Armagh, Northern Ireland

Urbino Partners

DATES: July 3 – August 3, 2014

CREDIT PROGRAM COST: $4,995 + airfare (Includes: accommodation, class instruction, course credit through the University of Baltimore, program activities, cultural activities, welcome and goodbye dinners, travel insurance)

GENERAL LOCATION: Armagh, Northern Ireland

MEDIA: TextPerformance

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Terri Ciofalo

Questions about the Armagh Project? Contact Program Director Terri Ciofalo at: tciofalo@ieimedia.com

Armagh

Armagh, Northern Ireland

In Armagh, a city where ancient and modern Ireland converge, students will join in a rich tradition of study and storytelling as they explore contemporary issues in the historical heartland of Ireland. Spend the month of July on a journey through the culture, history, politics and people of Northern Ireland, guided by the professional writers and teachers of ieiMedia’s Armagh Project.  

The Armagh Project offers four tracks for students to choose from: Reporting/Multi-Media, Creative Writing, Playwriting or Theatrical Design. Students enroll in an a specific track where they will learn and practice the professional skills in their chosen field while sharing with each other a contextual platform of excursions, readings, class activities and guest speakers. Participants will live at the modern Armagh City Youth Hostel while having meetings and classes at the AmmA Center, a technologically enhanced multi-media center in the heart of the historic city. 

About Armagh

Armagh is situated 40 miles south of Belfast and 80 miles north of Dublin, placing it firmly as a cultural and political fulcrum in the long history of Ireland.  Just as North meets South, Protestant meets Catholic here as both churches have a cathedral to St. Patrick crowning opposing hilltops.  The people of the town can share stories about “The Troubles” – the time of conflict between British rule and the quest for Irish autonomy – but are just as quick to point out the signs of a thriving city nurtured under the shelter of almost two decades of peace in the region.  Armagh offers a healthy shopping district, diverse dining options, a state-of-the art multi-media center, and a modern performance and art space as contemporary counterpoints to the more ancient cultural and historical sites within and without its walls. 

Program Tracks

Reporting/Multimedia

Students in this section will gain professional skills in still photography, audio, reporting and writing for the web. They will learn by doing, using the legendary city of Armagh, Northern Ireland, and its surrounding borderland between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland as a laboratory for news features. The course immerses students in a foreign country as they learn multimedia journalism, replicating, to some degree, the intensive experience of a foreign correspondent. Students will study the history of Armagh, the culture of Ireland, and the politics of the late Troubles. Students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and attend lectures at the John Hewitt Society’s international writers’ conference held in July each year.  This course is appropriate for undergraduates with some previous experience in journalism, reporting or feature writing.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Creative Writing: Memoir, Poetry or Prose

The Creative Writing track will introduce students to the essentials of how to tell your story through the lenses of memory, observation, reflection, and narration. Students will explore the techniques that poets and nonfiction writers use to generate new material and revise their work. Assigned readings will include poetry and memoir by contemporary Irish, British, and American writers that will serve as both inspiration and models for what’s possible. In addition to attending classes, student will receive one-on-one critiques of their work, and create a portfolio of writing that fits their personal goals as writers of memoir, poetry, or both. Students in this track will participate in the John Hewitt Society’s international writer’s conference held annually in Armagh and may have their work selected for presentation at the conference. This program is appropriate for both experienced writers looking to further develop their work on novice writers interested in exploring a new genre.

Playwriting

Surround yourself with the rich tapestry of Irish storytelling through the voices of some of Erie’s most important playwrights while you craft your own work inspired by your experiences.  Read and explore texts from Irish playwrights while creating your own 10-minute play.  Learn how improvisation and freewriting can develop your voice while structured peer and instructor feedback sessions propel your work forward.  Classroom instruction in dramatic structure, writing practice and vocal training is married with cultural field trips and exploration studies.  . Students will explore the creation of theatre from idea through writing and into performance.  Students in this track will participate in the John Hewitt Society’s international writer’s conference held annually in Armagh and may have their work selected for performance at the conference.  This program is appropriate for both experienced student playwrights as well as those considering writing their first play.

Theatrical Design

Storytelling coalesces with visual and fine art as they intersect in design for the stage.  Scene Designers, Costume Designers and Lighting Designers are the painters, sculptors, and illustrators of the theater, using their understanding of design and aesthetics to literally bring a story to life before our eyes.  Students in this track will practice fundamental art techniques while learning to unlock the secrets of good design from architecture, landscape, culture and history.  Students will collaborate with the playwriting track to create designs for their original works while also working on design projects based on some of the most well-renowned texts from the Irish storytelling tradition. Student work will be presented in a curated exhibit at the John Hewitt Society’s international writer’s conference held annually in Armagh.  This program is appropriate for both students of theatrical design as well as students with an arts background but no formal training in theatrical design.

Selected works will presented publically during The John Hewitt International Summer School at Market Place Theatre in Armagh.  This week-long program of readings, talks, debate and discussion, drama, music and exhibitions features more than 30 top writers, speakers and artists from across Ireland and beyond.

Academic Credit

Undergraduate Credit

Students must choose one track in which to enroll.

Undergraduate Credit is available for all students through the University of Baltimore.  Students who enroll in the Armagh Project will need to complete appropriate paperwork from the University of Baltimore to receive credit.  After acceptance to the Armagh Project, program staff will contact you to assist with your registration.  Contact Kimberley Lynne at klynne@ubalt.edu for more information.  This class is appropriate for 3 undergraduate credits.

Graduate Credit

Graduate students are encouraged to work with Armagh Program faculty to develop an individualized course of study that will meet curricular requirements for the student’s home school.  Graduate students have the option of bringing a work-in-progress or thesis research focus to the Armagh Program in order to continue building in the student’s area of academic focus.  This course is appropriate for 4 graduate credits.

Professional Workshop/Post-Graduate Studies

The writing programs at ieiMedia are taught by master teachers and writers who bring their professional expertise as guides to emerging writers.  Professional and post-graduate learners benefit from moderated small group experiences and one-on-one coaching that allows for individualized plans of study or work.  The Armagh Project is an ideal place to begin work on a new creative endeavor as well as a robust writing environment in which to develop a work-in-progress.

Academic Resources

Armagh Street

 Armagh is rich with study and research opportunities to support any creative endeavor.  The Armagh Public Library was founded in 1771 and holds among its collection of medieval and 17th century manuscripts, engravings and Irish artifacts, a first edition of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (with Swift’s notes) and a copy of Gwynn’s Book of Armagh.  The Cardinal O’Fiach Memorial Library and Archive houses material related to Irish history and language as well as church history, history of the Irish diaspora, and Irish sporting traditions.  The Irish and Local Studies Library, the Armagh City Library, and the AmmA Center round out the scholar’s resources.

Travel Opportunities

Frequent and ample bus service will take you to Belfast in just over an hour and to Dublin in just over two hours – opening access to more of Ireland or to other areas of Great Britain or Europe through the international airports of both cities.  The Armagh Program includes one three-day weekend of free time for students to travel on their own as well as trips to Belfast and Dublin with the group.  Easy day trips from Armagh include journeying to the primal and compelling Giant’s Causeway in the far north, touring the famously tranquil and idyllic scenery of County Londonderry, or visiting the marble arch caves in Femanagh, Northern Ireland’s Lake District.  If you are craving the metropolitan both Dublin and Belfast have become international cities full of much of the same abundant shopping, cultural events and night life you are likely to find in New York, London or Rome.

Armagh

Armagh Area

Students

Armagh students at work

The Armagh Program in total is open to up to 36 undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate/professional students across both programs. Students from many universities – including University of Baltimore, Iowa State University, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, Ryerson University, New York University, UCLA, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Temple University, Arizona State University, Gonzaga University, University of Arizona, University of Montana, Loyola College, San Jose State University, Humboldt State University, San Diego State University, Rice University, University of Nevada-Reno, Nanyang Technological University, University of British Columbia and Baylor University – have participated in past ieiMedia programs. We’ve also had students from Japan, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, Turkey and Trinidad.

This course is particularly suited to those students interested in creative writing, communication, playwriting, theatre studies, Irish cultural studies, literature, poetry, and storytelling.  Enrollment is open to students from any major provided they have a strong writing background.  Course instructors use writing samples and other diagnostics to make decisions about acceptance into the program or placement within program groups.

Faculty

Armagh Professor and Students

Program Faculty is comprised of professional writers and teachers.  Faculty for 2014 will include:

Program Director

Terri Ciofalo is a professional theatre artist and experienced Production Manager teaching graduate and undergraduate theatre at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  She earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and has toured theatrically both in the United States and overseas.

Faculty

Doug Cumming, Ph.D. (Reporting) is an associate professor of journalism at Washington & Lee University with 26 years experience at metro newspapers and magazines. Since getting a Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill in mass communications, he has taught multimedia reporting and feature writing at Loyola University-New Orleans and at W&L in Virginia. Earlier, he worked at the newspapers in Raleigh, Providence and Atlanta; was editor of the Sunday Magazine in Providence; and helped launch Southpoint monthly magazine in Atlanta. He won a George Polk Award and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

Kimberley Lynne (Resident Playwright)   A published author and playwright, Kimberley has had over 30 works staged and presented in professional, community, and university theatres.  A staff and faculty of member of the University of Baltimore, she has worked in theater as an actor, director, scenic designer and producer.  Her professional affiliations include Actors’ Equity and the Dramatist Guild.

Joan Weber (Playwriting and Creative Writing Teacher, Researcher) is an independent teaching artist, writer and program director in acting, improvisation and playwriting in the Baltimore-Washington region. Joan has taught all ages from pre-school through graduate school, most currently with Towson University. She is a regular contributor to the Teaching Artist Journal, discussing policy and practice of theatre in education as well as her specialty in arts integration.

View complete faculty biographies on our Armagh Faculty Page

Accommodations

Students and faculty will be housed at the Armagh City International Youth Hostel.  Kitchen facilities and some communal meals are provided.

Equipment

All students should bring a personal computer capable of connecting to the internet.  Students should have a full and current version of Microsoft Word installed on their computer.  Each student should also bring a digital camera or other device capable of taking quality, downloadable photos as well as a 2 to 4 gb thumb drive for transferring work.  Other equipment may be outlined in the course syllabus for each section.

Program Cost

The cost is $4,995 plus airfare. The price includes housing and some special meals, instruction, basic travel insurance, welcome and goodbye dinners and special programs, activities and cultural events. Transfer from and to the airport in Dublin is also provided.  Students may have to pay their home institution if they chose to seek credit for this course through their own school

Financial Aid

Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out if assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.

Application Process

Students must fill out the online application and submit the names of two references as well as a copy of your college transcripts (unofficial okay), along with a $500 deposit. Deposits will be refunded only if a student is not accepted into the program.  You must paste into the application writing sample for diagnostic and placement purposes.

For more information, fill out our contact form.

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“My experience in Urbino can be adequately be summed up by one very key Italian phrase: “Mamma mia!” The hills, the history, the pasta and the overall experience were such enjoyable eye-openers. Studying abroad is truly a priceless opportunity, and I know my time in Urbino will send me back to the states with a new worldview that will forever be with me.”
by Milana Katic, Indiana University, Urbino Project 2012