FuturePastPresent 2023

This is a collaborative project between Upstate Theatre Project, Majella McAllister, The Museum of Childhood Ireland, LEGO® brick artist, Jessica Farrell, Model maker artist, Nathan Wheeler, Change Maker and Project Manager, Alison Harvey, Brendan McSherry, Louth County Council, Dom Gradwell and Cathal Thornton, Derelict Drogheda and Collette Farrell, Droichead Arts Centre.

The project is funded by the Heritage Council and Arts Council of Ireland.

The project undertakes a series of interactive, participatory events that seeks out opinion, knowledge, dreams and desires of a wide spectrum of the local community concerning architectural heritage, dereliction and regeneration in Drogheda town centre.

“To take children seriously is to value them for who they are right now rather than adults-in-the-making.” Alfie Kohn

Majella McAllister, The Museum of Childhood, Ireland conducted a series of workshops with Marymount Primary School in Drogheda. The workshops explore questions and solutions with the people who will inherit the town-the children. It gives them the opportunity to stake their claim. It begins with the children of Drogheda, the next generation of problem solvers exploring those questions, facilitated by the Museum of Childhood Ireland who have extensive experience in participatory workshops.

School Workshop with the Museum of Childhood Ireland

The circularity of the project and the layering of possibilities are incredibly interesting. It places children and youth as active participants with a voice at the core of this collaborative initiative. It places them front and centre. It ensures they are Seen and Heard.

Model making artist, Nathan Wheeler, is conducting a series of workshops with older youth and adults that looks at underused properties as inspiration for the re-invention using the art of model making to illustrate the possibilities and imaginings of participants.

Artist Nathan Wheeler with some of the models created during the workshop
Model making workshop with artist Nathan Wheeler

The project culminates in a number of events for National Heritage Week. This includes a workshop with LEGO® brick artist, Jessica Farrell, on 19th August (10am-5pm) that invites children, young people and adults, to design a future for Drogheda town centre.

Perspectives Event

‘Perspectives’ is an evening with a variety of speakers looking at various elements of town planning and design with a focus on heritage architecture. Speakers include architect Grainne Shaffrey, who examines the urban design framework for Drogheda and its potential, Change Maker, Alison Harvey on ‘Lessons from Europe and the urgent need for district renovation in Ireland’, model maker artist, Nathan Wheeler, on responding to dereliction and The Museum of Childhood’s Majella McAllister on giving voice for generations who will inherit the urban spaces we design .

LEGO Brick artist, Jessica Farrell and The Museum of Childhood, Ireland hosts a workshop/exhibition event on Saturday 19th August as part of Heritage Week. The interactive workshop invited children to view the LEGO model of West Street, Drogheda, created by Jessica, and respond by literally building solutions to issues they consider warrant improvement. We will be issuing a report on this website of the children’s responses.

Here are part of the reports and information that will be published on this page. Feel free to download and share.

This page will be updated soon with additional information and excerpts from the ongoing project. Check back on a regular basis.

The Museum of Childhood, Ireland, presentation as part of ‘Perspectives’ event, Heritage Week 2023 https://youtu.be/s-vxbvS9j-Y