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Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice
2018 AIC Scheme Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice. Credit: Aoife Herrity

Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice

Opportunities Deadline expired


Create and Counterpoints Arts are pleased to announce the

2019 Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice

An initiative of The Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts. 

The Artist in the Community Scheme (AIC) is funded by the Arts Council and managed by Create. The scheme has a long history in the development of collaborative arts in Ireland. Established in 2002 with the aim to encourage and support meaningful collaboration between artists and communities of place and/or interest, the AIC scheme supports dynamic collaborations across  art forms and context areas across the country. Examples include film making with divers off Malin head, Co. Donegal;  dance in Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork; sound art with Beekeepers in Limerick to visual arts with Migrant Women’s Group in Dublin.

Cultural Diversity and the Arts has always been a priority area for the Arts Council and the AIC Scheme has supported many project initiatives in this area. For a second year, Create and Counterpoints Arts are delighted to offer a Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice for up to 15 artists, held this year from the 15th to the 19th July in the West of Ireland.

About the summer school

In our consideration of “Cutural Diversity”, we recognise the benefits that many different cultures bring to our society. The concept of ‘cultural diversity’ is often read as abstract, perhaps overly mired in policy and technical language. It’s an oft-repeated term but how does it resonate as an intersectional and dynamic part of everyday life?  What might ‘cultural diversity’ mean in practice: in people’s intimate lives, in neighbourhoods and within communities of place and interest?

How might ‘cultural diversity’ form an intrinsic part of the artistic, socially engaged process and act as a powerful driver for social change? A key aim of the summer school is to create a peer-to-peer space in which to explore the concept of ‘cultural diversity’ and its various applications through the lens of the AIC Scheme which has resulted in rich cultural ecosystems and cross-sector methodologies.

The summer school will be interdisciplinary both in curriculum and composition of participants, presenters and facilitators. The summer school will take the form of a five-day residency enabling a ‘think and do’ collaborative approach, utilizing creative workshops, critical and comparative case studies, one-to-one mentoring, international guest speakers including curators, policymakers and activists.

Directed by: Áine O’Brien – Co-Director Counterpoints Arts

Visiting speakers and facilitators to be announced 

Who should apply?

• Applications from any Artist based in the Republic of Ireland who is from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, including members of the Traveller community, migrants, refugees and people in need of international protection who are in a position to take up this opportunity, will be particularly welcomed.

• Emerging, mid-career and established artists, based in the Republic of Ireland, who have a collaborative arts practice (working in any artform including architecture, circus, street art and spectacle, dance, film, literature, music, opera, theatre, visual arts and traditional arts). Undergraduate students are ineligible to apply.

• Artists who are interested in exploring the questions outlined above alongside their individual and shared practice

How to apply:

To apply please submit

a) Proposal (maximum of two A4 pages). See Proposal outline

b) CV and/or Biography

c) PDF with a maximum of 5 examples of recent projects with short descriptions and relevant links which can include images and videos.

Proposal outline

In order to make the best case for why you be part of the Summer School, you should give very careful consideration to what you include in your proposal.

a) Tell us about your practice

Describe your work, mention recent achievements and give a general overview of your main interests and ambitions as an artist, relevant to your proposal.

b) Your proposal- Why do you want to attend the Summer School?

You should include the following.

Outline why you are applying to this summer school. Explain your interest in the issue of cultural diversity and the Artist in the Community Scheme and what you wish to learn and explore alongside other participants.

We want to know why the Summer School interests you, tell us something about why  ‘cultural diversity’ might be relevant to your current and future practice. Why apply now? What do you hope to develop in your practice in relation to this area of work?

Since the summer school will be run along the lines of a ‘think and do’ residency, we invite participants to play an active role in all aspects of the programme. We’re therefore interested to hear about what you might contribute to the summer school’s conversations and collaborative activities. What will you bring to the collective table?

This is the place to put any other information you consider relevant.

The deadline for submission is 5pm 3rd June.  

Send completed applications to: apply[at]create-ireland.ie 

The five-day residential summer school will take place between the 15th and 19th July. Participants will stay in Killary Lodge Co. Galway which is a country lodge nestled among mature native trees, just 250m from the waters of Killary Fjord, in the heart of Ireland’s stunning Wild Atlantic Way. The house has 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. Please note that participants must be willing to share bedrooms. The residential will include full board, travel and an appropriate honorarium.

For enquiries contact support[at]create-ireland.ie. 

Selection process

Selection will be made by a panel of representatives from Create and Counterpoints Arts. The open call will be advertised through usual visual arts channels, informal networks and complementary fields of development.

Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts. We are a resource organisation for artists working across artform, in social and community contexts. We encourage innovative and creative models of engagement that extend and enrich arts engagement and participation with multiple publics and diverse communities of interest and of place. Create’s mission is to lead the development of collaborative arts practice in Ireland, create opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists, sectors and communities, strengthen the contribution of the arts to society, and encourage artists and communities to create art that reflects and responds to our times. Create offers a range of services for artists and arts organisations which include Professional Development and Advisory Sessions, Mentoring, Research, Learning Development and Commissioning and Project opportunities. We work through partnerships with arts and civil society organisations on initiatives that support and develop collaborative arts practice, nationally and internationally.

Counterpoints Arts support, produce and promote the arts by and about migrants and refugees and communties of place/interest. Our work is done in collaboration through national and international co-productions – with artists, arts, cultural and educational organizations and civil society activists. We believe in the ability of the arts to inspire social change and reach our mission via three strands: ‘Enabling, Producing and Learning’. We develop strategic programmes and national platforms, enabling organisations and practitioners to improve networking, develop practice and showcase work. We produce high quality work across different artforms and outputs – events, exhibitions, commissions, digital platforms, artefacts and residencies engaging diverse audiences. We facilitate learning through peer-to-peer learning labs and platforms – encouraging imaginative reflection, cross-sector conversations, skills transfer, and the sharing of evaluation and impact.

Dr Áine O’Brien is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, London and has worked across the arts, education and activism in the US, Ireland and the UK.

Áine set up CTMP (Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice) in 2005, housing one of the first doctoral programmes aligning migration research with the creative arts (re-named Centre for Socially Engaged Practice-Based Research). She created FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications) in 2007, developing creative arts and cross-sector public projects focusing on migration.

Her productions to date within the University sector, FOMACS and Counterpoints Arts (spanning across documentary film, print, exhibition and curation) explore global storylines linking migration with social justice and change.

Áine runs Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab programme, developing national and international learning/creative production partnerships (with artists, cultural activists and community organisations, policymakers and academic institutions). She currently coordinates the collective, cross-arts programme ‘Who are We’ at Tate Exchange (with Counterpoints Arts and Open University).

Áine serves on the ‘Tate Exchange Think Tank’, Tate Modern and is a Trustee of Highlight Arts.

related programme
Artist in the Community Scheme