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Padraig Naughton has Sunday Brunch with Ireland’s Ambassador to Washington in Celebration of ‘Turning Point’ / 7 June 2010

photo of Michael Collins and Padraig Naughton in a stately room

Ambassador Michael Collins and Padraig Naughton Director Arts & Disability Ireland

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To mark the participation of ‘Turning Point’ in the 2010 VSA Festival we spent Sunday afternoon at the Irish Ambassadors residence. Ambassador Michael Collins and his wife Marie treated us to a most sumptuous brunch in the beautiful surroundings of their home.  

Guests included former Ambassador to Ireland and founder of VSA Jean Kennedy Smith and members of her family,  the writers, actors, as well as representatives from Arts & Disability Ireland, Fishamble, and VSA. While a relaxed and informal occasion the brunch was a wonderful acknowledgement of ‘Turning Point’ by the Irish Embassy .  
On a personal level I felt proud that our country abroad has taken such an interest in our project. Having been involved in arts and disability in Ireland since the early 1990’s, I’ve often felt over the years we’ve been working in isolation without significant mainstream recognition.  

In working with Fishamble on ‘Turning Point’ Arts & Disability Ireland has endeavoured to bring together our expertise in developing new writing for theatre and arts and disability.
For the four writers the presentation of their plays at the Lansburgh Theatre affords them the opportunity to have their work interpreted by US actors and seen by a Washington audience. The fact that the 2010 VSA Festival is a city wide week long event across some 15 venues, illustrates to what an extent VSA have on this occasion created a festival not only for the VSA family of national and international affiliates but for the citizens of DC too.  

So while the Festival has placed all its activities within venues that are fully accessible to disabled artists, performers and audiences the bigger achievement is the opportunity for non-disabled people to share in our creativity.

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