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Arts and Disability Connect. A scheme for artists with disabilities

Arts and Disability Connect announcement for round one 2021

Posted: 12 August, 2021

The Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland announce the awarded artists for round one of the 2021 Arts and Disability Connect scheme

The Arts and Disability Connect scheme is designed to support artists with disabilities to be ambitious, to develop their practice and to connect with arts organisations and arts professionals in Ireland.

In 2021 €116,000 will be awarded to artists with disabilities through the scheme. The Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland are delighted to announce that €56,000 has been awarded to 12 artists through New Work, Research and Development, Mentoring and Training awards in round one.

“Year on year, artists with disabilities continue to dream even bigger. Consequently, 2021 will see a giant step forward in creative ambition and innovative practice”. Pádraig Naughton, Executive Director of Arts & Disability Ireland.

New Work Award

New Work awards give artists the resources and time to develop and present new and ambitious work. Artists work with an arts partner to support them to get this new work seen by audiences. In this round two artists received New Work awards.

Alan James Burns is a visual artist based in Dublin. In partnership with Carlow Arts Festival, Alan will create a new work called Augmented Body, Altered Mind for their 2022 festival. This ambitious piece will explore what it means to be an individual living within everyday systems. The 17 minute experience will weave a brain-computer interface (BCI) with a Virtual Reality environment.

Rosaleen McDonagh is a Dublin based writer and theatre artist. In partnership with Project Arts Centre, Rosaleen will present a film installation of Contentious Spaces in the Gallery in 2021. Two characters, Bella and Michael get trapped in a disabled toilet. Over the course of twenty minutes they argue, discover and discuss everything from their own personal histories, disability rights, transgender rights, isolation, sex, love, clubbing and more.

Research & Development Award

Research and Development awards give artists time to think, research, reflect and critically engage with their practice. One award was made in this round.

Diane Crotty is a theatre maker based in Dublin. With the support of Graffiti Theatre Company, Diane will write and workshop a new script for young audiences about a 14 year old girl Abigail Hobbes who was accused of witchcraft at the Salem witch trials 1692.

Mentoring Award

Mentoring awards give artists the resources to develop a mentoring relationship with a more established arts professional. Artists work on an element of their practice with their mentor. In this round six artists received Mentoring awards.

Leon O’Connor is a film artist and animator based in Limerick. Leon will work with mentor Jason Tammemagi Creative Producer at Cartoon Saloon. They will focus on pre-production stages of animation while Leon begins to develop a new animated short film.

Maureen McGovern is a Dublin based theatre artist. Maureen will work with dramaturg Pamela McQueen to research autobiographical theatre performances and get support while she develops a new script.

Maureen Portsmouth is a writer and theatre artist based in Dublin. Maureen will work with writer and dance artist Lani O’Hanlon as she works towards writing for publication through her work with the body and voice.

Paul Howell is a Dublin based visual artist. Paul will work with printmaker Colin Martin with support from the Black Church Print Studio. Together they will work on Paul’s professional development including working towards exhibition and researching print processes and techniques.

Sarah Keenan is a Galway based visual artist who will work with curator and visual artist Moran Been-noon. They will discuss next steps for career progression, the direction of Sarah’s studio practice at this pivotal moment and how to make meaningful professional connections within the visual arts in Ireland.

Tadhg Kinsella is a visual artist based in Dublin. Tadhg will work with Mella Travers, CEO of The Darkroom. Through mentoring sessions they will explore options for professional development, networking and explore a range of technical processes.

Training Award

Training awards give artists the resources to learn skills through courses, workshops and masterclasses facilitated by arts organisations, artists and arts professionals. This round three artists received Training awards.

Joan Jordan is a Louth based visual artist. Joan will complete a programme of one to one stained glass training with Alison Byrne of WildBird Studio.

Lindsey Power is a visual artist based in Clare. Lindsey will attend a week long workshop Painting in the Burren Landscape with Trevor Geoghegan at Burren College of Art.

Olivia Shiel is a Louth based visual artist. Olivia has created a series of one to one workshops with visual artist Susan Farrelly at Abbey Studios and filmmaker JJ Harrington.

Congratulations to all of the awarded artists!

Round two of the Arts and Disability Connect scheme opens on the 30 August and the deadline is 18 October. For more information about the Arts and Disability Connect scheme see

Categories: Artists

Tags: Artists with Disabilities, Arts & Disability Ireland, Arts and Disability Connect, Arts Council, Awards, Funding, Mentoring, New Work, Research and Development, Training

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