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2 November 2010

Arts Council Awards for Connect Mentoring and Arts and Older People


Artist in the Community Scheme Arts and Older People Bursary Award

Ríonach Ní Néill is the recipient of the first Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme Bursary Award, managed by Create.

In 2010 the Bursary Award was designed to support and nurture the professional development of an arts practitioner working in the practice area of arts and older people.

Create received 32 applications to the Artist in the Community Scheme Arts and Older People Bursary Award.

Ríonach Ni Neill is a dancer and choreographer who for the last number of years has been exploring the theme of dance and older people through specific performance and work programmes including: Palimpsest an intergenerational work she created for 27 -72 year olds, Macushla Dance Club, a club for over 50s residents in Dublin and Ar mo Sheanleim, an Irish language dance programme for over 50s in Connemara.

Rionach Ni Neill often chooses to integrate professional and non-vocational artists in her work, she believes that ‘dance can be a form of civic dialogue, creating spaces for us to engage with one another and our surroundings, provoke reflection and allow us to imagine ourselves and others differently.’
The Bursary award panel was Orla Moloney, Head of Arts Participation, Arts Council; Katherine Atkinson, Professional Development, Create, and Dominic Campbell Festival Director, Bealtaine.

Connect Mentoring Awards, an Arts Council Initiative, managed by Create and Common Ground

In 2010 Create in partnership with Common Ground announced two awards to support mentoring in the areas – Arts and Cultural Diversity and Arts and Health.

Arts and Cultural Diversity Connect Mentoring was awarded to writer Melatu Okorie (mentee) with writer Lia Mills (mentor). The panel was Dr Daniel Jewesbury, Siobhan Geoghegan (Common Ground) and Sarah Tuck (Create)

Arts and Health Connect Mentoring was awarded to visual artist Sheelagh Broderick (mentee) with visual artist Marie Brett (mentor). The panel was Ann O’Connor Arts and Health adviser to the Arts Council, Siobhan Geoghegan (Common Ground) and Sarah Tuck (Create)

Biographies of Mentees and Mentors

Marie Brett is a freelance visual artist awarded a Masters Degree with distinction in fine art textiles from Goldsmith’s College, London University. Her practice spans use of video, sound, sculpture and installation as a means to explore conceptual themes within a participatory framework. Awards for her work have been made by The Arts Council, Create, Culture Ireland and several Local Authorities with pieces held in public collections both nationally and internationally including the Health Service Executive, University College Cork, The Vocational Education Committee, The National Health Service and numerous Local Authorities.

Recent projects include ‘2 Voices’ critical research and reflection on participatory practice, developed in collaboration with art therapist John McHarg and Crawford College of Art. Recent exhibitions include ‘A Quickening’ at Wandsford Quay Gallery Cork;  ‘White Light’ at Glastonbury Festival UK, Kilkenny Castle Yard, plus Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival Co Laois and ‘Vital Signs’ arts & health in Context at Dr. Steeven’s Hospital, Dublin. Marie Brett is a 2010 recipient of an Arts Council’s bursary plus the Connect mentoring programme arts & health mentor award.

Sheelagh Broderick is a visual artist and Phd Research Scholar with the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin. Her current inquiry Interpreting Arts & Health, reflexively engages with healthcare professionals using archival and documentary materials, to consolidate extant knowledge and practices.

2009 Arts Council of Ireland Travel & Training Award
2009 ABBEST Scholarship
2009 Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community Realisation Award managed by Create
2008 Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community R & D Award managed by Create

Lia Mills writes novels, short stories and literary non-fiction. She has worked on several public art commissions, including You Had To Be There! (2003) and WAKE  for Breaking Ground/Ballymun Regeneration Ltd (BRL) and Writers Wanted (2006), which was devised and edited by Heather Lynch and funded by the University of Aberdeen and the Scottish Arts Council. (Writers Wanted was based on the continuing work of the Ballymun writing group which emerged from You Had To Be There!) She took part in the Mentoring Development Project run by Michelle Read and Valerie Bistany as a pilot for the Arts Council. Originally from Dublin, Lia has lived in London and America before returning to Ireland in 1990.

Melatu Okorie: Originally from Nigeria, Melatu now lives in Ireland. The recent winner of the Metro Éireann Writing Award, a literary competition judged by Booker Prize-winning novelist Roddy Doyle, she is currently writing her first novel

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