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Applications Open for Education Initiative Blast 2022

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 25/05/2022. Applications Open for Education Initiative Blast 2022Tags: Education And Politics

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today invited primary and post-primary schools to apply for the arts-in-education initiative, BLAST 2022.

Minister Foley is delighted to confirm that BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers – will be running in 2022 for the second time. The 2022 programme will enable over 400 new arts-in-education residencies in schools over the course of the year.

The aim of BLAST is to provide pupils in schools all over the country with the time and the space to work with a professional artist on creative, imaginative and fun projects.

These innovative classes are designed and developed between the artist, teacher and the school under the coordination of the Education Support Centres in Ireland (ESCI) network of 21 full-time education support centres.

Minister Foley said:

“I am extremely proud to announce launch BLAST 2022, which builds on the great success of the BLAST 2021 Programme.

“When I launched BLAST last year, I had hoped that it would open up the minds and the hearts of our children by providing new and creative collaborative experiences and opportunities for our children and young people and for our schools. The evidence over the past year has shown that school communities have embraced BLAST beyond our expectations.

“In 2021, BLAST enabled over 480 new arts in education residencies in over 480 schools, ensuring over 12,000 students could benefit from this experience along with teachers and schools. Some of the trained artists available to schools covered topics such as multimedia, fine art, mosaics, stained glass sculpture/animation and performance art.

“BLAST has shown that school is a fantastic environment for children to have new and different experiences, to make new friends, to be creative and importantly to have fun while learning.

“I am delighted also to launch today the new BLAST logo, following a nationwide competition. The winning logo was chosen by a panel of judges including Louis Walsh, and Brenda Dermody of TU Dublin.

"The winning entry is both creative and practical, and does an incredible job of bringing different aspects of the alerts to life, in line with the spirit of BLAST. Well done to Lily Fleming from sixth class in Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Rushbrooke, Cobh Co Cork.

“Lily will receive a go-pro camera, and their logo has now been adopted as the official logo for the BLAST programme. I hope they enjoy seeing it proudly adorn all BLAST activity in future!”

The winning entry was selected from over 1,411 entries from primary and post-primary schools all over Ireland. Five runners-up were highly commended by the judges for their entries. All entrants will receive a BLAST certificate.

The runners-up were:

  • Tayla–Jae Morcombe, Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, Mouthhawk, Tralee, Co Kerry

  • Louise Corry Galvin, St. Joseph’s secondary school, Spanish Point, Co Clare

  • Szymon Krzyzanowski, Wexford CBS, Thomas St, Co Wexford

  • Grace Hilliard, Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown, Co Carlow

  • Julia Bartecka, Holy Family Secondary School, Newbridge Co Kildare

How will this BLAST Arts-in-Education residency initiative work?

The education centre

Schools will apply for a BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency to the full-time education centre in their area. The Register of Approved Artists in each education centre will be arranged by artist and discipline, include relevant required and approved training experience, examples of previous work and examples of relevant or related experience in an educational and community context.

The artist

Artists from any artistic discipline who have been trained in partnership working with schools will be registered with each of the 21 full-time education centres. Artistic disciplines include visual arts, crafts, music, dance, drama, literature and film. Creative disciplines will be expanded as the BLAST Residency Programme develops over the next number of years.

The artists on the Register of Approved Artists will have been previously trained and have engaged in school residencies under Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD and Residency initiative or the Arts in Junior Cycle Programme which are both approved and led by the Department of Education. Artists are currently trained and registered on the Online Register of Approved Artists managed by the education support centre network nationally. Garda Clearance for artists for successful school applications will be sought by the education centre. The education centre will also arrange for payment of the artist which will further remove the administrative burden on teachers and schools.

The school

The school must be in the catchment of the local full-time education centre. Schools may submit only one application.

This initiative encourages:

  • Schools, primary and post-primary, that have not recently had an opportunity to participate in such creative initiatives.

  • Schools supporting inclusion and enhanced arts-in-education engagement with students from disadvantaged backgrounds and SEN.

  • Schools that have a track record in teacher-artist partnership working in the classroom and school.

  • A whole-school commitment to the project, but it is not a requirement that all classes work with the artist.

  • Projects should have regard to the relevant school curricula where appropriate and have a focus on process.

BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency funding

The artist’s fee is €1,000 per residency, funded by the Department of Education via each education centre. The education centre will pay the artist. The artist will be funded for 20 contract hours including six hours’ planning/development/review time. Approved funded residencies can be delivered throughout the academic year, commencing in October 2022.

This initiative is supported by the ESCI education centre network, Teacher Artist Partnership CPD programme, Arts in Junior Cycle, NAPD Creative Engagement Programme and the Arts in Education Portal.

Further information on BLAST, guidelines and the application form will be available from and from the 21 full-time education centres’ websites. The application process will open on 25 May 2022 and will close on 30 September 2022.



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