March 2008 - May 2008: Issue 26

In This Issue ...

From the Editor: Our Global Community

In this issue of Opening Stages we focus some attention on Ireland, thanks to Kari Pope, our talented contributor who is living there right now. It seems fitting that we should look beyond the United States, because we actually have subscribers all over the world. They live in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, India and Malawi. I find it exciting that we are helping to create a global community of interest in the professional development of disabled performing artists.

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Perspectives: Eyes on Ireland

My relationship with the disability community on the island of Ireland began formally in the summer of 2004, shortly after I began work at the Arts and Disability Network for California at UCLA's National Arts and Disability Center (http://nadc.ucla.edu/). The Center's Director, Dr. Olivia Raynor, informed me that Aidan Shortt, a disabled development worker on contract with the Arts and Disability Forum in Belfast, Northern Ireland would be coming for a two-week stint at the Center to discover the arts and disability community in California, the first step on a journey that would take him around the US for a look at how the "arts and disability sector," as he called it, works on this side of the Atlantic.

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People: Eyes on Ireland

Blind from birth, Margaret began to pursue songwriting in earnest after raising her family. "I Loved and I Lost," her entry into the 2005 Belfast/Nashville Songwriters' Festival, took second place, inspiring her to continue her career by recording and publishing her songs, all of which are born of her personal experiences. As she pursues this goal, she is working toward her Grade 8 singing exams through Trinity College London, with an eye to completing a diploma in Performance and Repertoire. As she does so, she continues her community involvement through the Open Arts choir and teaching disability awareness to local preschool children.

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Resources: Eyes on Ireland

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News And Notes:

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