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Summer School on Cultural Diversity
Box by Jijo Sebastian and Indo-Irish progressive thinking community Neuron. Image courtesy Jijo Sebastian

Summer School on Cultural Diversity



Create and Counterpoints Arts are pleased to announce

A Summer School on Cultural Diversity

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. It was established in 2002, with the aim to encourage and support meaningful collaboration between communities of place and/or interest and artists.

From 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, the AIC scheme continues to support dynamic collaborations across art forms and context areas in all the corners of the country.

Cultural Diversity and the Arts has always been a priority area for the Arts Council and Create and has for a long time been part of our thinking. We are delighted to announce this opportunity for up to 15 artists.

About the summer school

The concept of ‘cultural diversity’ is often read as abstract and detached perhaps overly mired in policy and technical language. It’s an oft-repeated term but how does it resonate as an essential, 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 four-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

Mary Ann Devlieg

Khaled Barakeh

Who should apply?

• Emerging, mid-career and established artists, based in the Republic of Ireland, that 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)
• Artists who are interested in exploring the questions outlined above alongside their individual and shared practice
• Artists that are migrants, refugees or applicants for international protection and that are in a position to take up this opportunity will be prioritised

How to apply

To apply please submit

• An application letter (maximum of two A4 pages), outlining why you are applying to this summer school. Give us a sense of your current arts practice and explain your interest in the issue of cultural diversity and the ‘Artist in the Community Scheme’, in addition to what you wish to learn and explore alongside other participants.

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 expect 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 will be a competitive selection process, so please tell us why you think you should join other participants in what will be a dynamic, challenging yet hopefully rewarding residency.

• a CV (maximum of one/two pages)- outlining your current practice
• a PDF with a maximum of 5 examples of recent projects, with images, relevant links, captions and short descriptions

The deadline for submission is 5pm 15th June.
The four-day residential will commence 27th – 30th July, participants will stay in a converted stone building just 7km from the beautiful medieval Carlingford. The house has 8 bedrooms – participants must be willing to share bedrooms. The residential will include full board, travel and an appropriate stipend.
For enquiries contact support[at]create-ireland.ie
Send completed applications to: apply[at]create-ireland.ie

Selection process

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

Áine O’Brien

Áine O’Brien is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, London and has worked across the arts, education and activism for over 25 years in the US, Ireland and the UK. Áine set up the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice in 2005, a doctoral programme aligning migration research with the creative arts; and created FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications) in 2007, developing creative, arts and cross-sector public projects focusing on migration.

Her creative 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. Including film productions: Silent Song (2000) on Kurdish lyrical protest in Europe; Here to Stay (2006) on migrant activism; and Promise and Unrest (2010) on gendered migration and long-distance motherhood. She is co-editor of a combined book/DVD-ROM Projecting Migration: Transcultural Documentary Practice (Columbia University Press, 2007).

Áine leads on Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab platform, developing national and international learning/creative production partnerships (with artists, cultural and community organisations, policymakers and academic institutions). She also leads on the cross-platform Who Are We? Tate Exchange programme at Tate Modern.

Áine is currently an Impact Research Fellow at the University of York.


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

Counterpoints Arts support, produce and promote the arts by and about migrants and refugees and communities 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.

related programme
Artist in the Community Scheme

Counterpoints Arts
Mary Ann deVlieg
Khaled Barakeh