Summer Arts Programme 2019

Laois County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Laois Summer Arts Programme 2019 brochure Summer Camps and Workshops for children & young people 2019

An array of arts and music workshops are available for young people to enjoy over the month of July and into August.  Starting off with Circus Art Workshops hosted by circus artist Maria Corcoran at the MDA Mountmellick, running from Tues 9th to Thurs 11th July from 2pm-4pm for ages 7-12 years. Maria will give an introduction to juggling, hula hoop, balance, acrobatics and more. Circus is where sports meet arts and creativity and individualism is celebrated. Maria has been teaching youth circus for over 9 years around Ireland and internationally.

Children interested in art can join artist Jen Donnery at Laois Arthouse for workshops titled ‘Art in our Environment’.  Using materials around us to create a work of art; finding new uses for things we already have, to reduce waste and protect the planet! Running over 3 days from Tues 16th to Thurs 18th July, mornings from 11-1 and a second workshop in the afternoon from 2 to 4, for children aged 7-12.

A new addition to our progamme this year is an innovative Portfolio Preparation Course for young people aged 15-18 with visual artist Mary Burke.  Running from Mon 22th to Fri 26th July at Laois Music Centre, Church Ave, Portlaoise from 10am-4pm, this 5-day course is designed to help students prepare a portfolio for submission for Art and Design courses at 3rd level colleges. The week may also benefit students preparing for the Leaving Certificate Art Coursework by introducing them to research and drawing skills that could be useful when preparing their course workbook in school next year.  Through drawing, mixed media and colour studies students will be shown how to structure a comprehensive portfolio.

We also have a fun Dance programme hosted by dance tutor Marie Cashin at Laois Music Centre, Portlaoise running from Tue 30th July to Thurs 1st August. Marie will give an introduction to hip hop, jazz and free style in the mornings from 11-1 and a second workshop in the afternoon from 2 to 4, for children aged 7-12.

The summer programme also included an adult art course at Laois Arthouse titled  ‘Painting the portrait from life’  with well know artist Una Sealy RHA. Course A June 4, 5  and  Course B June 6, 7.  Over the  2-day workshops, Una will lead the participants through the process of painting a portrait from life; from planning the composition, to completed work. This event was so popular that places booked up very quickly.  This event also includes an exhibition of  Una’s work and work by artists attending the course that opened on Friday 7th June and will be on display at the Arthouse over the coming weeks.

 The Music Generation Laois Summer programme  

A Summer School of Rock and Pop runs from the 1st to the 5th July at the Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise for young people aged 10-18 from Mon-Thurs 11am-3:30pm; Fri 1-3pm & 4-7pm.  Young people will develop confidence and stage presence in the weeklong camp that culminates with a concert in the Dunamaise on the final day. A great team of tutors from the Music Generation Laois School of Rock and Pop; James O’Connor, Terry Byrne, Ros O’Meara and Denise Boyle will work with musicians and singers during the week and all instruments are welcome. Participants must already play an instrument or sing to participate.  New this year is a very exciting option to study Jazz with Paul McIntyre (keys) and Dave Redmond (bass).

The Trad Summer School runs from the 17th to the 19th July  in Portlaoise for ages 6 upwards from 11am–3pm (Wed, Thurs) 11am-4:30pm (Fri)

The talented list of tutors this year includes:  Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Harp), Siobhan Buckley (Harp), Denise Boyle (Fiddle), Jesse Smith (Fiddle), Tommy Fitzharris (Flute), Sean Gavin (Flute), Paul Finn (Button Accordian), Joseph Byrne (Uilleann Pipes), David Power (Uilleann Pipes), Dale McKay (Bodhrán)…with more to be announced.  Some experience is required to take part and students will be placed with tutors on Summer School tutors recommendations. A mixed juniors class is also available for recent beginners. Harps will also be made available.   See or contact or call 057 8664176 to book a place.


The Music Generation Laois summer programme also includes some wonderful concerts; including the Trad Summer School Opening Gala Concert which features performance by tutors from the Summer School,  on Wednesday 17 July at Dunamaise Arts Centre at 8pm. Admission is €5.  Booking box office is the Dunamaise Arts Centre: 057 8663355/ Free to students of the Summer School.


A Finale Student Concert takes place at the Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, Portlaoise, on Fri 19 July at 3pm, showcasing students from the Summer School. Free admission, donations welcome.

Booking forms for the Summer Arts and Music Generation Laois Programme are available at all local libraries, schools or from the Arts Office. T: 057 8664033/13 .  E: Download from


Laois County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Laois Summer Camps 2018

Starting off with Circus Art Workshops with circus artist Maria Corcoran from 3rd – 5th July at Portlaoise that included an introduction to juggling, hula hoop, balance, acrobatics and much more.

Caroline Conway explored  pattern and texture through print and collage from 10th -12th  July at the MDA building in Mountmellick with two separate groups of young people.

Go Fly  Your Kite  workshops were held at Heritage House Abbeyleix  on the 12th July and in Stradbally Arthouse on  Friday 13th July where participants were encouraged to design their own kite,  to assemble a kite and to  learn kite safety.

Artist Jen Donnery ran a programme at the Laois Arthouse in Stradballed called “Art in our Environment”, using recycled materials to make individual and group pieces with two separate groups from 17th -19th July.

Fins Pottery Tuition spent three days at Kiln Lane Community Centre, Mountrath from 24th -26th July  exploring the many different techniques of creating with clay with  two groups of young people who enjoyed learning about and making pottery.

For more info E: or call 057 8664033/13






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