Enabling creativity in every community is a core pillar of the Creative Ireland Programme, an ambitious five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which will place our strongest assets – our culture and creative communities – at the centre of public policy. In 2016, Louth County Council demonstrated their unique capacity to activate and support community engagement and participation in marking the Centenary year through a wide range of arts, culture and heritage initiatives.
Creative Ireland aims to build on this success by leading on the development of a dedicated Culture and Creativity plan for Louth based on the premise that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing. 2017 will see a special focus on children and young people with the specific objective of fast-tracking the Charter for Arts in Education, which will significantly increase access and participation for children in high quality arts and culture experiences.
A network of highly experienced arts officers, heritage officers and librarians has been set up across all 31 local authorities to lead on each county’s Creative Ireland Programme and a series of public meetings will be held over the next four weeks to share ideas, develop collaborations and explore opportunities for increased investment in local arts, culture and creative industries. Additional funding to support the initiative will be made available through the Creative Ireland Programme in 2017 with the potential for further investment over the next four years. Brian Harten, County Arts Officer, has been appointed Creative Ireland co-ordinator for Louth County Council.
In addition, all the agencies of Government, including national cultural institutions, state agencies, Government Departments, organisations, individuals and communities will be activated to embed creativity across all aspects of their work – and use that creative potential to foster collective wellbeing and social cohesion.
Louth County Council and the Creative Ireland national team will host an open meeting on the 6th of April at 7pm to share details about the Programme and to explore opportunities to increase access, engagement and collaboration in the local arts and creative industries in Bellingham Castle, Castlebellingham, County Louth.
Speaking in advance of the public meeting, Joan Martin, Chief Executive, Louth County Council said:
“The Creative Ireland Programme chimes with the positive work which has been undertaken in County Louth over the past number of years, and Louth County Council fully recognises and supports the aim of putting culture and creativity at the heart of our work. The benefits of a thriving cultural sector to a county, in terms of tourism and other economic benefits, are now well recognised. But the most important benefits happen on an individual basis, with people’s mental and emotional well-being, and their sense of identity, buttressed and safeguarded by meaningful engagement with arts and culture. Here in Louth, we are heading into an exciting two years when we will be hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which will allow us to showcase the musicians, writers and artists in the county, as well as making full use of our cultural infrastructure. I would invite all community groups, not just arts and culture-centred groups, to get involved in the Creative Ireland Programme, because it is when we are working together that we can achieve great things.”
Full details of the Creative Ireland Programme are available at creative.ireland.ie