Jackie Maguire

Research Associate at Trinity College Dublin


Jackie has a hDip in Community Arts Education from NCAD , an MA in Equality Studies from UCD , a BA in Drama & Theatre Studies and Environmental Studies from Liverpool Hope University College . She was awarded the Travel & Training Award from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2012 and 2014 and gained the Colourstrings Associate Teacher Kindergarten CSAK Certificate in 2012 . Since then she has been working in the area of early childhood arts with children aged 0 - 5 years through the art forms of music, drama and the visual arts . In addition, Jackie’s musical background includes almost 20 years experience of playing Brazilian music and she is a founding member of two music ensembles including, Morro 16 Samba Bloco and Canta Brasil . She has been invited to perform at European and international festivals in Brazil, Germany, France and the UK to name but a few and has facilitated all Ireland training opportunities for samba percussionists with the support of funding from the Arts Council in her role as musical director and voluntary board member. She facilitates weekly rehearsals in samba to adults in a voluntary capacity . She is currently a Research Associate at TCD in the area of the arts for early years, a lecturer in early childhood arts at Maynooth University on the BA Early Childhood Teaching & Learning Degree and is an early childhood artist . Although Jackie works predominantly through music using the renowned Colourstrings approach, her practice is also influenced by her formal drama training, which she incorporates as a performative element in her working methodologies . In addition, she has over 20 years experience of working with children in Ireland and the UK from marginalised communities, over five years’ experience of managing a community crèche and youth service in the inner city of Dublin ; and employment as Development Officer with Fingal County Childcare Committee . Recent early years arts programmes include ; Artful Dodgers : The Moonlight Project at the NGI : Space Invaders early years arts festival and The Wonder Project . Jackie has presented at a number of national and international conferences on her work as an early years artist and researcher.



  • EECERA, Dublin, September 2016. Co-presented and facilitated an experiential workshop in our self-organised symposium at EECERA on Artful Dodgers. Artful Dodgers is an early years music and visual arts programme that commenced in September 2013. The programme is located in two community crèche services in Fingal and is pioneered by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office, artists Jackie Maguire and Naomi Draper, Fingal County Childcare Committee and Ros Eó and Little Learners community crèche services. Artful Dodgers was delivered in three phases: o ‘artist in residence programme’ (Phase 1: 2013) o ‘creative exchange programme’ (Phase 2: 2014 to 2015), and o ‘parental involvement programme’ (Phase 3: 2015).



  • RECE conference, Dublin, October 2015. The Wonder Project, an early years arts programme with Traveller children and their mothers in Fingal, was presented on by Professor Carmel O’Sullivan of TCD at the 23rd international RECE conference, on behalf of artists Jackie Maguire and Seoidín O’Sullivan.
  • Space Invaders, an early years arts seminar and festival, May 2015, Dublin Co-ordinated the dissemination seminar for Artful Dodgers, an early years music and visual arts programme that has been running since 2013. Co-presented on Artful Dodgers at the seminar and co-delivered an experiential workshop to early years teachers and artists. 



  • Jacqueline Maguire and Naomi Draper. ‘Artful Dodgers, an Early Years Music and Visual Arts’ Artist in Residence and Creative Exchange Programme in Fingal, 2013 to 2014’. A paper presented, under the theme the ‘Art of Evaluation’ at Eksperimenta, IDEAlaboratory conference, Estonia, October 2014.
  • Jacqueline Maguire and Seoidín O’Sullivan. ‘The Wonder Project’. A paper presented under the ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ theme, 24th European Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference, Greece, September 2014.
  • Grainne McKenna and Jacqueline Maguire. ‘The Wonder Project’. A paper presented at OMEP 66th international conference, Cork, July 2014.
  • Jacqueline Maguire. ‘The Wonder Project’. A paper presented at the Society for Music Education in Ireland, 2013 Gathering Conference, November 2013.



Artful Dodgers (2013 -present)

Artful Dodgers is an early years music and visual arts programme, delivered in two community crèches in Fingal and engaging children aged three to five years. Fingal County Council’s Arts Office, artists Jackie Maguire (music) and Naomi Draper (visual arts), Fingal County Childcare Committee and Trinity College Dublin are delivering Artful Dodgers in partnership with the children and staff of Ros Éo Community Childcare Centre, Rush and Little Learners Crèche, Mulhuddart . Artful Dodgers is a music and visual arts programme that includes an artist -in -residence phase, a creative exchange phase and a parental involvement phase . The programme engaged Dr. Lucie Corcoran and Prof. Carmel O’Sullivan of AERG at TCD to explore the following question in phase one :

  • Does music and visual arts enhance children’s early literacy and numeracy skills ?

In phase two the programme engaged Prof. Carmel O’Sullivan and Prof. Noirin Hayes directly to explore the following key questions :

  • Does Artful Dodgers as a model sustain arts practices in early years settings? And Does Artful Dodgers qualify as a model of CPD for early years educators?
  • The programme is currently in phase three – a parental involvement phase, which is also being researched by the AERG , Trinity College Dublin.

Footage of the Artful Dodgers research presentations given at Space Invaders Early Years Arts Festival & Seminar in 2015 is available from https://vimeo .com/181648188


The Moonlight Project (2015) @ the National Gallery of Ireland

The Moonlight Project, a unique 8 week early years arts programme for young babies aged 3 to 12 months and their parents/carers ran from February to April 2015. It was located in the National Gallery of Ireland and was inspired by the exhibition NGI Collection. Led by artist Jackie Maguire, the group got to know one another and the gallery over the course of the arts programme. They explored the sensory world, light and dark, the world of sound and music, movement and visual arts together.


Space Invaders, International Early Years Arts Festival and Seminar 2015

Fingal Arts Office produces Space Invaders in partnership with Cliodhna Noonan of Acting Up Arts!, artist Jackie Maguire of Colourstrings Music with Jackie and Farmleigh Estate. Space Invaders is an international arts festival for children, families and early years educators. Now in its third year, the festival includes a series of international performances created for an early years audience, and a series of artist-led workshops for early years educators and early years artists. The 2015 festival programme included artists and companies from Belgium, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Great Britain and Ireland. A unique seminar focusing on early years arts practice and research was included. It featured a local perspective with Artful Dodgers Research Collaborative presenting findings on an on-going action research project in community crèche settings in Fingal, that aims to contribute to the development of early years arts education in Ireland; Starcatchers UK presented an international perspective, speaking about their multi-agency partnership programmes that aim to put arts and creativity at the heart of early years practice in Scotland. A panel discussion included members from The Arts Council of Ireland, Better Start, Early Childhood Ireland, Artful Dodgers and Starcatchers. Each year the festival is oversubscribed with waiting lists to attend. Please see the 2015 brochure: http://fingalarts.ie/resources/Space_Invaders_E_Brochure.pdf And here is promotional footage of the 2015 festival: https://vimeo.com/181805264