Artworks drapes hanging down from the ceiling in a gallery space. Artworks drapes hanging down from the ceiling in a gallery space. Artworks drapes hanging down from the ceiling in a gallery space.


Welcome to the UPSTART website.


UPSTART is an initiative of Mayo County Council’s Arts Service which aims to:


  1. incentivise quality artistic collaborations between groups/ people with disabilities, artists, arts venues and organisations within County Mayo.
  2. Support opportunities for people with disabilities to develop arts projects in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3rd December.


UPSTART. A programme of events in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Mayo County Council’s Arts Service is nationally recognised for its work in the area of Arts and Disability and has been leading, supporting and developing relevant programmes throughout Mayo and beyond. In 2010 the Arts Service initiated the UPSTART scheme, centred around International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3rd


This year, five projects received funding through both the UPSTART and Creative Ireland Mayo funding schemes. A series of launches of project outcomes took place between December 3rd. and 11th 2018.


Down Syndrome Mayo
with artists Anne Connolly and Elaine Brown worked together on a series of visual arts workshops which culminated in an exhibition of a wall hanging entitled ‘Cloth of Dreams’ at the Curam Centre, Claremorris on Monday 3rd December.
Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina Arts Centre & Claire Griffin worked on ‘Our World View’ (Through the Looking Glass), a series of workshops exploring different aspects and styles of printmaking, culminating in an exhibition of work throughout a variety of venues in Ballina. The project was launched at Ballina Arts Centre on Thursday 6th December. The works will be brought back to Ballina Arts Centre and a full exhibition will be launched at the Arts Centre for two weeks on January 9th 2019. This project received additional support from the Creative Ireland Mayo Fund.


Two performances of ‘A Winter Wish at the Quiet Tree’, by Ceol Connected took place on Saturday 8th December at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. This project saw St Bríd’s School, Castlebar and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar work with Ceol Connected on a series of workshops to deepen and extend the children’s engagement with the performance. 


Carrowbeg Artists Collective based at Custom House Studios, Westport worked with DJ and sound artist Christopher Ceo on a series of workshops culminating in the production of a sound / audio art piece entitled ‘Sound Piece’ which was launched at the Custom House Studios, Westport on Sunday 9th December.


Scannán Tecnologies, Ballina worked with artists Faith Hogan and Helen Falconer on a series of creative writing workshops culminating in the presentation of a series of poems and short stories entitled ‘Words Into Community’ which was launched in the study room at Ballina Library on Tuesday 11th December


Since its inception in 2010, the UPSTART scheme has led to some extraordinary outcomes including:  41 partnership projects, engaging 98 artists/facilitators, working with 571 participants with disabilities on 373 workshops leading to 48 exhibitions/performances attended by over 2,488 audience members.


For further information on Mayo County Council’s Arts & Disability work or the UPSTART programme please contact:  Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts Co-ordinator at Mayo Arts Office on 094 906 4363 or or see the programme website