Harnessing the creative potential of our people and communities is a cornerstone of the Creative Ireland Programme. Participating in creative and cultural activities has a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. It also supports social cohesion and builds a sense of belonging and pride of place. All over the country, people are working together to transform their communities, their lives and their environment.
Building on the success of the partnership with the local authorities for Ireland 2016, the Creative Ireland Programme established a Culture and Creativity Team in each of the 31 local authorities. Each team comprises cross-sectoral expertise including arts, heritage, libraries, enterprise and community engagement, to foster collaboration and spark new initiatives. A local Creative Ireland Co-ordinator has also been appointed for each local authority. Find your local co-ordinator here.
With the support and investment of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, each local authority is implementing a five-year Culture and Creativity Strategy 2017 – 2022. The strategies were developed in consultation with local artists, creatives, cultural and heritage organisations, community groups, centres of education and schools across the country.
We commissioned the performance poet Stephen James Smith to write We Must Create as a reflection of his time as artist-in-residence in Laois and to mark the publication of the local authority Culture and Creativity Strategies. Watch Stephen perform his poem here.
In the two years since the Programme began, we supported over 2,500 creative projects across the country. Creative Communities have reimagined local heritage using light installations, formed inter-generational and inter-cultural community choirs, inspired martial arts and contemporary dance mash-ups and much more!
Here’s Catherine Young talking about one of our Creative Communities initiatives – the remarkable Welcoming Project in Kerry.