Disability Arts website launched by Mayo County Counci

At the launch of the UPSTART website were; Aoife O'Toole (Assistant Arts Officer, Mayo County Council), Seán Walsh (Director, Ballina Art Centre), Orlagh Heverin (Assistant Arts Officer, Mayo Council Council); Monica Corcoran (Arts Council), Damien O'Connor, (Disability Arts Co-ordinator); Breda Murphy (artist); John McHugh (Director Custom House Studio) Katie Moore (artist) and Cora Duffy, (intern with Arts Service, Mayo County Council).

At the launch of the UPSTART website were; Aoife O'Toole (Assistant Arts Officer, Mayo County Council), Seán Walsh (Director, Ballina Art Centre), Orlagh Heverin (Assistant Arts Officer, Mayo Council Council); Monica Corcoran (Arts Council), Damien O'Connor, (Disability Arts Co-ordinator); Breda Murphy (artist); John McHugh (Director Custom House Studio) Katie Moore (artist) and Cora Duffy, (intern with Arts Service, Mayo County Council).

Mayo County Council arts service have announced the launch of their new UPSTART website at www.mayo-upstart.ie UPSTART is an initiative of Mayo County council arts service celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities annually in December. In an effort to document and promote the work of the UPSTART programme, Mayo County Council Arts Service has developed the UPSTART website which was designed by Brett Henning.

Mayo County Council Arts Service is nationally recognised for its arts and disability work and has been leading, supporting and developing relevant programmes throughout Mayo and beyond. In 2010 the Arts Service initiated the UPSTART programme. The programme offers support for arts projects/events in Mayo which provide access to quality arts experiences for people with disabilities in their own locality. The UPSTART programme has lead to extraordinary outcomes including: 41 partnership projects, engaging 99 artists/facilitators, working with 550 participants with disabilities on 369 workshops and 46 exhibitions/performances attended by over 2,040 people.

This year, six projects received funding through the UPSTART programme and Events took place in Ballinrobe, Bellmullet, Castlebar and Westport. In addition, on December 13, The UPSTART website was launched at an event at Ballina Arts Centre in which four UPSTART performances/exhibitions have taken place to date. Speakers included Breda Murphy, artist/facilitator with the Luisne Art Group, Ballinrobe, John Mc Hugh, artist/facilitator with the Carrowbeg Artists collective and manager of the Custom House Studios, Westport and Katie Moore, independant artist with a disability.

Sean Walsh, Director of the Ballina Arts Centre said "the centre was delighted to host the launch of the new website for Mayo County Council's UPSTART programme. UPSTART has been a wonderful initiative and has already led to so many great arts and disability projects around the county. It will be a great resource to showcase the projects funded by the programme. Mayo Arts Office has made great strides in the area of arts and disability and this is the latest step.”

In launching the website, Arts Council Ireland’s strategic development manager, Monica Corcoran said, “The UPSTART website will be a vital resource to us all, demonstrating not just how arts experiences can impact on the lives of people with disabilities but also how embracing access and diversity as a core value can impact on the quality and vibrancy of the art we create in our society today.”

For further information on Mayo County Council’s Arts and Disability Programme or UPSTART please contact: Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts Co-ordinator at Mayo Arts Office on (094 ) 9047551 or [email protected].

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