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.




  1. To incentivise quality artistic collaborations between groups/ people with disabilities, artists, arts venues and organisations within County Mayo.


  1. Support opportunities for people with disabilities to develop arts projects in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3rd December.


To download the application for assistance under the UPSTART programme 2018.  Click Here.

Mayo UPSTART 2018 launch. Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. From left to right, Damian O'Connor, Disability Arts Coordinator with guide dog Fanta, Orlagh Heverin, Assistant Arts Officer, CLLR Richard Finn, Cathaoirleach, Anne Marie McGing, PPN Resource Worker, CLLR Joe McHale, Gaynor Seville, Arts Officer. (acting)





Mayo County Council’s Arts Service is now inviting applications for UPSTART 2018, a programme of arts activities in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities which takes place annually on 3rd December. The deadline for applications this year is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 18th May 2018.

UPSTART 2018 launch. From left to right, Paula Lowry, Fine Artist, Emma Gallagher, Art Tutor, Rehab care, Brendan Timlin, Mayo Art Squad, Henri Hedou, Mayo Art Squad, Colette Howley, Art Tutor, Rehab care.


Mayo County Council’s Arts Service has made a considerable commitment to the development of quality Arts and Disability activity in County Mayo through flagship projects and ongoing programmes. Since 2010 through the UPSTART programme, the Arts Service has provided funding for 41 collaborative projects involving arts organisations, artists, disability organisations/ groups of people with disabilities.

Mayo UPSTART 2018 launch. From left to right, Aoife O'Toole, Assistant Arts Officer, Debora Gonoude, Personal Assistant, Orla Henihan, Artistic Director, (acting) Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Ann Conway, Drama Therapist, Elaine Brown, Mental Health Peer Support Worker.


In 2017, events took place in Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Belmullet, Castlebar and Westport. These included collaborative projects between artists, groups of people with disabilities and arts venues in Mayo.

Participating artists were:

Visual artists Caroline Masterson, Grainne O‚ÄôReilly, photographer Conor Mc Keown, chef √Āine Macguire, stain glass artist Gabrielle Bishop, Drama facilitator Danielle McDonnell, actors Kieran Coppinger and Charlene Kelly, play and screen play wrighter Christian O’Reilly, artistic director Petal Pilley, percussionist Anthony McNamee and Musician Con Murphy.

Participating groups included:

Ballyhaunis and Claremorris Day Services, Ballyhaunis, Carrowbeg Artists Collective, Westport, Cran Mór Day Centre, Ballinrobe, Down Syndrome , Mayo, Castlebar, Rural Training Centre, Castlebar and Western Care Erris, Belmullet.

Mayo Venues included:

√Āras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet, Custom House Studios, Westport, and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar.

Mayo UPSTART 2018 launch. From left to right Cyril Forde, Instructor H.S.E. Cathy Kennedy, Administration H.S.E., Con Murphy, The Uke and ME Project and Andy Neary, Manager, H.S.E. Rural Training Centre .


A wide variety of projects were undertaken and wonderful outcomes included:

Two visual arts exhibitions, a group Ukulele performance, a group drumming performance and a film screening.

To download an application form, click the link above. For information on all UPSTART projects to date, see:

UPSTART 2018 was launched by Gaynor Seville, Acting Arts Officer with Mayo County Council on Wednesday 11th April at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar.


For further information on the UPSTART programme, contact Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts coordinator, Mayo County council,