Welcome to the Board Naomi! Kids’ Own launches On the Brink! CALL OUT: Independent Researcher for Scoping Study Welcome to the team Róisín!

Róisín is a third year English and Media student and will be with us for the next 4 months.

Letter writing workshops for Human Rights Day!

Read some of the letters our participants wrote!

Our Big Book of Sligo!

Read about our new project gathering children’s stories about their experience of 2020.

Take Action: Write a Letter!

Check out our letter template which folds into an origami-style envelope!

UN Eradication of Poverty project

Read about our creative sessions with young people from Foróige CRIB project and Sligo Comhairle na nÓg.

Our childrens’ book panel reviews are in!

We have set up a team of book reviewers with children from all over Ireland.

A to Z and back again reprint

We are delighted to announce that we will be reprinting our much-loved classic!

LGBTQI+ callout for participants

We are looking for participants for a new creative writing and art project – no experience needed!

Foróige Leitrim’s health & wellbeing project

This project allows young people to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them, as well as having a positive creative experience that they lead and develop.  

Visual Thinking Team progress!

Over 6 weeks this summer, 9 children from all over Ireland participated in a special online project – our Visual Thinking Team initiative.

Kids’ Own Library of Ideas!

Look through reinventions that other children have made from recycled old materials. Get inspiration to make your own!

First art session with Foróige Sligo

We were delighted to have our first practical session with Foróige Sligo delivered by artist Andy Parsons

Can’t lose Cant reprint

We are delighted to announce that we will be reprinting an old favourite of ours: ‘Can’t lose Cant!’, a beautifully illustrated dictionary of Cant words from the Traveller language.

Extract in Folens Explorer Series

We are delighted to have an extract from ‘I hope you grow‘ in one of Folens Explorer books. The book is for 6th class students learning about geography and science. ‘I hope you grow‘ is created by children about their lives and their experiences of homelessness in greater Dublin. This book contains a blend of poetry, stories, artwork and photography generated during a series of workshops in 2018, delivered by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership in partnership with Focus Ireland.

 

News from the Schools Exhibition Project with Mayo Arts Service!

This week 4th class from St Angela’s will be getting some important post! Our artist Kiera has put together a guide for our young artists in 4th class that we hope will inspire them to create more of their own artwork. The guide focuses on testing all kinds of materials as an artist and discovering how they work, making our own natural art materials and inks, and drawing ON the landscape! Kiera’s guide gives insight into how she works as an artist, and invites the children to create their own work with her.

Reinventions: Making standing figures

Guide to to make self-standing cardboard cut-out figures and a range of tailor made paper outfits with artist Anna Spearman.

Reinventions: Building, binding and weaving an arch

Guide to building, binding and weaving an arch with artist Martha van der Muelen.

Reinventions: Making cardboard things move

Guide to making cardboard move with artist Vanya Lambrecht-Ward.

New health and wellbeing project with Foróige

Kids’ Own is delighted to be starting a new project with Foróige, Sligo, exploring youth wellbeing and mental health. Two members of the Kids’ Own team, Jo Holmwood and Ciara Gallagher, connected with members of Sligo’s Comhairle na nÓg group for an initial consultation around this theme and to explore how they would like to address it through a community-focused artistic process.

The young people articulated some of the societal pressures and mental strains that young people face, as well as exploring positive messages to counter these, which could support other young people to achieve ‘self-acceptance’ and a greater sense of wellbeing. In the next phase of the project, a Kids’ Own associate artist will work with the group to develop artwork that shares these positive messages and can reach audiences within the wider local and regional community.

This project is funded by Sligo Leitrim Children & Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) with special help from Elaine Granaghan from Foróige. Watch this space for more information as the project evolves!

Reinventors: Busy in the lab!

Our Reinventors have been busy experimenting over the last fortnight: making things move and creating new toys from old things. We meet on Wednesdays online and participants work on their inventions over the week. So far, we have completed 2 sessions: the first was led by artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and focused on ‘Making Cardboard Things Move’. It was a fascinating session where we made hinges from cardboard bits creating movable sculptures!

Kids Own Reinventors working at home

The second session was led by artist Martha van der Meulen who suggested methods of how to make some interesting things from old stuff. The participants created lots of interesting sculptures!

‘Reinventions’ is a new Kids’ Own project supported by the Community Foundation of Ireland, which seeks to cultivate an ethos of sustainability and creative reuse. Soon we will be asking children all over Ireland to make their own new things out of old stuff and to send on their photos for the Library of Ideas.

(Image credit: Cardboard scissor hands by Vanya Lambrecht Ward)

Kids Own Reinventors sculptures

Young Writers busy at work!

Though we haven’t been able to meet any of the writers in our Young Writers groups in Letterkenny and Derry/Londonderry since March, we are happy to say that the writing continues to flow! 

When the public health restrictions came in in mid-March, our two Young Writers groups had just come together for their first joint meeting. Writer Mary Branley and project manager Ciara Gallagher brought the writers from Derry/Londonderry to meet their peers in Letterkenny Library for the first time. The groups had been exchanging recorded messages via their writing mentor Mary, and so already knew a bit about each other. When the groups first met in person, it was as if they’d known each other for a long time. Everyone in the group spoke about their writing practice, the influences on their writing, their preferred genres for reading and in terms of their own writing. It was clear it was a meeting of minds! The group also worked on their writing individually during the meeting. After this, everyone read some of their work for the group or spoke a bit about something they were working on at the momentIt was a great way to end what was a fantastic meeting. A big thanks to the Letterkenny group, who were such wonderful hosts to the writers from Derry/Londonderry, and to everyone at Letterkenny Library.  

Young Writers Group - Kids Own Publishing

Since our joint meeting at the end of February, both groups have been connecting in our Young Writers online forum. It definitely does not feel like both groups of writers have only met each other once in personEveryone has continued writing and sharing their work with the group. Our writer Mary continues to work with the writers as a group and on an individual basis. She is delighted to be one of the first to read their work.  

The Kids’ Own team continues to work with the writers virtually for the moment, and we hope to be able to meet again when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, our writers are working toward their publication. We can’t wait to see how it progresses!   

 

Kids’ Own Visual Thinking Team: Call for Participants!

Kids’ Own has a special opportunity for young people, aged 10–13, to participate in an online visual thinking initiative.

Working alongside artist/curator Vanya Lambrecht Ward, young participants will have a special role in supporting and shaping the development of a new exhibition featuring artwork and writing from Kids’ Own’s extensive 23-year archive. Over a series of 6 online sessions, the team will explore aspects of the Kids’ Own archive – our books, our way of working, and visual art processes before selecting artwork and writing for the exhibition, as well as thinking about physical spaces of the exhibition and ways of presenting work for young audiences.

The work of the Visual Thinking Team will be instrumental in developing the exhibition, which will premiere at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon in late 2020, before moving to other venues in 2021/22. It is also important to Kids’ Own that the young participants have a physical presence in the exhibition, be that through inclusion of their voices and artwork in the exhibition brochure, or video presence in the exhibition itself.

The project will take place over six weeks in June and early July 2020.

As places are very limited, children are asked to fill in the application form attached and return to Kids’ Own at [email protected] by: Friday 22nd May 2020. Due to popular demand, the deadline has been extended from the 14th May until the 22nd.

We welcome applications from children of all backgrounds and abilities and from anywhere in Ireland. Click here for the application form!

Some essential requirements:

There is a participation fee of €35 As part of this, participants will receive a pack, including Kids’ Own books to keep. Kids’ Own has a strong ethos of equal access and inclusion. Please contact us if the participation fee is prohibitive for you.

Kids' Own Visual Thinking Team Call Out for Participants!

A beak like a banana – free book to celebrate Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day, we are sharing this a beautiful, simple-to-follow guide on how to explore your neighbourhood environment. With Covid-19, we are all getting to know our immediate environments more intimately. This child-centred book will guide you through imaginatively inspecting your environment using sight, sound, smell and touch to help us appreciate the world around us – whilst having lots of fun!

At the back of the book there is a handy field trip planner to help you plan your outdoor adventure. This book was made by children in St Patrick’s National School, Maugherow, Co Sligo with the help of teacher Laura McNulty and Seonag Macpherson in 2016. The project was facilitated by artist Orla Kenny, environmental scientist Declan Feeney and writer Jo Holmwood.

Happy Earth Day!

Read new Kids’ Own publication Open Space online!

We are delighted to announce that Open Space, the action research report on the Virtually There project by Dr Bryonie Reid, is now available to read online!

Open Space was launched last month by Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast, at the opening of our Virtually There exhibition at Ulster University, Belfast.

This publication is the result of two years of independent action research conducted by Dr Bryonie Reid, commissioned by Kids’ Own, and made possible by funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The aim of the research was to explore the impact of the Virtually There on all its participants: artists, teachers, and children. One of the wonderful things about this research is that it tells the story of the project, of those involved in the project, and in the relationships and collaborations that were so central to the project’s success. As Bryonie notes in her introduction: “These stories give a much fuller, more comprehensive picture of how the project worked and what the project has meant than could statistics”. Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, commended Bryonie’s approach to the project, saying “Kids’ Own’s work is about recognising all children as individuals with their own uniqueness of experience, and as such, a homogenised statistical analysis of the project would make no sense. This offered space for real richness of detail and allows the reader to come — in my view — to a closer understanding of how the project was experienced by those involved.”

We think this a really important document for the arts in education sector, as it is rare to have such an in-depth study from a longitudinal project. The publication of this study speaks to the value and potential of meaningful and long-term arts in education projects.

You can read the full publication below!

 

 

Here in Ourselves project in partnership with Mid-West School for the Deaf continues with a new publication coming later this year! Announcing Éilís Murphy as Kids’ Own Administrator and Publishing Assistant!

Kids’ Own is delighted to welcome Éilís Murphy as the newest member of the team! We are looking forward to our first team meeting in person at the Kids’ Own office, whenever that might be.

Éilís is a bookbinder, visual artist and educator who graduated from NCAD in 2004 with a BA in Fine Art Print. Éilís is passionate about books and loves creating and helping others to create books as an accessible art form. In 2012, she studied Arts Development and Participation with Cork Institute of Technology and Mayfield Art Centre which opened up new ways of using participatory art to explore social issues. Since then she has designed and facilitated art projects with children and adults, both independently and with institutions such as the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Helium Arts, National Print Museum and the National Museums of Ireland. Her work in the arts administration sector includes Graphic Studio Dublin (2015/16), Berlin Biennale (2010) and Breaking Ground Per Cent For Art Scheme, Ballymun (2007/08). As a bookbinder she has collaborated with other visual artists and writers to create artist’s books.

 

Kids’ Own teams up with Down Syndrome Sligo!

Last month, Kids’ Own teamed up with Down Syndrome Sligo for the first time! As part of their preparations for celebrating World Down Syndrome Day on the 21st March, Down Syndrome Sligo invited Kids’ Own to work with them on a special creative session.

Kids’ Own Associate Artist Naomi Draper worked with the group of children and young people and together they explored a range of different natural and traditional materials used in craft-making. Naomi arranged the creative space into different stations, such as rushwork, clay, textile, woodwork, glasswork, and of course bookmaking and binding!

Naomi talks and plays with some of the children at the start of our creative session.
Naomi talks and plays with some of the children at the start of our creative session.

All of these stations were little circles connected to the main circle where everyone gathered at the beginning. Each station or circle allowed the children and young people to try something new, to work with a new material or a material that might be familiar to them from everyday life but used in a different way. As each circle was linked to a particular craft, we all had a chance to imagine taking on different roles, from working with wood or clay to making our own mini books.

A parent works with two children in the main circle at Kids' Own workshop

There was great excitement and energy as everyone immediately started to play and get stuck into the materials!

There were so many different materials to explore!

There was also a lot of focus as everyone tried out working with different materials.

Photographer Anna Leask was there to document the workshop and captured these lovely moments from the creative session. Anna also had some new apprentice photographers, as some of the young people took some beautiful photos with Anna’s guidance.

Parents of the children and young people also joined the workshop and we all worked and played together. There was a really lovely group spirit between all the different families at the session and it was great getting to know everyone in the group a little more.

Down Syndrome Sligo’s World Down Syndrome Day celebrations on the 21st of March have been postponed, but we hope everyone can support them at a celebration in the near future. Please click here for more information on Down Syndrome Sligo or find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Virtually There Exhibition opens at Ulster University, Belfast!

It’s hard to believe our Virtually There exhibition opened one week ago at Ulster University, Belfast! Now that we’ve had time to reflect on a wonderful weekend, we bring you a little rundown of the opening days of the exhibition. 

The exhibition showcases work developed by children, artists, and teachers in eight schools in Northern Ireland over the last three years who participated in Virtually There, a collaborative, virtual arts-in-education project. Though the exhibition focuses on the last three years, the project has been running for thirteen years. 

The exhibition gives real sense of the depth and richness of the project, along with an insight into the meaningful creative processes that children, teachers, and artists underwent together. The exhibition pieces from the eight collaborative partnerships present moments from creative journeys, from experimentation, questioning, looking closely and with new perspective, slowing down, from conversations and communication. The result is a really beautiful, immersive, and thought-provoking exhibition. 

On Saturday 7th of March, we held a special opening event to celebrate the exhibition, and to launch Open Space, the action research report on the Virtually There project by Dr Bryonie Reid. This event also featured a fascinating panel discussion between some of the project participants.

Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast, officially launched Open Space. Commenting on the research report Open Space, Ali commented: “One of the most fascinating things raised by this project was the idea of the expert. Who was the expert in this process? Who was allowed to have an opinion that shaped this process? And it’s very clear that this was a project in which the children were guiding and intuiting an awful lot of things but in a collaborative relationship between teacher and artist.” Open Space captures so much of the complexity of the Virtually There project and the careful attentiveness of each of the collaborative partnerships. We think it is a really valuable publication and one which speaks to the potential of meaningful arts in education. 

We concluded our special opening event with a panel discussion entitled “What does collaboration really mean?” This discussion was chaired by Mark O’Brien, director of axis Ballymun, in conversation with some of the artists and teachers from the Virtually There project. The discussion amongst the panel and the wider audience brought important perspectives from those involved in these very particular forms of collaborative partnerships and in which children have a central role. 

This exhibition is a really important one for Kids’ Own, and for the children, artists, teachers, and schools involved.  Sincere thanks to all the children, artists, teachers, and schools involved, to exhibition curator Vanya Lambrecht Ward, and exhibition co-ordinator Bryonie Reid. 

The exhibition opened to coincide with the beginning of Young at Art’s Belfast Children’s Festival, and will run until the 28th of March. 

Strandtown Primary School – Virtually There exhibition St Patrick’s Primary School – Virtually There exhibition St James’s Primary School – Virtually There exhibition St Colman’s Primary School – Virtually There exhibition Killard House School – Virtually There exhibition Donaghey Primary School – Virtually There exhibition Ballydown Primary School – Virtually There exhibition Aughnacloy Primary School – Virtually There exhibition Virtually There exhibition and event at Belfast Children’s Festival

Kids’ Own is really proud to be celebrating thirteen years of our virtual arts in education project, Virtually There, with a large-scale exhibition and special launch event at Belfast Children’s Festival.

On Saturday 7th March 2020, a new exhibition will open in Belfast to showcase work developed by children, artists and teachers over the past three years. Funded for eleven years by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation since 2016, Virtually There was developed by Kids’ Own with a pioneering approach whereby artists connected virtually from their studios with children in the classroom.

Kids’ Own has partnered with Belfast Children’s Festival, Young at Art and University of Ulster to develop this exciting exhibition for public audiences, which runs from 6th-28th March.

A special exhibition opening event takes place at the Ulster University Belfast Campus on Saturday 7th March, 1pm-3.30pm. This event will include the launch of Open Space: An action research report from the Virtually There project by Dr Bryonie Reid. It will be launched by Dr Ali FitzGibbon, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries Management, Queen’s University Belfast.

There will also be a panel discussion entitled What does collaboration really mean? This discussion will be chaired by Mark O’Brien, director of axis, Ballymun, in conversation with artists and teachers who participated in the project.

Schools Exhibition Project with Mayo County Council and St Angela’s N.S., Castlebar

Kids’ Own has recently started a brand-new project in partnership with Mayo Arts Service, Mayo County Council and St Angela’s National School Castlebar! Fourth class students from St Angela’s are working alongside Kids’ Own associate artist Kiera O’Toole to develop Mayo County Council’s Schools Exhibition programme.

Mayo County Council has a wide and varied collection of artworks, and a part of this collection forms the Schools Exhibition programme. This programme allows schools across County Mayo to borrow original artworks, created by Mayo-based artists, and keep these in their school for a term. These schools also receive a resource to guide students and teachers through thinking about the artworks in the Schools Exhibition programme. 

Children from St Angela's N.S., Castlebar  working on the Schools Exhibition Project

Over eight weeks, this group of children will be selecting new artworks for the Schools Exhibition programme, and through a creative process facilitated by Kids’ Own, they will respond to and explore the selected artworks. The children’s creative explorations and questions will form the basis of a new, child-led resource for other schools in County Mayo to use! 

So far, the children have been having fun with artist Kiera O’Toole, exploring different media, colour, and texture, and having lots of interesting discussions about the artworks in the collection. 

Kids’ Own Young Writers Project is back!

Building on the successes of the Young Writers project in 2018, we have started a new phase of the project in 2020!

The young writers from Letterkenny are back! The writing group which formed in 2018 has come together again, with Kids’ Own associate writer Mary Branley, to develop their writing practice. Meanwhile, in County Derry a new group of young writers has been formed. We are delighted to be working with our partners in Donegal County Council Library Service and Libraries NI again on this important project.

The young writers meet in their local groups – Letterkenny and Derry/Londonderry – each week and both groups are mentored by writer Mary Branley. These young writers are exploring and developing their individual creative voices, reading and listening to each other’s work and first drafts.

As well as meeting in their own local young writers groups, both groups will have opportunities to come together for joint workshops and to connect virtually to share their writing. These two groups will join creative forces to produce a brand new publication later in 2020! The Young Writers broadsheet, published in 2018, reflected the interests, values, and lived experiences of the young people involved from both sides of the border, in counties Derry and Donegal. This new publication hopes to echo the success of this broadsheet, and further develop the cross-community peer writing partnerships, amplifying the voices of this vibrant and enthusiastic new generation shaping our island’s future.

Job Opportunity: Kids’ Own Administrator/Publishing Assistant (now closed)

Kids’ Own has an exciting opportunity for a qualified individual to work with us as Administrator/Publishing Assistant (part time).

Kids’ Own is a national children’s arts organisation and publishing house, whose mission is to “develop, publish and promote artwork and writing created by children for children and their communities, through meaningful engagement with professional artists.”

The Administrator/Publishing Assistant will be based at our office in Sligo town. Within this role, the successful candidate will provide essential administrative support to the office team in the delivery of publishing and residency projects, as well as with our internal company administration.

This is a part-time post, based on an initial six-month contract.

Kids’ Own is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Deadline for applications is: 5pm on Friday 7th February 2020.

Please refer to the full job description below.

Job description

The Administrator/Publishing Assistant will report to the CEO, and will work closely with our small team. The role is a part-time post (2 days p/week), based on an initial sixth-month contract. Salary will be pro-rata, based on annual remuneration of €28,000.

The Administrator/Publishing Assistant will be responsible on an ongoing basis for:

Essential Requirements

Applicants must have:

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 7th February 2020.

Applicants are required to send a cover letter and detailed CV by post or email to:

Jo Holmwood
Creative Director
Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership
40 Wolfe Tone Street
Sligo
Co. Sligo
F91 R231
+353 7191–70759

[email protected]

An Island Away (i.m. Orla Kenny)

In October 2019, a group of Kids’ Own associate artists and members of the Kids’ Own team gathered on the small island of Inishcoo, off the coast of Donegal. Over three days, artists and writers who had worked closely with Orla Kenny, former Creative Director of Kids’ Own, came together to reflect on and celebrate Orla’s influence on their practice and lives.

This time together also provided a vital opportunity for members of the Kids’ Own community to reconnect, and to spend time together, considering and reflecting on Kids’ Own’s way of working. The group explored various elements that are central to Kids’ Own’s work, including what constitutes meaningful engagement, what is most important when collaborating with children, and the value of having confidence in the creative process.

The group returned from the island with a renewed sense of connection and vision for the future.

This artist residential was part of Kids’ Own’s Visibility and Dissemination plan in 2019, funded by the Arts Council. We look forward to offering a variety of events and opportunities to support and connect artists in 2020. Here are some selected images from An Island Away below.

“Here in Ourselves”: A Kids’ Own Project, working in collaboration with children at Mid-West School for the Deaf. Video on gender equality project celebrated at St. Louise’s College, Belfast Exhibition at the Model, Sligo, to mark the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

Kids’ Own wins award at the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019! Kids’ Own gets ready for the National Lottery Good Causes Awards!

 

 

 

New Kids’ Own project in response to the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

Kids’ Own presents at Arts in Society Conference in Lisbon Orla Kenny Orla Kenny Remembering Orla Kenny
Kids’ Own has a new look! Announcing our brand new video! Dún Laoghaire Children Create Handmade Book as part of Cruinniú na nÓg

 

 

 

Kids’ Own Workshops at Wild Words Festival! Kids’ Own are finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019! Libraries around Ireland to receive Kids’ Own books! Kids’ Own launch new book at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

 

 

New Kids’ Own Project Exploring Gender Equality at St Louise’s College, Belfast Upcoming Launch of New Kids’ Own Book at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

 

 

Kids’ Own presents at the Arts in Education Portal Regional Day in Leitrim

Kids’ Own was delighted to present our work at the Arts in Education Portal Spring Regional Day, which took place in the beautiful Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, last month. Teachers, artists, and other interested members of the arts and education sectors gathered at this event to share experiences, meet colleagues and hear about some of the arts in education projects that have been happening in the north-west.

Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, and Mary Branley, Associate Writer at Kids’ Own, shared insights into Kids’ Own’s practice. Aideen McCole, Education Curator at the Irish Architecture Foundation spoke about their school programme and artist Kate Wilson contributed her experiences from working as part of a Teacher-Artist Partnership. This was a great opportunity for some very interesting discussion about working in the arts in education sector.

In the afternoon, Kids’ Own Associate Artist Vanya Lambrecht led a fascinating workshop on folding, using folded paper to create shapes, which opened up endless possibilities for use in classrooms and other settings.

 

New Website!

Kids’ Own is delighted to announce our brand new website! Our new online space includes a Look at this! section, an exhibition of artwork from our 22-year archive which will be curated by Kids’ Own on a regular basis. We also have a new Projects section, featuring news and updates on our latest and upcoming projects. Check out our lovely new bookshop too!

We would like to sincerely thank Sligo LEADER Partnership for their generous funding of this work.

 

Kids’ Own Appoints New Chief Executive

The Board of Directors of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership is delighted to announce the appointment of Jo Holmwood to the post of Chief Executive (Creative Director) following an open and competitive recruitment process. Jo has been working with Kids’ Own since 2009 and has served as its Acting Chief Executive since late 2016. Over the past ten years, Jo has been integral to all aspects of the organisation’s work and to its many successes. Jo has a background in dance and theatre and is a published writer. The Board extends its congratulations to Jo on her appointment and looks forward to working with her to develop, publish and promote artwork and writing created by children through meaningful engagement with professional artists. 

Young Writers Project Broadsheet Launch and Performance

From September to November 2018, writer Mary Branley worked with two groups of young writers in Letterkenny and Strathfoyle on our Young Writers project.

New Kids’ Own publication I Hope You Grow receives excellent public reception

Kids’ Own has published a brand new book, I Hope You Grow, in partnership with Focus Ireland.

Job Vacancy: Bookkeeper (part-time) (closed)

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership is seeking to employ a bookkeeper to support the Chief Executive to manage the organisation’s finance functions.

Job Opportunity: Chief Executive Officer (Creative Director) (closed)

Kids’ Own is recruiting a Chief Executive (Creative Director).

Travellers’ Journey Project Following a trip to the museum to visit the Traveller’s Journey exhibition, the participants are exploring multiple identities through art, discussion and writing.
Announcing Ciara Gallagher as Kids’ Own Office Administrator

Kids’ Own is delighted to welcome Ciara Gallagher to our team as Office Administrator.

Ciara has  worked as researcher on children’s books projects including the National Collection of Children’s Books at Trinity College Dublin, and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, Dublin City University. She is the co-editor of the volume Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period 1910-1940 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Ciara has worked with the Museum of Childhood project, and helps to run a small charity, Providence Education, which supports Providence school in north-east India. She has also taught in a number of universities in Ireland and has worked in various administrative positions in the non-profit and public sector.

Focus Ireland book project with children experiencing homelessness

Kids’ Own in partnership with Focus Ireland embarked on a new bookmaking project in July with children experiencing homelessness. Writer Mary Branley and artist Maree Hensey worked alongside the children to offer them a place for their unique creative expression and to give dignity to their experience and their voice.

Over six days the children took part in a series of workshops with the artists, starting with games and activities to make them feel safe and welcome. Storytelling and conversations helped everyone to get to know each other. The direction of the project was determined by the children’s voices and interests, with their writing and artwork at the heart of the process.

The project aimed to support children experiencing homelessness to have a memorable and rewarding experience and to encourage a sense of community and feeling of support among participating children and families. Through the creative process, the project sought to nurture confidence, resilience and self-esteem among the children. It is hoped that the publication will contribute to the national conversation, increasing awareness around the issues facing families experiencing homelessness and the impact of homelessness on children.

The project took place in the Carmelite Community Centre in Dublin and was fully funded by Focus Ireland.

Reflections by project writer Mary Branley and project artist Maree Hensey 

Deep listening means opening all the centres of awareness to what is present, what is underneath, what is alive. It starts the process of trust in ourselves and each other, to move through time and space with shared perceptions. We welcome others into that awareness so that we can all be ourselves, get to know one another through the process of mark making, making friends, pouring thoughts and feelings onto paper.

 

We started the workshops with a circle and ended with a circle.

Our process as writer and artist unfolded through:
Deep listening, physical, emotional
Exploration
Conversation
Collaboration
Responsiveness
Flexibility
Openness
Trust.

At the end of each day, a question:

What did we not do today that you’d like to do tomorrow? So it unfolded. So began the flow of children from inside to outside, room to garden. The process was deeply rooted in the garden, the space, the colour, the texture allowing for richness and individual responses, friendship, safety, belonging, growth, humour, fun, challenges, movement.

 

The flow too of tuning in to ourselves and one another, bringing our thoughts and our focus inside our hearts, in our imaginations, flying out the window, turning into butterflies, into silver scaled fish and pouring these experiences into marks and words and sharing jokes, and laughter. The flow of energy moving between visual and literary explorations.

The materials we brought into the space were a result of the journeys we made through our meditations, the children’s mantras, the children’s vocabulary, words like: transition, fading out, movement, water, watery. The natural elements that presented themselves, air, water, earth, were represented in the materials used, water, ink, soil, acrylic paints, mono-print, charcoal, watercolours. The collaborative journey allowed us to flourish, to explore, to question, to feel and to enquire. There were no instructions or rules as to how we would work.

“You make a mark on a page or in the space. This moment is the beginning of a wonderful journey of discovery and self-expression. The mark is yours whether it is a response to a colour, flower, or emotion. It is yours.” The mark making charted every movement, every sequence of thoughts. It was a language without words.

Orla Kenny: Tribute to a friend and colleague

One month on from the sad and untimely death of our long-term Creative Director, Orla Kenny, I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to a great friend, mentor and leader who inspired me in so many ways.

Orla began working with Kids’ Own in 2000, when the organisation’s founders were still putting Kids’ Own on the cultural map as a unique publisher of children’s voices and artwork. After Orla’s death, co-founder Simon Spain, wrote from Australia, saying, “We have so many memories of her first coming to work with us at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership in Balintogher, in the year 2000. We felt instantly that Orla was a strong voice for social justice and believed in the power of the arts to make change. Over the following three years, Orla became one of the family in our home/office and, when we were invited to head over to Australia for a new project, there was no doubt that Orla would be the champion to continue the work of Kids’ Own Publishing across Ireland.”

In the years that followed, Orla moved the organisation in many new directions, becoming a champion for professional arts practice with children and seeking to support artists who were committed to developing their practice through meaningful and reciprocal processes with children. So many artists who have worked over many years with Kids’ Own have talked about the influence that Orla had on their practice, probing them about their motivation, making them continually question and challenge themselves, interrogating the connection between their practice and their work with children. Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to gather further tributes from some of these colleagues and friends who will have so much to say about Orla’s legacy.

Orla took Kids’ Own on the road and loved getting hands-on with projects herself. She was the lead artist on numerous projects alongside writer Mary Branley, and developed a whole range of books that gave credence and visibility to the voices, experiences and creative expression of children from all backgrounds and sectors of society. She designed many of those books as well. In short, she single-handedly blazed a trail with Kids’ Own, as artist, designer, fundraiser, mentor, project manager and documenter (always documenting). She also developed wonderful relationships with partners from across many sectors – library services, local authority arts offices, venues, funding bodies, national agencies, third level colleges, education centres, childcare facilities, and on and on. Many of these people would consider Orla much more than just a professional colleague. To many, she was a real friend.

Orla approached everything with ambition and rigour. A small idea would spark a seed and once planted, Orla would be determined to make that seed grow. Many projects developed out of sheer will and a passionate belief in their value and importance. Her excitement and enthusiasm for new projects was infectious. I often came into the office in the morning to hear her say, “I’ve been thinking… wouldn’t it be great to…”

Over the years, I saw – through Orla – how drive and ambition, and the pure force of positivity – could bring about so many exciting projects, from Practice.ie (an online space that was developed for artists working with children), to the Kids’ Own Travelling Library, large-scale touring exhibitions, cross-border residency projects, international initiatives, countless book projects and professional development days.

Through all of this, I also watched Orla raise her own son, who was born in early 2009, the month after I started working at Kids’ Own. In many ways, I could say that I saw my own growth mirroring his, since I also flourished under her direction and mentorship. She was interested in supporting people and bringing out the best in them, both personally and professionally. She struck a precious balance between being strong in her own mind, while also respecting and enjoying the opinions and ideas of others.

Something I admired very much about Orla was her refusal to compromise or to let something pass unchallenged. She always asked “Why?” Her need to question everything brought rigour and integrity. Her use of the word “meaningful” aimed to distinguish work that was considered and carefully developed, not lazy, quick or slapdash. Not careless, dumbed down or taken for granted. She particularly liked to quote Vea Vecchi, who described this kind of approach as “an attitude of care and attention for the things we do, a desire for meaning; it is curiosity and wonder; it’s the opposite of indifference and carelessness, of conformity, of absence of participation and feeling.”

The meaning behind all of Orla’s work became apparent when she was in the presence of children. The care and attention was truly visible then; and the child’s experience was really at the heart of her motivation. Of course, as an artist herself, she brought her own practice and playful sense of enquiry to bear on her work with children – in the same way she urged others to do.

Over years of working together, Orla and I developed a good rapport in which we respected and challenged one another. Beyond all the work that we did together, we also spent time together as friends. I am truly grateful for this long-term connection, both personal and professional. I will remember her sense of joy, her generosity of spirit, her quick mind, her endless questioning.

Godspeed Orla.

 

Jo Holmwood
Acting Director, Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own announces new board member Dr. Carmel Brennan

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Carmel Brennan has joined the Board of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership. (more…)

Minister Katherine Zappone shares stories from our new publication A Strong Heart with the UN Security Council

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone shared the stories of Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo from our new publication A Strong Heart at her UN Security Council address on ‘Children in Armed Conflict’ this July.

A Strong Heart offered a space for migrant children to develop their creativity and self-expression through an artistic process, and to publish a book that would foreground and give credence to their voices, lives and experiences. Initiated and developed by Kids’ Own, the project was supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, Mayo County Council and South West Mayo Development Company.

As Minister I am particularly proud that half of the 1,883 persons accepted into Ireland under resettlement and relocation programmes are children fleeing war and conflict.

In addition Ireland is providing care for 79 children who arrived alone at our ports and airports.

All of these children, from countries experiencing conflict such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, are making Ireland their home.

They speak for themselves in a collection of stories and art created by Syrian and Palestinian children now living in Mayo in the West of Ireland.

Through the book ‘A Strong Heart’ they tell of the beauty of their new home-towns, the local rivers, mountains and even the world famous salmon.

They express their passion for Irish sport, their sense of fun and their hopes and dreams.

12-year old Khaled in Claremorris writes, “My Dream for the future is to be a footballer first and play for Ireland. When I’m thirty-three I will be a teacher and go back to Syria to teach English.” 

Khaled and his classmates, Irish, Syrian and Palestinian, are flourishing. They are our future.

The Minister’s full address can be viewed here: https://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=4762

Minister Zappone also presented the publication to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, following a discussion on child migrants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A Strong Heart’ can be purchased here: https://kidsown.ie/shop/theme/by-kids/a-strong-heart/

All proceeds support Kids’ Own’s bookmaking projects with children in Ireland.

“A Strong Heart”: Our brand new book launches this week!

Kids’ Own and a group of County Mayo children will launch “A Strong Heart: A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”, during World Refugee Week.

This Thursday, 21st June at 4:30pm, Kids’ Own is excited to host Syrian and Palestinian families and other community members at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar to celebrate the launch of a brand new book of writings and art by migrant children living in County Mayo. The book, “A Strong Heart: A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”, was developed through a creative process alongside writer Mary Branley and artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward.

The launch comes as part of World Refugee Week, and the day after World Refugee Day, which the United Nation has declared for 20th June.

Initiated and developed by Kids’ Own – and supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, Mayo County Council and South West Mayo Development Company – the project was part of a vision to offer a space for migrant children to develop their creativity and self-expression through an artistic process, and to publish a book that would foreground and give credence to their voices, lives and experiences.

Over five weeks, in April and May 2018, the group of children, who live in communities in County Mayo, came together with the artist and writer at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, to develop the body of work that was to be brought together in their book. “A Strong Heart: A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”, is a beautiful manifestation of the children’s work, and will be disseminated widely after the launch.

In relation to the project, Acting Director, Jo Holmwood, says:

Kids’ Own is deeply committed to publishing and developing children’s work in Ireland. We believe that children’s contribution to our culture and our society, as artists and writers, needs to be more widely valued and recognised. Kids’ Own is delighted to publish this brand new book, which is such a rich celebration of children’s resilience, ambition and cultural identity.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said about World Refugee Day: “This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.

A Strong Heart Cover

A Strong Heart Cover

Launch details:

Date: Thursday 21st June 2018

Time: 4.30–6.00pm

Location: Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Job Opportunity: Kids’ Own Office Administrator (closed)

Kids’ Own has an exciting opportunity for a qualified individual to join our dynamic team as an Office Administrator (part time).

Kids’ Own is a national children’s arts organisation and publishing house, whose mission is to “develop, publish and promote artwork and writing created by children for children and their communities, through meaningful engagement with professional artists.”

The Office Administrator will be based at our office in Sligo town. Within this role, the successful candidate will provide essential administrative support to the team in the delivery of publishing and residency projects, as well as with our internal company administration.

This is a part-time post, based on an initial 9-month contract, with a view to extension.

Kids’ Own is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Deadline for applications is: 5pm on Thursday 28th June 2018.

Please refer to the full job description below.

Job description

The Office Administrator will report to the CEO, and will work closely with our small team. The role is a part-time post, based on an initial 9-month contract, but with a view to extension. Salary will be pro-rata, based on annual remuneration of €26,000.

The administrator will be responsible on an ongoing basis for:

• Supporting Kids’ Own staff with company and project administration.
• Liaising with artists regarding paperwork, training and vetting.
• Communicating with schools and participant groups taking part in projects.
• Attending and minuting project meetings, where required.
• Supporting Kids’ Own staff with reports and ongoing communication with our partners and funders.
• Processing documentation and supporting marketing and dissemination of our work.
• Responsibility for Kids’ Own data management, under the supervision of our Data Protection Officer.
• Supporting policy and procedure developments and management of our archives.
• Processing book sales and undertaking regular stock takes.
• Supporting our publishing activities (online and offline).
• Providing first point of contact at the Kids’ Own office and responding to general enquiries relating to our work.
• Overall responsibility for filing, paperwork, office purchasing and postage.

Essential requirements

Applicants must have:

• A relevant third level qualification or relevant experience in arts administration.
• Applicants must be able to work from Kids’ Own’s office in Sligo town, 5 days per week (part time).
• Competency with ICT and office software, including MS Office and familiarity with Apple Macs.
• Familiarity with office management procedures and basic accounting principles
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
• Strong organisational skills.
• The ability to work well as part of a small team.

Desirable but not essential:

• Knowledge of the arts and/or education sectors.
• Knowledge of cloud file management systems.
• Social media and WordPress proficiency.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 28th June 2018. Late applications cannot be accepted.

Applicants are required to send a cover letter and detailed CV by post or email to:

Jo Holmwood
Acting CEO
Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership
Carrigeens
Ballinful
Co. Sligo
jo@kidsown.ie

New bookmaking project with Syrian children in County Mayo

Writer Mary Branley and artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward are working with 16 children from the Syrian community in County Mayo to develop a brand new book about their dreams and visions for the future.

Kids’ Own are delighted to be working in partnership with Southwest Mayo Development Company on this project, which is also generously supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust.

The project got underway earlier this April with workshops taking place in the community workspace at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. The children are enjoying meeting old friends first encountered in the Lebanon, two years ago, making new friends with children from the different areas and doing art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohamad recently turned 11. This is his story:

Mohamad محمد
I am ten years old. I live in Claremorris. It’s a good place to live because there are lots of children to play football with. My birthday is on Wednesday April 18th. My Mum will make me a cake.
عيد مولد سعيد
eyd mawlid saeid
Happy Birthday in Arabic
We have a lovely lake in Claremorris and we walk and cycle around it. Some people fish there and they get a lot of pike.
When I grow up my dream is to be a doctor in town and help people. I have two sisters, one born on Christmas Eve in 2017 Basma بسمة and she is only three months. She is a very good baby and doesn’t cry a lot. She is very cute. She likes to play a lot with her hands, and she is always smiling. Her name Basma means smiling.

Watch this space for more updates on this work and to see how the children’s book develops!

To be. To wallow. To wonder: Phase two of early years residency

Artist Maree Hensey and students from D.I.T Early Childhood Education are embarking on phase two of their early years collaboration To be. To wallow. To wonder. supported by Grangegorman Development Agency and Kids’ Own.

Throughout phase two, Maree Hensey in partnership with the students will explore and develop a methodology and environment for engaging creatively with babies aged 6-18 months through visual and sensory stimulation. The environment will offer children opportunities to actively explore, to question and enquire, to work independently and with others, to make decisions and follow through with their ideas, to take risks and feel socially and emotionally supported to explore and create with varied materials.

Four students, the artist and DIT lecturer, in consultation with the manager of the centre, will plan, implement and evaluate a series of process-led, art-related workshops, over two days, for groups of children, in four ECE settings. The workshops will focus on bringing relevant aspects of the students’ experiential learning with the artist to children.

Featured images are from the first workshop at Naoinra Aras Chronain with student Lisa Kearns.

For more information on this project visit the online journal tobetowallowtowonder.wordpress.com

To be. To wallow. To wonder. has been commissioned under Pathway 2 of the ‘…the lives we live’, Grangegorman Public Art programme. The project is supported by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership.

 

Kids’ Own Schools Book Tour at Sligo Children’s Book Festival 2018

Join us for a month of literacy and creativity for children, families and schools across County Sligo this March as part of Sligo Children’s Book Festival 2018. Kids’ Own is on tour, bringing our archive of books to class groups across the county.

Kids’ Own Schools Book Tour Programme
Cost: €350 (including a gift book bundle for your school library)
Information & booking: Contact Kids’ Own on 071 912 4945

Would you like to generate a buzz around books in your school as part of the Sligo Children’s Book Festival? Schools are invited to spend a morning with writer Mary Branley and artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward exploring the canon of books by kids for kids, and developing their own work in response. Through this programme, we can engage 2–3 class groups per day.

2018 Festival
The Sligo Children’s Book Festival takes place each year in partnership with Kids’ Own, Hawk’s Well Theatre and The Model. This year’s festival runs from 2-31 March. Events include theatre, visual art, film, book-making and story-tellling, as part of our annual celebration of books and literature for children.

The full programme and booking information can be viewed here.

Bringing the Kids’ Own archive to life!

Kids’ Own is delighted to be working with artist-curator Louisa Sloan on the development of a digital archive spanning 20 years of book-making and residency projects across Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is a fantastic opportunity to give visibility to an extensive body of artwork and writing developed with and by children, alongside professional artists.

This is the first phase in a two-phase process that will culminate in the development of a digital showcase and live event platform for contemporary arts practice with children and young people, which will go live later this year.

This initiative is generously supported by Sligo Local Community Development Committee, Local Action Group (LAG), Department of Rural and Community Development and the EU.

Announcing Alice Lyons as Kids’ Own Project Manager

We are delighted to welcome Alice Lyons to the Kids’ Own team. Alice will be working with us as a Project Manager, leading on the delivery of a number of our flagship projects.

 

 

Our Map: Free art workshops for young children at Roscommon Arts Centre

Very young children (aged 2-4) and their parents are invited to join us at Roscommon Arts Centre for a series of free Saturday workshops. Explore a sense of place and physical location through mapping and collaborative play alongside artists Naomi Draper and Maree Hensey. These hands-on workshops will provide a space for children to build curiosity and intrigue with materials from the natural environment.

Venue: Roscommon Arts Centre, Circular Road, Roscommon

Dates: Saturdays 10, 24 February and 10, 24 March 2018

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm

Booking: Book directly via Roscommon Arts Centre: Box Office: 090 66 25 824 

Email: artscentre@roscommoncoco.ie
Website: roscommonartscentre.ie
Limited spaces, early booking advisable.

For families with children aged 2–4 years.
Families are encouraged to attend all four workshops if possible.

For further information email info@kidsown.ie

Our Map is taking place in collaboration with Roscommon Arts Centre and artists Naomi Draper and Maree Hensey. 

Early Years collaboration with artist Maree Hensey & the students of DIT Early Childhood Education

Kids’ Own are delighted to be supporting Artist Maree Hensey in an early years residency programme with D.I.T Early Childhood Education, supported by Grangegorman Development Agency.

Following on from the pilot phase in 2016, artist Maree Hensey will research and develop a 3-phase programme with students and staff of D.I.T. ECE and children in Early Childhood Care and Education settings in the Grangegorman area to nurture a culture and community that supports local children from 6-18 months to be fully engaged through all their senses in the development of their own unique language and individual expression.

The first phase of the programme which is currently underway involves ECE students in D.I.T. actively participating in an immersive, process-based experience led by Maree.

Throughout the project an on-line journal ‘To Be. To Wallow. To Wonder’ will act as a trigger and means of re-visiting, re-looking and re-thinking the process and available as a resource for students and staff of D.I.T.

For more information go to tobetowallowtowonder.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Action Researcher announced for ‘Virtually There’

With the new school year well underway the ‘Virtually There’ project continues in nine participating schools in Northern Ireland and Kids’ Own are delighted to announce action researcher Bryonie Reid of Quarto Collective has joined this exciting phase.

Over the next three years Bryonie will be conducting research to investigate the impact of the project on all participants: artists, teachers and children as part of a ‘More and Better’ grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Arts and Learning Fund. The findings of this research will be published in 2020.

Bryonie Reid - Virtually There Action Researcher

About Bryonie Reid

Bryonie Reid is a cultural geographer and artist. She has published and exhibited work looking at ideas of place, belonging and identity. She also works with her sisters as quarto in the fields of heritage, culture and the arts, carrying out research, writing for publications and exhibitions, curating and designing and delivering community engagement projects.

The Virtually There project is funded through a ‘More and Better’ Grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts-based Learning Fund and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Visit the Virtually There Project Journals to view work from current projects!

 

Children’s Voices: Are we listening? – Guest speakers & presenters

Round table discussion – November 8th, 10.30am – 4pm 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, as part of its 20-year anniversary celebrations, will host 2 days of sectoral activities, in partnership with Dublin Book Festival and The Ark, exploring the value of publishing with children, and interrogating how we can support children to be seen and heard within our literature, culture and society.

Through a series of presentations and discussions hosted by Kids’ Own Creative Director, Orla Kenny and Kids’ Own co-founder Victoria Ryle, the day will involve explorations and case studies of the Kids’ Own archive, followed by discussions involving a chaired panel of guest speakers, and focused conversations, where participants will be invited to explore and interrogate how we make space for quality and depth of engagement, the role of the professional artist working with children and young people, and how we give children’s work greater visibility and recognition within mainstream culture.

This event is free but booking is essential. – to book see link below

Guest Speakers

Mary Branley

Writer, musician and teacher, Mary Branley is the author of two collections of poetry with Summer Palace Press and a chapbook. Her poems have been included in several anthologies and have also been translated into Spanish and Catalan in a multilingual anthology Europe is a Woman. She was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in 2008, an Arts Council bursaries in 2009 and 2015. Currently she is writer in residence at the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. Mary is the writer and facilitator with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership on 25 titles published over the past 16 years. A recent article published in Bookbird on writing with children has led to an invitation to participate in a new initiative of the Ottawa International Writers Festival later this month.

Carmel Brennan

Dr. Carmel Brennan has just retired as Head of Training and Practice with Early Childhood Ireland, with responsibility for the organisation’s work in developing curriculum, improving practice and supporting services to work with the national frameworks, and with the aim to push the boundaries of our thinking and practice as we engage with the image of the competent, playful child. Carmel has also worked as an early childhood educator, mentor and researcher. More recently, she has focussed on children’s co-construction of stories through play and the relationship between play and the arts in children’s lives.

Tadhg Crowley

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. Tadhg is currently a doctoral candidate in UCC School of Education where his focus is on Primary Schools, creativity and the role of the museum.

Martin Drury (Chair)

Martin Drury is a practitioner and policy-maker with nearly 40 years’ experience in a variety of key roles in the arts in Ireland. He is currently self-employed, engaged in a range of projects as advisor, curator and theatre director. Since 1979 he has been variously Arts Education Officer (Sligo/Leitrim); Artistic Director of TEAM Theatre; Education Officer of the Arts Council; author of the Dublin Arts Report; founder director of The Ark which he developed (1992-1995) and then led until 2001; Arts Director and then Strategic Development Director at the Arts Council.

Phil Kingston

Phil Kingston is the Community and Education Manager of the Abbey Theatre. Before taking up this post in 2011 he worked as an actor, playwright, TV scriptwriter, dramaturge and freelance drama facilitator. He trained at Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He is a former chair of the Education, Community and Outreach Working Group of the Council of National Cultural Institutions. He is part of the Editorial Committee for the Arts in Education Portal and is a member of the Steering Committee of Encountering the Arts Ireland. He is treasurer to Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland and on the editorial committee of Youth Theatre Ireland.

Ben Murray

Ben is Education Officer with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

He has 25 years’ teaching experience in both the primary and the post-primary sectors in Ireland, as a Music, a Classics and an ICT teacher. Ben is currently seconded to the NCCA, with responsibility for the curricular areas of Arts Education, Classical Studies and researching the embedding of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment.  He is particularly interested in the role that technology plays in allowing collaborative cultures to thrive in classrooms and how these collaborative environments support the development and the assessment of critical problem solving skills.

Victoria Ryle

Victoria Ryle is CEO of Kids’ Own Publishing and employs many teaching artists to engage with diverse communities across Australia to support community publishing initiatives. Kids’ Own has expertise in delivering community based workshops, capacity building training and published outcomes aimed at promoting literacy, reading and the status of children as storytellers, writers and illustrators.

www.kidsownpublishing.com, www.wepublish.com

For bookings, visit this link:

www.ark.ie/events/view/childrens-voices-are-we-listening

 

 

 

 

Children’s voices: Are we listening?

8th & 9th November 2017

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, as part of its 20-year anniversary celebrations, will host 2 days of sectoral activities, in partnership with Dublin Book Festival and The Ark, exploring the value of publishing with children, and interrogating how we can support children to be seen and heard within our literature, culture and society. With the ambitious vision of current policy to reach all children through cultural tuition by 2022, Kids’ Own seeks to ask how we make space for quality and depth of engagement to support children as cultural makers and creators in their own right.

8th November 2017

Round table discussion (10.30am – 4pm)

Chaired by Martin Drury

Through a series of presentations and discussions hosted by Kids’ Own Creative Director, Orla Kenny and Kids’ Own co-founder Victoria Ryle, the day will involve explorations and case studies of the Kids’ Own archive, followed by discussions involving a chaired panel of guest speakers, and focused conversations, where participants will be invited to explore and interrogate how we make space for quality and depth of engagement, the role of the professional artist working with children and young people, and how we give children’s work greater visibility and recognition within mainstream culture.

This event is free but booking is essential. – to book see link below

About Martin Drury

MARTIN DRURY | Arts practitioner and strategic advisor

Martin Drury is a practitioner and policy-maker with nearly 40 years’ experience in a variety of key roles in the arts in Ireland. He is currently self-employed, engaged in a range of projects as advisor, curator and theatre director. Since 1979 he has been variously Arts Education Officer (Sligo/Leitrim); Artistic Director of TEAM Theatre; Education Officer of the Arts Council; author of the Dublin Arts Report; founder director of The Ark which he developed (1992-1995) and then led until 2001; Arts Director and then Strategic Development Director at the Arts Council. He has also spent periods of time as a theatre director and dramaturg, directing more than twenty productions for Druid Theatre, Opera Theatre Company, Second Age, TEAM, The Ark, and the Abbey Theatre where he was an Associate Director for a number of years. His pro bono work includes being a member of the board of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme and of Create the national development agency for collaborative arts.

Schedule

10.30.              Tea/Coffee.

11.00.              Welcome/ Introductions.

11.15.              Exploration of showcase and Kids’ Own books.

11.45.              Kids’ Own case studies.

12.45.              Responses & Q&A.

13.15.              Lunch.

14.00.              Chaired panel of guest speakers.

14.30.              Focused discussion.

15.30.              Creative activity.

16.00.             Final remarks from the chair & close.

9th November 2017

A day of practical exploration and creativity

Workshops for artists, teachers and arts education practitioners

11am – 1pm

All That We Are: An artist-led public participatory workshop with Simon Spain (Australia)

Kids’ Own co-founder and artist Simon Spain returns to Ireland to share his practice with Irish artists, teachers and practitioners. Through this practical workshop where participants will make figures from wood and plaster that will be joined to create a gathering, Simon will discuss key elements of his current practice-based PhD enquiry about working as a socially engaged artist. The work is centred around a strong theory of collaborative making environments that create liminal spaces for individual input while leading to a shared outcome celebrating difference.

Workshop fee: €10

2pm – 5pm

Print and book-making workshop with Alain Regnier (Belgium)

In this workshop, printmaker and art teacher (and founder of Motamo International Biennial of Children’s Books) Alain Regnier shares his way of working and will support participants to make books that include print and text, inspired by the work of his second-level students in Belgium. Copies of the books made during this workshop will be taken back to Belgium to be shared with a European audience.

Workshop fee: €10

About the artists

Simon Spain

As founding Creative Producer of ArtPlay in Melbourne, and as a practising artist himself, Simon Spain has an experienced understanding of how many teaching artists approach their practice and deliver their work. Simon has made presentations around the world about his work and research at ArtPlay, and, after completing a Masters in Social Investment last year, has just embarked on a reflective practice PhD at RMIT in Melbourne. www.artplay.com.au www.simonspain.com You can see a full summary of Simons work here and an online resume here.

Alain Regnier

Alain is a graduate of the University of Sculptural and Visual Arts at Mons, Belgium (ESAPV) and specialised in printmaking. He has had solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions both in Belgium and abroad, since 1983. Since 1993, he has been an art teacher in the Provincial Athenaeum of La Louvière and professor of computer graphics in the arts and crafts of La Louvière. Alain prints and publishes the work of Belgian and international artists and writers and has worked on collaborations with primary schools in Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Since 2011, he has been the founder and organiser MOTAMO, an international biennial event and exhibition of children’s books in the Provincial Athenaeum of La Louvière.

For bookings, visit this link:

www.ark.ie/events/view/childrens-voices-are-we-listening

‘Making Books, Sharing Stories’ social inclusion week workshops

Kids’ Own offers this special programme of workshops, as part of social inclusion week in County Mayo, for school children and families, exploring themes of being, belonging and place, through book-making, artwork and story-telling with writer Mary Branley and artist Vanya Lambrecht-Ward.

The workshops will take place in the Kids’ Own Travelling Library, which will tour to Ballina, Belmullet and Castlebar during social inclusion week.

Location, Dates & Times:

Weds 18th October – Ballina Library

 

Thurs 19th October – Belmullet Library

 

Friday 20th October – Castlebar Library

 

Saturday 21st October – Castlebar Library

 

Bookings & Enquiries

For information or to make a booking, contact Kids’ Own at: info@kidsown.ie or 07191-24945

Kids’ Own participates in Biennial of Children’s Books in Belgium
In May, we were delighted to attend Motamo, an international biennial exhibition of children’s books, in Belgium. This unique event offers a platform for the presentation of books by children from many different countries, our own included! Through this event we are also forging new international partnerships, with a view to developing long-term collaboration
“Children’s Voices: Are We Listening?” – Sectoral Event at The Ark, Nov 2017
As part of our 20-year anniversary celebrations, Kids’ Own, in partnership with Dublin Book Festival and The Ark, will host a 2-day sectoral event, exploring the value of publishing with children, and interrogating how we can support children to be seen and heard within our literature, culture and society?
Wed 8 November: Round table discussion (10.30am – 4pm)

Chair: Martin Drury
Guest speakers: TBC

Through a series of presentations and discussions hosted by Kids’ Own Creative Director, Orla Kenny and Kids’ Own co-founder Victoria Ryle, the day will involve explorations and case studies of the Kids’ Own archive.

Thu 9 November: A day of practical exploration and creativity

Two practical workshops, exploring print making, digital media, book-making and folding techniques, are open to artists and writers who are interested in exploring meaningful processes of engagement with children and young people.

For more information click here
‘Virtually There’ Opportunity for Action Researcher

Kids’ Own is pleased to invite applications from suitably qualified individuals for the role of ‘Virtually There’ Action Researcher.

Kids’ Own seeks an Action Researcher to join the ‘Virtually There’ project, which takes place in Northern Ireland. This is a long-term piece of work, running until 2020.

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“Tales to Tell” – book-making & visual literacy workshop for 10- 12 year olds

We are delighted to announce a new four-day book-making and visual literacy workshop for 10- 12 year olds with artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward at the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio this August.

A unique four-day workshop inspired by the work of artist Eddie Rafferty – currently on display at the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio.

This is a special exploration of the power of artwork and visual media to tell our own tales. Over the course of the week, young participants will explore narrative qualities in Rafferty’s work and will develop their own books in response, through a range a range of art media and techniques.

Tues 15 – Fri 18th August, 10.30am – 2pm

Age range: 10-12 year olds

This opportunity is open to young people based in the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon catchment area.

For more information and booking details, email: info@femcwilliam.com or phone +44 2840623322

Funded by ABC Borough Council through Friends of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio

Tread Softly Festival 2017: Come and make books with us!

Come and make books with us. As part of the Tread Softly Festival, July 2017, The Kids’ Own team will be hosting a whirlwind of book making at Liber bookshop, be surrounded and inspired by all the wonderfull books and let your imagination and creative ideas come to life.

€8 per child.
Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of July – 10-11.30am: 4-5 yrs with an adult/ 12-1.30pm: 6-8 years/ 2-4pm: 9-11 years.

Limited capacity so book early – call Kids’ Own on 071-9124945

Full programme here

Kids’ Own in International Publication

We are delighted to have articles about our work published in three magazines this year, Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Inis; issue 51 and Books Ireland; issue 373.

Check out our article in this month’s Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature. Read our article here

Click on the following links Inis and Books Ireland for information on these publications.

 

Kids’ Own Team head to Lisburn for Virtually There Interviews

The Kids’ Own Team were on the road again!

Last week we went to visit St Colmans PS, Lisburn and met with teacher Chris McCambridge and his class. Chris and the children told us about their Virtually There experience with artist John D’Arcy and how it changed their way of listening to and DRAWING music.

Keep checking out the website and social media for up-coming video interviews with the teachers and children from Virtually There North and South.

Virtually There Update – Kids’ Own are on the road again!

Kids’ Own are on the road again this week and next visiting schools from our Virtually There Project North and South. We are visiting some of our schools to chat to the teachers and pupils about their experience of the project. A massive thank you to all the schools, teachers and children for welcoming us.

Keep an eye on our website for up-dates, interviews and news!

Kids’ Own Team organise the 2nd annual Arts in Education Portal National Day

Kids’ Own are delighted to have been a part of the success of the Arts in Education Portal National Day, May 6th 2017 in St. Patrick’s Campus, DCU.

The day included a broad range of practical workshops and skills sharing as well as theoretical and critical thinking in the area from artists, teachers and practitioners from across the sector.

We welcomed Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to speak on the day along with guest speaker Professor Anne Bamford, Director of the Education Commission and the International Research Agency.

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership is currently the Editor of the Arts in Education Portal.

A huge thanks from the Kids’ Own Team to everyone we worked with that weekend. Roll on 2018!

Opportunity for Schools to Publish Books!

Kids’ Own are looking for schools nationwide that would be interested in our process, projects and adventures to contact us with their details for future projects.

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership develop a wide range of programmes for children, young people and families throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. All our projects are unique and tailored to suit the needs of the people and communities we are working with. Kids’ Own also work in partnership with agencies and organisations to support professionals working with children and young people.

Check out //kidsown.ie/make-a-book-with-us/ and get in touch!

 

Kids’ Own Delighted to Announce Three New Tenders

We are delighted to announce that we are putting forward three new Tenders for upcoming projects.
A Feasibility Study for a Children’s Cultural Centre in Sligo. Kids’ Own wishes to identify the need, potential and feasibility of a dedicated children’s cultural centre in Sligo, serving the region of Sligo County and surrounding counties of Mayo, Roscommon, Donegal and Leitrim. The feasibility study is listed as a priority action area within Sligo’s Local Economic and Community Plan. The scope of services required includes research of comparative models, Consultation with stakeholder groups, an exploration of viability in terms of planning and finance models, sustainability and submission of a full written feasibility study. Click here for more info

Kids’ Own sees the potential to bring our archive of work to a wider audience through the creation of a digital space for children’s artwork and writing. The digital space will be a showcase and live event platform for contemporary arts practice with children and young people, and seeks to increase engagement with children through a live online platform, and increase accessibility to, and dynamic interaction with, a unique body of work across a range of media for an audience of: parents, educators, and children. In the development of the digital space, two key roles have been identified:

1) Archivist/Curator for the Kids’ Own archive towards the development of content for the digital space. Click here for more info

2) Designer/Developer for the digital space. Two separate requests for tenders have been developed to identify a candidate or organisation to deliver each piece of work. Click here for more info

Response deadline: 26-04-2017 18:00 – Please note commencement of contract is pending funding.

Full details and application forms can be found on http://www.etenders.gov.ie

 

 

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