17 May - SEA CHANGE, COMMUNITY ARTS ENCOUNTERS “Socially Engaged Arts on the island of Ireland - A Blueprint for Change”

School of Applied Social Studies, in collaboration with Cork Community Artlink, Community Arts Partneship and Blue Drum

Friday 17th of May:AND  Satuday 18th of May
Friday 17th of May: Boole 6, University College Cork. 10.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday 18th of May, Lido, Blackpool, Cork. 11am to 5pm


Community Arts in Ireland has forged a variety of practices and roles incorporating and promoting ways of working, with creative and often radical approaches. Whilst collective arts practices have been employed very successfully in communities across the island, as a community of practice, socially engaged artists, organisations and participants have struggled to advance a strategic outlook for the island. At this crucial moment, as the island emerges from one century of change, to enter another, it seems timely that those artists and practitioners most concerned about working within the most vulnerable and marginal of our communities respond to these new threats and greater uncertainties.


Friday 17th of May:

Keynote speakers

Francois Matarasso; community art worker, writer and researcher who recently published A Restless Art; How Participation Won and Why it Matters Ed Carol; The Blue Drum Agency - advancing cultural rights, creativity and resilience in communities.

Rita Fagan; Manager Family Resource Centre CDP, community activist and social justice campaigner.

Carol Kane; Freelance artist, facilitator, Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding facilitator and project co-ordinator Ann O’Connor; Head of Arts Participation at Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon

Saturday 18th of May:

Key note addresses by video

Franco Bianchini; Professor of Cultural Policy and Director of the Institute for Research on Culture and the Creative Industries, University of Hull -Key issues around cultural development, participation and engagement Conor Shields; CEO of Community Arts Partnership, Belfast -New Culturally Democratic Possibility is just around the corner but, is that still out of reach.


  • An all island dialogue, bringing together, in conference, practitioners, researchers, advocates and activists to share, explore and co-author a blueprint for socially engaged arts practice to promote positive change.
  • Discussions, deliberations and networks will be developed over a two-day workshop/exchange with the outcome agreed and published thereafter.
  • This Blueprint to offer support and guide a series of further actions, explorations and to deepen the strategy to assist all communities to access community arts and promote better practice and lasting change.
  • Develop series of Wikipedia based articles, web-based podcasts and accessible texts to support greater sharing of practice across an all island network.
  • A repository of ideas that will advocate and strengthen community arts practice on the island of Ireland and beyond.
  • A shared observatory and platform combining opportunities to reflect on practice, regard others’ work and develop co-operative community arts opportunities beyond local neighbourhoods or nations, and celebrate common allegiances and

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC