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Residencies and Commissions

We support and promote a range of creative and professional development opportunities for artists and performers.

Information on new opportunities and current resident artists are below as well as on our News and Opportunities section and social pages.

Young Curators 2024 – 2025

Based on a project developed at Backstage Theatre, Longford in 2020, the NASC Young Curators programme is an eight-venue network initiative aimed at giving young people a voice in programming work for younger audiences.

In 2021 Ruaidhri Tierney, Alannah Murray and Pauline Dunne from Dunamaise joined a national group of thirty to curate an exciting programme of theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts events for a week-long online Festival Lasta 2021 embed link to post-event press release

In 2022, we continued in our support for two of our Young Curators Alannah and Pauline who presented a number of live events.

In 2024, Aoife Dunne and Bill O'Brien were appointed to present a full programme of Iive events for Lasta 2024.

Dunamaise is now announcing a Call Out for our next Young Curators, to include attendance at major arts sector conferences and festivals, professional mentorship and the hosting of a Young Curators Festival in 2025.

To apply click here

Open Stage Residency Programme 2021–2022–2023

This began behind the scenes during COVID lockdowns. Continuing in dressing rooms converted to writers rooms; in rehearsal spaces and around the Boardroom table, this is vital practice development or exploration before making new work. To date, we have supported numerous solo performing artists, emerging theatre companies and composers in their work, long before it connects with an audience.

Meet some of our Open Stage Artists [coming soon]

Resident Visual Artist, Rebecca Deegan

A painter from Laois, working with oils to create dark, emotive and atmospheric figurative artworks. Homed in our large dressing room adapted to be a pop-up studio, Rebecca creates new work for exhibitions, alternative markets and festivals nationally. In 2018, Rebecca curated an exhibition of work exploring the surreal and fantastical in our gallery entitled "A Painted Otherworld" embed link to exhibition archive listing, bringing together a fantastic group of artists with links to Laois. Her paintings and prints of her works are available for sale on request and Rebecca is available for commissions. Groups and individuals are welcome to book a visit to her studio.

Rebecca facilitates regular Life Drawing Sessions at Dunamaise, suitable for practicing artists of all levels, as well as collaborating on other creative events in the centre. Learn more about Rebecca and her work and her social media @RebeccaDeeganArtist

Some other previous examples include

Leave a Light on 2021

A wellbeing collaborative visual art project, co-funded by Healthy Ireland Laois and commissioned by Dunamaise. Artists and local art students created colourful window designs, under the leadership of Caroline Keane. The results were viewed as beautiful art installations illuminated from within local businesses, across Laois from October 2021.

The Statues of Emo Court

Poem & Short Film by Pat Boran

A beautiful mindful reflection on the statues sited throughout Emo Court; commissioned by Dunamaise and funded by the Arts Council. Emo Court is available to view on YouTube.

Forever Young

In Spring 2021, we invited older people to participate in a further chapter of Always Human - a multi-phase art project to connect older people with artists during lockdown, created by Cabrini Cahill and commissioned by Dunamaise.

Led by poet and tutor Denise Curtin Dunne, with support of the KEEP WELL Campaign, older people’s memories were celebrated by creating a souvenir in writing. Free, specially designed creative writing packs were distributed by post to older people in their own homes as well as care home settings, to gather material which culminated in the publication of a wonderful commemorative book, which is still available through the Laois Libraries.

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