Thursday 18 January 2018

'We're not all artists but all our lives are enriched by arts,' says Kenny

Activities are planned across the country to inspire creativity

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys at the launch of the Creative Ireland county plans at Dublin Castle yesterday Picture: Mark Condren
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys at the launch of the Creative Ireland county plans at Dublin Castle yesterday Picture: Mark Condren

Alan O'Keeffe

Artistic and cultural activities will be promoted by all 31 councils in Ireland in a nationwide drive to get young and old involved in new local events.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was given 31 separate plans yesterday that were devised in each council area to get people collaborating in a creative way.

The Taoiseach stressed that while "we are not all artists, we are all capable of having our lives enhanced and enriched by the arts.

"Arts and culture make it possible for us to be better people, and to be a better society - a better people who together appreciate a shared love."

Anthony Abbott King, Brian Harten, and Sarah Daly from Louth, with Paul Hayes and
Roseleen Molloy at the launch at Dublin Castle. Photo: Mark Condren
Anthony Abbott King, Brian Harten, and Sarah Daly from Louth, with Paul Hayes and Roseleen Molloy at the launch at Dublin Castle. Photo: Mark Condren

The countrywide activities are all part of Creative Ireland, a five-year initiative fostered by the Government to continue the spirit of local collaboration on cultural projects that arose from 1916 centenary projects.

"The ability to collaboratively create is in fact what makes us human," said Mr Kenny at the launch at Dublin Castle.

"It is what underpins all real progress, political and social. It is when we stop being creative, and when we no longer collaborate, that things begin to fall apart," he said.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys paid tribute to the culture teams in each local authority and said Creative Ireland seeks to create "an ecosystem of creativity in every county".

Lucey Durack and Fionnuala Croke of the Chester Beatty Library. Picture: Mark Condren
Lucey Durack and Fionnuala Croke of the Chester Beatty Library. Picture: Mark Condren

Getting involved in cultural events "can help build happier, healthier communities," she said.

She said the nationwide project would not have got under way without Mr Kenny's vision and support.

She paid a personal tribute to Mr Kenny's courage in facing seemingly insurmountable difficulties throughout his tenure and his enduring good humour.

The minister and the Taoiseach enjoyed a musical performance by Reelig, a young traditional music group from Carlow, and Mr Kenny was happy to fist-bump with its young bodhran player afterwards.

The musicians are young ambassadors for Music Generation, the national music education programme.

Music Generation has transformed the lives of more than 40,000 young people through subsidised performance music education in local areas. U2 donated €5m to the start-up of the nationwide programme and the Ireland Funds contributed a further €2m.

Now the Irish rock band is donating a further €2m which is being matched by the Ireland Funds and other philanthropic groups and the Government is also injecting millions of euro to help Music Generation programmes reach new areas around Ireland.

Music Generation's national director Rosaleen Molloy said Bono and U2 share a vision with others that believes in every child and young person's musical potential and innate artistry.

An example of some of the cultural highlights being promoted by local councils as part of the Creative Ireland programme include:

Wainfest Arts and Book Festival for Children

This is a vibrant and growing festival created by the Donegal library service which provides entertainment, enjoyment, fun, magic and laughter for thousands of children every year.

It increases their involvement in reading, culture, language, arts, libraries and heritage by offering the very best in performances.

The week-long festival begins on October 7.

Ancient and Wild

Cavan County Council and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark have invited 12 artists to engage with the landscape, geology, and history of the county. Their work will be exhibited in December.

Windy Toons Traditional Arts Festival

A festival for young people in Monaghan involving traditional music, song, dance and story telling through a diverse programme for school and family audiences from October 24.

New Artists in Residence Programme

Annual residencies offered to artists, dancers, photographers, writers, film makers, and musicians in communities throughout Mayo.

Details of local cultural activities can be accessed at creative.ireland.ie. Music education opportunities are detailed on musicgeneration.ie.

Irish Independent

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