The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme led by my Department designed to promote individual, community and national well-being. Its core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well-being and achievement.
Under Pillar II - 'Enabling Creativity in Every Community' of the Programme, in 2018, my Department allocated a sum €2 m and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government allocated a sum of €1 m to all 31 local authorities (€96,000 each approximately) to enable them support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives in each county. To date in 2018, 422 different initiatives around Ireland have been funded under Pillar II. These include arts projects, grant schemes, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, festivals, outreach projects, publications, research programmes, and workshops among other activities. They cover topics such as archaeology, architecture, biodiversity, crafts, heritage, dance, film, history, literature, music, photography, poetry, storytelling, theatre and the visual arts.
These activities form part of each local authority's five-year Culture & Creative Strategies which were launched by me, An Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on the 12 September.
These strategies highlight the critical role our Local Authorities play as providers and enablers of cultural and creative experiences in communities across Ireland, with all of the vitally important social, and indeed economic, consequences that follow. The strategies recognise that the arts and creative endeavours are crucial to society and community growth. With collaboration and shared purpose at the heart of the Creative Ireland Programme, each strategy provides meaningful opportunities for people and their communities, together with each Local Authority, to build and nurture a creative society. All the strategies are available online at: https://creative.ireland.ie/en/creative-communities.
Additional funding of €650 k was allocated to the local authorities in 2018 to enable them deliver Cruinniú na nÓg on 23 June 2018 which celebrated and encouraged children and young people’s participation in culture and creativity through performance, coding, theatre, art and music workshops, readings, screenings, special events and much more. A sum of €350 k was allocated to Dublin City to deliver Cruinniú na nÓg and a sum of €300 k divided among the remaining 30 local authorities or €10 k each. It is estimated that over 300 specific separate events took place for Cruinniú na nÓg across the country. It is my intention to establish Cruinniú na nÓg as a yearly celebration of creativity among children and young people.
In addition to funding directly from my Department, the Arts Council also provides significant supports for the Arts at local level.