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NYCI Youth Arts Online Summer School: The Art of Outdoor Wellbeing

May 17, 2021 @ 10:30 am - June 2, 2021 @ 1:30 pm IST

€100.00 – €130.00


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Art in Nature and Urban Arts when working with young people

NYCI’s annual summer school will take place online this year over a series of 3 weeks in May. This training will support youth workers and youth arts workers to gain practical and creative skills in outdoor and visual arts.

This practical and in-depth training aims to bring together youth workers, volunteers and youth arts practitioners to develop new skills to communicate better with young people in visual and innovative ways. Participants will be provided with inspiration and space to further their creativity.

Through our mentoring process, participants will be supported to create a six week programme ready for implementation over the summer months!


20 participants


€100 for member organisations or participants of regional networking hubs,  €130 for non-members. Contact nora@nyci.ie


Beginning Monday 17th May, workshops will run on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays over the course of three weeks. Monday & Tuesday sessions (10.30am – 1pm) will be artist led workshops. Thursday workshops (10.30 – 12.30) will be facilitated by the Youth Arts Team in NYCI and will focus on supporting the development of project design and evaluating outcomes.
It is essential that participants are available to attend all sessions


  • Support youth arts practitioners to develop skills in the area of outdoor and visual creative practice
  • Identify best practice and approaches when using creative and activities with young people.
  • Support  participants to develop a 6 week summer programme that supports and advances youth work outcomes within the context of youth arts projects
  • Learning-by-doing approach allows participants to explore the process from participant point of view and deepens learning outcomes
  • Participants will receive toolkits and mentoring so that they leave with a 6 week programme ready to implement in a youth arts in youth work context


  • It supports young people  to take ownership of their own learning.
  • It extends and supports a wider range of creative activities in youth work settings.
  • Its creative approach provides freedom to think critically and make important connections. 
  • The process encourages and improves teamwork and communication skills 
  • It aims to support a  young persons sense of belonging and overall sense of wellbeing.
  • Potential outcomes for young people include enhanced: artistic confidence, personal confidence, expression and performance, resilience, and problem-solving, critical thinking, team working and communication skills.


  • 100% agreed that they had increased confidence
  • 100% agreed that they had new skills and knowledge
  • 100% agreed they had acquired a reasonable knowledge of best youth arts practice
  • 100% agreed they had the opportunity to network and share ideas


  • Anyone working with young people in a youth work, youth arts practice, out-of-school or non-formal education setting.

Meet Your Expert Youth Arts Facilitators

We are delighted to be collaborating with youth arts specialists Helen O’ Keefe and Kathy Kirwan. Their combined experience and knowledge will enable you to develop creative new approaches that will enhance your work with young people.


Helen O’Keefe 

Helen has worked in participatory and youth arts for about ten years. She has an MA in Art & Design Education from CCAD and considerable experience and training in art, design and youth & community work. Her professional practice has been largely shaped by her experience on MTU’s Creativity & Change course in 2010, seeing her join the staff team in 2015. She is also co-creator of mobile arts facility, Splattervan and art coordinator and teacher at alternative education setting, Cork Life Centre.

Through her work, Helen has had countless valuable opportunities to collaborate with individuals, groups and organisations throughout Ireland and internationally to facilitate meaningful creative projects and design processes and resources that support their work towards equality and justice. She is most passionate about the potential of all young people and the power of art as a catalyst for change on a personal, societal and global level. 


Kathy Kirwan 

Kathy has a wide portfolio of interests, work and play. Spiralling from her former background as a P.E. teacher, her signature focus is in engaging people with the outdoors, learning in, through, and about our rich reciprocal connection with nature.

Having completed an M Ed. In Reflective Practice, she is passionate about connecting with the outdoors in a creative and mindful way. Connecting creativity, mindfulness and wellbeing underpins her pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. Working on the UCC Masters in Youth work, Arts and Sport Education, MTU Crawford Creativity and Change, and Art in Group Facilitation transformative courses affords her the privilege of connecting with active global citizens.

In the world of experiencing ‘first hand’ nature connection, Kathy has completed 4 transatlantic sailing trips between the Caribbean and Cork, spending over a month at sea on each voyage. Responding to challenging team dynamics in this ‘small’ space in the big blue, she connected with the 5 ways to wellbeing as a tool for crew wellbeing. Facilitating groups through outdoor learning, eco-art and wellbeing (blue health) remains a key focus of her professional and personal journey. Kathy has recently been awarded accreditation as a Belbin© Team Roles trainer and recently completed the Professional Diploma in Creativity, Innovation & Leadership, UCD.

Personal mission:

My life goal is to act as a positive change agent and empower people to be the best version of themselves, both for their own empowerment, and for the greater Global good. 


  • Please log in on a lap top where possible, we will send zoom details in advance of the training


May 17, 2021 @ 10:30 am IST
June 2, 2021 @ 1:30 pm IST
€100.00 – €130.00


Online (Zoom)


National Youth Council of Ireland
View Organiser Website