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Local Authority Culture and Creativity Strategies launched

Thirty-one individually tailored Culture and Creativity Strategies have been developed by local authority culture teams across Ireland to identify, activate and support the creative life of your community from 2018-2022.

These strategies, based on Culture and Creativity Plans published in the first year of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017), focus on collaborative efforts between people and organisations within communities, demonstrating the evolving nature of the Creative Ireland Programme and its priorities.

These ambitious and innovative 5-year Culture and Creativity Strategies have been developed by the network of expert and passionate Culture Teams within the 31 Local Authorities, in consultation with artists, creatives, cultural and heritage organisations, community groups, the creative industries, centres of education and schools across the country. The Strategies embody both the spirit and practice of collaboration and shared purpose, which is at the heart of the Creative Ireland Programme. They aim to provide meaningful opportunities for citizens and local communities, together with our Local Authorities, to build, nurture and sustain our creative society.

In 2017, over 250 projects, initiatives and events were held across the country thanks to the dedication and hard work of Culture Teams – comprising local arts and heritage officers, librarians, enterprise officers, archivists and other relevant members of your community – in each area.

By identifying specific areas of focus, your local authority is highlighting the potential for long-term impact to the well-being of communities with reference to our children, our cultural infrastructure, our creative industries and our global reputation. These strategies represent a bold new approach to planning that maximises the cultural and creative reach, effectiveness and benefit of your own local authority.

Find your area’s creative strategy!

Speaking at the launch of the strategies, Anna Marie Delaney, CEO of Offaly County Council and Chair of the City and County Managers Association EECC Committee said: “Local Authorities play a pivotal role in bringing people together, creating opportunities for our citizens to fully participate in the creative and cultural life of our communities and to work towards building a thriving creative society for future generations.

Creative Ireland is a remarkable and ambitious initiative and we welcome the continued investment and recognition of the Local Authorities as a flagship partner in the Programme. We believe that participation in cultural and creative activities contributes directly to building cohesive and sustainable communities and to enhancing the quality of life of our citizens we look forward to deepening our partnership with the Programme in the coming years.”

Speaking at the launch of the strategies, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, said: “Creative Ireland is all about improving access to culture and creativity in every county nationwide, to improve public wellbeing. The Culture Teams in each local authority have been absolutely essential to fulfilling this aim. We believed that by bringing people across a range of disciplines together in our Local Authorities, we could achieve more than the sum of their individual efforts. The plans being published today are proof that these collective efforts are resulting in projects of real scale and ambition.

Some of the special initiatives prioritized as part of the Local Authority Strategies 2018 – 2022 include

  • A Creative Sector Development Programme, led by the Kerry Local Enterprise Office, will aim to assist creative practitioners to bring their work to market and to help secure local, national and international opportunities. (Kerry)
  • SkillsXChange: The initiative is to encourage the sharing of expertise and innovation in craft and artisan skills between Syrian refugees and the Mullingar community. The combined skill base includes carpentry, stone masonry, horticultural and computer skills, sewing, kitting and cookery skills. (Westmeath)
  • If I Fall: A pioneering collaboration between Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre, The Civic Theatre and former UFC Fighter Paddy Holohan, this initiative aims to create a dialogue, through the medium of dance, around ideas of masculinity. The project aims to challenge negative representations of Tallaght and to create a new story of this place. (South Dublin)
  • Blackpool Live Rebel Streets: An intergenerational project exploring the history and heritage of the area using street art and reverse graffiti to demonstrate the findings. This project will run for the duration of the Creative Ireland Programme. (Cork City)
  • Citizen Scientist: A 20 week programme – members of the John Sullivan Centre/Irish Wheelchair Association Clane explore, record and sketch the flora and fauna in the centre’s biodiversity garden with findings submitted to National Biodiversity Data Centre. (Kildare)
  • Campa Spraoi: Cuirfidh an campa blaiseadh den Ghaeltacht ar fáil i Muineachán. Gheobhaidh rannpháirtithe an champa léiriú ar shaol iomlán trí Ghaeilge – trí cheol, ealaíon, spórt, amhránaíocht, damhsa agus drámaíocht. (Monaghan)

Full details of the 31 Local Authority Culture and Creativity Strategies 2018 – 2022 can be found at creative.ireland.ie.