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04 Jul 2022

Creative communities in Laois to get funding boost

€6.6 million in 2022 for Creative Ireland local authority projects around Ireland

Creative communities in Laois to get funding boost

Laois Culture Team members with Creative Ireland grant recipients in 2019. Photo Michael Scully.

New funding is on offer to people in Laois to engage with creative projects in their areas under the scheme which aims to make creativity part of the mainstream of life in Ireland.

Laois is getting an equal share - €175,161 - in funding out of €6.6 million for the 2022 Creative Ireland Programme Creative Communities initiative.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media says the scheme is partnership with all 31 local authorities enabled through the Creative Ireland Programme. A statement said Creative Communities is a collaboration, between central and local government, between culture and industry, between artists, policy makers and communities.

This funding includes planning for an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg - Ireland’s national day celebrating young people’s creativity in June 2022. There will be projects around Creativity in Older Age with opportunities for older people to participate in creative activities. Finally, Creative Climate Action projects in partnership with Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will use the talents of artists and the wider creative industries to connect people with profound changes happening in our environment, society and economy arising from climate change.

A statement said the ambition of the Creative Ireland Programme is to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation.  It says participation in cultural and creative activity promotes individual, community and national wellbeing.

Sean Fleming, Laois Offaly TD, and Minister of State at the Department of Finance welcomed the support.

"These creative projects will promote an improved sense of wellbeing, social connections and economic development within Co Laois," he said.

Laois Offaly based Minister of State Minister Pippa Hackett welcomed the money for Laois.

“Laois is bringing its arts and creativity to the fore with events like the Anne Jellicoe Celebration,  Opening a Window on the Past: Lucy Franks and Helen Maybury Roe, and Rathdowney’s mural artwork. These projects are funded through the Creative Communities scheme and I’m delighted to see my colleague, Arts Minister Catherine Martin, announcing funding of €175,161 for Laois through this scheme for the coming year,” she said.

The scheme in Laois is overseen by the Culture and Creativity Team is below which includes: Donal Brennan, Director of Service, Carmel McNicholl, Senior Executive Officer, Bernie Foran, County Librarian, Ann Lawlor, Creative Ireland Laois project manager, Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer, Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer, Rosa Flannery, Coordinator, Music Generation Laois, Michelle de Forge, Director of Dunamaise Arts Centre, Bridie Keenan, Assistant Arts Officer, Patricia O’Rourke, Clerical Officer and Creative Laois Committee Secretary.

Read more about the scheme in Laois HERE

Since the programme was launched in 2017, there has been an investment of €21 million from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in Creative Ireland initiatives undertaken by local authorities.

Speaking today, Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to continue to support the excellent work undertaken by local authorities on behalf of the Creative Ireland Programme. Since the inception of Creative Ireland our partners in local government have been key to the delivery of creative projects that promote an improved sense of wellbeing, social connections and economic development within their communities. Through these projects local authorities have been able to create exciting and constructive opportunities for people and communities. I want to congratulate our local authority partners for their energy and creativity in delivering so many wonderful projects that sustain and enhance the lives of everyone in their communities.”

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, added: “Local authorities have extensive expertise across heritage, arts, libraries as well as vital local relationships. I firmly believe that culture plays a key role in local government’s work in creating great places to live and work. Creative Communities takes this a step further. Culture and creativity can be part of responses to social isolation, to creating a sense of place and to integrating new communities.”

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, TD, said: “Our Local Authorities are the closest arm of the State to our citizens and are well placed to engage directly with local artists and community groups.  Through the PPN and other statutory committees and vehicles, they are linked in with our older people, members of the traveller community, community and voluntary groups and key stakeholders in every locality in the country. This scheme is wide reaching, and as a Government we want all members of society to have equal access cultural and creative opportunities.”

For an overview of Creative Ireland projects in local communities please go to https://www.creativeireland. gov.ie/en/creative- communities/

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