After a very successful training in Utrecht, Netherlands in April, the I-TAP-PD partners gathered for their final training at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin on the 23 rd of June 2022.

52 teachers and artists from Greece, Netherlands, Serbia and Ireland gathered together for our last training engagement to explore the possibilities of a partnership relationship between teachers and artists. Some participants had extended their partnerships to children and young people in creative residencies, others were just beginning their connective and our collective journey.

Over 5 days our participants and partners created a home for themselves and I-TAP-PD in the beautiful surroundings of IMMA. They committed to the experience, shared their knowledge and perspective, we even got to see daily examples of their partnerships with children and young people in schools and communities throughout Greece, Netherlands, Serbia and Ireland. Stories, videos, music and photos, to inspire and move us in our partnerships with others. The generous sharing participants’ understanding, and spirit carried us forward to new learning in partnership.

Day 1 dawned with bright sunshine and a warm welcome from the Minister for Education Norma Foley T.D., Mary Apied Board Member of IMMA representing Annie Fletcher the Director of IMMA, Katie Sweeny Director for the Integration of Arts and Creativity in Education, Department of Education, Helen O’Donoghue Senior Curator: Head of Engagement and Learning at IMMA and Noel Keenan representing Education Centre Tralee. Under the awning, our international partners and friends gathered from CEDEUM in Serbia, the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network in Greece and Stichting Kopa in Netherlands, we were ready to roll!

Names were honoured and shared through story, collage and digital crafts, giving participants time and space to play with technique and new tools whilst building relationships with one another. After coffee it was time to dance, move and weave our way through physical and personal histories of partnership. Creative Processes gave structure to the afternoon while photographing Little People brought their unique perspectives to participants reflections on Day 1.

Day 2 brought I-TAP-PD into the IMMA galleries and through Visual Thinking Strategies and applied drama techniques we were engaged with Ways of Seeing Here & Now – Protest & Conflict. In working collaboratively throughout the day from gallery to group the I-TAP participants made the learning collective, challenging, embodied and meaningful.

Day 3 saw our participants getting to grips with the curriculum, what it looks like and how it is supported in our partner countries. They looked for the gaps and fun where curriculum, and the words that are written about it, can provide fuel and fire for creative interpretation. In the afternoon the city was toured and linked through history, time and partnership.

Day 4 began with a World Café where our group explored The Why. Why do teachers and artists want to work in creative partnership with one another and with children? We drank coffee, chatted it out and rotated through rooms until our work was done! After break our group split where newcomer participants designed their partnership with a little help from an IKEA tutorial and I-TAP-PD veterans collaborated to discover what ingredients they would write into a Creative Process Model for the programme.

Day 5 brought Community and Education Manager with the Abbey Theatre, Phil Kingston to I-TAP-PD. Phil shared his work with the Abbey Theatre’s national projects, where applied drama workshops explore complex issues through embodied creative practice in projects such as the “Bereavement Project” & “Asking for It”. Phil’s sharing drew out stories and experienced within the group and the impact of the work on both actors and audience. During Day 5 we planned for future partnership, we delved into difficult questions like the absences our participants felt in the programme and how we would fill them, we dreamed of the future and planned together. At the end of the day, we circled, shared, committed to our collective vision and flew for home with expanded hearts, and maybe heads!