INSPIRATION STATION: Mayo Arts Office
Made up of partners from Department of Community & Integrated Development, Mayo County Childcare Forum, Mayo Community Forum, Mayo Arts Office and local artists, Inspiration Station is a group committed to developing creativity in County Mayo, establishing a culture of creative problem-solving and creative thinking with an emphasis on equality and social inclusion. Inspiration Station aims to initiate a strategy to develop creativity in County Mayo in order to meet the challenges inherent in being geographically peripheral in an ever-changing world-environment. Increasingly, it is internationally recognised that creativity is a central driver of a future-oriented, creative solution based economies.
Through the development of the creative potential of communities it is possible to:
- Develop the imagination of the collective community so that a shared vision of future development can be achieved.
- Envision a society which promotes social inclusion, celebrates diversity and collaborates in positive action. Working creatively can have a powerful impact on communities, it can promote positive problem solving, greater insight, recognition of behavioural / attitudinal patterns, greater tolerance and an awareness of the bigger picture.
- Promote innovation, new ideas and the celebration of individual and collective creativity.
Current ways of problem-solving and visioning are rooted in the ‘actual’ and not in the ‘imaginable’. In order to engender real, meaningful change, new ways of thinking need to be investigated: creative problem-solving, new solutions, new ways of addressing chronic problems and attitudes to map out a new, as yet unimagined future.
PROJECTS TO DATE include working creatively with Ballycroy, Islandeady, Ballyhaunis (with the Community Futures Programme), ENVISAGE (national Bealtaine Programme & Age & Opportunity), Developing Critical Thinking within the Pre-School Environment (Mayo County Childcare Committee), Lucy Hill ‘Paint’ Programme with young children (Linenhall Arts Centre), Creative Thinking Workshops, 3D Printing for Creatives, 3D Projection Mapping (Mayo Ideas Week), Community Re-Use/Upcycling (Mayo Artsquad & Mayo Men’s Sheds).
Inspiration Station represents a spectrum of creative experience so far, from tentative engagement to enthusiastic commitment. This experience contributes greatly to our understanding of the challenges and possibilities of advocating creative thinking and imagination in the community.