Creativity Thirst Armagh

Creativity Thirst New

A partnership between the Workers’ Educational Association and the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh, this project is madepossible by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported bythe Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

Are you are considering setting up your own business in the Creative Industries? Or looking to make a little extra income with your creative skills? Well this project is for you.
This short, accessible programme will enable learners to develop a full business plan and a portfolio, including IT presentations and promotional material of their craft/ skills. Participants will also receive guidance from a mentor who will prompt and guide them on issues relating to their business. And all within a creative learning environment. This project has been developed by the WEA in response to specific needs identified in the Creative Industries and follows on from other highly successful schemes which have taken place over the last couple of years.
Who’s it for?ctarmaghcover
Anyone who holds qualifications in their particular skills area at Level 2 or above (i.e. if you have achieved higher than a GCSE Grade D or a CCEA Creative Crafts Level 2 and graduates are also welcome) and want to explore income generation or self-employment in the Creative Industries.Applicants will be invited to attend a short interview in early September 2010 before beginning the programme.
What will I be doing?
Learners must complete both courses – one course is aqualification from CCEA Council for the Curriculum Examinations and the other is accredited with the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI).
Irresistible Business Level 2:
Tuesday, 21st September, 6.45pm-9.45pm for
13 weeks.
Tuesday, 23rd September, 6.45pm-9.45pm for13 weeks.
This is the ideal entry point for those wishing to getinvolved in business start-up and will allow you to explore the implications of self-employment and starting/ running your own business.
Professional Practice in The Creative Industries Level 1:
Saturdays, 9th October, 6th & 20th November 2010. 
10.00am- 5.00pm.
There are different ways of accessing self-employment opportunities in the Creative Industries and this course will look at a range of approaches which could be used. It will also help you develop your professional profile which could result in gaining work in the Creative Industries.
You will also consider if being in business is the right thing to do and how you might have to develop your skills and life style accordingly. All the learning is offered FREE thanks to the support of the Creative Industries Innovation Fund.
Taster Sessions
Two Taster Sessions will take place in support of these courses. Please watch the WEA and Strule Arts Centre websites for further details for these sessions as anyone with an interest in this area will be welcome to come along. These will be led by NI based role models already working in the industry at a local or international level.
Here is what other people said of the last Creativity Thirst 
Elaine Hill, a Photographer who participated on last year’s pilot project said:
"Prior to starting the course my work revolved around PR shots, weekly gigs and the occasional wedding. I was lacking focus. Creativity Thirst has given me this focus and has helped me think outside the box and now my weddings have doubled. My understanding of self promotion and finance has increased; as has my confidence. I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to make the most of their career."

Sharon O'Gorman, Director of Regeneration and Development,Armagh City and District Council comments: 
"This project offers the perfect helping hand for those who want to make a start a business in the Creative Industries – the programme will help participants to develop a full business plan, a portfolio, and promotional material through the use of specialised mentors relevant to their business idea.Armagh City and District Council recognises that the Creative Industries is a major growth sector and contributor to wealth in the economy and initiatives such as this offer the perfect opportunity for individual talents to develop business ideas and make their own contribution to the development of this exciting sector."
For further details please contact Carole Kane on or email:
Carole Kane,Workers’ Educational Association, 3, Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast,


Latest Project News

Celebrating “Creativity Thirst” in Armagh PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 17:05


Photo includes Godfrey McCartney, Community/Economic Manager, Armagh City and District council, Jill McEneaney, Theatre Director, Market Place
Theatre and Arts Centre, some of the participants of the “Creativity Thirst” project who attended the celebration and WEA tutor Geraldine Boden

Last week, local entrepreneurs had an opportunity to celebrate the Creative Industries programme: "Creativity Thirst". Business ideas which have been developed by the participants over the last few months are in Theatre Design, Graphic Design, Jewellery, printing making, film making and others skills which were represented in the celebration event.

The event marked the completion of this programme, which was developed by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) and delivered in association with the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh.

The Creativity Thirst programme was designed specifically to encourage people to look at employment opportunities in the creative industries, for those thinking of setting up their own business or hoping to gain extra income in the creative industries.

Godfrey McCartney, Community/Economic Manager, explains

"Armagh City and District council are supportive of any programmes which assist those businesses in the Creative Industries Sector. The creative industries are emerging as one of the fastest growing and increasingly important sectors of the economy. The most recent estimates indicate that there are over 2,500 creative enterprises in Northern Ireland, employing some 34,600 people. Having seen the evidence here on the "Creativity Thirst" Programme it is evident that a lot of good projects and ideas have come forward, Council is hoping to continue with its support for the creative industries sector."

Carole Kane, WEA Development officer also said,

"The Workers' Educational Association is delighted to have worked in partnership with Armagh City and District Council to bring this Creative Industries programme to these participants. This is one of four similar programmes being delivered across the province. Students have been given the opportunity to test their creative business ideas and ensure that they are economically viable and quality products and services. There are already positive steps which have been taken as a result of this experience"

Creatively Thirst was funded by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, (DCAL).

What happened in the Taster Sessions? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 00:00
Here’s how they all got on…

Taster Session No. 1

Bernie Magill started the Taster Sessions in the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh on a very stormy, windy night in November. Catherine McInernay from LitNI was asked to briefly contribute to the session by explaining the work of her new organisation but due to difficult driving conditions and roads being closed, she was unable to attend. However, this is some information about LitNi that she has provided for the WEA and further details can be found on the LitNI website:

LitNet NI is a development initiative set up to provide support for writers and literature professionals working in Northern Ireland.  Based in Co Down, LitNet NI has a strong co-ordinating role, and hosts a literature forum bringing individuals and organisations working in the field of literature together.

Bernie Magill is no stranger to the WEA as she has been involved in delivering courses for some time. Over the years, her writing has gained greater  exposure and is now widely recognised. She began her talk by explaining how reading played a significant role in her childhood as she showed a slide of the mobile library which used to visit her home town in the mid-Ulster area. After graduating from Queens with a degree in English, Bernie kept on writing short stories and scripts for stage.

She has proven that insignificant or minor opportunities need to be taken seriously as even these can grow in importance as they expose your work to an unknown audience. She encouraged the listeners not to underestimate small openings but make the most of every chance to show their work, as there is no way of knowing where the work will end up.

“I know a lot of writers and the only thing that stands in the way of them being published, is that they need to send out their work. One thing for sure, if it’s not sent out, it won’t be seen”.

Earlier this year, Bernie launched her first novel, “The Butterfly Cabinet”. This was a result of some work that she had done under the mentorship of Damien Gorman, as she participated in the “Support for an Independent Artist” scheme organised by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  Bernie had found an article in an old copy of the Coleraine Chronicle which caught her attention and as she developed the idea, Damien encouraged her to expand the story beyond the familiar. Through lots of work, research, photo analysis and developing her writing style, Bernie come up with a worthy story which she presented to an agent with the hope of getting the work published. One thing lead to another and the book was launched at home this year and will be launched in the US next summer.

Bernie’s gentle approach and sensitivity to her own and other peoples writing was evident through the session and she inspired all present to get going. If writing has been something that intrigues someone, then they should further develop it.  If someone has started, then they have to keep going.

Taster Session No.2

weemanstudiosAfter being postponed due to extremely heavy snow on November and December, Liam McGarry’s Taster Session finally took place just before Christmas. He is one of the dynamic forces behind “Wee Man Studios” and also operates as a business consultant. “Wee Man Studios” design games for iPad and iPhones.

Liam explained the background of his business and showed us a sample of his latest game, currently under development by “Wee Man Studios”: Liam’s business and will be released later this year in the US. This promises to be very successful but because it is a new approach to gaming: the outcome is unpredictable.

£2nb is made in the UK by the games industry. This is bigger than the Film Industry or the Music Industry and more support is needed for training and skills development to help creatives compete in the international forum.“Wee Man Studios” is developing world class games as well as the underlying games technology in areas such as Facebook games, etc and are being recognised for their expertise and creative approaches.

Liam also explained the interaction which is necessary between musicians and other areas of the creative industries for games to be most effective. This is a highly complex area and the limits are still to be achieved.

Armagh Taster Sessions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Friday, 29 October 2010 11:32
Creativity Thirst New


Taster Sessions

A partnership between the Workers' Educational Association and the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh, this project is made possible by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

Creativity Thirst is a project designed for those considering setting up their own business in the Creative Industries orlooking to make some extra income with their creative skills. The programme has been developed by the WEA in response tospecific needs identified in the Creative Industries.

As part of this project, two Taster Sessions are being delivered in the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh. They will be presented by professionals who work both locally and internationally in the Creative Industries.These role models will give some background to their work and explain how they approach commercialising their business ideas. The sessions are FREE to attend.

Who's it for?

Anyone who would like to know more about working in the Creative Industries represented at the sessions but you must be over 16.

For further information contact Carole Kane on or email to register.

Taster One

Date:Wednesday, 17th November 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location:Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh
Introduced by:Catherine McInerney, Manager of LitNet NI and the WEA.

Bernie McGill
Writes for the theatre and fiction, and also creative writing facilitator

Bernie McGill is the recipient of two Arts Council of Northern Ireland Awards for the IndividualArtist, and is the 2008 winner of the Zoetrope All-Story Short Fiction Contest (US). Her shortstories have won prizes in the 2010 Sean O'Faolain Short Story Award, the 2010 Bridport Prize,and she has been shortlisted for the Brian Moore and the Orange/Northern Woman Short StoryAwards.

Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and published in Fortnight, Brand,Verbal and Northern Woman magazines, in The Belfast Telegraph and in the anthologies TheBarefoot Nuns of Barcelona and in My Story. Her play, The Weather Watchers was produced andtoured in Ireland in 2006 by Cahoots NI and in 2010 she co-wrote The Haunting of HelenaBlunden for Big Telly Theatre Company, for which she was nominated, along with co-writer PaulBoyd, for the Best New Song of the Year Award by the Stephen Sondheim Society, London. Herfirst novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, has just been published in the UK and Ireland by HeadlineReview, and will be published next year in the US by Free Press and in translation in Italy and theNetherlands.

Taster Two

Date:Wednesday, 8th December 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location: Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh

Liam McGarry
CEO McGarry Consulting & Wee Man Studios

Liam is co-founder of Wee Man Studios, Northern Ireland’s best and brightest 3D mobile gamedeveloper. Wee Man Studios have developed a pioneering games engine, as well as the recentlyreleased and critically acclaimed Galactic Racer, (previewed by as one of the Top 10 most anticipated iPhone games). It took over two years, a cocktail of public and privateinvestment, dealing with contractors from around the globe, meetings in the UK & US and nolittle stress but it certainly hasn’t been boring... we’ve learnt a lot and are happy to pass it on.

Liam also runs McGarry Consulting, a consultancy business aimed at helping start-ups and smallorganisations to develop ideas, plan for growth and secure funding. If you are looking to developan idea (and cheaply) or want to know more about funds, call in and say hello.