One of the great legacies of the 1916 commemorations was the setting up of Creative Ireland, a five-year initiative designed to build on the success of the artistic, musical and cultural magic that came out of communities engaging with the centenary celebrations in 2016. How those celebrations were marked was not decreed by central government. Instead, local communities decided for themselves what would go on in their own area, and as a result, we witnessed an explosion of original, inspiring, moving events that captured the collective heart.
There was dancing on beaches, music and speeches, poetry, parades, concerts and plays, all kinds of ways in which the Irish people reclaimed our history and cultural legacy, and it was a joy to behold. Huge kudos then to those who had the vision to recognise that something special had happened and seized the opportunity to harness that creativity develop it further. And so Creative Ireland was formed.
In short, Creative Ireland is a programme that sets out to give everyone in Ireland the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. It’s broken down into five pillars (I know, pillars…)
- Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
- Enabling Creativity in Every Community
- Ireland as a Centre of Creative Excellence
- Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure
- A Creative and Cultural Nation
When I got the chance to write about this for the Irish Independent over the summer of 2017, I was over the moon. Every week I got to talk to incredibly talented people in different counties about their innovative, exciting dreams and schemes. And what they’ve created is a joined-up approach, with cultural co-ordinators, arts officers, heritage officers, librarians and others within each county networking with each other and with local and state organisations, artistic bodies, schools and individuals, all working together to put creativity at the heart of every single thing we do as a nation.
Check out these links to some of the fab things going on around the country: