Who we are
That’s Life is an award-winning arts and personal development programme of the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway. People with intellectual disability have opportunities to discover and realise their creative potential through working with established artists and participating in a wide range of high quality arts programs.
That’s Life art makers create beautiful work that contributes to the cultural and artistic life of their community.
Events in 2023
Its been a busy year so far for the That's Life team, with a full programme of events and workshops
Our Place/My Place
Exhibition Opening: 11.30am Tuesday 17th Oct 2023
School of Design and Creative Arts ATU Galway, Wellpark Road.
(Tea and Coffee provided)
That's Life have collaborated with the ATU Galway City, School of Design & Creative Arts to create a beautifully crafted exhibition of work created by a group of That's Life artists with the support of MA student Laurence Hynes.
The project evolved through an exploration in the fundamentals of cyanotype printing and photographic portraiture, to capture a sense of place and how we relate to it. We would like to thanks the Radius Project at ATU for supporting the arts programme at That's Life.
Radius is an initiative which links graduates and students from the School of Design and Creative Arts with local community and social organisations, in the creation of art exhibitions and commissions.
The exhibition runs until Friday 21st Oct 2023
Bounce is back! Our Club Night for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is returning this autumn for four dates up until Christmas at the Róisín Dubh. Our aim is to create a fun, safe and accessible space for young adults with ID to socialise, listen to music and dance in a club environment. All our DJs with intellectual disabilities are supported by an experienced team and play a wide range of music including pop, rock, hip hop and rnb.
'My Place to Be'
We are delighted to announce a collaboration with Helium Arts to create an inclusive, interactive and multi-sensory installation for young children with complex needs and their parents.
An integral part of the creative process will be input and participation of our adult artists and performers with intellectual disability from the That’s Life Arts Programme. Through the adults artistic contribution, the aim is to inspire families engaging in this event, and present an artistic creative future into adulthood.
The That's Life team with our creative counterparts from Helium Arts
from L to R: Imelda Reynolds, Orla Kelly, Andrew Madec, Joanne William, and Pete Casby
Led by Artistic Director Joanne William, the focus for this ambitious intergenerational project is play, engagement and connection. The installation provides a place and space for children to shape their identities, as well as validate the arts and creative sector as a purposeful space and community for people with lifelong physical health conditions, disabilities, and additional needs to thrive.
Helium Arts is an award-winning children’s arts and health charity that aims to improve the personal, health and social outcomes of children and young people with lifelong physical health conditions by providing opportunities for creativity that they may not otherwise have access to. Through a series of arts-based workshops, they create safe and inclusive spaces that inspire creativity, spark friendships, and improve mental health and well-being. www.helium.ie
'My Place to Be' was commissioned as part of ART:2023, a Decade of Centenaries collaboration from the Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and will take place in venues in Galway, Limerick and Cork in March 2024.
Speaking about the project, our Programme Co-ordinator Andrew Madec said:
'Our hope here is to create a space where audiences find themselves taking part in various styles of play, and engaging with the installation in fun and unexpected ways.
By creating opportunities for people to engage with sound, touch, and visual elements in exciting and accessible ways we hope to inspire and spark joy in our audiences.
This project is about presenting a world of possibility, where the audience are active participants in all that is happening.
We are very excited to be collaborating with a team of talented makers and performers to develop this ambitious and innovative work.’
Commenting on the collaboration, founder of Helium Arts, Helene Hugel added:
'Helium Arts is thrilled to work with That’s Life, their contribution to this project is more than an artistic contribution, it represents future participation in society, a creative society, for the young children engaging at the event, demonstrating & modelling to the young families that there exists a community of place and purpose for everyone.'
Magic garden festival
Monday 19th to Friday 23rd June 2023
That's Life's annual Magic Garden Festival took place at the walled garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, within the grounds of the regional office of Brothers of Charity Services Ireland.
This year the creative team devised a fabulous watery-themed interactive show, 'The Octopus's Wedding'.
The Octopus's Wedding
Do you like a good party?! The Chieftain of the Giants invites to the unforgettable Octopus's Wedding, a unique and immersive outdoor experience. Follow 'The Jellyfish Babies' wedding band as they journey through the Kilcornan Islands to reach the ceremony. Encounter fascinating characters, sing along to lively tunes, and explore the underwater realm of the Octopus and his mysterious bride-to-be.
Prepare yourself for a action-packed adventure filled with music, celebration, and surprises.
On Wednesday evening, we entertained a crowd of over 150 people at 'Club Tropicana', our renowned clubbing and live music event for adults with intellectual disability and their friends. This extraordinary gathering brings together a talented team of musicians, DJs, and performers with ID. Club Tropicana provides a fantastic opportunity for individuals to enjoy a night out, socialize, and dance the night away in style. The highlight of our social calendar, Club Tropicana is truly unique event with an atmosphere of pure celebration.
It was a night not to be missed!
Thursday 11th May 2023
Electric Dreams, performing at an evening event for The Changing Landscape of Festival 2023, organised by the Creative Europe Desk Ireland.
The Coole PArk Writers Poetry Performance
Thursday 27th April 2023
Each week, The Coole Park Writers, a group of budding poets supported by the Brothers of Charity, meets in the Orchard Centre in Gort.
The group is led by award-winning poet Mary Madec, aided by That's Life Arts Facilitator Imelda Reynolds. This year, as part of the Plough Field Collective Festival, the group read their work at Thoor Ballylee, formerly WB Yeat's summer residence, on Ireland's National Poetry Day.
That's Life Showcase
29th and 30th March 2023
Act 1: In Flow Gamelan Ensemble
Following a successful run of performances as part of Galway Jazz Festival in 2019, In Flow have been working on new material and integrating new members to the group. That’s Life gamelan players with intellectual disability will play a selection of new original works, composed by the group in collaboration with That's Life Programme Director, Andrew Madec and music consultant Aengus Hackett, along with some traditional pieces from Java where the gamelan originates.
Act 2: The Little Shop
'Step into the world of the Little Shop, where ordinary events lead us in unexpected directions. The staff love to make fun more than work, instead they play with everyday objects to create imaginary worlds. You will never know what you are going to see, or where you will be taken, on this amazing and unpredictable journey of everyday life'.
That’s Life perform their first public presentation of this work in progress. This playful show is a continuation of the Mask project (2020), researched by Miquel Barcelo. It uses mask and dynamic visual theatre techniques to explore poetical stories, which is inclusive and adapted for adults with intellectual disability. Directed and devised by Miquel Barcelo in collaboration with Imelda Reynolds (That’s Life Arts Facilitator).
We'd like to thank our funders and partners for their continued support