From left are Linenhall director Fiona Neary, arts consultant Heather Maitland, Linenhall director Bernadette Greenan and community engagement officer Alice Dixon.

Mayo arts centre engages community groups for strategic plan

THE Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, one of Ireland’s oldest arts centres, is currently developing a strategic plan and public engagement strategy that will guide the organisation through to 2030.

These two documents, co-designed by community stakeholders, are funded by the Arts Council’s Capacity Building Support Grant, and the Linenhall team is being aided by arts consultant Heather Maitland in the project’s research and development. Adhering to their mission statement, ‘Arts for All at the Linenhall’, it is the first arts centre in Ireland to co-design such strategies, with input from stakeholders across the communities of Castlebar and its environs.

Visioning workshops are being held with audiences, artists, funders, locals businesses, and children and young people as well as the Linenhall team and board of trustees.

Community engagement officer Alice Dixon is also connecting with a large number of community groups who will also contribute to the plan. Conversations will be documented in each workshop and used to formulate both strategies.

The Linenhall hopes to see the strategic plan and public engagement strategy released in March 2024.


A large-scale installation, Infinite Light, conceptualised by Mayo artist Cathal McCarthy, continues until Saturday, December 9.

The project runs from the Linenhall theatre, where the Light Laboratory is situated, along the alleyway through to SuperValu carpark where a steel container hosts Rainbow in a Box.

McCarthy commented: “I wanted to create a mesmerising light experience for people of all ages to enjoy in the depth of winter. A sensory and experiential installation, it is the fruition of many years of research and development.

“Infinite Light invites your participation in using experimental light technologies old and new. Light is omnipresent all around us and ever changing. Explore how colours are made, observe how light disperses and create your own colour mixes. Witness how your eyes react to after images and ultraviolet light. Join us in exploring the phenomena of light and colour in new ways at the Linenhall.”

This dazzling project is like nothing previously experienced in Castlebar and access is free for all in the community. Advanced booking is required through the Linenhall’s box office team.


On the music front, Aoife Scott is on hand to serenade audiences at the Linenhall with her unique and soulful sounds on Friday, December 15.

Renowned for her emotive and resonant vocals and her ability to blend traditional, folk, and contemporary musical influences, this promises to be the finest entertainment for the festive season.