In 2017 Cavan County Council arts office was awarded €160,000 from Peace IV to establish the youth arts lab. The purpose of the project is to enhance the capacity of children and young people to develop awareness and respect for self and others and to form positive relationships through the arts. Art form strategies including workshops, training, events and happenings are taking place to further develop the capacity of young people to create and develop cultural memory.
Kim Doherty was appointed as the project facilitator in November 2017 after a competitive process and she is based at the arts office. Kim has worked in visual arts, education and health contexts and is experienced in peace building work. Supported by a steering committee of youth and community leaders, local authority staff and young people she has engaged with communities and young people in County Cavan. Art form facilitators have been engaged in the visual arts, literature and film, and collaborations are taking place in theatre, dance and craft.
The young people working on the initial 26 hour programme in out of school contexts and extra-curricular cultural activities are based in Shercock, Templeport, Ballyjamesduff, Cootehill, Kingscourt and Cavan town.
Art Forms and Tutors
Dundalk based film maker Colum Mullen is working with a group of ten year olds exploring Shercock through the camera lens and painting with light. Chris O Brien, drama facilitator is using ‘home’ as a theme with children in Tullacmongan, Cavan to explore their place in the community. Visual artist Marilyn Pepper is working with ten year olds on self exploration and personalisation through materials and textures on canvas.
Monaghan artist Eileen Ferguson and teenagers from Ballyjamesduff are drawing inspiration from the County collection and galleries at Cavan County Museum making prints based on their own historical memory, heritage and cultural objects. Anna West is a mixed media artist working with teenagers from the Kingscourt area on textiles, origami and ceramics to develop reflection processes.
The sculptor Joanne Behan is working on life size clay portraits on the theme of “Our Voice” to explore self and diversity with a group of young people at the Bridge St Centre, Cavan.
Bee Smith, writer and storyteller and Morag Mc Donald crafter working with teenagers from Templeport are exploring the landscape for inspiration in multi-disciplinary work including writing, weaving, collage and paper making. Choreographer Mary Farrelly working with Trina Mc Cann, theatre practitioner and children in Cootehill are using improvisation, ensemble, dance and physical theatre to promote creativity, social, personal and emotional development.
Forthcoming work includes: the poet Heather Brett exploring identity, homeland and belonging with a group of the County’s young traveller women. Theatre practitioner Calantha Forde will work with teenagers in Ballyjamesduff to explore social and artistic development.
Opportunities for art form facilitators in music and graffiti art will be advertised to enable children and young people on the Peace IV Youth Arts Lab to experience creative expression in further cross community and cross border settings.
Early outcomes from aspects of the Peace IV Youth Arts Lab will be showcased at the launch of Inclusivity and Ambition – Strategy for the Arts in Cavan and the Peace IV Youth Arts Lab Launch on Friday 23 March at Johnston Central Library, Cavan. Further showcasing events will take place in community settings. Follow us on facebook on the Cavan Arts Youth Art Lab, www.cavanarts.ie or contact us at the arts office at 049 4378548.
This project/initiative is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.