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31 Local Culture Plans will drive creativity in every community nationwide – Taoiseach and Minister Humphreys

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Thursday) announced the roll out of 31 Local Authority Culture and Creativity Plans for 2017, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, at a special event in Dublin Castle, which included a performance by Music Generation Carlow, an accomplished collective of young traditional Irish musicians.

The development of Culture Plans for every county is a cornerstone of Pillar 2 of the Creative Ireland Programme – Enabling Creativity in Every Community. Since the launch of Creative Ireland in December 2016, every Local Authority has established a Culture Team which includes arts officers, heritage officers, librarians, museum and gallery curators, led by a local Creative Ireland coordinator.  Each Team has now put together a plan for their county to encourage communities and citizens to engage, participate and enable their creative potential.

Speaking at today’s event, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, said:

“These plans illustrate the extraordinary range of creativity in our communities and they get to the very heart of what Creative Ireland is all about: community, local empowerment, participation, collaboration.  These are not abstract words or ideas – these are the building blocks for a better society, and a better quality of life for everyone.

“We are not all artists but we are all capable of having our lives enhanced and enriched by the arts.  Arts and culture make it possible for us to be better people, living in a better society and a better country.  At its very core, Creative Ireland is a wellbeing strategy and through these local Culture Plans, our Local Authority network is helping us to spread the reach and the impact of the programme into every community nationwide.”

Minister Humphreys said:

“I would like to sincerely thank all of the Culture Teams in our Local Authorities who have been working so hard in recent months to help us realise some of the key ambitions in the Creative Ireland programme. Through Creative Ireland we want to create an ecosystem of creativity in every county nationwide; we want to see more people not just attending the theatre or going to a cultural event, we want to see them getting involved. In this way, we can help to build happier, healthier communities.

“The power of culture cannot be overestimated; arts and culture can open our minds, enliven our communities and enrich our children’s lives. The development of a Culture Plan is an important commitment in the Action Plan for Rural Development, because we believe that culture should be part of the development of every community, be it rural, urban, or somewhere in between. I look forward to seeing these plans being implemented in the coming months, to see Creative Ireland in action.”

New cultural highlights from the Local Authority Culture and Creativity Plans include:

  • Wainfest Arts and Book Festival for Children, Donegal

A vibrant growing festival providing entertainment, enjoyment, fun, magic and laughter to thousands of children. It provides opportunities for 4-12 year olds to increase their involvement in reading, culture, language, arts, libraries and heritage by offering the very best in performance each year. 7 – 15 October 2017

  • Ancient and Wild - Cavan County Council Arts and Heritage office and the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark have invited twelve artists to engage with the landscape, geology, and socio-political history of County Cavan and in particular the area of the Geopark. Work arising from the project will be exhibited in Cavan in December 2017.
  • Windy Toons Traditional Arts Festival for Young Audiences in Monaghan

A traditional arts festival for young audiences which will enhance traditional arts in the county through a diverse, innovative, and high quality programme for school and family audiences incorporating traditional music, song, dance and  storytelling across Co. Monaghan from 24 - 28 October 2017.

  • New Artists in Residence Programme

A series of new annual artist residencies will be offered to visual artists, dancers, photographers, writers, film makers, musicians or craft artists as part of new outreach initiative with local communities, based in some of  Mayo’s rich cultural and heritage sites.