The 1916 commemoration in Mountmellick on Easter Monday last year
The development of a Culture and Creativity plan for Laois is to be the subject of an open meeting in the Killeshin Hotel.
The meeting will be hosted by Laois County Council and the Creative Ireland national team who have been tasked with creating a plan for Laois and exploring opportunities to increase access, engagement and collaboration in the local arts and creative industries.
Enabling creativity in every community is the aim of the Creative Ireland Programme, a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which will place culture and creative communities - at the centre of public policy.
The plan derives from the 2016 Commemorations and the wide range of arts, culture and heritage initiatives that took place locally.
Creative Ireland aims to build on this with the development of a dedicated Culture and Creativity plan for Laois based on the premise that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well being.
2017 will see a special focus on children and young people with the specific objective of fast-tracking the Charter for Arts in Education, which will significantly increase access and participation for children in high quality arts and culture experiences.
A network of arts officers, heritage officers and librarians has been set up across all 31 local authorities to lead on each county’s Creative Ireland Programme and a series of public meetings will be held over the next four weeks to share ideas, develop collaborations and explore opportunities for increased investment in local arts, culture and creative industries.
Additional funding to support the initiative will be made available through the Creative Ireland Programme in 2017 with the potential for further investment over the next four years.
Muireann Ní Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer, has been appointed Creative Ireland Coordinator for Laois County Council.
In addition, all the agencies of Government, including national cultural institutions, state agencies, Government Departments, organisations, individuals and communities will be activated to embed creativity across all aspects of their work – and use that creative potential to foster collective wellbeing and social cohesion.
Speaking in advance of the public meeting, John Mulholland, Chief Executive, Laois County Council said
“Creative Ireland is a very welcome initiative. Through the Commemoration Programme which ran so successfully last year, we witnessed significant societal benefits through the many cultural activities undertaken in the community.
"We can certainly draw a lot from the experience in running the 2016 Commemoration programme and use it to our advantage in preparing for Creative Ireland locally. Through our recently established Culture Team in Laois County Council, representing expertise in the arts, library, heritage and community, Laois County Council looks forward to leading and engaging with the Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022.”
Laois County Council and the Creative Ireland national team will host an open meeting on Monday, April 3 in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise at 6.30pm to share details about the Programme and to explore opportunities to increase access, engagement and collaboration in the local arts and creative industries.