Jess Rowell - Dance Artist in Residence

September 11, 2020

Jess Rowell – Sharing the Journey

Brian McSweeney & Jess Rowell - Traces (Garter Lane Theatre 2016)

Jess Rowell, Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence 2020, has found innovative and exciting ways of moving forward with her residency this year. This dance residency responds to our 2018-2022 Strategy ‘Space for the Arts’, in particular our commitment to expand equality of access to more children.

Jess has a specialism in working with children, young people and artists with an intellectual disability. So far this year she has been facilitating and supporting members of Draíocht's 'Create Dance' project, our special needs dance programme, in a new film project ‘Chance to Dance’. The film explores and captures the power of communication through movement and the exchange of gestures between dancers in space and on camera.

Jess and film artist Conor Donelan have been running this project online to date and are due to move into the final phase of filming live in Draíocht during October.


Throughout the coming months Jess will continue to develop her own professional practice, work with other professionals in the same field, and build on a magical partnership with dancer Brian McSweeney, a dance artsit with Down syndrome of Traces Dance Ensemble. She is currently devising a new collaborative work with Brian and Dublin based composer Stefan French with mentorship from Libby Seward. This collaboration will premier live at ‘Threads’ an evening of dance, music and film focusing on disability and inclusiveness in arts practice on November 20th & 21st 2020 at Draíocht. ‘Threads’ will mark the completion of Jess’ residency and will also feature the premier of Create Dance’s film ‘Chance to Dance’ and a live performance by quest dance artist and Artistic Director of Croí Glan, Tara Brandel. More info on this to come.

Some of the overarching aims of Jess’ residency are to:
- Expand on Draíocht’s relationship with artists of all disciplines, nurturing collaborative exchanges between artists, young people and the community.
- Be at the forefront of the dialogue around dance and disability in Ireland.
- Create ‘Chance to Dance’ a short film capturing the power of communication through movement. Engaging and communicating with young dancers online and in Draíocht throughout the year.
- Offer principal dancer Brian McSweeney, a creative role in the research and development phase of a new collaborative work, thereby supporting his professional development.

Jess Rowell’s Residency is supported by Fingal County Council and The Arts Council.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Create Dance, Youth Arts,

HOMEGROUND Open Call - Fingal Arts Office & Draíocht

August 10, 2020

Art, People, Place, Identity
Research and Development Mentoring Awards (2020-2021)

Fingal Arts Office, in collaboration with Draíocht, is delighted to announce an Open Call for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity, five new Research and Development (with mentoring) Awards for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.   

The call is open to artists from all disciplines across the visual and performing arts.    

The artists will demonstrably be either:
(a) currently involved in socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county 
(b) have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county .

The Award will support the research and development of a pertinent project with attendant mentoring support.  The Award does not cover the realisation of a project at this point.  In undertaking the researching and development of a project at this point, its realisation may however be envisaged for a gallery, theatre or site-specific space  in Dublin 15/Fingal.  Subject to resources, Fingal Art Office and/or Draíocht may consider future support for the realisation of one or more of the projects developed through a HOMEGROUND Award.

There are five Research and Development Awards (with mentoring). One award of which will be available specifically for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background.

The timeframe of the HOMEGROUND Award is November 2020 - April  2021.   

1. A six month mentoring research and development period to support the development of the artist in researching a project of mutual interest to the artist and to Fingal Arts Office/Draíocht.
2. A fee to the artist of  €2000 with an additional €500 to a mentor
3. A monthly meeting for peer networking and sharing/learning opportunities. Meeting to be convened by Draíocht there or on Zoom (tbc) and will include presentations on themes of interest and relevance to the artists by key experts.  Dates: 11 November; 09 December; 13 January; 10 February; 10 March; 14 April.

Artists applying will:

-have a proven track record of work in their chosen field of socially engaged/collaborative practice and/or with children and young people

-be currently involved  in a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county 


-currently have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county

-provide an outline project plan that they wish to  develop and that could be or is located in Dublin 15 context or the wider Fingal county in a gallery, or theatre or site specific context

-provide a statement of benefit (max 1 page) as to:
(a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this  opportunity in this context
(b) how your proposal would benefit the Fingal / Draíocht context

- provide an up-to-date CV (max 2 pages)

- provide 10 images (max) in jpeg format (max file size 3MB) and/or three links to projects

-identify the key qualities they seek in a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND and also identify their own needs for support and guidance required of a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND.  Note: Mentors can be based locally, nationally or internationally and mentoring sessions can be conducted face-to-face or through Zoom/others platforms.  It is important that the mentor be experienced as a mentor and also  have a high level of experience in your artform/art practice area. You are not required  to identify a mentor for this application but if shortlisted this will be an important point for consideration.   Through an organic process of  discussion   Fingal art office arts officers / Draíocht's Director and resident curator  together with the artist  will work to identify a suitable mentor.  You will be asked to  address this on the HOMEGROUND Application Form.

-be available to engage fully in all elements of HOMEGROUND over the time frame November 2020-April 2021.  A Memo of Understanding (MOU) will be agreed with all artists in receipt of an award. Participation in the following will be central to the MOU : An orientation session (half-day) in November  and thereafter 6 monthly (half-day) meetings (until April) at Draíocht/Zoom (dates indicated above); regular meetings with mentor as agreed between artist and mentor and Fingal Draíocht; a comprehensive written review of the experience and a plan for the future.

Summary of requirements
-CV (max 2 pages)
-Outline project plan (max 1 page)
-A statement of benefit: a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this  opportunity in this context; b) how your proposal is of benefit to the Fingal / Draíocht context (max 1 page).
-Max 10 images jpeg format max file size 3MB and/or three links to projects.
Please submit as one single PDF

Closing date for applications:  5pm Friday 18 September 2020
Selection of shortlist:  24 September 2020
Zoom interviews for shortlisted artists:  28 September 2020
Selected artists notified by:   02 October 2020 

Selection will be made by a panel of members from Fingal Arts Office and Draíocht. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence or other engagement will be entered into in respect of its decisions.

Please submit application by email to: 
Deadline: 5pm Friday 18 September 2020.



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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Youth Arts,

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 - Downloadable Activity Sheets by Alan Nolan

June 12, 2020

Launching on 13th June 2020 and continuing weekly on Saturday 20th and 27th June, join Draiocht on our Facebook and YouTube Channels to enjoy free video workshops with artists Andrew Carson, Anne Cradden, Conor Donelan, Genevieve Harden, Emily Matthews and Jo Quinn. Illustrator and artist Alan Nolan has created these fun downloadable Activity Sheets to complement each workshop. Enjoy!

Week 3 Activity Sheets / 27.06
(click image to download PDF)

Week 2 Activity Sheets / 20.06
(click image to download PDF)

Week 1 Activity Sheets / 13.06
(click image to download PDF)



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Back to Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 list of Workshops

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By Draíocht. Tags: Cruinniú na nÓg, Youth Arts,

#ShowUsYourArt Weekly Art Submissions - Week 12 THANK YOU CARDS

June 8, 2020

It’s the final week of #ShowUsYourArt, and we are so grateful for all of the mini-artists and their essential helpers who have provided us with so much beautiful and entertaining content during these tough few months. We all have someone or something that we are thankful for helping us through this lockdown, so now is the time to show your appreciation!

So as we wrap our art challenge up, let’s take the time to design a thank you card to all of those who have helped us through all this. It could be your family for providing for you, a worker who has persevered through the restrictions, your cat who has entertained and loved you, or even a fictional character who has whisked you away to a land of imagination. 

Simply take a photo of your child's artwork and email it to Paula at by the deadline each week. Tell us your child's first name & age (this may be posted on social media with your permission with their gorgeous artwork for all to enjoy).

Keep your artwork safe, as very soon we will have an exhibition showcasing all of the amazing artwork from all 12 weeks of #ShowUsYourArt!

Let's get creating! We are super excited for you to #ShowUsYourArt

You can see all of our THANK YOU CARDS entries in our Facebook Album HERE.


Week 12 Theme: THANK YOU CARDS
Enter your art by email to:
Deadline: Friday 19th June 11am.

We'll pick 3 random winners and prizes include Draíocht Movie Tickets and Chocolatey Treats (delivered to you after we're all back in action!)


This week’s randomly selected winners are:

Muhammad age 4

Sakina age 6

Freya age 9

Congratulations! An email will be sent out with details about your prizes, which includes 2 tickets to a movie showing in Draíocht, and some sweet treats to go along with them!

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By Draíocht. Tags: #ShowUsYourArt, Youth Arts,

#CreateAtHome - Holiday Memories Poster

June 8, 2020

This week's Holiday theme gave us some lovely family chats and brought up some very nice memories of holidays past.
Albie especially loved our trip to Legoland 5 years ago & has now decided we need to go back when they open up (I'd better start saving).
We printed out a few photos for Albie's poster inspiration and he drew a lego figure and colourful title.





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By Draíocht. Tags: #CreateAtHome, Youth Arts,

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