Orla Kenny - Creative Director
Orla Kenny is a visual artist and the creative director of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, based in Sligo. Orla joined Kids’ Own in 1999. During that time she has developed, co-ordinated, implemented, and managed high quality publishing programmes with, and for, children and young people nationally and internationally.
Through her work Orla is committed to providing high quality arts experiences for children and young people and to enable children to reach their creative potential respecting and valuing their own ideas, and the ideas of others. She is passionate about the value of professional artists working with children and is committed to their continued professional development and support.
Her role as Creative Director is to raise the profile of the creative skills and work of young people to a wider audience and to ensure a quality, open and equal relationship between professional artists and children working in partnership together.
Declan Feeney - Finance and Operations Director
Declan Feeney has worked as a project manager for Local Authority and Private Industry on a range information technology projects. He skills lie predominantly in project management, including development and delivery of training programmes.
He has worked on a national and international level coordinating and reporting the financial, systems and human resource management of large scale projects for industrial partners.
He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company, book keeping and is Project Manager for all our projects.
Jo Holmwood - Project Manager
Jo has a joint honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies with Spanish from Trinity College, Dublin. Her experience in cultural project management began with The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children in Dublin, but she has also worked as a teacher of drama and english language, as an export assistant in Spain, and as a freelance writer and researcher. She has also undertaken post-graduate studies in Spanish and South-American Literature.
She is delighted to be working as Project Co-ordinator for Kids’ Own.
Mary Branley - Unheard Voices Project Manager
Mary Branley trained as a teacher at St Patrick’s College, Dublin and has worked in Sligo, Boston and London, before becoming Visiting Teacher for Travellers in Sligo in 1999. She has a M.Ed. in Intercultural Education from Emmanuel College, Boston, and has co-ordinated a number of projects using intercultural tools.
She has extensive experience of running training for teachers in Intercultural Anti-Racist education including being a member of the INTO design team for Intercultural Education. After a summer in Mexico learning Spanish, she designed and delivered a cross-age project, including parents teaching Puerto Rican children to read. She divides her time between the Department of Education and Consultancy.
She published A Foot on the Tide in 2002, a collection of poetry and has been a member of the Scriobh Literary Festival, Sligo for the past five years.
Simon Spain - Founder
Simon Spain was born in England and graduated as a printmaker in 1983. He has since worked on a wide range of projects with children and is highly qualified and experienced in designing and delivering arts programmes for children.
Having published many books with children in the UK, USA and Sweden he established Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership with his wife, Victoria Ryle, in 1996 in Ireland. After working with the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne in 2002 Simon was invited to launch and develop ArtPlay, a children's cultural centre in Melbourne.
Victoria Ryle - Founder
Victoria Ryle worked for 15 years as a primary teacher and advisory teacher on National Language & Literacy teams in London, including the national Language in the National curriculum (LINC) Project. In 1996 she undertook training to become a registered OFSTED Inspector. She gained her MA in Language and Literature in Education at The University of London Institute of Education in 1991.
Her teaching experience has been largely in disadvantaged and/or multi cultural and multilingual communities. This has given her a strong intercultural perspective that informs much of Kids’ Own current work.
Victoria currently works in Melbourne on Kids' Own Australia.