‘Creative Hospitality’ Taster

Shauna Kelly

Jennie Moran, Course Leader for the CFA Creative Hospitality module at NCAD, shares her experience and gives us a taster of the programme so far.

‘Creative Hospitality’ Taster

Creative Hospitality is a CFA module at NCAD for artists and designers interested in exploring opportunities for shared experience in their work.


We are thinking about the communities that form around our work. Do our projects bring people together, if so – how? What is it like to visit this space? What kind of hosts are we to the people who come as guests in our work? What are the terms of this welcome? What is expected of both host and guest? Is some kind of an exchange possible? What might we learn from each other? How might this reciprocity impact the creative practice? 


We have been looking to the to the culture, philosophy and infrastructure of hospitality in order to understand more about the process of interaction between strangers and how trust might be established. Food was a really important tool for us. We have been discussing our individual and shared food heritage and building a collection of recipes from our group. We have been exploring ideas around food and resistance and how sites of hospitality can be used to effect social change. We invited Mavis Ramazani from the collective, Cooking for Freedom, to come and share her knowledge and experience around setting up shared kitchens in Dublin so that people living in Direct Provision can cook together. This event was opened up to the public and attracted a good crowd who engaged generously. 



In preparation for this module, I was trying to think of people whose job it is to consider unconditional welcome and about formal systems employed to greet strangers, especially in contrast to the shameful Direct Provision system we had heard about from Mavis. It occurred to me that our president, Michael D. must have strong views on how Áras an Uachtaráin welcomes guests. I contacted his team to ask if there would be someone willing to come to NCAD and talk to us about the role of hospitality as performed by the head of state. I was astonished to receive a response from the president’s executive assistant, Kevin who told me that this was something the team has been thinking a lot about recently and suggested that the best way to explain the approach to hospitality, was for the gang come up to the Áras and experience it. Huge gratitude to Kevin, Bernie, Tina, David and Daniel and President Michael D. Higgins for a very moving and memorable day.


This group has formed a gorgeous, nurturing co-learning community. They are now considering a response to the module and are working individually or in small groups, using the NCAD campus as a site of enquiry. The brief is to create a temporary hospitality-based intervention. Let’s see what unfolds. 


If you would like to find out more about upcoming courses at CFA please see HERE