Creative Ireland is an invitation to get involved in something truly inspirational. It’s an ambitious five-year Government arts and culture strategy, that aims to boost wellbeing in schools, homes and communities across Ireland, as well as unifying our global reputation and reaching out to our Irish diaspora overseas.
You might remember the huge success of the commemorative program last year, when thousands of cultural events were held in Ireland and around the globe, to remember 1916. We knew that something special was happening through the commemorations; it awoke a great appetite for people to engage with Irish culture at a local, national and international level. We wanted to build a legacy from that tremendous cultural awakening, and that legacy is Creative Ireland.
One of the key aims of Creative Ireland is to ensure that every child in Ireland will have access to lessons and tuition in art, drama, music or coding over the next five years. Research shows that children who engage in the arts and cultural activity are happier, suffer less anxiety and do better at school. Put simply, engaging in the arts is good for our kids, and I think that is an incredibly powerful message. This element of Creative Ireland has the potential to have a positive impact on generations to come.
Enabling the creativity of our communities is another vital element of Creative Ireland. Creative Teams have been appointed in every county nationwide, to help drive culture and creativity nationwide. Through Creative Ireland we don’t just want to improve access to arts and culture; we want to see more people getting involved. You’ll find details of what’s happening in your home town or county in the Local Authority Culture and Creativity Plans. We’re also committing to invest more in our fantastic cultural institutions – such as the National Gallery which has just reopened after a magnificent revamp – and develop and grow our film sector, which is bursting with talent, in the years ahead.
All of this focus on culture and creativity sends a very important message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. While our primary focus with Creative Ireland is facilitating greater cultural participation at home, the global element of the program is also very important. We have created a new portal for Ireland - ireland.ie –to promote and showcase the unique and exceptional creative talent of our people and communities, and the expert skills and enthusiasm which have become the calling card of Irish people, at home and abroad.
Whenever I have the honor of traveling overseas on Government business, I am consistently overwhelmed by the strength of Irish culture in communities around the globe. Where it’s the US, Canada or further afield, we have a global network of Irish people committed to promoting and safeguarding Irish culture. We want to tap into that energy through Creative Ireland, while also ensuring that all of our agencies which promote Ireland internationally are focused on a core message of creativity. As Irish people our culture and our creativity mark us out from the rest; it’s our international calling card.
Through Creative Ireland we hope to improve the lives of our citizens and enhance Ireland’s reputation as a place where diversity, cultural expression and curiosity is not just encouraged, but allowed to flourish. At a time when some parts of the world are being held back by divisions and conflict, Ireland is saying loudly and proudly that promoting culture and creativity is one of our central goals as a nation. If you’d like to get involved or find out more, you can keep up to date with what we are up to at creative.ireland.ie or @creativeirl
I hope you’ll join us on this exciting creative journey.
- Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, TD
Visit the dedicated Creative Ireland section on IrishCentral to stay up to date on the ground-breaking cultural initiatives taking places across Ireland and learn how to be a part of it all through events, performances and shows happening near you when you visit.