Artists and Writers: Introduction

Narrative 4 was founded by writers and artists, including Irish novelist Colum McCann and Sierra Leonian writer Ishmael Beah, in response to the realisation that barriers are being created and stereotypes reinforced at an alarming rate around the world.

They, along with N4 co-founder Lisa Consiglio wanted to create a platform for young people to share stories - and share their experiences with each other. So that a whole generation of young people would develop empathy skills and understand different perspectives in a nuanced way.

Today the programme exists in schools all around the world due to the vision of writers and artists, as well as the extraordinary leadership from students and teachers.

Together, we are building a thriving network of artists, participants, practitioners and supporters. We are growing our evidence base on the transformative power of our model. This is only just the beginning of Narrative 4. Here's to stories and to those that tell them.

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Ishmael Beah

Narrative 4: The Artists Network

We believe that artists can help empower young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. It’s a way for artists to reach their core audience—and for that core audience of teachers and students to change the world.

In late 2021, Narrative 4 Ireland will be rolling out a new project working with artists and schools. The project will see renowned artists visit schools that have integrated the Story Exchange project into their curriculum.

They will ignite students’ passion for connecting, learning from one another and ultimately realising that every day is a new story, lesson and landscape, with endless opportunities.

Watch this space ! (or sign up for updates!) 


N4 Ireland Founding Board Members & Participating Artists.

In Ireland, Colum McCann and musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire serve on the Narrative 4 Ireland board.  Our artists below have all contributed their creativity and talents to N4 Ireland's youth projects. *Please note most of these links open the bios or article on an external website. N4 Ireland is not responsible for the content on these sites.



Visual Artists


Enabling Creativity- everyone has a story to tell

Colum McCann says 'the one true democracy we have is storytelling. It goes across borders, boundaries, genders, wealth, race - everyone has a story to tell.'

Across all cultures, humans tell stories, storytelling is an ancient and universal activity. Narrative 4 taps into this very human need for stories and creativity. From South Africa to Ireland, to Mexico, to Nigeria and New York City, Narrative 4 is empowering young people to tell their stories. We believe this is the true function of stories- to connect us and bring us alive in bodies not your own. Through the Story Exchange, our shared humanity becomes apparent. What is the world except for the story of everybody else?

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Interested in empathy education? Train as a Story Exchange Facilitator by applying below