A New Year's Message from Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

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Happy New Year to you all, and welcome back to the school again after the holiday.

I hope you all had a chance for some real rest and recovery or at least found some small moments of celebration, comfort and peace over the break. 

It is sad, of course, that we are not able to meet one another in the building quite yet, or to be starting the new year with the activities that we had hoped for.  

Let us hope that the vaccination programme starts to bring some prospect of an end to this unbelievably painful period – and the incalculable losses the pandemic has brought about. 

For some of us – participants, tutors or staff – this may be a particularly challenging start to the year, given the lockdown and with the closure of schools and childcare. 

So, I really hope we can all find ways to support one another in the coming days and to take it easy with ourselves as we move into the new term of working together. I didn’t manage to do much reading over the holidays, but the one book I did read was Care Work:  
It’s not about self-care – it’s about collective care. Collective care means shifting our organizations to be ones where people feel fine if they get sick, cry, have needs, start late because the bus broke down, move slower… and these aren’t things we apologise for (Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018). 

I am hoping for a 2021 full of the radical gesture that is collective care. 

The DAS building will remain closed until at least January 17th. But in the meantime, there is still a lot going on: 

We have the Choreography seminar beginning online next week, open calls for new cohorts in THIRD and Creative Producing, the launch of a podcast series from Creative Producing alumni along with all kinds of other online activities and meetings.  

For my own part, the podcast series that I have been working on with Rajni Shah will be out before the end of the month and I’m looking forward to further conversations with you all about our values as a school – particularly in terms of access.  

I’m also really pleased that we will be supported in this work by Aparna Rae and Moving Beyond who have great experience in helping organizations to be really led by equity and inclusion in the full and radical sense of those terms. 

Sending warm thoughts and positive energy out to you all,