Arts and disability programme
The aim of this project was to create a new integrated dance community comprising of members of the public, members of the Brothers of Charity and local professional dancers and movement practitioners. Tara Brandel, renowned dancer and Director of Croí Glan led a series of integrated dance workshops from September to November 2019. In total seventy five members of the community participated in this initial pilot project phase.
The project also presented a series of intensive training workshops in Integrated Dance methods for local and national dancers, support workers and artists with a movement practise.
Building on the learning of the pilot phase of Boga Boga, Clare Arts Office now aim to devise and deliver an Integrated Dance performance project in 2021 in partnership with Croí Glan engaging with a core group of Clare based participants, with and without disabilities, and select professional dancers.
In 2002 the Arts Office of Clare County Council introduced an Arts and Disability Programme as a pilot project countywide for all organisations working specifically with disabled people throughout the county. This project gave artists opportunities to work with members of the community they may not normally have access to. It also allowed participants to experience a variety of art forms over a specified period of time.
In 2004 the programme was significantly expanded following an independent evaluation. It was re-launched as Embrace – Arts and People with Disabilities Programmeand has developed over the years with many new artists and organizations participating
The Embrace Programme has a number of different elements. The main element is the programme awards which sees artists working in care settings with people with disabilities over a 25 hour period.The residency award sees one artist engage with a specific group for up to 50 hours to engage in more in-depth work and processes. The scheme also offers one-to-one awards to participants who show talent and agility in any art form that would benefit from more intensive support to develop their creative potential.
To support artists, working in what can be a challenging environment, we offer mentoring awards enabling artists to deliver quality projects and to develop their own practice.
In 2018 the Arts Office, received Arts Council ‘Invitation to Collaboration’ Research & Development funding to research and test the potential for supporting visually impaired musicians to learn orchestral material using multimedia platforms (audio and video files). The Arts Office partnered with Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra and 3L in supporting seven musicians with various levels of visual impairments to participate in the research using the IMO’s memorisation techniques.
On foot of this research, we secured more funding from the Arts Council that enabled us to put the findings of the research of the IMO and 3L into practice. The Arts Office commissioned Dave Flynn to compose The Vision Symphony which was performed by the IMO, joined by visually impaired musicians and the Visionaries Choir, in glór, Ennis, in October 2019.
The project received local, national and international acclaim and won two awards at the 2020 All Ireland Community and Council Awards
- Silver – Best Arts /Culture
- Bronze – Best Disability Access / Inclusion Initiative
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