“The world is changing around us, just as we are changing the world… Yet it is in times of great change that art provides its most vital function – it is the crucible in which the consciousness of tomorrow is formed, and always has been.” (Cooper & Dods, 2007, p.13)
I am excited about being in creative spaces where I can learn, grow and change with others. This passion has led me to work in the development of creative programmes where I can be considered an artist, an educator, a facilitator and a creative coordinator.
I have spent many years working in a community based arts programme with children, young people and adults; responding to interests within a community and looking for opportunities to stretch boundaries of experience, creativity and learning.
A theme that emerged again and again in the work that I would deliver in the local community, was the desire for connection and belonging. This need for a sense of belonging is expressed by Brene Brown;
“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” 
Over years I developed the opportunity for young people from Mayfield, Cork to collaborate in creative projects with young people from around the world, particularly from Central and South America; where we developed friendship with cultural organisations, also working with local communities. The exchanges were about collaboration and mutual exchange.
These international opportunities were for me and all those involved an opportunity to expand, connect and to extend a sense of belonging in the world, a sense of being a global citizen.
For me, moving to an understanding of global citizenship means broadening the definition of community from a sense of local belonging to a broader sense of belonging in the world. It broadens the realm of our responsibilities to a global level and considers the impact of our actions to this broader realm.
My understanding of being a global citizen involves the heart, head and hands. A global citizen feels a sense of belonging and responsibility to others with whom they share the planet. A global citizen uses their heart and mind to develop values and attitudes towards justice and equality and have an open, curious and questioning mind. They use their hands or take action towards creating a fairer world.
Over the last year I have taken time to reflect on my creative practices and the focus that I want to take in the future. I have been thinking about how I can grow as a global citizen and how I can open creative spaces for others to grow.
Below is a summary of some of the mindsets/ competences I believe are important.
Being able to make meaning in the inner and outer world, bringing ideas to forms of reality.
Being able to let go of inhibition and purpose, to, experiment and get into flow.
Being able to ‘see’ the unseen and imagine future possibilities.
Being curious, tuned-in and aware of self, others and the surrounding world, can see and perceive in creative and flexible ways.
Being able to connect with others, step inside their shoes and to collaborate and embrace diversity.
Feeling alive and being able to respond and be ready to be part of change. Being able to connect head,(knowledge) heart (emotions) and hands (behaviours/actions).
Being hopeful and able to adapt to change.
Being able to question frames of perception and underlying power relationships; having an ability to see the bigger picture, deal in systems and synthesize ideas.
Being able to use discernment and make responsible choices.
I believe that creative engagement can make a contribution to nurture all of these different mindsets and can support our young people and all of us to grow as global citizens.
 Cooper, C., Roanne Dods (2007) ‘INVITATION TO AN ALTERNATIVE FUTURE’, available: http://www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk/sites/default/files/Invitation-to-an-Alternative-Future-2007_0.pdf.
 Browne, B. (2010) The Power of Vulnerability [online], Ted Talks, available: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability [accessed 4 Jan 2014].