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.

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 Connolly , Drama Therapist, Elaine Brown, Mental Health Peer Support Worker.



UPSTART 2018 and Creative Ireland Arts and Disability Award Recipients announced.


In celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, (Monday 3rd December, 2018) Mayo County Council’s Arts Service is delighted to announce the recipients of the UPSTART 2018 awards.


The Arts Service is also pleased to announce that having secured funding from Creative Ireland, a collaborative arts and disability project between the Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina, artist Claire Griffin and Ballina Arts Centre has been awarded Creative Ireland funding.

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 .


Mayo County Council’s Arts Service has made a considerable commitment to the development of Arts and Disability throughout the county. This year, the Arts Service is again delighted to support International Day of Persons with Disabilities through the UPSTART initiative. These annual awards are made to quality arts and disability projects throughout the county. Following assessment by an external, expert panel, five projects have been chosen to receive this year’s awards. Based in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport, these are:


Carrowbeg Artists Collective, international DJ Christopher Ceo and the Custom House Studios, Westport.

Sound Piece

A project using music and rhythm as a form of self expression. Participants from the Carrowbeg Artists Collective, Westport will colaborate with international DJ Christopher Ceo and the Custom House Studios in the development of a piece of sound art, using music and rhythms sampled into a musical / sound composition culminating in a cohesive and contained art-work. For further information, contact: John Mc Hugh,


Down Syndrome Mayo, Castlebar and artist Anne Connolly.

The Hero’s Journey

Artist Anne Connolly will work with members of Down Syndrome Mayo in the development of an artwork through a series of creative workshops using drama, movement, improvisation, sound, creative writing, painting and mask making. For further information, contact: Anne connolly,


Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina, artist, Claire Griffin and Ballina Arts Centre.

Our World View (Through the Looking Glass)

A visual art printmaking project, exploring themes of identity and community. Ballina Arts Centre will host a series of visual arts workshops exploring different aspects and styles of printmaking with members of the Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina. Under the guidance of artist Claire Griffin, the group will find the style and technique that suits them individually and then go on to develop a body of work which will be displayed throughout different businesses in Ballina on or around 3rd December 2018. This project forms Mayo County council’s Creative Ireland Arts and disability project as well as being part of our UPSTART 2018 programme. For further information, contact: Sean Walsh,


Scannán Tecnologies, Ballina, artist Helen Falconer and Ballina Library.

Words Into Community

A series of creative writing workshops facilitated by artist Helen Falconer and hosted by Ballina Library with service users from the Scannán Tecnologies group. The project will explore members understanding and view of the society in which they live by putting into words their feelings and reflections. Working with artist Helen Falconer the group will produce a short body of work with a contribution from each individual with a central theme which will be made available in an accessible format for everyone to enjoy. For further information, contact: Damien O’Connor,


St BrĂ­ds school, Castlebar, artists Thomas Johnston & Orla Kelly from Ceol Connected and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar.

A Winter Wish at the Quiet Tree

A multi-sensory music and theatre performance developed by Thomas Johnston & Orla Kelly. The Linenhall will present two performances for groups of children with intellectual disabilities from St Bríd’s School, Castlebar, on Friday 7th December 2018. Ceol Connected will also develop workshops to introduce the characters, thematic elements, and music in the show to the children in their school setting. For further information, contact: Orla Henihan,


All projects/events in the UPSTART 2018 programme will come to fruition on or around 3rd December. For further information on Mayo County Council’s UPSTART initiative, contact Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts coordinator,