanding — I haven’t spent much time on what is perhaps the more uncomfortable side of creativity.

From the very beginning of the course, I was struck by the emphasis on doing, on movement, on activity. Introductory ice-breakers were conducted by participants physically orienting ourselves at different points in the room according to different prompts. Each new topic was prefaced by games involving movement and reflection. Instead of beginning by talking about our interests and experiences related to global justice, we explored these ideas through working with watercolours, pencils, markers — objects unfamiliar to the adult me. We worked silently in groups on numerous activities. In one instance, groups of participants were given a block of clay, to shape and mould any way the group saw fit, without speaking or communicating. Working with paint and clay in silence allowed me to experience quiet contentment in the process, with “doing” for its own sake, rather than focusing on my lack of competence or confidence in these activities. I think I also reflected more deeply on ideas of teamwork and leadership as a result of these experiences than through many of the designated courses on these topics that I’d attended as part of training for previous jobs.

One full day of our first weekend was spent at the “creative fair”. Course participants were let loose in a room with numerous stalls with various familiar and unfamiliar art materials, books, newspapers, magazines and much more. For the first part of the day, we were given no instruction — only to enjoy, play, or create something from the materials at hand. After a couple of hours of being absorbed in activity, we were tasked with making something that somehow engaged with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and were given some instruction on how to use the material at each stall. This, for me, and I think for many other participants, completely and perhaps deliberately changed the earlier atmosphere of experimentation and engagement. I attempted to make a postcard based on the fourth SDG, quality education. Though it’s an issue that I feel strongly about and have given thought to, attaching the logo for the SDG of quality education made the postcard feel like a flimsy exploration, expressing an easy platitude without depth or engagement. And so, the first weekend of the course ended with numerous reflections and realisations about the relationship between creativity and issues of global justice.

 

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Journey Continues – Blog 2

Creative Schools Coordinators:

In every Creative School there is a Creative Schools Coordinator. The coordinator is my first point of contact with each school and I liaise with them in regular meetings. I have now met all coordinators in my corresponding schools. In some schools the coordinator is a member of the teaching staff and in others it is the school principal. There has been a great response and enthusiasm from all coordinators and schools as a whole to the project and a strong belief in the positive impact it can make on putting the arts and creativity at the heart of young people’s lives.

Completion of Step One: ‘Understand’:

I am continuing to work with schools on the process of gaining an understanding of the school’sengagement with the arts and creativity. Having completed workshops and meetings with relevant parties and staff, I am liaising with Creative Schools Coordinators to complete the documentation for this section. All schools are provided with a document called ‘Understand’ complete with four sections: 1) Children & Young People 2) Teaching & Learning 3) Leadership & Management & 4) School Environment, Opportunities & Networks. In each section there are a series of statements which are rated on a scale of: 0-5 (0 means: the statement is ‘Not at all true’, 5 means: the statement is ‘Very true’). For example: “Pupils/students are involved in decision-making on existing arts opportunities and are able to shape their learning experiences in school” (Section 1: Children & Young People). Using age specific surveys designed for appropriate parties and information gathered from staff discussions I work with coordinators to rate all statements (using an average from the individual ratings). The following individuals are consulted with in this process: the school principal, deputy principal, coordinator, teachers (including resource staff & S.N.A.s), staff with a responsibility for the arts, parent’s association and board of management. These findings will support the development of the Creative Schools Plan which will be carried out in step two: ‘Develop’.

What is Creativity?

As I mentioned in my previous post the voice, opinions and views of young people is of key importance to this pilot project. Through ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop I collected lots of useful information which I use as data for the ‘Children & Young People’ section and to influence my work with schools going forward. I go through this information, document and analyse it. I found it inspiring to read young people’s understanding of the word ‘Creativity’. From my experience, all young people have their own individual understanding of creativity. It is very interesting and uplifting read their definitions:

“I think it is about showing who you are and what you like to do”. “I think if you’re creative, you have a big imagination”.

“It’s about expressing yourself”.

“Imagination”.

“Like your dreams are what you feel & draw & do”.

“Do what your mind tells you”.

“Creativity is free! When you break rules, you are being creative”.

I believe it is important to let young people come up with their own understanding of creativity rather than provide them with a set definition. This is similar to the constructivist approach I often use in my own teaching. Using constructivism, students are actively involved in constructing their own meaning and knowledge as opposed to passively receiving information.

Through the workshop, I also gathered information on student’s individual artistic and creative interests. Students listed: the creative activities they are currently engaged with inside and outside school. They also listed the creative things they would like to do if they had the opportunity. It is very interesting to hear their responses. The answers vary greatly from school to school. The school’slocation and the cultural and artistic opportunities in close proximity of the school also have an influence on the responses given.

Meeting Teachers:

I have commenced meeting all teaching staff in my corresponding schools. It is very important that staff are fully aware of what is involved in Creative Schools and are able to contribute their ideas in order for the project to be of benefit. The staff are of key importance to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the project. In these meetings I initially provide staff with a thorough understanding of Creative Schools. I then explain the different components of the programme including the first step: ‘Understand’. I design posters listing the following questions as headings:

What are the creative strengths of the school?
What creative areas can the school develop?
What creative activities can the school implement to develop these areas?

I then facilitate a discussion with staff where they are given the opportunity to provide answers/ideas to questions listed. We pass around the posters and everyone makes a written note of their contributions. I also ask staff about their own individual areas of expertise for example: Is there a staff member that is a particularly skilled/trained musician/dancer? etc. This is very beneficial for all staff to be aware of going forward. I have found that a lot of schools are interested in working collaboratively together to share their creative skills and knowledge.

New Beginnings in 2019:

I am looking forward to a new year of opportunities for Creative Schools and excited to move on to the next stage of the project.

As 2018 comes to a close, members of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee have paid tribute to Orla Kenny, long-time Creative Director of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, who passed away in July. Here, members of the committee remember their first encounters with Orla and reflect on their experiences of working with her in different capacities within the arts and education sector. As director of Kids’ Own (the organisation that won the tender for leading the development of the Portal in 2014) Orla was instrumental in the stakeholder consultation process, design, development and management of the Arts in Education Portal in close consultation and collaboration with the Editorial Committee.

Remembering Orla

I first met Orla when Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership won the tender to advise on the building of the Arts in Education Portal in 2014. I had been aware of her work and publications prior to that. Apart from her vast knowledge I was instantly struck by her skills and expertise in working with the Portal Advisory Committee who were a heterogeneous group of people from education, arts and technology backgrounds. No question posed was too basic and her warm encouraging smile led to great working relationships. She took the concept of the Portal from concept phase to its official launch in the Printworks in Dublin Castle on the 19th May 2015. The Portal is now the key national digital resource for arts and education practice in Ireland, and thanks to Orla and her team, underpinning the continued development of the Portal is a strong and implicit shared belief amongst all stakeholders of the intrinsic value of the arts in the lives of children. She was a passionate advocate for the integration of the arts in education and she championed the voice of the child and the rights of all children to fulfil their creative potential. She is sadly missed by the large community of practice which has developed over the last six years and amongst whom she was a shining star. The last time we met she was with her beautiful son Oscar. I count myself very lucky to have worked with Orla.

Katie Sweeney, Chair of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee

I recall my first meeting with Orla when Simon Spain introduced her as the new Director at Kids’ Own and his successor (he was departing for Australia). He chose well! – as the legacy of his and her work will ultimately prove. Orla worked with us in 2003 on their first exhibition to share the innovative work that they were developing in schools north and south of the border – Multimedia Maps (the result of a three-year project initiated and run by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership) The project placed artists in school communities in the border counties in Ireland to investigate the use of new technologies as tools for creativity and the exchange of ideas. From 2000 to 2001 over 500 children in the border counties of Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Sligo and Tyrone, worked with six artists – Owen Crawford, Julie Forrester, Angela Ginn, Rachel Glynne, Ann Henderson and Sharon Kelly – in a series of residencies as part of the project. Orla was a perfectionist and knew that to show the quality of engagement that was happening in the artists’ residencies she had to have this reflected in the exhibition as well.

Seeing how the work of Kids’ Own developed since then and talking with artists who were nurtured by her supportive process has been wonderful. She will be missed by so many and it was a privilege to work with her over the past few years as a member of the Portal Steering Group.

Helen O Donoghue, Senior Curator Engagement and Learning IMMA

I first encountered Orla when we were both working towards a Postgraduate Teaching Diploma in Art and Design Education in Limerick School of Art, which she embraced with energy, ambition and inquisition. Some years later, our paths crossed again, soon after I started working in Kildare County Council and Orla, in Kids’ Own, when we collaborated on ‘Can’t Loose Cant’, a stunning pictionary with words in English, Irish and Cant. I admired her commitment to creating something with a strong aesthetic, while ensuring that the children involved were immersed in the process and that the local Traveller community were consulted on the use of Cant. In recent years, Orla and Kids’ Own led a series of artists workshops in Kildare (and further afield) on documentation, reflection and evaluation of work in education contexts – a much needed discipline that many artists neglect and that Orla was a huge advocate for. More recently again, Orla put her shoulder to the wheel on www.artsineducation.ie.

My children are a similar age to Orla’s son and over the years, we compared the usual milestones and dramas. My heart hurts at the idea of a child loosing a parent. I’m not sure that there is comfort to be found when a vibrant young woman dies. But if there is comfort, let it be in a life lived to the full, jam packed with passion, creativity and a desire to share what is good.

Lucina Russell, Arts Officer, Kildare County Council

The first time I met Orla was in The Model in Sligo. In spite of wearing a suit and tie, by the afternoon, she had me sitting in the lotus position, in a circle with artist Maree Hensey and others reflecting on the art work we had completed. She smiled when she saw me. With that smile she was able to disarm everyone of their inhibitions and positive work ensued. This sense of humour combined with a vision for the arts witnessed her bringing Kids’ Own Publishing on to a national and international stage. One of her great legacies will be the first ever Arts in Education Portal in Ireland. She was taken from us all too soon. It was wonderful to have known and worked with her.

Dermot Carney, Arts Officer, National Association of Principles and Deputy Principle 

My overriding memory of Orla is of her great positivity, her humour and her practicality. You always laughed a lot in her company but she was completely serious about the work of Kids’ Own and its impact on children and young people. The depth of her knowledge was incredible and you can see this in the Arts in Education Portal which is her great legacy to us that she built with such passion with her wonderful team. It was a privilege to know her.

Deirdre Behan, Strategic Development Director, The Arts Council

Orla was the sort of person who lit up a room, whom you smiled to see when she walked into a meeting. She was fun and funny, and knew that levity was never mutually exclusive to serious intent. You knew she took her work and your work and especially children’s work very seriously. She respected it all alike, and made you feel valuable by that respectful attention. And she was a very attentive and bright presence, responsive, quick to pick up on people’s feelings and concerns. Jo and she came to teach us about documentation once at the Abbey and she was a clear and patient teacher, eager to involve us in the learning and to build on what existing skills we could bring to the process. It was in that session I realised how enormously skilled she was and how lightly she could deliver it. Personally I liked her very much and felt grateful that such a dynamic and visionary figure was part of the Arts in Education Portal and so we would work together regularly. Quietly I’d started to use her as a measure for what artistically inspired project leadership looked like. Her loss hurts but I hope she can be continuously celebrated by keeping her standards of commitment and joyful engagement alive in our work.

Phil Kingston, Community and Education Manager, The Abbey Theatre 

What I loved most about Orla was her passion for the Arts and Education – a marriage which offers children and young people experiences which open up their lives and their creativity. She was always a pleasure to work with – her expertise and her dogged determination underpinned by humour, compassion and joy brought us all pathways to investigate, express and take delight in the work we all try to do. We will sadly miss her inspiring presence but will continue to celebrate the Kids’ Own legacy created by herself and Jo and carry her inspiration with us.

Emelie Fitzgibbon, CEO Graffiti Theatre Company 

Arts and Culture in Education Research Repository

Date: 1pm Thursday, 6th December

The Arts and Culture in Education Research Repository (ACERR) are delighted to invite you to this Symposium addressing critical research infrastructural issues for Arts and Culture in Education research in Ireland.

The recent launch of the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) and the Vienna declaration:  https://eosc- launch.eu/declaration/ reaffirms the EU Commission’s commitment to “a research data commons, inclusive of all disciplines and member states, sustainable in the long term”.

ACERR presents a solution for Ireland in this emerging EU research environment.

Venue: National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks

Date & Time: December 6th at 1.00pm.

Please RSVP to this email address o.murphy@ucc.ie for catering purposes.

 

 

Irish Architecture Foundation

Deadline: 10am, Monday 14 January

The National Architects in Schools Initiative has been devised and delivered by the Irish Architecture Foundation since 2013. In order to establish the impact of the programme and identify areas for improvement, revision, expansion etc. the IAF wishes to conduct a comprehensive independent review of the programme in 2019.

The IAF would like to welcome tenders from experienced consultant(s) to review the programme through research, surveys, focus groups, observation and/or other methods, engaging with those who participate in the programme (students, teachers and architects), those who devise and deliver the programme and those who fund the programme, in order to achieve a 360° view on the programme’s strengths, deficits and opportunities for improvement.

The deadline for applications is Monday 14 January at 10am and the IAF intend to recruit the consultant(s) by end of January, with final reporting occurring in April 2019. The fee for the project is €9,500 inclusive of VAT. Tenders, and any queries, should be sent to education@architecturefoundation.ie

For more information go to architecturefoundation.ie/ news/invitation-to-tender-for- nasi-review/

Music Generation & GRETB

Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Roscommon. (Reference number: R18-02)

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by GRETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Roscommon Music Education Partnership. County Roscommon has been selected for participation in Music Generation– Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online: galwayroscommon.etb.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

GRETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For more information go to galwayroscommon.etb.ie/job/oifigeach-forbartha-athfhogairt-music-generation-re-advertisement/?vacancy=

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Start of the Journey – Blog 1

Creative Schools is a pilot initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme. It is led by the Arts Council in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The aim of this initiative is to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. My job as a Creative Associate is to enhance and shape the place of creativity in schools. I work to inspire, energise and drive schools forward in developing creative opportunities in the school and wider community. I enable schools to understand, develop and celebrate young people’s engagement with the arts and creativity.

Getting to Know Schools:

I work with a number of schools throughout Cork and Kerry. At the beginning of November, I began engaging in meetings with the Creative Schools Coordinators from my designated schools. There are a series of objectives I aim to achieve in these meetings. Initially, we go through the Creative Schools Planning Framework. We then begin to discuss the first step of the programme: ‘Understand’. This allows schools to understand their current engagement with the arts and creativity. It also enables them to assess the creative interests of students and the resources which are available in the school and wider community. We talk about the school’s current involvement with the arts and artistic areas which they wish to enhance. Through this meeting I develop a better, more thorough understanding of the school as a whole.

In each school I run a workshop with students on ‘The Voice of Young People’. All creative associates were lucky enough to have the opportunity to undergo training in Hub na nÓg. This is a national centre of excellence which supports us to give children and young people a voice in decision making. I use the Lundy Model to ensure the voice of young people is a priority. This model indicates that young people should be provided with a safe space and appropriate information to enable them to express their views. It is also important to make sure that their views are communicated with someone with the responsibility to listen, taken seriously and acted on where appropriate.

Workshop:

Giving young people the opportunity to actively participate in a workshop is a great way to hear their views. Let me give you a brief insight into ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop. I use two different methods in this workshop called: ‘Open Space Method’ and ‘World Café Method’. The‘Open Space Method’ involves me asking student three questions as follows: 1) What is creativity? 2) What kind of creative things do you currently do? 3) What kind of creative things would you like to do? Students write their answers on post-its and stick them on three different parts of the wall. Students then divide these answers into sections according to what kind of arts activity they are e.g. music, dance etc. This leads to a very effective visual portrayal of student’s artistic interests. We then move on to ‘World Café Method’. Students are provided with a poster on which they are asked a series of questions containing blanks: 1) What is …..? 2) What kind of …… activities have you done/do you do? 3) What kind of ….. activities would you like to do? The young people use the arts activities they came up with in the previous exercise to fill in the blanks in these questions. Students then design the poster using a series of words and illustrations in order to answer these questions. I like using these methods as students take ownership of the kinds of arts activities they would like to explore and they are decision makers from the offset. I also give students surveys which are specific to their age and ability which allow them to express their opinion on their experience of the arts. These are important to give me concrete data to work from. If you want to know what young people want the best thing is to ask them. This workshop enables me to do that.

Further action I have taken in my role as Creative Associate is to create links between the school and local arts opportunities. So far, I have met people such as the local arts officer, programme manager from arts centre etc. These links are important to make to ensure the sustainability of the Creative Schools Programme.

The next step for my work as Creative Associate is to develop a Creative Schools Plan schools. Finally, schools will celebrate their experience with the arts and creativity by sharing their experience as a school, community and beyond.

Onwards & Upwards:

I firmly believe that providing young people with improved, sustainable arts opportunities will benefit them now and into the future. I am delighted to be working as part of this exciting new programme which allows us to make a positive difference in the lives of young people through the arts & creativity.

 

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

Arts in Education Portal

Date: Saturday, February 23rd 2019

Following on from the success of the first series of Portal Regional Days in 2018, the Arts in Education Portal Team are delighted to announce the 2019 Spring Regional Day to take place in the Leitrim Sculpture Centre on Saturday, February 23rd from 10:45am 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 and booking details which will be announced in the coming weeks.

This is a Free event but booking is essential – to book go to https://arts-in-education-portal-leitrim-regional-day-2019.eventbrite.ie

Imaginate

Deadline: 5pm 30th November

Valuing Young Audiences: Fully Funded PhD opportunity with Imaginate 

Imaginate is seeking prospective doctoral students to work with them on an AHRC-funded PHD exploring the value for children of experiencing live theatre and dance as audience members. This is an exciting new collaboration between Imaginate and the University of Aberdeen, as part of the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities’s (SGSAH) Collaborative Doctoral Awards Programme. The PhD student will be supported to engage with children, parents and teachers on three Imaginate projects: Inspiring Schools, Theatre in Schools Scotland, and the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. The research will be supervised by Professor Amy Bryzgel (Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen), Dr Jo Vergunst (Anthropology, University of Aberdeen) and Imaginate’s Chief Exec Paul Fitzpatrick.

The successful applicant will work with the supervisory team to prepare a final proposal to SGSAH in February 2019, with notification in April. If successful the studentship will commence on 1 October 2019.

Imaginate warmly encourages applications from researchers with a background in the performing arts, arts-in-education or research on the value of the arts, but this is not a prerequisite.

For more details and to download the full details go to www.imaginate.org.uk/artists/opportunities/phd-opportunity-with-imaginate-fully-funded.

The Arts Council’s Creative Schools Initiative

Autumn has been a busy time for Creative Schools with lots of focus on training and development.  The team have been meeting with and training 47 Creative Associates and over 350 representatives from the 150 pilot schools. The commitment shown by schools in the training to putting the arts and creativity at the heart of school life was very obvious and they are excited about the possibilities that learning in and through the arts will bring to their respective school communities.  A key aim of the initiative is to give children and young people a central role in the process, to support this Creative Associates were given a day of training from the amazing team at Hub na nÓg – Young Voices in Decision-making, Department of Children and Youth Affairs.   Over the coming weeks Creative Associates will meet with their schools and begin the first stages of their work together.

For more information go to www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/

To view the full list of the 150 schools selected to participate in the pilot phase of Creative Schools go to www.artscouncil.ie/pilotschoolslist

Christopher McCambridge is a Special Educational Needs teacher at St. Colman’s Primary School, Lambeg. St. Colman’s Primary is a mainstream school of 400 pupils with two learning support unit classes. Christopher is also an active member of the Belfast art scene. He co-founded the arts organisation Belfast Platform for the Arts (Platform Arts) in 2010, which continues to provide an exhibition space and studios for artists.

In 2016 Christopher and his Primary 6/7 class were chosen to take part in the Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership ‘Virtually There’ project. ‘A virtual artist in residence project which explores the potential for creative engagement between artists working from their studio and children and teachers in the classroom using video conferencing technology’. (Orla Kenny, Creative Director of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership). Now in their 3rd year, artist John D’Arcy has been working collaboratively with Christopher and his class at St Colman’s P.S as virtual artist-in-residence. 

WECHO FM – Blog 3

A new school year, a new ‘Virtually There’ project!

The majority of the children were meeting John for the first time. They were unsure what to expect as a lot of them had never experienced or used video-conferencing technology before.

After a few technical difficulties on my end, we finally connected to John. Introductions were made by John and the children, we got straight into introducing our new project theme … RADIO!

The children discussed their knowledge of radio … Tyrell said that it was “where you could listen to things, like a music box.” Aidan said he thought of it as a “jukebox” to listen to songs. Sam stated that different types of sounds could come from it, not only music but also advertisements. Daniel, Adam and Charley thought that even though it played music there were other programmes on the radio such as the news, weather forecasts or traffic reports. Adam also said that he had listened to documentaries on the radio. The children were asked what they thought we would be creating during the project, to which they replied, “A RADIO SHOW!”

Not only were we going to create a radio show, we were going to create our own Radio Station.

We discussed the different programmes that could be on our radio station, ideas for programmes included Music, Documentaries, Cartoon or comedy shows, discussions about the news and about our interests such as gaming. With an idea of the content, we were set the task of developing our visual identity. John displayed a number of symbols that the children all were able to recognise easily, e.g. the Nike swoosh, the golden arches, the apple mac symbol.

He told us that we would begin the process of developing a visual identity through the exploration of sound. The children began this process by listening to a variety of sounds that John had created; they then had to interpret them as a drawing. They generated a lot of great ideas, which included random symbols and jagged lines that varied in sizes. John then asked us to interpret drawings that he had created as sounds. Kevin, Sam, Daniel and Kyle all had a go at trying to interpret these drawings, with lots of different and random sounds and noises being made.

In the final part of the process, the children had to name each of the sounds that John created. He explained that the name could be a made-up word or a series of letters. The children found this extremely entertaining and generated a lot of random words for the sounds, including wobe, weeoloublue, breeeeee, dweenen, dulllung, dener, dedzen, wecho, bler and weow. After a short selection and voting process, the children picked WECHO, as our radio station name. WECHO FM was born.

The children were then set the task of creating our visual identity and the background for our radio station. We had to choose two colours, one would be for our background and the other colour would be used to create our visual interpretation for the sound of WECHO.

Each child explored the sound WECHO in their own unique way. This session was great fun and challenged the children’s ideas on what art could be. As the project develops, we hope to explore different aspects of the radio station such as, DJ names and identities, jingles and radio sweepers, sound effects and different radio programmes. At the end of the process we hope to visit a local radio station to gain a better understanding of the inner workings as well as possibly playing our own jingles and songs.

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/

Deadline: Friday 7th December 2018

The Arts in Education Portal editorial team are pleased to invite applications for a documentation award. Through the award, successful applicants will receive services to the value of €5,000 that will support them in the documentation of a current or upcoming project and a €500 stipend.

The purpose of the award is to support the development of documented outcomes from Arts in Education initiatives in Ireland, which can be shared with the arts in education community and give insights into different processes of engagement. This is part of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee’s commitment to supporting and recognising the value of documentation and reflection as a key component within arts in education initiatives.

Two awards will be offered through this opportunity.

Outcomes of the documentation process will include: a project video, a project feature to be showcased on the Portal’s Projects/Partnerships, and the option of a critical essay, with a view to also presenting the work as part of the Arts in Education Portal National Day in 2019.

The process will involve meetings with the Portal Team and a schedule of 3 site visits over the course of the project to capture video and photographic documentation and support reflective processes among participants. The portal team will edit and produce a project video, and will liaise closely with the project partners to develop the content for the project feature. The critical essay would be sited in the Portal’s Reading Room, and is optional. The author and focus of the essay can be decided by the project organisers in collaboration with the Portal Team.

Criteria

To be considered for this opportunity, projects must:

 

Additional criteria

 

How to make a submission:

Please send your submission to: editor@artsineducation.ie by 5pm, Friday 7th December 2018.

Muireann Ahern is Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Lovett. For Theatre Lovett she has directed and designed multiple shows. Muireann has over twenty years’ experience working in theatre for young audiences. Previously, she was Theatre Programmer and Producer at The Ark. She programmed the Family Season of the Dublin Theatre Festival and The Dublin Dance Festival. Muireann has worked with The Abbey Theatre’s Outreach Department, TEAM, part time lecturer at St Patrick’s teacher training college, and is a regular guest speaker on theatre for children at other third level colleges. She has led several Professional Development courses and was a member of the core working group on the published Artists~Schools Guidelines: ‘Towards Best Practice in Ireland’. She has been guest speaker at national and international conference focusing on ‘quality’ in theatre for young audiences. She is a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies, Trinity College Dublin and also holds a HDip Education from TCD.


Louis is Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Lovett. Theatre Lovett make work for all ages and tour extensively both nationally and internationally. For Theatre Lovett he writes, composes and performs. Work includes They Called Her Vivaldi (Abbey Theatre, National tour, USA tour 2019), The True Story of Hansel and Gretel (Dublin Theatre Festival 2015). Mr. Foley, The Radio Operator (national tour), A Feast of Bones (Dublin Theatre Festival, UK tour), The House that Jack Filled (Dublin Theatre Festival, Irish tour) and The Girl who Forgot to Sing Badly (Irish, US/AUSTRALIAN tours). Louis has also worked with The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, The Corn Exchange, Siren Productions, Performance Corporation, Barabbas and others.  Louis has also performed in and directed several productions at The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children. Television & Film includes Moone Boy, Stella Days, Anseo, Killinascully, The Tudors, Showbands, Story Lane, The Morbegs and others.

Theatre Lovett make theatre for all ages, child and adult, young and old, chicken and egg. They were nominated for a Judges Special Award at The Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017. If you seek theatre that can amuse, involve and sometimes scare, we offer you theatre as adventure www.theatrelovett.com.

 

Blog 4: FRNKNSTN

FRNKNSTN has come and gone, perhaps to return next year and tour. At Theatre Lovett, we were happy with our monstrous creation and relish the chance to play with its constituent parts again.  As with all shows, a future opportunity to remount a show will allow us to tweak and try improvements.

Most satisfying was the combination of the talents within our creative team. It was important to the project that our creative designers could meet and discuss the project on many occasions before rehearsals began with the director, writer and actor.

Preparation began a year previously with three weeks of development with director, writer, actor and lighting designer. This was followed by a further week and one public showing on the Peacock stage with the support of the Abbey Theatre.  This year, the full team had the opportunity to come together in the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray for two weeks of development in advance of rehearsals to explore our teams’ different specialities and approaches. Thank you to Niamh O Donnell and her team there.

Pay for preparation, for preparation pays.

Cajoling, coercing and corralling the creative team’s work alongside happily wrangling and wrestling with the writer and the solo actor required director Muireann Ahern to enter the arena and persevere for months. She held her nerve with some particularly tough calls along the way as she whittled this beast down to its beautiful, bony exterior.

Playing for your audience

Theatre Lovett’s Actor Training with a focus on playing for audiences Young and Older

Following on from FRNKNSTN, and now in its eighth year, Theatre Lovett have just completed another two weeks of our Actor Training course ‘Playing for your Audience.’ Working in the Gate Theatre Studio, the participating actors also had the experience of presenting aspects of the work to students from two local primary schools from the Gate Theatre stage.

This live experience is integral to the week. Here, on the fourth day of the week, the actors have a chance to put into practise, before that young audience, techniques newly acquired. Freshly minted. Hard to grasp and not yet understood.

The only stories, stimulated by the movement of several beings in a space aware of and silently responding to one another. (Plenty of story detail is provided by the individual imaginations of audience members). No script, no story but a structure and techniques, techniques centred around connection, clarity and simplicity.

Eyes (and ears) for each other and for your audience. Breathe. Make the person next to you shine. Thrown into the real experience of having no prescribed ‘material’ and yet ‘presenting’ themselves to an audience of expectant, eager children, the eye contact between these actors who met each other for the first time four days ago undergoes a resonant transformation. “I am here for you.” “I am as lost as you are.” “What happens next?” “Not sure. Let’s find it together.” Their connection deepens.

To negotiate the space with fifteen other actors, to maintain the engagement of this active audience, to search for the next moment, find it… together, allow it to live and then the next and the next and to continue to engage this audience and together bring it to a close… this requires us to slow down with calm, focused energy. Our energy is the audience’s energy. Not the other way around. Slowly, the actors approach clarity and the audience sees the pictures we make.

Sixteen or so actors sing together a song in a language newly learned. “What’s the next line?” “When do we breathe?” “Do we start now?” “Is this right?” “I think it’s completely wrong” “Keep going.” “Together.” The actors look at each other. Watch each other’s breathing, eyes and mouths, conduct each other through these signals. Not with gestures or hand signals, no pictures of anxiety, no unnecessary movement. Keep it simple. Do the simple thing. Breathe and sing. Together. The children are there for them.

I will not go into the techniques used here. That requires a little time and an audience. Underlying the week is the credo that we are playing for our audience. Take care of our audience, young and older. Do not cause them anxiety. Allow them fully relax in order to be fully engaged. They should sense that they’re in good hands. Easier said than done.

For more information www.theatrelovett.com/training

Copyright
Louis Lovett 2018

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights’ Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

College has changed the way I write… – Blog 2

I write this blog like a stereotypical college student, with a deadline looming, on a tiny computer, in a big academic library. Eight months ago I was accepted into the Young Playwrights Programme and four months ago my first play took to life on the stage. Do I miss the programme? Short answer: Yeah.

In college, I am constantly reminded of the time I spent at Graffiti – not to jinx it. Just like then I am surrounded by people I like with my trusty keyboard only a stretch of my arm away.

A lot of things that I did not expect happened when I became a first-year student at UCC.

I can stare/glare/laugh at the ‘world’ now. And feel comfortable enough in it. John and Katie always encouraged us to say what we are- writers. An obvious title. But up until this new chapter of my life, I was waiting. Waiting for proof that I could post on Instagram and make everyone stop scrolling for a second and think- wow, Róisin… she’s not average… every negative thought gone…

I am not going to type bullshit if my time with the journalism society has taught me anything. The doors did not open present my ambitions to me.

My personal life turned into the Titanic on speed when the Leaving Cert came around. And the neat blue lines of the exam booklets had no sympathy marks to give. I didn’t get the results I wanted. The State Examinations Commission said you’re not good enough, the days, the months, the YEAR you spent was as worthless as the paper the results are printed on.

I got my dream course because I got lucky. Any other year… let’s not think of that.

My Leaving Cert is worthless now. Lecturers don’t mention it and us students squint and cringe about it, rarely.

I have learned to stop wishing and writing sloppy coming of age stories that made me sick with boredom. I write about my life now and the world around me. I send my drafts to the UCC Express or the Motley to connect with other students. So far I haven’t got a no, just edits. and ‘you can do it.’ And I am happy. The tiny achievements college has offered me have given me more than six years and two exams ever could.

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

Arts in Education Portal

The Arts in Education Portal’s tour of regions continued last Saturday, October 6, with a jam-packed day of activities and presentations at the LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire.

Artist and early years practitioner Helen Barry and creche manager Rosheen Kemple presented on their work using movement and music with early years children and babies in Monkstown. Principal of the Central Model Senior School Deirdre Gartland and artist Claire Halpin demonstrated Visual Thinking Strategies in the LexIcon’s Art Gallery and spoke on the numerous teaching applications for the VTS method across the curriculum. The day was topped off by a hands-on activity using natural materials foraged by artist Liz McMahon who shared her depth of experience with Forest School approaches. Thanks to all involved in making day a success!

Look out for our next Regional Day, planned for early spring 2019 for the Northwest. More details coming soon!

Music Generation

Deadline: 12 noon 15th October 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons for the post of Music Generation Development Officer, for Music Generation Clare.

The post is being offered on the basis of a fixed-term contract for a period of three years. The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon, Monday, 15 October 2018.

Application form, post details and applicant requirements are available online from the LCETB website at limerickclare.etb.ie or by email from recruitment@lcetb.ie.

It is proposed to conduct interviews at the earliest opportunity following the closing date.

Please note that shortlisting may apply. Canvassing will disqualify. LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

About Music Generation Clare
Music Generation Clare is a performance music education service for children and young people in County Clare that provides opportunities for children and young people to access a range of vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area.

Established in 2014, it is among the 11 MEP Areas that were selected for participation in Phase 1 of Music Generation. Locally, Music Generation Clare is supported and funded by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, and Clare County Council. Visit www.musicgenerationclare.ie

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-clare/

 

 

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

Jessica O’ Brien is a 16 year old student and aspiring writer from Cork. As part of the Young Playwrights’ Programme with Graffiti Theatre, she along with eight other young people wrote and staged plays in The Everyman as part of the Midsummer Festival in 2018. She is currently writing her first book and hopes to have a career in writing novels or journalism.

Why I Write – Blog 3

I write for a reason, though I know that most of it is just instinct. Since I was a kid I would fill these hardbacks with creative writing and acrostic poems and I would fill my suitcases with my favourite books for the summer holidays – to the despair of my Mom. (my case was always overweight)  I distinctly remember the first Young Adult novel I read, ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, and immediately being hooked. I couldn’t get enough of these characters and worlds that were realistic, these people I wanted to be friends with. Within two years my room was unrecognisable, with massive shelves to facilitate my little library.

When I started studying for the Junior Cert I was taught to read and look at other forms of art critically. I am very grateful for the English class, classmates and teacher I had. Instead of just spewing out whatever Ithought was good, I took criticism from others. I listened to the other girls and realised I could be as good at writing answers as them if I tried. It was then I realised just how much I loved writing. I loved being able to start writing and forgetting about where I was and having that right word come to me. Suddenly I was in love with cinematography, the meaning behind words and I began to read and write differently. Now I couldn’t just read any YA book, I would scan the fonts and blurbs and as I read, I would add things to my mental list of what I liked or disliked. My journals became a source of comfort, and they still remain so.

But as I have gotten older and learned more about myself and the world, I realised that I had never truly been able to find myself in a book. There is such a lack of diversity, there are so many cliche stories with happy endings and straight romances and I got tired. One day I was walking home from the bookshop with my Dad and he asked me what the books I had bought were about. I explained, and I guess he was surprised because the books had strong themes in them. ‘I thought you read to escape reality,’ he said, with his bag of crime novels. ‘I guess I write to help change my reality,’ I thought.

I write because I can’t not write. I write to tell people what I can’t say or to get my feelings out on paper. My journals are almost like scrapbooks in a way. But most importantly, I now write because I have stories I need to tell. There are people in the LGBT community like me who’s story never gets told. People of colour. Different religion. Disabilities. Those love stories that don’t work out and real life teenager scenarios. We are all hot messes. It is so much nicer to read a book and relate to it rather than read a book and strive to be like it.

I write for myself, and everyone who ever deserved a voice. One day, maybe I’ll be scrutinising the YA section and I’ll see my own name there. That’s the dream I have for this reality.

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am – 1pm

Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Fiona Kelly for a masterclass that explores our new Digital Toolkit (www.glucksman.org/discover/digital/toolkits) for teachers. The session will focus on the environment and how online resources can enable creative activities for your classroom.

Cost €25. Booking required

For more information go to http://www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org to book a place.

Online Ticket Bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/primary-teachers-masterclass-tickets-48732211356

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

 

 

Music Generation 

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB each invite applications for the position(s) of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer(s) will be appointed by each Statutory Agency and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Music Education Partnership in each area.

All areas have been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at the links below –

Please note that each post requires a separate application.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB are equal opportunities employers.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunities-music-generation-development-officer-6-posts/

Arts in Education Portal

Date: Saturday, October 6th 2018

The Portal Team are delighted to announce the full programme for the Autumn Arts in Education Portal Regional Day which takes place in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown at the dlr LexIcon on Saturday, October 6th. We invite teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free event. Ticket bookings now open!

Places are limited – booking is essential 

Schedule

10:30am—registration & coffee

11:00am—Introduction – Alice Lyons, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership (Portal Content Managers)

11:30am—Presentation – Visual Artist Helen Barry and co-presenter on Early Years Work with Childcare Facilities

12:15pm—Presenation – Visual Artist Claire Halpin and Deirdre Gartland, Principal, Central Model Senior School on Visual Thinking Strategies Project

1:00pm—Lunch & networking

1:30pm— Breakout & Creative Session – Liz McMahon, using natural materials/Forest School approaches

3:00pm—wrap up

To book your tickets for the Autumn event go to

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/arts-in-education-portal-regional-day-dun-laoghaire-rathdown-tickets

 

National School Photography Awards (INSPA)

Deadline for Entries: Midnight Friday 25th January 2019

INSPA 2018/19 sees the second open call for Ireland’s prestigious National School Photography Awards [INSPA]. INSPA is a national children’s photography competition which is open to all primary schools located in the Republic of Ireland. This years’ awards are brought to you by Image Masters Photography in partnership with LauraLynn; Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, INSTAX Instant Photography and the Amber Springs Resort Hotel.

The awards aim to encourage young creatives in primary level education to engage with both digital technology and the creative process to create striking visual images. They will inspire and ignite passion in students, increase engagement with digital arts within primary level education while at the same time educating students about the importance of the creative process.

The awards are offering a range of fantastic prizes for finalists, winners and their schools including; Free entry to the Amber Springs Easter Train Experience for the overall winner and their classmates, FujiFilm INSTAX cameras for winners and their schools, a two night stay in the Amber Springs for the Principal of the winning school, a one night stay in the Amber Springs for the teacher of the winning class, INSPA certificates, framed photographs and an #INSPAsmiles School Photography Fundraising Day in aid of this years’ charity theme partner; LauraLynn.

This years’ theme is titled ‘CONNECTIONS’ which asks both teachers and their students to integrate the camera into the school-day, allowing their students explore their classrooms, corridors and schoolyards, seeking out new found or old connections. For example ‘Pen & Paper’, ‘Socks and Shoes’, ‘Black & White’, ‘Rough & Smooth’ or ‘Parent & Child’. All entries will be judged by a national panel including Joe Kileen (INTO President), Tanya Kiang (CEO: Gallery of Photography), Liam Magee (President: Cumann na mBunscol), Linda Shevlin (Curator: Roscommon Art Centre), Michael Fortune (Artist, Folklorist, Filmmaker, Researcher), Niamh Doyle (Community Fundraising Executive: LauraLynn) and Richard Carr (Artist, School Liaison & 2018 Cultural Ambassador for Co. Wexford).

If your school would like to get involved they can request their schools access codes from the INSPA website – www.inspa.ie – here you will be able to activate your school account and begin uploading your students’ entries. The deadline for entries is midnight on Friday 25th January 2019 so make sure you have activated your school account well in advance of this date.

For further information go to http://www.inspa.ie

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/

 

 

Music Generation Clare

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invites applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas:

Post details and applicant requirements are available to download from www.lcetb.ie. The closing date for receipt of online applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August 2018.

LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Music Generation Clare is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Clare is managed by Clare Music Education Partnership, led by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board in partnership with Clare County Council, University of Limerick and Clare Education Centre.

Music Generation Laois

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music are now seeking submissions from an experienced Violin Tutor to deliver their programmes. Training in whole-class string tuition will be provided to the successful candidate. Music Generation Laois works in partnership with Laois School of Music to deliver whole-class, group and one-to-one violin lessons in Co Laois.

Closing date for completed submissions: 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August, 2018

Interviews are scheduled to take place on: Wednesday 5 September, 2018

Full details and application information are available online at: www.musicgenerationlaois.ie

Submission forms can be submitted electronically by email to rflannery@laoiscoco.ie

Music Generation Laois is a performance music education service for children and young people in Co Laois, part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds together with, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Laois is funded by Laois County Council, Laois-Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.

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/

Arts in Education Portal

Date: Saturday, October 6th 2018

Following on from the success of the Spring Regional Day for the Arts in Education Portal held at the Glucksman in Cork, we announce the Autumn Regional Day to take place in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown at the dlr LexIcon on Saturday, October 6th from 10:45am 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 and booking details which will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

 

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

Youth, the Internet and Fiction – Blog 2

There are millions of stories on Fanfiction.net. 791K of those stories alone are listed under Harry Potter.

Meaning: Thousands of mostly young people around the world using their keyboards to enter the writing world. All because of words someone else has written.

I think that sounds amazing.

But attach the label ‘fanfiction’ and people start cringing.
Why?

Using the incorrect form of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ shouldn’t automatically make you a joke. Writing isn’t easy. And I can relate.

On my way to becoming a writer, I went through the terrible years of primary and early secondary school feeling average. I had nothing in front of me, so much energy and nowhere to put it.

According to school there are only three categories to slot into. Athletic, brainy or social butterfly and if you aren’t a superstar at one of those things – tough shit. To the end of the pecking order, please!

One day, out of boredom, I typed 500 words on my phone and called it a first (bad) chapter. I wanted nineteen years later to be more than a just happy ending at a train station. Those 500 words turned into 230,000 words and counting. And that, I can safely say, drew me to more books, made me see things from multiple perspectives and start to question things. English class didn’t improve my editing skills, get me into the Young Playwrights Programme or give me the opportunity to write this blog. Writing something I loved did.

Yes, there are the scandalous stories but isn’t there Mills and Boons lining the shelves of every library? You just need to know where to look. The most followed stories on the site are under the genre adventure and are longer than any of the books I have on my shelf.

The readers and writers work together. They learn to improve their writing technique by editing and even beta-ing. People constructively break down each other’s work and work together to build each other up. Even the reviews are kind and supportive for the most part.

You wouldn’t believe the number of teen writers testing the waters and spreading their wings. They are trying to teach themselves. They want guidance and acknowledgement.

If you type fanfiction into any search engine late-night talk show segments will show up trying to get a cheap laugh and articles trying to teach parents what it is like in the depths of the community will appear. No one on the sites cares. That’s the outside world. The writers and readers do what they do with confidence. Confidence that would be benefitable to schools and societies in this cynical world.

And I’ll end this first blog with the lessons online writing has taught me. Lessons I should’ve learned in school:

Ability, even a magical ability like creativity takes works.
And
The only way to really succeed is to push forwards through the shitty phase every writer goes through and post that next update.

The Creativity and Change programme & CIT Crawford College of Art

Application Deadline: 15th September 2018

The Creativity & Change programme targets change-makers, educators, activists, artists, community workers, adult education tutors, 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 part-time accredited course takes place over 8 weekends from September to May.

Course Modules

Module one ‘Thematic Creative Engagement’ considers the role of creativity in learning and its contribution to enabling engagement with knowledge, attitudes, values and behaviours of global citizens. It engages learners with a range of models and concepts of learning related to Development Education and Education for Global citizenship. Learners will engage with a range of global justice themes and topics related to local and global interconnectedness. They will also engage with a wide range of creative tools and methods. The module will require a deep critical personal engagement and self-reflection, developing personal perspective as a global citizen and connecting with values and themes. The learners will critically engage with the learning environment of the programme and their personal approach and style as learners in view of applying this learning to their practice.

Module 2 ‘Application to Practice’ builds on on the experiential learning process of the ‘Thematic Creative Engagement’ module. Learners will consider the application of their learning in professional practice. They will apply their learning in design and delivery of live projects that provide learning experiences for others and be given space for personal and peer reflection on their practice.

Course fee is €680. This course is supported by Irish Aid’s Development Education funds and is therefore offered at this subsidised rate.

This is a Level 9 CIT Special Purpose Award 

For more information go to creativityandchange.ie/accredited-award/

To apply go to www.cit.ie/course/CRACRCH9

Muireann Ahern is Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Lovett. For Theatre Lovett she has directed and designed multiple shows. Muireann has over twenty years’ experience working in theatre for young audiences. Previously, she was Theatre Programmer and Producer at The Ark. She programmed the Family Season of the Dublin Theatre Festival and The Dublin Dance Festival. Muireann has worked with The Abbey Theatre’s Outreach Department, TEAM, part time lecturer at St Patrick’s teacher training college, and is a regular guest speaker on theatre for children at other third level colleges. She has led several Professional Development courses and was a member of the core working group on the published Artists~Schools Guidelines: ‘Towards Best Practice in Ireland’. She has been guest speaker at national and international conference focusing on ‘quality’ in theatre for young audiences. She is a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies, Trinity College Dublin and also holds a HDip Education from TCD.


Louis is Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Lovett. Theatre Lovett make work for all ages and tour extensively both nationally and internationally. For Theatre Lovett he writes, composes and performs. Work includes They Called Her Vivaldi (Abbey Theatre, National tour, USA tour 2019), The True Story of Hansel and Gretel (Dublin Theatre Festival 2015). Mr. Foley, The Radio Operator (national tour), A Feast of Bones (Dublin Theatre Festival, UK tour), The House that Jack Filled (Dublin Theatre Festival, Irish tour) and The Girl who Forgot to Sing Badly (Irish, US/AUSTRALIAN tours). Louis has also worked with The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, The Corn Exchange, Siren Productions, Performance Corporation, Barabbas and others.  Louis has also performed in and directed several productions at The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children. Television & Film includes Moone Boy, Stella Days, Anseo, Killinascully, The Tudors, Showbands, Story Lane, The Morbegs and others.

Theatre Lovett make theatre for all ages, child and adult, young and old, chicken and egg. They were nominated for a Judges Special Award at The Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017. If you seek theatre that can amuse, involve and sometimes scare, we offer you theatre as adventure www.theatrelovett.com.

 

Blog 3: Theatre Lovett in the Rehearsal Room

Into week two proper of FRNKNSTN rehearsals. The focus in the creative space at present is on unlocking the gate way between the words of Michael West’s script and the actor’s physical, vocal and spiritual interpretation. Director Muireann Ahern, stage manager Clare Howe and actor Louis Lovett set up stall in a creative marketplace where ideas are unloaded, laid out, prodded for texture, freshness, flavour, tried out for size, weighed, assessed, refused, balked at, laughed at (in a bad way), laughed at (in good way), and once or twice a day, but usually just once, a string of ideas are spooled out in an order sufficient to please and perhaps, for a critical second, to impress. These ones are marked down for memory and promptly asked to take one more twirl around the room, and again and again. If they stand up to scrutiny and pass muster after repetition, then they are stamped for approval and requested to present for duty the next day to undergo the same drill again. Mr. Lovett accepts the challenge on their behalf. They will then be pushed for improvement. This string of ideas might comprise one short section of one scene whereby these firm, fresh ideas might be leaned upon to point the way forward and assess the way we have come so far.

These ideas are the precious gifts we intend laying at the precious feet of our fine audience. It is essential that they are the best we have to offer. Their providence is obscure in parts, clearly archived in others. Some are like midges on a summer’s evening that have become tangled in our hair for no reason but pure chance that we had decided to cycle in the park. But now we’re overdoing it…

Time hurtles towards tech week and first audiences. Our rehearsal time, our time strolling (racing!) the aisles of our ideas market is being whittled away. Always other demands pull us from the business of ideas.

Muireann Ahern directs and Louis Lovett performs in Theatre Lovett’s next production of FRNKNSTN by Michael West, a modern mutation of Mary  Shelley’s classic novel FRANKENSTEIN at The Abbey Theatre. This daring adaptation re-imagines Victor Frankenstein as a gene-splicing molecular biologist who creates human life from his own DNA with catastrophic results. Speaking from a holding cell, Frankenstein is desperate to set the record straight. A modern ghost story and psychological thriller, this version of Frankenstein aims to chill us with the darkness we hold within our DNA — and our hearts. Age Guidance: Not suitable for under 16s, www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats-on/frankenstein/

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Deadline: Friday 24 August 

Baboró are delighted to announce applications are now open for the 2018 GROW Programme, supporting artists in making work for children and young audiences.

Baboró has a long history of mentoring and supporting artists, creatives and educators who are exploring and developing theatre, dance, music and visual art for young audiences, or are interested in doing so. Whether you are an emerging artist, a student or an established artist interested in making work for children, Baboró’s GROW programme is here to support your development.

The GROW programme includes a number of strands which interested candidates can apply for. Two of the recently introduced strands are Pathways to Production and Festival Mentoring.

Pathways to Production

The programme aims to facilitate artists development from the kernel of an idea and initial concept development to project planning, help developing funding strategies and the development of the work for a sharing with peers and the sector. It is hoped that artists/companies will eventually go on to full production of their new piece of work.

The objective is that by making available our collective organisational experience, resources and areas of expertise, Pathways to Production will support artists and companies to make excellent work in Ireland for this very special audience. The emphasis of the programme is on the process of development of new work and artist development, rather than the end product. We hope that this capacity-building initiative will contribute to the development of sustainable careers and creative opportunities for artists in Ireland. Find out more at www.baboro.ie/about/work/grow/pathways.

Festival Mentoring

A small group of participants will be lead through a curated programme of festival shows and industry events including discussions, presentations, workshops, networking events etc. The group will navigate the programme with mentoring from two highly experienced individuals from the sector, Phil Kingston, Community and Education Manager at the Abbey Theatre and Maria Fleming, Chair of Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland (TYAI) and General Manager of Dublin Theatre Festival, during the Baboró 2018 Festival. Find out more at www.baboro.ie/about/work/grow/work-grow-mentoring.

Baboró’s Executive Artistic Director Aislinn Ó hEocha commented, “We were delighted with the response to our new GROW programme in 2017. The artists involved in Festival Mentoring and Pathways to Production find the schemes really beneficial to their practice. opportunities to see a range of international work, build Irish and international networks and learn from each other and the partners have proven invaluable. We are really looking forward to seeing who emerges from the 2018 open call.”

Deadline for applications is Friday, August 24 with successful candidates being announced on Monday, September 17. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from www.baboro.ie/about/work/grow.

GROW is funded by the Art’s Council’s Strategic Funding.

The Ark

Dates: 20 Aug – 24 Aug 2018

Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

The Ark, Dublin are excited to present a new five day arts-science summer course led by scientist and theatre-maker Dr. Niamh Shaw, aimed at primary teachers of 1st-3rd classes.

Discover STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) anew through a range of enjoyable and accessible creative drama processes designed to lift these subjects off the page and bring them to life for both teachers and students.

The course is created and led by the inspiring Dr Niamh Shaw – an engineer, former science academic and a theatre maker as well as one of Ireland’s leading science communicators and STEAM specialists. Niamh’s scientific knowledge and warm engaging style will help you in finding exciting new ways of communicating science themes to your students.

This practical hands-on course will improve your confidence in teaching STEM subjects as well as Drama and how to meaningfully link and integrate these in the classroom. A range of relevant STEM curricular areas will be explored through Drama including Mathematics, Geography, and of course Science.

The course is aimed at teachers of all levels of STEM and drama knowledge and experience.The course content and aims include:

For more information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/5-day-teachers-course-bringing-stem-alive-in-the-classroom-through-drama

The Ark

Dates: 13 Aug – 17 Aug 2018

Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Over five days this hands-on, creative course at The Ark, Dublin focuses on a visual arts approach to exploring narrative, literacy & other subjects.

The aim of the course is to enable participants to start the new school year with an enhanced tool box of skills and knowledge, in order to effectively deliver the visual arts curriculum in the classroom. Participants will be engaged ‘hands-on’ throughout this course so learning will be through doing. Working in teams and individually, you will cover a range of curriculum strands including drawing, painting, print, 3D construction, fabric and fibre.

A strong emphasis will be on building skills and confidence. The group will also explore how visual art can be used to engage with aspects of the English, SPHE, History and Maths curriculum, as well as to promote visual literacy approaches. School self-evaluation exercises will be incorporated as an integral part of the course.

This course will appeal to teachers of all levels of experience and will be facilitated by the visual arts and education specialist and founder of Art to Heart, Jole Bortoli. This is a continuing professional development opportunity not to be missed!

For more information and booking go to ark.ie/events/view/teachers-summer-course-a-visual-arts-approach

Jessica O’ Brien is a 16 year old student and aspiring writer from Cork. As part of the Young Playwrights’ Programme with Graffiti Theatre, she along with eight other young people wrote and staged plays in The Everyman as part of the Midsummer Festival in 2018. She is currently writing her first book and hopes to have a career in writing novels or journalism.

Let Creativity STEM – Blog 1

All my life I have been aware of what subjects defined me as ‘intelligent’ and what made me ‘subordinate’ by the education system.

Since I made the jump from primary school to secondary school I have become increasingly aware of the differences between myself and the students who excel in STEM subjects. It’s pretty clear what careers are portrayed as sensible, high intelligence careers, as careers in the arts are simply never discussed. STEM subjects include science, technology, engineering and mathematics- and recently I have noticed what a huge effort is being made to promote careers in these subjects, especially as my school is all female. We have been visited by countless representatives encouraging us to begin a career in a STEM subject and we have had several different weeks in school dedicated to science and maths. I believe this is hugely positive and will inspire us girls with the message that we too can hold positions of power in careers dedicated to these subjects- but I do think that those who are genuinely not interested in these subjects are being tossed aside.

Despite science being a choice in my school, I am constantly made to feel like it was never my choice to drop it. There have never been weeks dedicated to the students that excel in the arts. Yes, there are classes available, but they were hard fought for and aren’t treated as important by those who don’t participate in them. I spoke to my art teacher at an open night once, and she told me that parents would approach her, and ask her if ‘art was really that hard.’  My music teachers have only recently been given time slots for practicing for our carol service that is one of the biggest events on our school calendar. This would never happen with any other subjects. I was at a meeting being on our school’s magazine team. Our teacher didn’t show up to the meeting, which was a regular occurrence, but we decided we were going to power through on our own and show the school what we could do. But that couldn’t happen now. We were told the school didn’t have the funding for the 6 extra pages we wanted to produce. Yet our school bank gets hundreds to rent in famous guests to hype up their work. Our school has an annual run to pay for a new running track for sport. Our science labs are always stocked for experiments and our art classrooms are used as supply cabinets whenever people need to make posters. If you want to work hard in schools in a subject to do with the arts, you are pretty much on your own. I feel that the way people who work hard in these creative subjects are treated is really offensive. Music, art, and all other creatively based subjects are also fulfilling and big earning careers. The world needs them just as much as it needs scientists and engineers. Would you turn around to a world famous actor and chastise them for not becoming a mathematician?

Jessica was a participant in the Young Playwrights’ Programme with Graffiti Theatre which was a recipient of the Arts in Education Portal 2018 Documentation Award.

 

 

dan_colley_headshot_editDan Colley is a director, dramaturg and programmer from Dublin. As Director of Collapsing Horse Theatre he has directed The Water Orchard (with Eoghan Quinn, co-produced by Project Arts Centre) The Aeneid, Bears in Space, Conor: at the end of the Universe, Human Child, Distance from the Event and Monster/Clock. With Collapsing Horse, Dan is Theatre Artist in Residence in Draíocht and co-Artistic Director of Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival.  As a dramaturg Dan has worked with Macnas, Dublin Fringe Festival, WillFredd and Sugarglass Theatre among others. Dan has a degree in English and Philosophy from NUI Galway and studied Youth Theatre Facilitation with Youth Theatre Ireland. Dan was a recipient of the Next Generation Bursary in 2016.

Blog post 4: Rights Museum

The Rights Museum is a participatory art project that attempts to allow our objects to tell our story through the medium of a museum. Its subject is the lives of students in Larkin Community College and how the rights enshrined in the UNCRC intersect with their actual lived experience. Or don’t.

In my last blog post I detailed how I worked with a group of first year CSPE students and asked them to invest in the stories behind their rights – and learn about their rights in reality.

In our next session, I presented a simple everyday object to the group – I used a shoe. I like to gather the participants around the object in a circle. First I asked them to make objective observations: what can we say for certain just by looking at it? For example; “it’s a shoe”, “it’s got white laces”, “it’s black” “there’s dirt on it”. I kept this going, correcting them if they brought in any subjective observations (eg. “They look like they’ve been used to go running” or “They’re ugly”). Keep it to the facts that you can tell just by looking.

Once I’d just about exhausted this, I asked them to make subjective observations. I prompted them; who might have owned these shoes? What might they have used them for? Did they value them? And with each answer, I asked them to support their claim with evidence that they can see.

Then I placed the shoes on a raised platform (I used a bin but asked them to imagine it was a plinth in a museum!) and I asked them if that changed the way they saw it? Did it make it seem more important? Why? What could possibly be so important about this pair of shoes that they would be in a museum? I asked them to imagine that there was a label on it that said “Plastic and canvas shoes. Shoe size 5. 2017. Syria.” and then I asked them what they thought of them then. What would they think about the story of these shoes and who wore them?

I put the shoes away and then put another object on our “plinth”. This one was of personal importance to me – a pair of cufflinks displayed in their box. But I didn’t tell the participants anything about them yet. Again I asked them to make objective observations, then subjective observations (“is this i