Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Mark McCollum

Letterkenny, Ireland

Mark cropped

Blue Drum

Mark McCollum is a Director and Chair of the Board. He co-ordinates The Voice of Older People, Donegal, a network organization advocating creatively on behalf of older people. He is an experienced actor, as well as community drama and Forum Theatre practitioner.  His is happiest working with productions addressing issues from bullying, domestic violence, sectarianism, to the stigma associated with mental health. He can be met at any time of the day or night swimming out to Tory Island.

Blue Drum is a specialist support agency working with Family Resource Centres (FRCs) in Ireland.  The Agency was established in 2001 in response to the growing involvement of the community development sector in utilising community arts and addressing issues facing families. In 2011 Blue Drum established a pilot exchange programme called Project Bud – an exchange with St Peter and Pauls for artists and community workers. Three artists (Robert Longyear, Alicia LeChance and Eleanor Phillips) and one community worker (Jean Bates) spend three weeks in the exchange programme.


Theater of the Oppressed: A Solution for Fractured Communities

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 1:30 pm
Lower Level : Room B

Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed is a mode of community arts practice that began in Brazil, and has spread around the world. Theater of the Oppressed smashes the “fourth wall” between actor and audience and invites everyone in the room to use theater as a way to participate in dialogue that helps communities make meaning out of complex social issues. Mark McCollum and Mick Daly from Ireland’s Blue Drum and St. Louis-based theater artist Emily Kohring will share examples and offer interactive demonstrations of their work using Theater of the Oppressed with communities that include the aging, families in crisis, and elementary and middle school youth.