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9 cross-border creative and cultural projects awarded funding under the Creative Communities on a Shared Island funding scheme

4 min read

9 cross-border creative and cultural projects awarded funding under the Creative Communities on a Shared Island funding scheme

4 min read


9 cross-border creative and cultural projects awarded funding under the Creative Communities on a Shared Island funding scheme

€850,000 for 9 new cross-border creative initiatives. 2 key projects receive €250,000 each for large-scale music, dance and crafting initiatives to be delivered over 2 years. 7 awards of €50,000 for more focused projects that include the development of an all-island Lace Trail, cross-border Dementia Choir Recitals, farm walks and talks in Leitrim and Fermanagh and creative exchanges between Belfast and West Cork.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Art, Gaeltacht. Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD have today announced 9 successful projects awarded funding under the Creative Communities on a Shared Island funding scheme as part of the Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland Programme 2023-2027.

More than €850,000 has been allocated to Local Authorities to support 9 new cross-border creative projects to inspire connections between people, communities and places. This new scheme builds on the experience and expertise of Local Authorities in fostering cross-border cooperation and interaction and aims to deepen creative collaborative networks across the island of Ireland.

The successful projects are spread across a wide range of creative and cultural activities, including music, dance, photography, public art installations and heritage, which contribute to the creative potential of communities on a shared island. Each project contributes to a shared sense of community across the island of Ireland by fostering North/South and East/West creative opportunities for connection through social interaction, engagement and dialogue. These new initiatives are part of the significant Shared Island dimension of the Creative Ireland programme 2023-27, which has already included programming of Cruinniú na nÓg 2023 events across the island for the first time, and the inclusion of cross-border projects in the Creative Climate Action Fund.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD

"“These nine projects will bring together people from across the island, from Cork to Belfast, from Antrim to Dublin and Down, in the spirit of the Shared Island initiative. These are really diverse projects backed up by the Creative Ireland programme, ranging from music, dance, and photography to public art installations. Each will help to build new connections between north and south, east and west. I really look forward to seeing what happens when these individuals, institutions and local communities come together.”"

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD

"“The Shared Island dimension of the Creative Ireland programme is developing apace, with the funding today of 9 new cross-border Creative Communities projects. These projects will showcase and connect creative impulses across the island of Ireland. Each project will provide opportunities, facilitated by Local Authorities, for new community interactions which help to create a shared island”. "

The 9 successful projects include

  • Clare County Council – Birds of the Feather will bring together women from Belfast, Clare and Galway. Working through the medium of craft, participants from all cultural, national and social backgrounds will share thoughts, life experiences and aspirations. Together they will develop new skills that will give them the confidence to creatively express their vision for ‘The Island’.
  • Cavan County Council – Dance Connects is a 24-month creative collaboration between dance practitioners in Cavan, Monaghan and Fermanagh-Omagh, local authorities, and Queen’s University Belfast and UCD. This wide-ranging project will engage with participants from every dance genre from Sean-Nós to jive, from line-dancing to ballet, from hip-hop to Scottish Country, from contemporary to Flamenco and everything in between. The aim will be to build networks, share skills, develop a database and website, alongside a comprehensive public engagement programme.
  • Dublin City Council – aRchive will be an immersive LED light installation at the Five Lamps Festival in April 2024. This ambitious project will reflect a programme of dialogue between the young people and older generations in Shankill/East Belfast and Dublin’s North East Inner City.
  • Cork County Council – The ties that bind is a creative exchange between artists living in The Duncairn in inner city Belfast and Levis in Ballydehob in rural County Cork. The project will tell the story of two corners of the island and how they have successfully leveraged the arts to build respect, inclusion and positivity in their respective areas.
  • Fingal County Council – Sharing songs and unforgettable voices will celebrate the dementia inclusive community-based choirs from North Dublin and Counties Antrim and Down. The choirs will commission new choral pieces to sing together that will challenge assumptions of age, ability and geography.
  • Donegal County Council – Shared Histories will engage communities on both sides of the border to use photography to unlock a shared past. Working with an artist, participants will explore the National Library of Ireland’s photo archive and develop a public art programme of events and exhibitions. Shared Histories will be supported by the Regional Cultural Centre in Donegal, the Nerve Centre in Derry and Photo Museum Ireland.
  • Leitrim County Council – Farm Walks will co-create a programme of activities with farming groups in Leitrim and Fermanagh to address issues that rural communities on both sides of the border share. The project is supported by Leitrim Sustainable Agriculture Group, Ulster Wildlife, Leitrim County Council’s Arts Office and Heritage Office and The Dock Arts Centre, with action research and evaluation experts TIALT.
  • Waterford City and County CouncilBuilding Shared Creative Communities, Waterford City & County Council (WCCC) and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) will work together to foster social interaction, engagement and dialogue with each of the local communities. The project will deliver cross border projects that support the creative sectors, environment, wellbeing and a wide range of cultural and creative activities.
  • Limerick City and County Council – Laces of Ireland will foster exchanges between lace maker groups and heritage institutions in Limerick, Armagh and Cork. The long-term goal is to create and promote an island-wide lace trail through the majority of historical lacemaking centres on the island of Ireland. This project will culminate in a series of projects in August Craft Month in 2024 and 2025.

"“Shared creative communities across the island of Ireland can be fostered through developing new, innovative and imaginative opportunities for connection through social interaction, engagement and dialogue. Coming from Monaghan myself I am very aware of the potential creative partnerships have in building new relationships and bringing communities together. Each of these projects has its own unique approach to creative exchange, and Local Authorities and their cross-border networks play an important role in enhancing people-to-people and community-to-community connections.” "

Read more about Shared Island here. 

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