Arts-Oriented Community Placements

Numerous potential placements exist for students interested in incorporating arts-oriented internships into a semester abroad in Northern Ireland. Below you will find listings for those institutions where previous students studying through the Swarthmore NI Semester have interned as well as for some organizations that have expressed interest in having future students work with them. Websites are listed for each organization and students are encouraged to visit the sites to read further about each organization's history and most recent works. Director of Foreign Studies, Professor Sharon Friedler, Director of The Lang Center, Professor Joy Charlton, as well as Swarthmore faculty members Lee Smithey, Randy Exon and Teya Sepinuck can provide additional information regarding studying in Northern Ireland through the Swarthmore College program.

It is also worth noting that Derry/Londonderry was awarded the first ever UK City of Culture for 2013, and it is anticipated that tha series of arts and cultural events will be prepared and gain momentum in the run up to and during 2013.

TOVA Theatre of Witness Productions

Girl at a lake

Beginning in Spring Semester, 2009 and continuing each semester through December 2010, Teya Sepinuck, Artistic Director of TOVA, will be creating original Theatre of Witness Projects, videos, and workshops, that will address the legacy of violence and trauma in Northern Ireland as experienced by ex-combatants and their family members, survivors of community and family violence, elders, teenagers, mothers of those who have committed suicide, and all those who have been affected by the Troubles.

The Derry Playhouse

The Derry Playhouse

The Playhouse is based in Artillery Street, Derry and was established by Pauline Ross in 1992 with a grant of just £300. Since then it has grown to become one of Ireland's leading Award Winning multi-disciplinary Community Art Resource Centres based on a neutral site with the city centre. It is a self-help, grass roots, bottom-up community development project which is people centre with charitable status. The Playhouse comprises two theatres (860 and 129 seats), an extensive Education and Outreach Department, a Dance Studio, the Source Arts Resource Centre, a gallery and is home to several cultural/art based groups and tenants. The Playhouse filled (and continues to fill) a large gap in the provision of the arts in the North West. It also is one of only a handful of venues commissioning, producing and touring theatre in the island of Ireland The Playhouses runs a large selection of in-house and outreach education programmes and workshops in the North West and across the island of Ireland

The Bogside Artists

The Bogside Artists

Tom Kelly, Kevin Hasson, and Tom's brother William are the three men who created all of the eleven murals that constitute The People's Gallery® in the Bogside area of Derry in the North of Ireland. They have been working on their murals project since 1993 when the group first formed. Their work represents the Bogside and its people's troubled history. It is their story that fills its walls. That is why they took the name by which they become known worldwide - "The Bogside Artists".Their open-air gallery of murals stands as a non-partisan human document that provides "a window into the heart of The Bogside and its people" (Prof. R. Helmick-Boston College). The murals stretch, in a line, for the entire length of Rossville Street in The Bogside, an area that experienced the worst of the troubles in the city.

The Holywell Trust

Holywell Trust

Holywell Trust was formed in the late summer of 1988. Its formation came from the perceived need for an organisation which would encourage risk taking and stimulate creativity in the work of community development and community relations in the North West. Holywell's main areas of concern have been in encouraging healthy working relationships, both personal and cross-community, in facilitating community development & peace building work, in developing public campaigns, in commenting on and researching environmental issues in promoting community arts projects, supporting cross-border, adult education, organising and facilitating experiental group work and delivering community development support to projects in the North West. Holywell Trust sees its role as vital in the North West in helping to create a new society of active citizens who are respectful of and celebrate difference.

Echo Echo Dance Company

Echo Echo Dance Company

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company is one of Ireland's leading dance theatre organisations based in Derry, Northern Ireland since 1997. Echo Echo exists to produce professional dance theatre productions and to promote interest, participation and education in dance and movement at all levels, basing its practice on a wide range and experience of movement influences from inside and outside the main dance traditions. Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company is committed to educating young people about dance and movement. The company regularly facilitates workshops in schools, community groups and in partnership with other organisations. In house, there are currently two main youth dance activities:

  • Daring Feet Youth Dance group for 13- 20 year olds
  • Dance and Movement classes for 5-12 year olds

Both of these courses are accessible to everyone and are held in Echo Echo's own dance studio at The Waterside Theatre in Londonderry.

The Verbal Arts Center

Children's Book Club Verbal Arts Centre

The Verbal Arts Centre based in Derry, Northern Ireland, is a specialist centre for the development of literacy through creative engagement where literacy is defined as the ability to read, write, communicate (talking & listening) and comprehend. The centre is a not for profit charity and uses its resources to:

  • Devise and implement new ways for everyone to access and enjoy the cultural, creative and improved quality of life benefits to be gained through the written and spoken word.
  • Add value to different policy contexts in areas such as community relations, access to the literary and language arts, lifelong learning and the educational curriculum.
  • Support and nurture the work of new writers and other artists of the word.