Mayo Artsquad:Mayo County Council Arts Office
‘Mayo Artsquad is a non-profit partnership which exists to train community Arts workers and to provide access to the arts within the County, especially for those who are socially excluded or marginalised’.
Since its inception in 1997, Mayo Artsquad has been successfully training Community Employment Participants while engaging and supporting communities through its work. The scheme was initially delivered in partnership with FÁS and now operates in partnership with the Department of Social Protection.
Over one hundred and fifty participants, from extremely diverse backgrounds (including travellers, people with disabilities, lone parents, older people) have benefited from the training and experience provided through Mayo Arts Squad. All participants have had an opportunity to explore their creativity and develop significant personal skills in a safe, supportive atmosphere.
The current economic and ecological environment has lead to a much greater demand for Artsquad services, particularly over the past five years. Communities are seeking low cost ways to cohere, recycle and celebrate by using existing resources.
Over the past 16 years, there have been many significant achievements by the scheme and briefly, some highlights are:
Spioraid ’98, Europeade Festival (2004)
‘Salome’ Production (2007)
‘Lubberland’, with Bread & Puppet Theater Company (2007)
NEW GROUND, with Dead Good Guides (2008)
‘I Could Read the Sky’, (2013)
‘Interland’, Intercultural project (2014)
On Sight, Artsquad’s partnership with The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.
Since 2008, Mayo Artsquad work with the Museum and deliver workshops with local communities of interest and to produce quality art works for the museum grounds. These are visited by thousands of people during the Feile na Tuaithe Festival and over the summer months.
Scary walks in the woods for the Samhainn Abhainn Hallowe’en Festival Working with the Chamber of Commerce in Ballina, this hugely successful, well-attended event has grown in scale and ambition over the past three years. With over 5,000 visitors in 2014, the scary installation in the woods demonstrate Artsquad’s creativity and hard work.