You are here

Youth Arts Advisory Committee

NYCI's Youth Arts Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee advises the arts programme on developments and needs within the area of youth arts and youth work, which informs the strategic direction and operational work of the arts programme. The committee also provides a forum for discussion and action planning in relation to youth arts policy and strategic development nationally, bringing representatives from both the arts and youth sectors together. The committee is guided and facilitated by NYCI’s arts team. The committee is made up of specialists in the areas of youth work and youth arts.

Please see below for a list of committee members, detailing each of their relevant experience.


Adam Wallace (Youth Arts Consultant, Belfast)
Adam graduated from the University of Ulster in 1996 with a BA Hons in Theatre Studies. He has worked throughout Ireland in professional, young people’s and community arts, including: Waterford Youth Drama, the Old Museum Arts Centre and the Belfast Festival at Queens. From 2006 – 2008 Adam was a Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme, a leadership development programme for the cultural sector. His fellowship was supported by the Paul Hamyln Foundation, in recognition of his extensive creative work for and with young people. During this time he worked with Contact Theatre, Manchester and completed a piece of research on young artists as future leaders of the cultural sector. Adam’s current career now includes creative facilitation and consultancy, including work with National Youth Council of Ireland and working with Opera Theatre Company delivering a nationwide outreach programme to engage and inspire people from all backgrounds.
Dermot O’Brien (Herbert Road Youth Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow)
Dermot is currently Youth Development Manager of the HR Youth Centre in Bray. He has been involved in the voluntary youth sector for 20 years and has been running a successful voluntary youth club for the past 13 years. Dermot has also worked professionally in the youth sector for the past 12 years. He is a European Youth Trainer and is a member of various Boards and Committees. He has a strong interest in the areas of Youth Participation, Human Rights and Youth Work Training. 
Trevor Sweetman (Youth Officer, Co. Sligo and Co. Leitrim VEC)
Trevor has a background in voluntary youth work and worked as a Youth Officer for Foróige, Tallaght Youth Service (1994-2000). He then worked as a Project Coordinator with The Get Ahead Club, Clondalkin (2000-2006), providing a range of targeted services to children and their families. Trevor also worked as Education Development Officer with Clondalkin Partnership (2006-2007), responsible for management of education and youth strategies of Partnership. In 2007 he took up post as Youth Officer with County Sligo VEC and County Leitrim VEC. He is currently a member of NYWAC Sub-Committee on Youth Work Practice, and is also involved in the development of Quality Standards Framework (QSF) for the youth work sector.
Anisa Saleh (Freelance Arts Practitioner, UK)
Anisa is a freelance arts practictioner based in Manchester and has worked in young people’s theatre for a number of years.  Projects she has been involved in  include: Contact Theatres' Contacting the World - a pioneering international youth exchange theatre project, and the Arts Councils' Young People's Participatory Theatre project over a three year period.  From 2008 - 2009 she worked with 20 Stories High Theatre Company in Liverpool as the Youth Theatre Coordinator - working with a diverse range of young people from across the city.  Her background is working in homelessness with a range of service users of all ages and has provided drama activities and workshops to explore issues relevant to their experiences. As a Person Centred Planning Facilitator, Anisa is currently working with the Young People's National Development Group as a part of Find Your Talent, a nationwide project across the U.K to deliver personal development plans to help young people realise their creative potential.
Carmel O’ Connor (Education Officer, Catholic Youth Care, Dublin)
Carmel is an Education Officer with Catholic Youth Care (CYC) and has recently been appointed to the position of Team Leader to the Arran Quay Youth Work Team. She has worked with CYC, for the past 15 years and previously worked with Co Operation North (Ireland), as a Development Officer in the Youth and Education department. Currently Carmel's main area of responsibility is the provision of training, programme development and other supports to volunteers and youth workers in South Inner City Dublin. While not having a specific Youth Arts brief, Carmel has undertaken training in many Youth Arts fields and has organised numerous workshops and training for her target groups, including The Expanding Dance project, “We Want You” youth arts training day, photography workshops, visual arts and so on. At present, Carmel is involved in a partnership with the CDYSB Arts office, with a view to supporting volunteers, by offering them quality youth arts training. For the past 2 years, Carmel was a member of the judging panel of the Youth Arts Development Award.
Philip Delamere (Arts Officer, Roscommon County Council Arts Office)
Philip studied sculpture at Limerick School of Art & Design from 1989 - 1994. He spent a further six years in Limerick where he worked as a sculptor as well as in theatre design, arts administration, community arts and street theatre. He co-founded the Real Art Project, Limerick Arts Forum and the Umbrella Project Street Theatre Company with whom he served as Artistic Director from 1998 - 2000. Since October 2000 he has worked as County Arts Officer with Roscommon County Council where he developed a number of noteworthy arts projects, including: Roscommon County Youth Orchestra, Roscommon County Youth Theatre, TRADE Visual Arts Programme, the Douglas Hyde Conference and Art@work.
Mike Kelly (Artistic Director, Young Irish Filmmakers, Kilkenny)
Mike is the Artistic Director of the Young Irish Film Makers which he founded in his native Kilkenny in 1991. His background is in youth, community and theatre work which began in 1965 when he founded the Kilkenny Youth Theatre in 1966. He has awards for acting and directing culminating in an All-Ireland Directors Award in 1976. In 1979 he was appointed to a full time position as a youth worker with inner city kids in Fulham, London. After working there for five years he began studies at Middlesex Polytechnic where he was awarded a B.A.(Hons) degree in Theatre and Film Studies. In 1988 he went to Sydney, Australia to work with a street children’s project in Bondi. In 1991 he returned to Kilkenny to set up the Young Irish Film Makers. He is currently developing a youth film making training outreach programme to youth workers in RAPID AREAS nationwide. He is a board member of St. Canice’s Community Action, a youth and community development organisation based in a disadvantaged area of Kilkenny City.
Mark O’Brien (Arts Development Manager, Axis Ballymun)
Mark is Arts Development Manager in Axis Ballymun since 2004. He previously has worked as a Theatre Director/Sound Designer with Team Educational Theatre Company, Opera Ireland, Co-Opera, Fishamble Theatre Co., The Ark, Druid Theatre Company, Civic Tallaght, Draiocht, and National Association for Youth Drama amongst others. Mark was also a director of Dry Rain Youth theatre Bray and workshop director with Red Lemon Youth theatre, Dún Laoghaire. He has directed for youth theatre at Stramash ’95 Edinburgh, National Youth Theatre Galway 99 , European Youth Theatre Encounter France ’97 (NAYD), and ‘Hamlet’, ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Dry Rain Youth Theatre)
Dr Maurice Devlin (Applied Social Studies, NUI Maynooth)
Maurice is a lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Studies at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He is a member of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee and joint chair of the North-South Education and Training Standards Committee (NSETS), the all-Ireland body for the professional endorsement of youth work training. He is chair of the editorial board of the new journal Youth Studies Ireland. Maurice is also the Director of the Certificate in Youth Arts Course, which is coordinated by the National Youth Council of Ireland.