The Brigid 1500 program has committed to investing €310,000 ($330,264) into local creative and community initiatives.
The program, which is run by Kildare County Council, also announced news of another big investment coming soon.
Building upon the remarkable success of the inaugural year of the program, The Brigid 1500 hopes to reach half a million in creative and community grants by the end of 2024. Some of the funding for these projects comes from Kildare’s Local Property Tax, demonstrating the community's commitment to investing in and supporting these initiatives.
The 1,500th anniversary of the death of St. Brigid takes place in February 2024, and in anticipation of the anniversary, the program comprises a series of events and initiatives, including festivals, concerts, art commissions, illuminations, and craft workshops, along with a dedicated schools program to honor St. Brigid's legacy.
“As we look towards the second year of Brigid 1500, we are thrilled to deepen our support for local communities," said Sonya Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Kildare County Council.
"The remarkable response from our communities has encouraged us to provide even greater support for their initiatives that echo the values championed by St. Brigid herself. It's not just about celebrating a historical figure; it's about breathing life into her legacy and empowering communities to carry it forward.”
The community grants program led by Brigid 1500 has provided crucial support to projects like ‘Willow Workshops’ that brings together members of the Irish Wheelchair Association and participants from the local community to create Willow Crafts.
The initiative has also extended its support to projects, including “Look to past, View to the Future," a collaborative textile art project between artist Aideen Cross and 6th class students from St. Evin's School, Monasterevin.
“I am so grateful for the support extended by the Brigid 1500 program to my proposal which allowed me to work with the talented students of St.Evin’s, creating a large textile stained glass window wall hanging that is symbolic of our local hero," said Cross.
"The children were involved in every aspect of this project from the design to the hands-on work with almost 100% recycled fabric and fibre to create this wonderful textile art piece that is full of history and creativity.”
Cathaoirleach of the County of Kildare, Daragh Fitzpatrick also commented on the grants program led by Brigid 1500, saying: "The Brigid 1500 grants program plays a pivotal role in supporting local talent and ensuring that the rich heritage and legacy of St. Brigid continue to inspire our communities. These grants empower individuals to bring their creative visions to life, fostering a deep connection with our cultural roots while celebrating the enduring values of St. Brigid."
The 'Brigid 1500' initiative demonstrates a commitment to fostering a vibrant cultural heritage and nurturing local communities.
Through the diverse range of events and projects, Brigid 1500 empowers individuals to connect with their roots, explore artistic expression, and champion the values that St. Brigid possessed.
For more information, visit brigid1500.ie