Biodiversity initiatives in Nephin, sustainable tourism community projects in Bunratty, creative coastal resilience proposals for the Maharees, community engagements in Carlingford – these are just some of the 43 creative projects included in the €5.8 million Creative Climate Action Fund announcement made today by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Ministers Catherine Martin and Eamon Ryan.
Following the success of Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund in 2021; the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of the Taoiseach announce the 43 successful recipients of the €5.8 million Creative Climate Action Fund II – Agents for Change. This Creative Ireland initiative supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empowers citizens to make meaningful behavioural changes.
Highlighted projects include:
- Citizen project to map air quality in Galway.
- An inclusive Shared Island initiative that will empower neurodivergent communities to engage in climate action.
- A reinvention of the Mountmellick Christmas tree through local craft practices and sustainability.
- A creative arts programme that will bring together the communities of Carlingford Lough to engage with their marine environment.
- A nationwide campaign led by the advertising industry to create alternative visions of the future.
- A site-responsive, interactive piece that aims to reduce a Waterford theatre’s carbon footprint.
- Celebration and exploration of winterage practices in the Burren and sustainable farming
- A creative investigation of the impact of demolition in Ireland’s construction sector
The Creative Ireland Programme, in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is funding 40 recipients. A further 3 recipients are funded as part of the Shared Island initiative of the Department of the Taoiseach.
Speaking today Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said:
“The inclusion of three significant cross-border projects in the Creative Climate Action Fund, under the Shared Island initiative, signifies the ongoing Government support for ambitious activities which benefit the whole island and bring people together around common concerns. In this instance the funding will help to develop awareness, through creativity, of climate change, the single greatest threat facing humanity today. We must be the generation that turns the tide on climate change and biodiversity loss. The ongoing Shared Island dimension of the Creative Ireland Programme will harness the power of cultural creativity to bring communities together across the island.”
Commenting on the announcement Minister Martin said:
“The success of our inaugural Creative Climate Action initiative is hard to deny. The first 15 projects were in equal parts exciting, thoughtful and ambitious. The ambition of the artists and the communities involved were made manifest by dramatic light installations that demonstrated rising sea levels in Galway and Wexford, immersive agricultural programmes in Dingle and Tipperary, decarbonising projects in Limerick and Waterford, and the regeneration of repair and reuse culture in Westmeath.
However the real value of the initiative was the unrelenting desire for meaningful change amongst all those involved. I believe the projects that we are launching today will drive that momentum for change even further. I want to congratulate the breadth of imagination and considered thinking involved in each of these 43 initiatives. It is wonderful to witness and a real privilege to support.”
The Creative Climate Action Fund II: Agents of Change is unique in that it pairs creative minds with experts in climate science, sustainability and biodiversity, all with the aim of connecting the public to the profound changes that are happening in our environment, society and economy arising from climate change and can transform that connection into behaviour change or climate action. The fund received 239 applications from an array of disciplines and industries; Architecture, Creative Facilitation, Film, Participatory Design, Visual Arts, Cultural Heritage, Theatre, Service Design, Dance, Literature, Music, Traditional Arts, Festivals, Circus, Publishing and Press, and Animation and Augmented Reality.
Welcoming today’s announcement Minister Ryan said:
“Climate change can be such a huge issue that people can too often feel overawed, or that it’s something they can’t do anything really meaningful about. This change can be achieved through fully exploring avenues for innovative and creative ways to inspire people to take action. Once again the Irish cultural sector and our enterprising communities have responded with initiatives that will challenge us all to make the changes needed to secure a better future for us all. This is exciting and important work and I wish to commend everyone involved.”
The 43 successful awardees will establish projects spanning the island of Ireland, including 3 Ignite projects funded under the Shared Island initiative (Antrim, Down and Fermanagh). The fund supports projects under two strands. Strand 1, Ignite, will support 19 large-scale interdisciplinary projects with extensive public engagement on a national level these will run until 2025. Strand 2, Spark, will fund 24 projects to pilot new ideas for public engagement at a local, community, or community of practice scale. These projects will be completed by the end of 2024.