national development agency for collaborative arts
in social and community contexts

2011 Artist in the Community Scheme Recipients

This year’s latest round in the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme will fund nine ambitious Project Realisation awards and thirteen awards for research and development, two with mentoring.

The Scheme which funds artists to work collaboratively with communities to co-author contemporary arts projects will ensure that artists will create innovative work in a variety of community and social contexts including  Arts and Disability, Arts and  Cultural Diversity, Arts and Older People. There is a diversity of artform representation with successful awardees in the areas of dance, theatre, music, architecture and the visual arts.


In the First Round of the 2011 Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme managed by Create, there were 8 awards given in all, with a number of Research and Development Awards going to theatremakers and performers; the Project Realisation Awards went to visual artists and a theatremaker.

Research and Development

Artist: Playwright and actor Mary Kelly

Community: Association of Ghanaian Professionals

Context: Arts and Cultural Diversity

Mary proposes to research and work on the development of a play inspired by this group of African women, investigating the point where their cultural traditions may gel and clash with those of suburban Dublin. Mary has utilised interviews with survivors of breast cancer (Unravelling the Women) and older Traveller women (Two for A Girl)  as part of the development of her previous   theatre pieces.

Research and Development Awards with mentoring

Artist: Niamh McCann (actor/theatremaker)

Mentor: Emma O Kane (dancer)

Context: Arts and Community (of interest)

Niamh intends to explore nature, movement, form and community to inform a theatre piece in development; to explore new processes via movement and dance that will transform the current work in development and inform Niamh’s own performative language.

Niamh devised a solo piece inspired by interviews with the 11 O Clock Club, a group of women who swim daily in the Forty Foot. Welcome to the Forty Foot was performed as part of Project Brand New, December 2010 and in Washington and New York.

Artist: Shane O’Reilly (theatre artist);

Mentor: Gavin Quinn (Director/choreographer)

Context: Arts and disability

Shane is developing a piece with the members of the Irish Deaf community, looking at different forms of communication and new ways of expression and innovative ways of  incorporating Irish Sign Language in performance.

Gavin Quinn of Pan Pan, who founded the National Deaf Youth Theatre will act as mentor. Shane took part in Project Brand New in December 2010 and seeks to develop that work in progress further with the Artist in Community Research and Development/Mentoring Award. 

Artist: Emma Meehan (theatre artist)

Mentor: Helene Hugel (arts and health practitioner)

Context: Arts and Health

Emma through the research seeks to develop a full length performance piece integrating the material gathered through conversation  from staff parents and patients in the hospital and to explore methods for collaborating with children in a hospital setting to create artistic responses in both movement expression and story telling.

Emma will work with Helene Hugel as mentor.

Research and Development Award

Artist: Sean Taylor

Artform: Visual Arts

Context: Arts and Community

Sean will research with community of interest -  beekeepers  - to initiate processes towards the creation of a significant art project inspired by the soundscape of bees, a work that will also seek to contribute to the existing body of knowledge connected to the environmental conditions effecting bee populations.

Artist: Sinead McGeeney

Artform: Visual Arts

Context: Arts and Health

In addition under visual arts, arts facilitator Sinead McGeeney will research elements of play and storytelling with patients at Our Ladies Childrens’ Hospital Crumlin to examine ways to transform and allay fears of hospital objects and instruments.

Project Realisation - Visual Arts


Artists: Joanne Butler and Tara Kennedy

Artform: Visual Arts

Context: Arts and Health

Butler and Kennedy are artists who have ‘immersed ‘ themselves in architectural theory and architectural education in the last few years.  From this shared experience they have developed a collaborative practice ‘Culturstruction’ which draws on both architectural and fine art backgrounds. Collaborative and experimental cross disciplinary practices , though evolving internationally form a much under-developed area in Ireland.

The two artists will working closely with Callan Community Network, a rural community network to overturn pre conceived ideas about design and architecture and to ensure greater ownership by the community of the outcome and design process. One part of the ambitious project will be a ‘barn raising’ event during the Abhainn Ri festival this summer.

Project Realisation – Theatre

Artist: Louise Lowe theatremaker

Community: The North Inner City Folklore Project

Context: Arts and Community

Louise received a Research and Development Award in 2010 from the Artist in the Community Scheme. She has now been awarded the maximum project Realisation Award of 10,000 to present a large scale site specific installation and to collaborate  intergenerationally with participants from the North Inner City area. Focusing on the history of the Magdalene Convent and Laundry, the participants will focus on the archive of the laundry and actors and community casts will work together in this multi layered project – ‘working on site and in the community to generate a very real physical and forensic response to the building and its environs.’

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Arts and Civil Society Symposium

Kevin Murphy

Voluntary Arts Ireland Chief Officer Kevin Murphy introducing the Create and Voluntary Arts Ireland Arts and Civil Society Symposium, 20 and 21 October 2011, Christchurch, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.

Pat Cooke

Defining Participation and Practice - Policy Perspectives. Martin Drury, Pat Cooke, Marian Fitzgibbon, Pauline Conroy. Chair: Fiona Kearney.

Participation and Practice

Defining Participation and Practice – Policy Perspectives panel. Seated left to right: Martin Drury, Pat Cooke, Fiona Kearney (Chair), Marian Fitzgibbon, Pauline Conroy.

Sarah Tuck, Dr Anthony Downey

Create Director Sarah Tuck introducing the keynote address by Dr Anthony Downey.

Engaging Communities debate

Engaging Communities – The Permeable Institution. One of three concurrent LAB Debates. Left to right: Lisa Moran, Topher Campbell, Declan McGonagle (Chair), Tom Creed, William Ring.

LAB Reports panel

LAB Reports panel. Left to right: Liz Burns, Robin Simpson,  Tony Fegan (Chair), Declan McGonagle.

Cultural and Civic Space

Rethinking Cultural and Civic Space. Pictured (left to right): Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Annette Moloney, Bernadette Quinn (Chair).

Annette Moloney

Rethinking Cultural and Civic Space. Pictured (left to right): Annette Moloney (presenting), Bernadette Quinn (Chair), Frank McDonald, Faisal Abdu’ Allah.

Arts, Civil Society and Crisis

Arts, Civil Society and Crisis panel. Pictured (left to right): Augustine Zenakos, Carlota Álvarez Basso, Daniel Jewesbury (chair), Gabriel Gbadamosi, Silvana Carotenuto.

Nuno Sacramento

Arts, Civil Society and Crisis. Pictured: Daniel Jewesbury (chair), Nuno Sacramento. Arts and Civil Society Symposium, Cork, October 20-21, 2011. All photos: Susan Walsh.

Create volunteers

Christian Buchner, Katia Rush-Hall (Symposium Coordinator), Aoife O'Leary, Pamela Murray. All photos: Susan Walsh.