​​​​Sculpture in the Parklands


Project Description


To creatively activate and mediate the histories/heritages of various arts and heritage scenarios in Co. Offaly, and to produce digital stories to enhance the engagement and outreach of Offaly County Council’s Heritage Office.


Each student will select a scenario and theme of interest that they will be exploring addressing.

A minimum of two people will work in any given scenario – though they will be exploring separate themes/aspects/elements of a scenario.

The Irish support team of Ian Russell, Kevin O’Dwyer and Amanda Pedlow will move between scenarios and teams to oversee work.

Students will engage in iterative research with the people invovled in each scenario developing insights into the creative manifestation of arts/heritages.

Students will keep digital project journals of their thoughts/responses on a daily basis. These will be incorporated into a project website.

Students will also participate in a workshop with Amanda Pedlow, Heritage Officer, Offaly County Council to help brainstorm and develop ways of more effectively engaging communities.

Digital stories will be screened at a closing event where all participants from the scenarios will watch the outcome of the residency with the project team.

Students from Brown University’s M.A. program in Public Humanities and faculty from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage will take part in a residency to document and respond to the heritages and histories of west Co. Offaly, Ireland. Students will meet and work with members of the local community to create digital stories of various scenarios within the arts and heritages of Offaly. Supported by the Heritage Council of Ireland and Offaly County Council, this unique collaboration gives students the opportunity to work alongside local government, arts professionals and the local community to explore the multiple trajectories of heritage and community arts initiatives in rural Ireland. It also provides an opportunity to open critical discussions between public humanities and cultural heritage professionals in the United States and Europe while placing pedagogy and applied research at the center of debate.

Under the direction of Dr Ian Russell (Brown University) and Kevin O’Dwyer (Sculpture in the Parklands, Co. Offaly), students will engage with scenarios of their choosing. Documenting the people and stories of each scenario through weblogs, photography and video and audio recording, the students will synthesize the multiple narratives of place in Offaly into digital stories that will be publicly available online through Offaly Council’s and the JNBC’s websites. Not only a unique initiative within Ireland, this project will also be a unique application of new media techniques for oral historical research, public engagement, historical documentation and heritage management.

Larry (Larry's Village) and Brown MA student Amy