Three Government departments have announced a combined 2019 investment of €6 million for the Creative Ireland Programme’s dynamic Creative Youth initiative.
Just one demonstration of the programme’s all-of-Government approach, the collaboration of the Departments of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Education and Skills, and Children and Youth Affairs will further our efforts in enabling the innate creativity of children and young people.
A particular highlight of today’s announcement is the welcome expansion of Creative Schools, an innovative flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. This newly-announced budget lets us double the number of participating schools in the Creative Schools initiative to 300. A further 150 will soon be selected and added to the existing participating schools, with online registration and applications open from 15th February until 21st March.
Creative Schools aims to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity as a core aspect of school life. It strives to foster children and young people’s creativity, potential and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education. The initiative recognises that the arts are a powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations to be inventive, and harness their boundless curiosity.
This year will see over 140,000 children and young people participate in Creative Schools and Creative Clusters programmes; while teachers across the country will enjoy increased opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). One of our partners, Music Generation, will begin five new Local Music Education Partnerships in 2019 too, a further step in delivering on the promise of a national roll-out by 2022. And under our expansive National Creativity Fund, some 15 exciting projects for children and young people will also be rolled out, providing yet more creative opportunities for young people around the country.
With creativity such an essential skill for children to develop, the sooner they can gain access to resources that see their potential flourish, the better. The Creative Ireland Programme is committed to helping our youth understand, develop and celebrate their creativity, empowering and elevating their sense of achievement and ultimately, their individual well-being.