This year, government initiative Creative Ireland is highlighting some of the best projects, events, and initiatives that are bringing culture and the arts to the forefront in every Irish county and Cork City is no different.
Home to institutions such as The Cork School of Music, the Triskel Arts Centre and the Crawford College of Art and Design, the "rebel city" has produced such brilliant minds as scientists George Boole, Dr. Vincent Barry and John Tyndall; writers Frank O’Connor, Seán Ó Ríordáin, and Sean O’Faolain; revolutionary thinkers Thomas Davis and Terence McSwiney; and artists John Barry and Seamus Murphy, to name but a few.
A heritage city with a proud maritime history and a dedication to innovation in the arts, Cork is equally a hub for artistry and imagination.
Here are some of the best events and long-term initiatives you should know about in Cork City:
Presented by Dowtcha Pupppest from July 31 – August 7, the Cork Puppetry Festival offers world class shows for children, families and adults, with a strong international contingent, presenting companies from Greece, Iceland, Germany and the UK as well as the best of Irish, especially Cork, puppetry. Performances take place at venues around Cork City, from the Granary Theater to Bishop Lucey Park. They will even attempt to break the world record for the world's largest sock puppet gathering!
For the month of August through September 3, Cork City celebrates the craftspeople and the handmade, unique and original crafts of Cork. Put on by Cork Craft and Design, the month highlights the works of craft-makers and artists from ceramicists, jewelers and textile-workers to furniture-makers, wood turners and carvers, paper and felt makers, sculptors and many more through a series of exhibitions, workshops and talks. Official launch is August 2 at Cork City Hall.
Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
Each year, Cork City Council works with schools to ensure that the creative side in every child is fostered and allowed to develop as it should. This includes projects such as Schools Heritage Project, STEAM Engineering workshops, The I Wish (inspiring women in STEM) Programme, RAP music competitions, and Composer in the Classroom, as well as providing a wide range of services to children and young people through community-based projects including Lit in The Hut, Traveller Mentoring Programme, Music Generation, Summer Sing, Early Years Arts (Beag).
Organized by Cork City Council, Cork Heritage Open Day is taking place on Saturday, August 19 and will see over 40 buildings open their doors to the public for free for one day only. A series of exhibitions, historical guided walking tours, talks and family fun events will also take place as Cork city celebrates its unique history and heritage. Cork Heritage Open Day marks the first day of Cork Heritage Week which runs until Sunday, August 27. See www.corkheritageopenday.ie.
Founded in honor of Cork's legendary short story writer Frank O'Connor, the Cork International Short Story Festival (renamed in 2016) is now in its 18th year. From September 13 – 16, the festival will bring four days packed full of interviews, talks, and workshops, in addition to the announcement of the winners of the prestigious The Seán Ó Faoláin Prize and The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellowship.
A festival of music, art, and conversation produced by Cork Opera House and curated by indie rock icon Bryce Dessner of The National, Sounds From a Safe Harbor will take place September 14 – 17 in Cork City. Headliners this year include Bon Iver, Lisa Hannigan, the RTE Symphony Orchestra, and The National themselves.
Cork City will transform into a barrel of laughs September 21 – 24, as top Irish and international comedians appear in venues around the city. The 2017 festival builds upon the runaway success of this comedy festival's launch in 2016.
The Cork Folk Festival, September 28 – October 1, is annual music event that takes place in Cork City. The 37-year-old festival is emerging as one of the most important folk and traditional music events in Ireland and has a growing reputation in Europe. Performances take place in concert halls, music venues, in 30 bars and on the streets.
The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind, a collection of short stories by Corkwriter Billy O’Callaghan, has been chosen by the people as Cork's book for One City One Book 2017. Cork writer Colm Ó Ceallacháin is translating one of the short stories from the One City One Book collection into Irish and this will be read along with the Chinese translations at the launch of the Chinese edition of The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind, on September 22.
The Cork City Council is working with Terence McSwiney Community College – in partnership with Apple – to foster creativity and media production.
Film in Cork, a joint Cork City and Cork County initiative, works to support bringing film production to Cork as well as providing training, advice, and information to the film sector in Cork. Film in Cork also supports the development of the film sector in Cork through script production awards.
Ireland’s biggest jazz fest, attracting hundreds of musicians and thousands of music fans to the city each year and music flows from pubs, hotels, concert venues and more. October 27 – 30, 2017.
Halloween – or Samhain, as you should call it – is a night in Cork unlike any else! Come join in on the fun with this massive, colorful parade and festival.
Cork City Council is twinned or has a formal friendship with Cologne, Coventry, Rennes, San Francisco, Swansea & Shanghai to help develop cultural, educational, social, tourism, technical, scientific and economic links.
The city has sent artists across all disciplines to each of our twinned and friendship cities, and has hosted international artists from them.
Cork Film Festival is Ireland’s oldest film festival, loyally supported by Corkonians, and attracting visitors from all over Ireland and abroad. For 10 days, from November 10 – 19, 2017, a vast range of films vying for prizes will be presented.
A very special Christmas celebration kicks off in Cork City November – December each year, centering around Bishop Lucey Park. Look out for markets and a massive Ferris wheel.
The Lee Sessions are an extensive series of traditional Irish music sessions in Cork City, featuring masters of traditional music. The sessions have been running continuously since May 2011 and are sponsored by Cork City Council. Check the event guide for listings.
Learn about Cork City’s rich history and archaeology in this ongoing series of lectures and events hosted by the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. Lectures during the winter and outings during the summer!
A focus of the Cork World Book Fest every April is Teen Day, which immerses teens in readings, workshops and performances. April 2018.
Summer SING! is a unique, week-long singing festival which takes place every July in Cork, Ireland. It allows children from Ireland and around the world experience the rich history and culture of Cork City while nurturing their natural singing ability. July 2018.
Is there an upcoming event in Cork City you think people should know about? Tell us in the comment section.