It’s been almost six months since The Studio opened its doors in Maghera. In one way it feels like I have been hanging out here forever. Then sometimes I answer the phone and hear myself saying “I’m in The Studio” and still get that flutter of excitement I felt on opening day…I guess I’m still getting used to the place existing in real life, beyond my imagination where it lived for so long.
Already The Studio has taught me so much, like the cost of heating oil and how many loo rolls a place can get through in a week! Both valuable lessons of course, but the real education has come from the people who have walked through the door.
At Christmas I was privileged to host a party for South Derry Down’s Syndrome Group after a very successful term of drama at The Studio. The Studio was full of people, babies, children, parents, grandparents, families and friends. Standing there taking it all in was a real ‘pinch me’ moment. It was exactly as I had imagined, a space where people could come together to really celebrate creativity and diversity in our community. The thing that stood out most was the sound of laughter. It was everywhere, from baby giggles to a dad’s hearty chuckle and it was great!
In the middle of this wonderful chaos a mum approached me. This lady’s daughter had been part of the group throughout the term. With tears in her eyes she explained that this was the first party her daughter had attended in 18 years. Why? Today she had the confidence to show up because she felt like she belonged here.
What an honour, after years of searching, a literal lifetime, that young girl had found her place, right there in The Studio…and I couldn’t have been happier.
With love, Ciara
Once in while when everything is just right, there is a moment of magic. People can live on moments of magic.Sarah Caldwell