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ORIGIN: Artist Development

Throughout the year, Carlow Arts Festival works with artists to support the development of artistic practice and the creation of new work under our ORIGIN programme


A space where new ideas begin, where failure, in the pursuit of excellence, is celebrated.

Throughout the year, Carlow Arts Festival works with artists, arts workers, practitioners and arts/non-arts organisations, both at home and abroad, to support the development of artistic practice and the research, development, creation and dissemination of new work. This is realised through commissions, research laboratories, specialised workshops, learning and training programmes, mentorship and networking opportunities.

We support artform development across a broad range of artistic disciplines.

Carlow Arts Festival is a non-building-based organisation made up of an agile team of committed individuals who, in the tradition of a festival, come together to create, inhabit and activate spaces through art. The ORIGIN programme embraces this approach.

ORIGIN does not adopt the traditional model of providing artists with space to develop new work, instead we work with them to discover spaces in which new work can be created and presented.
We are interested in the dialogue between the artist, their work, the spaces they occupy and how their work engages with a wider public.

We are fascinated by artists who want to decolonise public spaces, dismantle structures that perpetuate the status quo and address unbalanced power dynamics.

We champion portable, ecologically aware, cross-disciplinary and ambitious work created for unconventional public spaces, whether indoor or outdoor.

We provide a supportive environment for creative risk-taking, where failure, in the pursuit of excellence, is celebrated and where artists are embedded, supported, heard and valued.

Works nurtured and developed through this programme are platformed as part of our annual festival each June.

Want to connect?

We are always delighted to talk with artists about their work, practice and ideas. Artists can connect with us in several ways

  • You can email our programming team and arrange a meeting. These are usually held online using zoom, teams of google meet. Meetings are generally scheduled in one-hour blocks.
  • Don’t want to chat but would like to submit a proposal for future programming? You can email a proposal document, concept note, portfolio document to us via the email below.
  • We also make onsite visits to studios, theatres, venues, galleries and other spaces to see work, both at home and abroad. You can submit your invitation to us via email. Please note that due to time constraints and environmental considerations, we cannot attend every event. But we do try our best to attend.
  • We also attend networking events organised by other organisations including Theatre Forum, Irish Theatre Institute, ISACS, Culture Ireland, Create and VAI to name a few. If you would like to meet with us at one of these events, please feel free to email us to confirm our attendance and will be sure to get back to you

All enquiries can be emailed to

All Past Current
Group Chairs


CAN DO is an artist development project which aims to empower adults with intellectual disabilities to recognise, grow and celebrate their creative talents, skills and abilities removing any sense of limitation that surrounds them.

The Art of Invitation 08

The Art of Invitation

Creative tools to engage with the ecological, cultural and social challenges of our time.

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