Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Saturday 22 September 2018

Refugees, UFC and graffiti all find spot in cultural programme

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with Tanya Banotti, director of Creative Ireland, before the launch of 31 local authority culture and creative strategies at the Irish Architectural Archive in Merrion Square, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with Tanya Banotti, director of Creative Ireland, before the launch of 31 local authority culture and creative strategies at the Irish Architectural Archive in Merrion Square, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ryan Nugent

A raft of new initiatives aimed at improving access to cultural events will be rolled out over the next five years.

Ranging from a collaboration between a theatre and a UFC fighter, and a skills exchange with refugees, it is hoped they will boost well-being through access to cultural and creative output.

The 31 local authority culture and creative strategies for 2018-22 marks the first time a national co-ordinated approach to creative initiatives at local level has been developed. For example, artists and other creative people in Kerry will be helped to bring their products to the market and secure work opportunities abroad and at home under the new scheme.

A creative sector development programme, led by the Kerry Local Enterprise Office, will assist creative professionals and help secure "local, national and international" opportunities.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the five-year strategy aimed to prioritise and promote arts and culture "at a local, national and international level because an active and engaging cultural sector can enrich every aspect of our society".

Among other strategies in the scheme is a Tallaght-based initiative which looks to tackle the narrow perception of the suburb through a dance project. The collaboration will see the Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre, the Civic Theatre and former UFC fighter Paddy Holohan come together under the programme 'If I Fall'.

Another initiative, run in Mullingar, will see a craft skills exchange between Syrian refugees and locals in the town.

In Cork, a programme will look at street art and graffiti under the Blackpool Live Rebel Streets programme.

Irish Independent

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