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Mayo Arts Service

Summer Professional Development Programme

Mayo Arts Service is delighted to introduce our second instalment of our annual professional development programme. The following programme of opportunities is based on feedback from participants and in consultation with the arts community. To stay connected and up to date with all upcoming professional development opportunities for 2021 sign up to our newsletter HERE.

The following programme is strategically funded by Mayo County Council in partnership with the Arts Council Ireland with support from Creative Ireland.

Online talk: Case Studies in Community Engagement in Public Art with Jo Breckon, Co- Director, Studio Response, Cardiff, Wales.

Jo will present a review of different approaches to community engagement across a range of Studio Response commissions.  In doing so she will explore what is meant by community engagement, what it sets out to achieve and why a requirement for community engagement as part of a public art brief shouldn’t put artists off applying. There will be time for Q&A and discussion after the talk.


Jo has more than twenty years’ experience of programme development, delivery and management in the arts.  She has been working with public art since 2005 and has particular interest and expertise in commissioning both temporary and permanent work within a healthcare context, and in broadening the artforms associated with public art commissioning.  Jo has expertise in strategic planning, research and analysis and public policy for the arts in Wales.  Jo has an MA (Oxon) in English Language and Literature, and an MA in European Cultural Policy and Administration from the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick.

Studio Response

At Studio Response we believe that artists can enrich the quality of our public spaces and we work with artists to respond creatively to the people, place, culture, heritage and aspirations of neighbourhoods, towns and cities across the UK, and internationally.  We invite artists, designers and architects to make new works with the public at the centre of how their ideas unfold, whether resulting in permanent sculptures or temporary artworks, socially engaged projects or integrated architectural designs.

Date & Time: Thursday 10th June, 11am – 12.15pm.

Cost: Free of charge. 

Email Registration to .

This online session is for Mayo artists working in all artforms.

Digital Futures, Conversations about all things digital with Jo Mangan 

Artists Session

The first session will take place on June 25th for practicing artists. As part of this presentation specifically aimed at practicing artists, participants will explore available platforms in the digital realm that can help connect to the public in a meaningful way. Jo will use examples from her own work such as developing Social Virtual Reality projects and building immersive worlds in the digital space. She will discuss her work directing the Prague Quadrennial for Ireland as well as her current work including creating a VR Opera for Irish National Opera. This workshop is for artists with a thirst for knowledge about the Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality possibilities in particular.

Date & Time: Friday June 25, 11am – 1.30pm

Cost: Free of charge.

Venues and Festival Managers Session

The second session will take place on July 02nd for venues, festivals and event producers. As part of this presentation, participants will explore many tools to broaden practice, reach and really engage audiences. It will focus on elements such as sidestepping the pitfalls of online broadcast to the thrills of developing Social Virtual Reality projects.  It will include the most up to date digital offerings from the 2021 festival.  This sharing will prove invaluable for those with a desire to push the boundaries in the online or virtual realm.  

Date & Time:  Friday July 02, 11am – 1.30pm

Cost: Free of charge. 

Email Registration via 

Jo is based in Belmullet and is an artist working at the junction of theatre and Virtual Reality for various organisations including The Performance Corporation and Irish National Opera.

Her directing work has won plaudits and awards internationally and nationally including a number of Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. Current work includes Traction – a Virtual Reality and Opera work for (Irish National Opera), a live performance/VR project for an upcoming national festival and EXPO 2021 in Dubai (The Performance Corporation), and a work in progress theatre/music piece Hy Brasil in Belmullet, Co Mayo. Recent work includes 14 Voices from the Bloody Field (Abbey Theatre), 5 short films for 20 Shots of Opera (Irish National Opera), Bingo Wings - a theatre/aerial dance show for Fidget Feet, as well as working as Curator for the Prague Quadrennial Design Exhibition through the creation of a VR film which also was exhibited at the Dublin Theatre Festival and Belfast Festival.

Thinking Aloud - Ecommerce for Creative Practitioners with Colin McKeown and Marian McDonald.

Mayo County Council Arts Service in partnership with the Local Enterprise Office, Mayo is delighted to host this tow day series of workshops on ecommerce for creative practitioners. Through storytelling, imagery and content you will learn how to optimise your website and kick start your creative business in partnership with Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Mayo.

Day 1 Morning

  • Marketing and defining your customers and audience.
  • Understanding user experience and developing a communications plan.
  • Identifying what makes you and your work unique.
  • Building your brand story. Creating a brand vision.


  • Designing a brand, tools and methods.
  • Briefing a designer and ensuring you control the brand.

Day 2 Morning

  • Let’s talk business. Making a plan to succeed and progress.
  • Costing your work.
  • Understanding tax and keeping proper records.
  • Applying for Artist’s exemption.


  • Developing your online offer and website.
  • Creating content.
  • Understanding UX design, website platforms and analytics.
  • Social media, trends and best practice.

Colin McKeown has over 30 years experience in advertising, design and the creative industries. He has designed branding and communications strategies for both public and private sector clients. Having held many senior positions in design, he has also practiced in Dublin and London and continues to operate throughout Ireland and the UK as creative director in his own business Whitespace Design.

Marian McDonald is a self-employed Tax Advisor with nearly 3 decades of experience as a Business Tutor working with more than 2000 Craftspeople assisting them in the development of their businesses. She is contracted to DCCI (Dublin Craft Council of Ireland); Visual Artists Ireland and many LEOs throughout the country. Her approach is one of common sense and based on her experiences in the craft and financial/taxation sectors.

Date & Time: Tuesday July 20th and Tuesday July 27th, 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm

Cost: Free of charge. 

Bookings via the Local Enterprise Office, Mayo.

This online session is for Creative Practitioners based in Mayo.




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