!!!! Blog 2 – Lorna Watkins, Visual Artist and TAP+ Tutor
Threading needles with Youthreach
This year, I was hired to do a project with Youthreach and MSLETB in Sewing and Sustainability in Sligo, Carrick on Shannon and Mohill. It was also designed as a few hours in the week to help ease anxiety in students post Covid. The students were studying catering, hairdressing, computers or LCA in the various centres.
We started off the six week project with the basics of the sewing machine, learning how to thread a machine and how to fix it if it stops working. We went on to cut out a basic pattern for a gender neutral top in curtain lining or fabric the students had at home. The students worked in groups of two and threes at a machine so everyone got a go. Some struggled with going from a 2 dimensional flat piece to a 3 dimensional garment but eventually got it when they saw the finished article. I love sharing my passion for me made clothes and by making your own clothes, you can make garments to fit every body shape.
I found a few challenges as the artist working in this context. There are new students starting not every week, but frequently and absenteeism is common so it became normal to have students at different levels at the project, which is tricky when you are trying to build on skills every week and to keep having to start again at the beginning.
I sometimes forget that a lot of young people are not used to working with their hands and it can take a while for students to get that hand eye coordination going. Basic instruction like threading a needle can be very frustrating for students in the beginning but when they persevere with it, they find it really rewarding and I know from the tutors when they walked into the room they couldn’t believe how quiet the class was, the students were completely engrossed in the task, it’s an extremely mindful pastime.
!!!! Creative Ireland Programme extended to 2027
Minister Martin announces government decision to extend Creative Ireland, the culture and wellbeing programme that transforms people, places and communities through creativity. Committed to the vision that everyone should have the chance to realise their creative potential to the full, the innovative all-of-government culture and wellbeing programme will be extended, in principle, for five more years until 2027.
In 2017, Creative Ireland was launched as an all-of-government culture and wellbeing programme committed to the vision that every person should have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. Established as a legacy initiative of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, it is the only programme of its kind in the world.
The founding vision of the programme is that creativity must be at the heart of public policy and that participation in cultural and creative activity promotes the wellbeing of the individual, the community and the nation at large. Creative Ireland collaborates across government and with arts, community and voluntary organisations to deploy creativity as a strategy for wellbeing, social cohesion and economic success.
Alongside its very successful Creative Youth initiative, the programme’s Creative Communities partnership with the 31 local authorities, and their delivery of over 5,700 creative projects to date, has been key to enabling community-led nationwide engagement.
Minister Martin said:
“I warmly welcome the Government’s decision to implement the all-of-government Creative Ireland Programme for another five years, and to work with me in the coming months to develop its framework. This programme has been innovative and effective in delivering the opportunity for people to explore their creative potential. Key initiatives such as Cruinniú na nÓg and Creative Schools have become embedded in the country’s cultural infrastructure. New projects that respond to contemporary social issues such as climate action and loneliness have emerged. With the support of my Cabinet colleagues, I look forward to developing a Creative Ireland Programme that will continue to enhance people’s lives in the coming years.”
The Government’s decision in principle will be for the Creative Ireland Programme to continue for a further five years, encompassing the period 2023-2027, and to focus on the following areas:
I. Creative Youth;
II. Creative Communities;
III. Creative Industries;
IV. Creative Health and Wellbeing; and
V. Creative Climate Action and Sustainability.
It is anticipated that a final framework of Clár Éire Ildánach/Creative Ireland Programme 2023-2027 will be brought to Government for its final agreement in Autumn 2022 prior to its publication, launch and implementation on an all-of-government basis.
!!!! Job: Education Officer for The Playhouse Derry-Londonderry
Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 3 February 2022
The Playhouse is seeking an Education Officer. The Education Officer will work with the Head of Engagement and the wider Engagement Team to support learning and participation work in formal and informal settings and in the organisation’s role as an Open College Network Centre.
This is a part time role (2.5 days per week) in which you will help to ensure that The Playhouse develop pathways for people of all ages and abilities to engage in creative learning and participation.
The ideal candidate will be someone passionate about the value of education and motivated by engaging people in the learning that matters to them. You will understand and believe in a cultural democracy, in the value of the arts as part of our everyday lives and as a force for good in the world.
Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 3 February 2022
For more information on how to apply for the role of Education Officer, please see www.derryplayhouse.co.uk/vacancies
!!!! Irish Architecture Foundation International Summer School
Irish Architecture Foundation
Dates: 15 – 30 June 2021
Registration is open for IAF’s International Summer School, a series of live, virtual seminars and workshops exploring the relationship between architecture and media. The Summer School will explore how architecture as culture is mediated, communicated, disseminated, represented, experienced and consumed through the diverse media of filmmaking, podcasting and critical writing.
Events are suitable for post-primary school pupils.
- Tuesday 22nd & Friday 25th June – Architecture and Podcasts
- Monday 28th & Wednesday 30th June – Architecture and Writing
Attendees can look forward to an exciting lineup of speakers and workshop facilitators including:
Emmett Scanlon (IRL), Matthew Blunderfield (UK), Grace La (USA), Inga Saffron (USA), Mimi Zeiger (USA), Tom Ravenscroft (UK) & Shane O’Toole (IRL).
For more information, see: architecturefoundation.ie/event/international-summer-school-architecture-and-media/
!!!! Opportunity For Artists: Offaly Youth Arts Commission 2021
Offaly County Council Arts Office
Deadline: 4pm, 2 June, 2021
Offaly County Council Arts Office invites professional artists, individual or collaboratively, to submit proposals for the delivery of a new Youth Arts Project for the cohort of 13 to 25 year olds within Offaly. The commission is open to submissions from all art disciplines including visual arts, film, animation, digital arts, performing arts, literature or sound art. The commission can concentrate on one art form or a range of art forms but must demonstrate a youth led ethos. It is vital that consideration is given to the times we are in and how engagement with young people can take place within a socially distanced world.
A fully inclusive fee of €15,000.00 to include all travel, materials, VAT will be made payable in three instalments:
1. €5000.00 on signing of contract with agreement on a submitted project outlining clear timelines, delivery and process.
2. €5000.00 mid way into the project
3. €5000.00 on completion of the project
There need not be a specific outcome, (i.e. piece of art, performance), rather the process and engagement with the Young People in Offaly should be central to the project and be inspired by their wants and needs. If there is an outcome, consideration should be given on how same could be showcased.
We would envisage the project as being easily accessible, have a wide reach and attract young people that are not necessarily involved in Arts.
Deadline: 4pm, Wednesday 2 June, 2021
For more information and to apply, see https://offalycoco.submit.com//show/92
!!!! First Cut Youth Film Festival 2021
First Cut! Youth Film Festival
Dates: 17 April – 9 May 2021
First Cut! Youth Film Festival returns for its 12th year showcasing new films by young filmmakers. Running from 17 April – 9 May 2021, offers an imaginative, thought-provoking and entertaining programme for young people aged 12-24yrs. Audiences from all over Ireland, and from abroad, are invited to join them virtually for a completely free programme of events including: Open call short film and feature film screenings, workshops, panel discussions with some of the leading filmmakers in Ireland, a host of special guest appearances and more.
Workshops include: Puppetry for Film and Television Workshop, Stormtroopers SFX Workshop and more.
Dates: 17 April – 9 May 2021
To see the full programme, see: https://firstcutfilmfestival.com/
!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer (Fingal)
Deadline: 23 April 2021
Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) invites applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Fingal). They will be responsible for managing a programme of performance music education on behalf of Fingal Local Music Education Partnership. This is a five-year fixed term contract.
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 is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that gives children and young people 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.
Deadline: 4pm Friday 23rd April 2021
For more information on how to apply, see: www.musicgeneration.ie/news/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-fingal
!!!! Opportunity for Artists: ‘You, Fin and the Play Between’ Playwriting Programme for Young Audiences
Baboró International Arts Festival, Graffiti Theatre and TYA Ireland
Deadline: Monday 8 February 2021
Callout for a 6-month playwriting programme led by Finegan Kruckemeyer for established and emerging playwrights based in Ireland who are interested in writing for young audiences.
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Graffiti Theatre and TYA Ireland are excited to collaborate with International TYA Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer to host a new playwriting programme for writers and theatre makers in Ireland who are interested in writing plays for young audiences.
At a time when the world and its distances are both larger and smaller than ever before, a collaboration will occur, spanning half a globe, and half a year, and driven by that most exciting of provocations – to forge something from nothing.
Beginning with a blank page, eight Irish authors will respond to writing aids and impositions both as they explore theatre for young audiences – what makes a TYA play, and what TYA play they wish to make.
But more important than the audience, shall be the idea. And in writing work solemn and silly, foreign and known, as vast as an ocean and as small as a boat which may rock upon it, eight individual voices shall be celebrated, and their plays play out to their ends.
Who is this for?
This opportunity is open to both established and emerging playwrights, residing in Ireland, interested in writing plays for young audiences. Applications are encouraged from artists with a disability, those from minority ethnic communities and those who feel their voices are not commonly represented. There are eight places available on the programme.
Irish language writers are welcome to participate in this project through the medium of Irish. Support and translation will be provided to facilitate a bilingual writing journey with Fin. Samples of writing in Irish can be included in the application.
Cuirimid fáilte roimh scríbhneoirí le Gaeilge páirt a ghlacadh sa togra seo as Gaeilge. Cuirfear tacaíocht agus aistriúcháin ar fáil chun an turas scríbhneoireachta dátheangach le Fin a éascú. Is féidir samplaí Gaeilge a bheith mar chuid den iarratas.
Deadline for Applications is Monday 8 February 2021
For further information and application details go to https://www.baboro.ie/news-events/you-fin-and-the-play-between
!!!! Guest Blogger: Naomi Cahill Creative Associate for Creative Schools & Director of Bespoke Productions – Blog No. 2
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”.
“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.
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.
!!!! Invitation to teachers & practitioners to attend the Theatre Connects Symposium
University College Cork
Date: 25th May, 2018
Performative Pathways between Schools, Universities and the Wider Community
The invited speakers will offer their perspectives on why theatre should be introduced and established as a subject in primary and secondary schools, why universities should embrace performativity within and across academic disciplines, and why leading theatres should continue to embrace and increase their outreach activities and aspire to employ theatre education specialists. The symposium should be of special interest to those who aim to form stronger links between theatre and education, including teachers, lecturers, theatre students, directors of theatres and theatre companies, applied theatre practitioners and policy makers.
Symposium organisation: Manfred Schewe and Fionn Woodhouse, Department of Theatre, School of Music & Theatre, UCC
Venue: Creative Zone, Boole Library, Main Campus, University College Cork
Date & Time: 25th May 2018 (12 a.m. to 4.30 pm.) – attendance free of charge, please confirm by May 24th
For more information go to www.ucc.ie/en/music-theatre/drama/news/theatre-connects-symposium.html