Minister Heather Humphrey's at Creative Ireland's launch at Dublin Castle.RollingNews

The roll out of 31 Local Authority Culture and Creativity Plans for 2017, as part of the Creative Ireland Program, have been announced at Dublin Castle.

Creative Ireland is the government’s Legacy Program for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which at its core is a strategy which aims to improve access to cultural and creative activity in every county across the country and among the diaspora.

The development of Culture Plans for every county is a cornerstone of Pillar 2 of the Creative Ireland Program – Enabling Creativity in Every Community. Since the launch of Creative Ireland in December 2016, every Local Authority has established a Culture Team which includes arts officers, heritage officers, librarians, museum and gallery curators, led by a local Creative Ireland coordinator.  Each Team has now put together a plan for their county to encourage communities and citizens to engage, participate and enable their creative potential.

An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, made the announcement on Thursday morning at a special event in Dublin Castle, which included a performance by Music Generation Carlow, an accomplished collective of young traditional Irish musicians.

A group celebrate Creative Ireland in Limerick.

A group celebrate Creative Ireland in Limerick.

Speaking at today’s event, Kenny said “These plans illustrate the extraordinary range of creativity in our communities and they get to the very heart of what Creative Ireland is all about: community, local empowerment, participation, collaboration.  These are not abstract words or ideas – these are the building blocks for a better society, and a better quality of life for everyone.

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“We are not all artists but we are all capable of having our lives enhanced and enriched by the arts.  Arts and culture make it possible for us to be better people, living in a better society and a better country.  At its very core, Creative Ireland is a wellbeing strategy and through these local Culture Plans, our Local Authority network is helping us to spread the reach and the impact of the program into every community nationwide.”

Minister Humphreys and Enda Kenny at the launch of Creative Ireland next phase.

Minister Humphreys and Enda Kenny at the launch of Creative Ireland next phase.

Humphreys added “I would like to sincerely thank all of the Culture Teams in our Local Authorities who have been working so hard in recent months to help us realize some of the key ambitions in the Creative Ireland program. Through Creative Ireland we want to create an ecosystem of creativity in every county nationwide; we want to see more people not just attending the theatre or going to a cultural event, we want to see them getting involved. In this way, we can help to build happier, healthier communities.

“The power of culture cannot be overestimated; arts and culture can open our minds, enliven our communities and enrich our children’s lives. The development of a Culture Plan is an important commitment in the Action Plan for Rural Development, because we believe that culture should be part of the development of every community, be it rural, urban, or somewhere in between. I look forward to seeing these plans being implemented in the coming months, to see Creative Ireland in action.”

New cultural highlights from the Local Authority Culture and Creativity Plans include:

Wainfest Arts and Book Festival for Children, Donegal

A vibrant growing festival providing entertainment, enjoyment, fun, magic and laughter to thousands of children. It provides opportunities for 4-12 year olds to increase their involvement in reading, culture, language, arts, libraries and heritage by offering the very best in performance each year. 7 – 15 October 2017. For more visit www.wainfest.ie.

Ancient and Wild

Cavan County Council Arts and Heritage office and the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark have invited twelve artists to engage with the landscape, geology, and socio-political history of County Cavan and in particular the area of the Geopark. Work arising from the project will be exhibited in Cavan in December 2017.

Windy Toons Traditional Arts Festival for Young Audiences in Monaghan

A traditional arts festival for young audiences which will enhance traditional arts in the county through a diverse, innovative, and high quality program for school and family audiences incorporating traditional music, song, dance and storytelling across Co. Monaghan from 24 - 28 October 2017.

New Artists in Residence Programme

A series of new annual artist residencies will be offered to visual artists, dancers, photographers, writers, film makers, musicians or craft artists as part of new outreach initiative with local communities, based in some of Mayo’s rich cultural and heritage sites.

For more information visit Creative.Ireland.ie.

Below is a video released at the launch of Creative Ireland: