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An Taoiseach launches Creative Ireland - a major cross-governmental initiative and legacy project of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, will today (Thursday 8th December) be joined by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, for the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach. The announcement will be made in the newly-restored Shaw Room of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Creative Ireland is the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which at its core is a wellbeing strategy which aims to improve access to cultural and creative activity in every county across the country.

Creative Ireland will prioritise children’s access to art, music, drama and coding; enhance the provision of culture and creativity in every community; further develop Ireland as a global hub for film and TV production; empower and support our artists; drive investment in our cultural institutions; and further enhance our global reputation abroad. From 2018, an annual County of Culture will also be held each year.

Creative Ireland is built around five pillars:
· Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
· Enabling Creativity in Every Community
· Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure
· Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production
· Unifying our Global Reputation
Key initiatives to be delivered in 2017 include:
· The publication of a five year ‘Creative Children’ plan which will enable every child to access tuition in music, drama, art and coding
· Each Local Authority will appoint a Culture Team to drive local needs and will publish a Culture Plan for their own county
· A new annual cultural day, ‘Cruinniú na Cásca’ to be held nationwide on Easter Monday each year, replicating the very successful Reflecting the Rising event, which was held in Dublin this year
· The Departments of Arts and Social Protection will devise a mechanism to assist self-employed artists who have applied for Jobseekers Allowance. This would be a pilot scheme.
· A planned investment programme for Ireland’s cultural and heritage infrastructure, including our national cultural institutions
· An industry wide, long term plan to develop Ireland as a global hub for film, TV drama and animation

Creative Ireland will bring an enhanced level of coordination, focus and leadership to existing policies and initiatives across national and local government, State agencies, the arts and culture sector, Gaeltacht and Irish language organisations, and will provide linkages to the private business and NGO sectors.
Speaking at today’s event, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, said: “Creative Ireland is about placing culture at the centre of our lives, for the betterment of our people and for the strengthening of our society. Together we can do extraordinary things: we can make Ireland the first country in the world to guarantee access for every child to tuition and participation in art, music, drama and coding. We can make every local authority a dynamic hub of cultural creativity. We can unlock the huge potential of our people in the creative industries. And we can make an important statement to ourselves and to the world about the interdependency of culture, identity and citizenship.

Minster for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys TD., said: “Creative Ireland, as an Ireland 2016 legacy project, is inspired by the extraordinary public response to the Centenary Programme. This year thousands of cultural events were held around the country, bringing people together in shared reflections on identity, culture and citizenship that combined history, arts, heritage and language. We now want to build on the success of the commemorations and plan ambitiously for our arts and culture sectors for the years ahead. Creative Ireland will ensure that children can participate in the arts from an early age, and it will drive cultural engagement in every county nationwide. We want to make Ireland a global hub for film and TV production, while also investing in our cultural institutions. Creative Ireland puts culture and creativity at the centre of public policy, which will benefit artists and citizens nationwide This is a very ambitious public policy initiative; possibly the most significant for the arts and cultural sectors in a generation.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “When we talk about capital investment we must think beyond buildings. We must think, primarily, about investment in human capital and human creativity. The Government recognises that high quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant arts and culture sector and that such investment underpins social cohesion and supports strong and sustainable economic growth. I look forward to seeing imaginative, ambitious capital development plans for all of our cultural institutions that contain a clear focus on the element of creative human capital, and the good that our cultural institutions can do, beyond the confines of their physical buildings.”

Notes to Editors:
Full details of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach are available at
Creative Ireland is also the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach, the draft cultural framework policy published by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in July 2016.
For further details on each pillar, please see below:

Pillar 1: Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
Creativity begins in early years’ education. Children flourish through creative activities such as imagining and creating roles, scripts and ideas, sharing stories and symbols of their culture, and using the creative arts to express ideas and make meaning.

A key objective of Pillar 1 is that every child in Ireland will have access to tuition and participation in art, music, drama and coding. Initiatives such as the Charter for Arts in Education will be fast-tracked and resourced. The Department of Education and Skills will be a key partner in implementing this pillar.

Pillar 2: Enabling Culture and Creativity in Every Community
Each local authority will be asked to develop a Culture and Creativity Plan, reflecting the overall structure and aims of the national strategy for culture and creativity. Each local authority will establish a Culture Team bringing together arts offices, libraries, heritage offices and archives, along with other relevant functions – thus maximising synergies and cooperation.

‘Cruinniú na Cásca’, an annual programme of arts activities and cultural reflection to be held on Easter Monday, will be developed – across the island, locally, with our Diaspora, curated by the national broadcaster and delivered primarily by the local authorities. Beginning in 2018, there will also be an annual County of Culture award. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government will be a key partner in this pillar.

Pillar 3: Investing in our Cultural Infrastructure
High quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant arts and culture sector and that investment in cultural infrastructure underpins social cohesion and supports strong and sustainable economic growth. Significant investment programmes are already underway or planned for the National Gallery, National Library, National Archives and National Concert Hall. A 3 year €9m capital investment scheme in regional and local arts and cultural centres is also underway. One of the significant legacies of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme has been the 9 “Permanent Reminder” capital projects.

The Department of Arts will work with cultural institutions and other key stakeholders to prepare investment plans to address infrastructure needs and develop an overall capital strategy for the cultural and heritage sector, to include digitisation projects and the building of national cultural collections. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will be a key partner in this pillar.

Pillar 4: Ireland: A Centre of Excellence in Media Production
The overarching, long-term objective of this pillar is to elevate the creative industries (including media, architecture, design, digital technology, fashion, food and crafts) drawing together, on an all-of-government basis, State agencies, industry partners and those engaged in fostering innovation in enterprise. As an initial project, the key focus will be on Ireland’s potential to be a global leader in film production, TV drama, documentary, children’s storytelling, and animation for the screen.

Creative Ireland will develop a platform for a major initiative in this sector involving the Irish Film Board, RTÉ, the independent production sector, third level institutions, and other stakeholders to position and enable Ireland to be a leading international centre for media production.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will be key partners in this pillar.

Pillar 5: Unifying our Global Reputation
This pillar will seek to better align the work of the many bodies and agencies that project Ireland globally in pursuance of their individual mandates. Creative Ireland will develop shared strategic goals to maximise the impact and visibility of collective efforts and will create a communications programme based on an authentic representation of Irish culture and creativity, representing Ireland as a great place in which to live, in which to invest, to visit and in which to study. will be a national website for Ireland, a multi-sectoral gateway to Ireland with a supporting digital and social media programme. This initiative will be particularly important in projecting Ireland in the context of Brexit.

This Pillar will involve many Government Departments and Agencies, including the Culture Ireland Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who operate at an international level.

The National Gallery of Ireland

The Gallery’s major refurbishment project is one of the country’s major capital cultural projects, co-funded between the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Office of Public Works.

The project is very close to completion. As soon as the buildings are handed back to the Gallery, there will be approximately another six months of complex tasks to be carried out by the Gallery, including re-hanging the collection, before it reopens to the public in 2017.