14 September 2007: Arts Council selects research team for participatory arts networking study

The Arts Council is pleased to announce the selection, following the tender process, of a research team and project steering group to carry out research into Participatory Arts networking in Ireland.
The research team of Keith Allen, Susan Coughlan and Phyllida Shaw is commissioned by the Arts Council to identify ways that participatory artists and practitioners currently meet, share professional expertise, and collaborate. They will profile existing participatory arts networking, identify gaps, opportunities, and potential supports.

Keith, Susan and Phyllida will be researching effective models of networking and information exchange, nationally and internationally, arts and non-arts to find out which if any of these models would be applicable in participatory arts in Ireland. The Arts Council will disseminate findings in 2008.

Working closely with the research team is the project steering group which is chaired by Declan Gorman, Artistic Director of Upstate Theatre and consisting of Sarah Tuck, Executive Director of CREATE; Seamus Boland, Chief Executive Officer of Irish Rural Link; and Toby Dennett, HEO Artists’ Support Programme at the Arts Council.

Further information

If you have had experience with arts networking which you would like to tell the researchers about or if you feel you can help identify relevant research material please contact the research team at ac.network.research@mac.com or + 353 (0)1 618 0250.

Further information about the research team and the steering group

  • Phyllida Shaw has been an independent researcher, writer and facilitator, specialising in arts policy and management since 1988. Her portfolio includes a study of participatory arts organisations in London (2006/07); a national review of art centres (2006/07); and research into current practice in the arts and health for the British Council (2005).
  • Keith Allen has worked in the field of research and consultancy for 17 years with contracts including the development of Artquest, a London-based, networking resource for visual artists; a review of the National Artists Association; an organisational review of the European networking organisation in the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage; and a review of community arts provision in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Susan Coughlan has been a consultant in the arts, cultural and not-for-profit sector for the past seven years and has almost twenty years direct experience of arts administration and management in various contexts, including local arts development, community development, youth work and community arts in Ireland. Susan’s portfolio includes work with network organisations such as the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and the Network of Women’s Refuges and Support Services; and project evaluations of participatory arts programmes for Calipo Theatre & Picture Company and Upstate Theatre Company.

Members of Steering Group

  • Chair, Declan Gorman Artistic Director - Upstate Theatre Project. Declan Gorman has been involved in professional theatre since 1985. Declan was co-founder of Co-Motion Theatre Company (with Joe O'Byrne) and appeared as an actor in many of their productions. Declan was Theatre Director at the City Arts Centre from 1990 to 1995 where he produced and developed new independent and community drama. He has also directed many concerts and spectacles for community and human rights occasions, including the anti-racism parade, Féile Fáilte (1997), for Calypso Productions and In His Own Words (1997), an international concert for Ken Saro Wiwa. Declan was appointed artistic director of Upstate Theatre Project in 1997
  • Deputy Chair, Sarah Tuck Executive Director - CREATE
    Sarah has extensive experience of working in the arts and media, having worked in senior positions for The Moscow Times, BBC, Guardian Unlimited and LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre). Sarah was appointed the Director of Create in May 2006. Sarah has a BA Honours in English and Drama, Loughborough University, England (1986) MA in Drama, Essex University, England, (1988) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Executive Business, University Of Hull (2006). Sarah is a committee member of the Irish Association of Popular Culture Studies.
  • Seamus Boland Chief Executive Officer - Irish Rural Link.
    Formerly manager of Tullamore Traveller Workshop, and Shannon Banks Workshop in Athlone, in 1995 he was appointed Regional Director of Midland Regional Youth Service.  Seamus became national Co-ordinator of Irish Rural Link in 2001. He has recently been appointed a member of the Carnegie Rural Commission, which will examine rural issues in Great Britain and Ireland. He serves on a number of National Development Plan monitoring committees and is a holder of a diploma in Rural and Community Development from St Patrick’s College.
  • Toby Dennett Head of Artists’ Support Programmes - The Arts Council. Before taking up post with the Arts Council Toby Dennett was Director of Visual Artists Ireland, the all-island body for professional visual artists. He formerly worked for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the public art agency Artworking, and for Source magazine and Catalyst Arts.

For the terms of reference please refer to the Arts Council Newsletter, June 2007.

For further information please contact Mathilde Veldt at +353 (0)1 618 0250.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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