Pádraig Naughton, Executive Director
Pádraig Naughton became Executive Director of Arts & Disability Ireland in 2005.
Under his direction, ADI has evolved into being the national resource and development organisation for arts and disability in Ireland. ADI works strategically in partnership with the arts sector to champion the creativity of artists with disabilities and promote inclusive experiences for audiences with disabilities. Activities include commissioning innovative collaborations, national provision of audio description and captioning for live theatre and support for artists in the development of new work through funding, residency, mentoring and training opportunities.
Pádraig is currently undertaking an LLM in International & Comparative Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway (2020/22). He holds a PGCE in Arts & Design Teaching, Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds West Yorkshire (1998) and a Degree in Craft Design Ceramics, National College of Art & Design Dublin (1993). While a student, Pádraig developed a specialist interest in art and visual impairment that grew into a studio practice focusing on tactile experimental sculpture and landscape drawing. Subsequently, he became Artists Manager and then Artistic Director with Equata: Disability Arts Development Agency for South West England (2003) and was nominated by Arts Council England to participate in the first Creative Cultural Leadership Programme established by Exeter University and Dartington College of Art (2004-06).
Pádraig has served on the Boards of the Arts & Disability Forum (an All-Island membership organisation) 2002-2003 and 2007-2009 and Kildare Arts in Context (with an initial focus on seeking broader funding opportunities for the creation of local music instrument banks) 2010-2012. Pádraig was co-opted to the VSA Affiliate Council in 2013 and elected Chair in 2015. During his tenure, he guided this global network of Affiliates from 37 US states and 50 countries to transition to an open international membership of arts and disability organisations, which since 2019 has been managed by the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. In 2016, Pádraig’s Arts & Disability Radio programme broadcast on Near FM received a Social Benefit (Talk) Award from CRAOL the Community Radio Forum of Ireland. In 2017, he participated in the Leadership Development for Transition and Change programme, designed by the Social Intelligence Associates to maximise the impact and potential of leaders in the Irish not-for-profit and voluntary sectors.
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