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Creative Ireland Laois hold Public Meeting

Published: 6th April 2017

A public meeting was held last Monday, 3 April, in the Killeshin Hotel, to announce details about the Creative Ireland programme which is rolling out countrywide at present. Laois County Council have established a Cultural Team who are overseeing the development,

representing expertise in the arts, library, heritage and community,

The large gathering comprised of individuals and groups interested in cultural developments in the county. The meeting was addressed by the Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Tom Mulhall as well as Chief Executive, John Mulholland. Arts Officer, Muireann Ní Chonaill, has been appointed Coordinator of the Laois Creative Ireland programme.

A presentation was made by John Concannon, Director of Creative Ireland. Creative Ireland is a culture based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individuals and societal wellbeing and achievement.

Laois 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. Special mention and thanks was made to Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer on the substantial programme she coordinated to mark the Centenary.

Creative Ireland aims to build on this success by leading on 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 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.

Music Generation’s Glee Club performed a selection of songs at the beginning of the night to get the audience into the right frame of mind. Their tutor, Lorna McLoughlin, accompanied them on the electric piano.

At the end of the presentation about Creative Ireland here were two questions posed to the audience; What particular aspects of the Creative Ireland programme appeal to you, and why? How can County Laois make a distinctive contribution to the Creative Ireland programme - drawing on the particular cultural and creative resources of County Laois? The feedback from the audience was given through a spokesperson at each table and all the responses were recorded. A multi annual plan will be coordinated and published later in the year. The plan for this year is underway and will be published in the next number of weeks.

A Creative Ireland grant scheme has been announced for this year also. The scheme will provide financial support to local and community groups, artistic and creative practitioners, event organisers and those involved in creative activities and projects, to encourage cultural participation throughout Laois. The level of grant assistance for any one project will range from €500 to €2,500. Open to not-for-profit organizations, local community groups, arts, heritage and cultural groups, venues and societies. All applications received will be assessed based on an agreed selection criteria. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 28th April 2017 before 4pm.

A new national day of culture and creativity will take place nationwide on Easter Monday as part of the Creative Ireland programme.

The Dunamaise Arts Centre is the venue hosting the Laois Cruinniú na Cásca programme that will be held from 3.00pm on Easter Monday, April 17.

The annual free festival - directly translated as “a meeting at Easter’ - will also take place in the 31 local authorities in every county across the country.

Cruinniú na Cásca aims to celebrate contemporary Irish society through live music and dance, film, theatre, art and music workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings, special events and more.
For the Laois celebration a showcase of young people across various artforms to take place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre on Easter Monday, 17th April at 3pm. Members of the Laois Youth Theatre will host the event.

Further details from Muireann Ní Chonaill, Creative Ireland Laois at artsoff@laoiscoco.ie and 0578664013/4033



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