Enabling creativity in every community is a core pillar of the Creative Ireland Programme, an ambitious five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which will place our strongest assets – our culture and creative communities - at the centre of public policy. In 2016, Westmeath County Council demonstrated their unique capacity to activate and support community engagement and participation in marking the Centenary year through a wide range of arts, culture and heritage initiatives.
Creative Ireland aims to build on this success by leading on the development of a dedicated Culture and Creativity plan for Westmeath County based on the premise that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing. 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 highly experienced 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. Miriam Mulrennan has been appointed Creative Ireland co-ordinator for Westmeath 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, Miriam Mulrennan, Arts Officer, Westmeath County Council said: “Creative Ireland is a welcome initiative. Those of us working in arts, culture, heritage and indeed many other sectors know the transformative value of ‘creativity’ in a multitude of settings. Perhaps on the back of the fantastic programme of events that took place for the centenary celebrations last year a deeper understanding has emerged around the crucial intersection of creative endeavour and wider societal well-being. Westmeath, and in particular, community groups and local organisations were superb in their contribution to the programme that took place all across the county. Westmeath County Council has responded to the ‘Creative Ireland’ initiative by setting up a Culture Team, the members of which come from heritage, library, arts and venues. We are all committed to working with the Creative Ireland team nationally to ensure meaningful supports emerge which enhance the vibrant creative work already taking place within the county.”
Full details of the Creative Ireland Programme are available at www.creative.ireland.ie
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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 06/03/2016