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Mayo County Council’s Arts Office is now inviting applications for UPSTART 2017, a programme of arts activities in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities which takes place annually on 3rd December.

Mayo County Council’s Arts Office has made a considerable commitment to the development of quality Arts and Disability activity in County Mayo through flagship projects and ongoing programmes.  Since 2010 through the UPSTART programme, the Arts Office has provided funding for 35 collaborative projects involving arts organizations, artists, disability organizations/ groups of disabled people.

In 2016, events took place in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.These included collaborative projects between artists, groups of people with disabilities and arts venues in Mayo. Participating artists were: visual artists Caroline Masterson, Grainne O’Reilly, Susie Quinn,Breda Murphy, Katie Moore, Pat Youell, Christine Kelly, Bríd Kivneen and Henri Hedou,dance facilitator Kasia Voetter,percussionist Anthony McNamee and poets/writers Mary C ReillyandMaura Gilligan.Participating groups included St. Anthony’s school (Castlebar), Scannán Technologies Group (Ballina), Luisne Art Group (Ballinrobe), Carrowbeg Enterprises (Westport), Rural Training Centre (Castlebar) Ridgepool Training Centre (Ballina) and the Hawthorn Social Group (Swinford)Mayo Venues included:Ballina Arts Centre, Linenhall Arts Centre, Custom House Studios, Rural Training Centre  and Mayo University Hospital. A wide variety of projects were undertaken and wonderful outcomes included exhibitions, a drumming performance and an animated film. For information on all UPSTART projects see:


The UPSTART programme has been imaginatively embraced and interpreted by artists, arts organisations and people with disabilities. It has lead to excellent artistic and participatory outcomes.


The Arts Office is now inviting applications for projects/events to take place in 2017.  Applications can come from:

  • Venues which participated in Mayo County Council’s Disability Arts Programme.
  • Artists who have participated in Disability Equality Training.
  • Professional disabled artists.
  • Groups of disabled people interested in working with a particular professional artist and/or venue to develop a   project.


Applications will be assessed by an expert external panel and funding will be awarded accordingly. Applications should be submitted no later than Wednesday 3rd May 2017.  Funding is intended to support any of the following:

  • An event to celebrate arts and disability
  • A workshop (or series of workshops) with a local group of people with disabilities.
  • A performance for an invited audience of a work in progress/ event (film, theatre, dance, music, choral or other event) by a group of people with disabilities, which has come about through collaboration with a professional disabled artist or artists experienced in the area of disability.
  • A main stream performance that will be made accessible for an audience of people with disabilities.
  • An exhibition/performance by a disabled artist/group of artists.


For more information and details of how to apply please contact Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts Coordinator at Mayo County Council at the following email address


Posted: 23/03/2017
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