We are delighted to announce the recipients of the Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund. This fund was established in order to respond to the challenge posed by Covid 19 to artists and communities alike. The Seeding Fund enables individuals and groups to fund research or projects that will happen in and benefit the people of Tuam, supporting new thinking, new events or activities. It will create opportunities for civic, social and community groups and individuals to grow new ideas and resource themselves to stay active, engaged and connected. Community is at the heart of Creative Places, so all successful projects will involve local people’s input.
The fund received an unprecedented number of applications, and with thanks to an additional financial support of €5,000 from Galway County Council Arts Service, we are delighted to be able to fund twenty awards.
The 3 Rings are a voluntary organisation working collaboratively in the community to deliver an annual Arts Festival in Tuam. They intend to use their award to invest in the Ballyglunin Storehouse as a community space that can be used for creating and presenting works of art. This includes equipment and training, as well as PPE equipment to allow the future use of the space in line with government guidelines.
Cairde Mol is a voluntary performance arts, cultural, sporting and heritage dissemination group. They intend to use the Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to produce short films based on Michael Leyden’s archive material – a local videographer, photographer, actor, athletics coach and advocate of community voluntary engagement. These films will be shared publicly through digital platforms.
Devon Butterfield is a Canadian-born Irish resident living in Tuam, whose main focus of work is creating events, and experiences for people with the focus on diversity and inclusion. Devon aims to create an innovative Street Art Festival in Tuam that will connect the local community with the town’s identity and culture, while promoting Tuam as a destination, using her Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award as support to research and develop the idea with local stakeholders.
Evan Kelly is a local artist and multi-instrumentalist, and has written and produced his own songs and accompanying videos. Evan intends to use the Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to use video as a means of investigating the motives behind the social isolation of youth and marginalized groups in small communities, with the aim of finding common ground and supporting social harmony. He will work with young people in Tuam to develop a number of short films and music videos, using local actors.
Foosterin’ Arts are a collective of local participatory artists from various disciplines with the common aim of working within a community setting that engages, inspires and evolves continuously. They will use the Seeding Fund award to explore creative ways to celebrate Eibhlín Bean Ui Coisdealbha, one of the first four women elected to the Seanad as an independent member in 1922. Foosterin’ Arts will work in conjunction with The Old Tuam Society to highlight theatrically her achievements at various events, as well as an historical exhibition of available archive.
FUSE is a volunteer-led Music Collective based in Tuam. Prior to Covid restrictions, they offered monthly live music events which provided an opportunity for musicians of all ages to perform, network and meet other musicians. FUSE will use the Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund to offer FUSE at the Musicals: a virtual concert featuring local musical theatre performers, in collaboration with local Musical Director, Eoin Corcoran.
Ciara Finan and Padraig Stevens are local Tuam musicians and composers. Together they identified the value in having an online platform for local music practitioners and creatives in Tuam – thus iTuam was born as a pilot, on a website and Soundcloud page. This is a community-run online depository/archive for all local creatives, which includes a growing compilation of varying media from Tuam. This is accessible online, especially important in this time of isolation. Ciara and Padraig will use the Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to develop professional and voluntary contributions to iTuam, to allow it to grow and be promoted publicly.
Kathy Ross is a textile artist based in Tuam, who creates artwork using techniques such as free-motion embroidery, applique and needle felting. Kathy will use the Creative Places Tuam Seeding award to purchase equipment that will allow her to offer online seminars, lectures and workshops to the Tuam community. This will allow her to continue engaging with these groups through virtual platforms, sharing skill-sets, ideas and talent whilst investigating possibilities of collaborations for future projects.
Louise O’Boyle is an early career artist from Tuam, whose work is based on the freedom of expression and exploration. Louise will use the award to develop and deliver a workshop based around artmaking and synaesthesia, a neurological trait or condition in which senses appear to be merged or overlapping. This will involve discussion of artists who have based work on synesthetic traits or interest, before the workshop attendees are encouraged to create art in response to a number of stimuli.
Jennifer Cunningham is an artist and educator based in Tuam. Maeve Mulrennan is a curator and educator working between Galway and Dublin, who works in visual art and literature. Maeve and Jennifer plan to use their Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund to facilitate discussions with a local primary school’s 6th class, on ‘Overlapping Worlds’: how they are navigating the overlap of real and virtual worlds, home and school since March this year. From this discussion they will develop a workshop exploring and mapping this merging of worlds, focusing on the positives as well as anxieties this can cause.
Martina Passman is a local artist whose work involves experimentation with mixed media including the use of found objects, materials and printmaking. Martina wishes to work with the Traveller community in Tuam, young and old, to get a feel for what it is truly like being a member of the Travelling Community in Irish society today. Together they will research the art and craft traditions of the community, for example tin making and engraving, while documenting this research through printmaking/ etching.
Leighton Morrison is a former professional dancer, who has run a dance school in Tuam for over ten years. He will use the Seeding Fund award to collaborate with Tuam based dancer, choreographer and teacher Daniel Howe, to create a short dance film ‘Dancing in the Woods’. The film will be shared via social media, with the hope of eventually developing a number of short dance films to be shown as an evening of dance in the Mall Theatre (Covid allowing).
Naser Suleman is an artist living in Tuam, who was born in Sudan. Naser came to Ireland in 2017 and in 2019 was granted refugee status. Naser plans to use his Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to make a series of paintings and drawings, culminating in a local exhibition through which he will engage in dialogue about a multicultural society with the local audience. He will use his paintings to develop a visual language which will draw on the plural, cultural and tribal diversity in Sudan as a frame of reference in the context of social and cultural integration.
Padraig Stevens is a local musician, having been performing in bands and writing songs since 1966. Lately he has been involved with Town Hall Theatre Galway’s Bringing It All Back Home programme, in which artists meet with residents of nursing homes and create new work from that interaction. Padraig will use his award to develop a short film project in Tuam.
Rachel Varden is an early career artist based in Tuam. She works from her studio in Tuam, and has exhibited locally and nationally. Rachel will use her Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to create a video platform to highlight local artists, through interviews and studio visits. Rachel recently attended the Tuam Logged In workshops with Michael Fortune, and intends to build on the skills and knowledge accrued there, to develop this project.
Sinead Hayes is a composer/musician and conductor based in Corofin, whose work has taken her all over the country. To celebrate the 350th birthday of blind Irish composer/harpist Turlough O’ Carolan, Sinead will make teaching videos with accompanying backing tracks and sheet music for Tuam musicians of all levels to have the opportunity to discover Carolan’s music. These resources will be made available for free to musicians from Tuam and its surrounding areas, giving Sinead a chance to reconnect with the local musical community that started her on her own journey.
Síofra Holyland is a textile artist and member of Tuam Tidy Towns, Cork Craft and Design and the Irish Design Institute. Síofra plans to use this Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund award to ensure that the Annual Tuam Christmas Craft Fair can take place this year at the Miller’s House, Little Mill while adhering to the COVID 19 restrictions and guidelines. This will involve the provision of signage and equipment, as well as establishing alternative modes for artists and locals to engage with the fair, including a craft event in advance of the Craft Fair.
The Creative Places Tuam Seeding Fund is delighted to contribute to the creation of Tuam’s first virtual choir. This choir will be an open and inclusive space for singers of all abilities and standards, and will encourage the interaction of transgenerational music making, allowing those with disabilities a new format to encounter music making virtually and promote a sense of well-being and community in an era of great uncertainty. This project will be delivered digitally by choir director Peter Mannion using a number of different platforms to host rehearsals and other interactive modes.
Tuam Creative Writers is a group of like-minded writers who meet regularly to improve their writing skills, learn from each other and develop their publishing potential. They intend to use their Seeding Fund award to develop an online forum for members to share their work, and to facilitate feedback and critique. The group intends also to establish creative writing competitions for young people, using prizes and publication as incentives
Tuam Tidy Town has competed in the Tidy Towns Competition annually since 2011. The group will use their award to create murals on vertical timber frontages facing Bishop Street at and adjacent to the Tuam TidyTown Hut. The town is famous for its lingo and its songs, and these will be incorporated into the design, by local artist Síofra Holyland.