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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015.

Mayo County Council’s Arts Service has been leading, supporting and developing Arts and Disability programmes throughout the county and in 2010 initiated a support scheme through International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The UPSTART scheme  provides support for arts projects/events in Mayo, designed to provide access to quality arts experiences for people with disabilities in their own locality. This year, five projects received funding through the UPSTART scheme. Each project is currently being developed and will come to fruition on or around December 3rd 2015. The Arts Service is nationally recognised for its Arts & Disability work and under the UPSTART scheme alone, 24 partnership projects have been supported, employing 59 artists/facilitators, working with over 330 disabled participants, in 205 workshops to create 39 exhibitions/performances, with over 1,300 audience members.

This year, five projects received funding through the UPSTART scheme. Each project is currently being developed and will come to fruition on or around December 3rd 2015.

At Áras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet, Debbie Beirne from Rúach Rhythmscommunity music service has been working with service users from Western Care Association, Erris, on a series of percussion Workshops which will culminate in a newly devised piece to be performed on 3rd December at Áras Inis Gluaire. "Participants are enjoying this rhythmic experience enormously and are looking forward to sharing their work with the public to celebrate International Day of Persons with disabilities". (Carmel Hanley, Western Care Erris) For further information contact Brendan Murray:  097 81079 or

At TACU Family Resource Centre, Ballinrobe, the Luisne Art Group have come together with the Scannán Tecnologies group, Ballina to experience each others work, share skills and make an animated i-stop motion film via a series of visual arts and film workshops facilitated by artist/facilitators Breda Murphy and Silke Kauther. Over the last three months, the artists have exchanged knowledge and ideas around their own unique work practice. Luisne artists have demonstrated how they paint, draw, create their art works and Scannan artists have shown how they use a camera and demonstrated the process of making an i-stop motion film. The workshops will culminate in an art exhibition in the café and the audio room at The Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Co. Mayo on 3rd December 2015. The exhibition will run until 30th January 2016.

For further information contact Breda Mayock on 087 785 0344 or

The Linenhall Arts Centre will present an Irish Sign Language interpreted performance of The Days of Surprise, byrenowned Irish poet Paul Durcan on 3rd December.For this reading / performance, Irish Sign Language interpreter and Louisburgh native Mairéad Hegarty has been working with Paul Durcan and a group of Mayo-based Irish Sign Language users, both deaf and hearing, to collaborate on developing interpretations and a group signing of Durcan's poems such as "Earthquake off Mayo" and "The Laughing Receptionist in the GP's Surgery" which will be performed on the night. "It's a wonderful opportunity for us to raise awareness of Irish Sign Language, a beautiful visual language which often doesn't get the recognition it deserves" (Mairéad Hegarty, sign language interpreter)

For further information contact Orla Henihan on 902 3733, or

Six participants from Carrowbeg Enterprises,  Westport are currently participating in a series of workshops facilitated by ceramicist Roger Harley at the Custom House Studios, Westport.

They are in the process of creating ceramic objects and developing their own designs using glazes in order to create a body of work. Imagery and processes are based on drawings and printmaking developed throughout the workshops. The participants will be invited to display their work during the annual end of year winter exhibition with other artists at the Custom House Studios.

For further information contact John McHugh on 098 28735 or

At St Bríd's school Castlebar, Musician Mary Curran from the WhistleBlast Quartet has been facilitating a series of Creative Music workshops to participants aged 5 to 17 years. Participants have been working towards the creation of a new piece with tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments which will be performed to parents and friends on 11th December. For further information contact Mary Curran at or

For further information on Mayo County Council’s Arts & Disability Programme or UPSTART please contact:  Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts Co-ordinator at Mayo Arts Office on 094 904 7551 or    



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