On Saturday, 5 November 2022 I-TAP-PD  embarked on our first Multiplier Event in Dublin in tandem with our friends and colleagues’ the Arts in Education Portal National Conference day. The event took place at East Quad, TU Dublin, in partnership with TU Dublin School of Art and Design and Conservatoire of Music and Drama and the Erasmus+ International Teacher-Artist Partnership (I-TAP-PD) PD Programme. What a day and what a space!

The conference was officially opened by John Walsh, Head of School, TU Dublin School of Art and Design, and later in the day John facilitated a tour of part of the East Quad campus giving participants a look at the state-of-the-art facilities available to students.

With a special focus placed on ‘Seldom Heard Voices’ in the Art in Education Portal event, the day then unfolded out to the usual mix of presentations, smaller discussion-led presentations and creative workshops addressing this theme. The International Teacher-Artist Partnership (I-TAP-PD) PD Project took up this theme and shared the learning through this lens through two multiplier sessions within the Erasmus+ KA2 Initiative 2020-2023.

In their collective ‘I – You – We’ presentation, Vera McGrath Lead Facilitator with Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) Ireland, was joined by Sanja Krsmanovic Tasic of CEDEUM, Serbia and Manja Eland from Stichting Kopa, the Netherlands to outline how I-TAP-PD came about, its purpose and its partners and to explore and share emerging learning from teachers, artists and children working in partnership through their in-school Residencies. There was a special focus on the importance of safe space, and deep listening for children in creative practice and partnership as well as the potential for fun in learning differently through creativity.

In the I-TAP-PD workshop Bríd Ní Raghallaigh and Jenny Buggie, Lead Facilitators with Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) in Ireland explored relationship building through creative engagement and asked the questions Where am I in this and where are you? How do we create a “we”? Groups of participants were invited to sew and chat, learning about one another and partnership as they worked, while others used the “partnership” words contributed in LTT5 Dublin as the basis for creative, collaborative and collective writing. The tiny people encouraged play through reflection and doubled up as voting tools on the model of partnership that most appealed to our participants…it turns out they want both!

This event’s keynote conversation took place between guest speaker, the percussionist and solo performer Dame Evelyn Glennie who sat down with Mark O’Brien, Executive Director of The Abbey Theatre. The discussion delved into Dame Evelyn’s introduction to music in primary school, her hearing loss, the idea of success and how residual hearing and improvisation were important components in her career development.

“I think listening is the glue to being human”

Dame Evelyn

 The 2022 National Portal Day was also an opportunity for the Portal Editorial Committee to share its new Strategic Plan 2023-2027 ‘A Community of Practice: A five-year strategy for the Arts in Education Portal, Ireland’s national resource for arts and creativity in education. Officially launched by Dr. Katie Sweeney, Portal Chair and National Director for the Integration of the Arts in Education.

The day closed with a stunning performance by the St. Agnes Teenage Chamber Orchestra led by conductor Jimmy Kavanagh, who inspired smiles, some tears and even dancing.

We would like to thank The Arts in Education Portal team who welcomed and facilitated the I-TAP-PD Multiplier events and to all our guest speakers, artists and participants who joined us to engage in the conversation.