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New Opportunities for Laois Cultural and Creative Sector

Leinster Express Reporter

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creative laois

Street entertainer Maria Corcoran with Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Catherine Fitzgerald at the Dunamaise Arts Centre as part of Laois County Council Culture Night. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council is delighted to announce new opportunities for cultural & creative practitioners and organisations in Laois as part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s Jobs Stimulus Measure.

The Jobs Stimulus Package as it relates to Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and Gaeltacht sectors was announced by Minister Catherine Martin on 24 July 2020 and its purpose primarily is to boost Ireland’s economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) has been tasked with coordinating the roll out of the Jobs Stimulus Package for the Culture and Creative Sector through its partnerships with local authorities. Under this scheme, local projects and initiatives will, as far as practicable, provide supports for, placing creativity at the heart of economic development; innovative place-making projects in local areas, collaboration, and professional development of creative operators / practitioners and / or organisations.

As part of the Jobs Stimulus Funds scheme, the Laois Culture and Creativity Team / Creative Ireland Laois in association with Local Enterprise Office, Laois has created a range of FREE supports for cultural and creative operators / practitioners /organisations within Laois, including Professional Training Programmes in Digital Technologies Upskilling and a Professional Training Programme in Entrepreneurial Business Planning & Development. These online programmes will be available for FREE from mid-October to December 2020. For more information and registration of interest in any of the programmes, go to localenterprise.ie/Laois.

According to Creative Ireland Laois Coordinator and Heritage Officer, Catherine Casey,

“The Cultural & Creative Sector is a vital component in creating a better society, a better place to live and a catalyst for wider economic growth in Laois. These Job Stimulus programmes aim to sustain and stimulate creatives and the creative ecosystem across the county and meet the challenges in response to restrictions due to Covid-19. They are a strategic investment in upskilling to generate new employment opportunities.”

The Professional Training Programmes in Digital Technologies Upskilling aim to enable cultural and creative operators / organisations to expand understanding and proficiency of digital practices as part of upskilling, content creation and presentation which can lead to new online employment opportunities. The Programme will consist of seven sessions on learning how to use and maximise the functionality of mobile devices for the making, documenting and presenting of audiovisual content. Generate content with mobile devices to produce tutorials / workshops / events. Edit on professional and also free software for mac and pc. Produce stop-motion animations and time-lapse using mobile devices. Shoot & Edit a marketing video. Uploading and managing content on social media platforms. Communication & Presentation skills in engaging online audiences.

The Professional Training Programme in Entrepreneurial Business Planning & Development is suitable for emerging and professional culture & creative operators / practitioners / organisations. The Programme will be facilitated by an expert from the cultural & creative sector and will include six sessions in Business Planning; Marketing & Promotions; Social Media Platforms; Cultural & Creative Opportunities and mentoring for applicable candidates.

To find out more and register your interest in any of the programmes, go to localenterprise.ie/Laois. The Job Stimulus Funds scheme programmes are supported by Creative Ireland Laois in association with Local Enterprise Office, Laois.

The Jobs Stimulus measures agreed at Cabinet in July are therefore critical for the future sustainability of these valuable sectors, and for the Irish economy as a whole. They provide the vital supports for businesses to retain existing jobs and to create new jobs, and they will help build confidence in consumers and communities all over Ireland.

The measures in the Jobs Stimulus package will protect jobs right across Ireland in our vulnerable but viable tourism and hospitality businesses, so that this vital sector will have the resilience required to be a strong engine in the nation's economic recovery.

Ireland's unique Arts and Culture set us apart in the world; our creative strengths form the basis of our national identity and are central to our unique high global reputation. These sectors have taken a very particular hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; cultural venues and events were among the first to be closed in the country's public health response to the crisis, and they will be among the last to recover; restrictions on social distancing and on gatherings are likely to have long terms impacts on performances, displays, festivals and concerts. The Stimulus Package now has further, new measures to support and nurture this important sector through these difficult times.