The Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-government, culture-based initiative, led by my Department, that emphasises the importance of human creativity for individual, community and societal wellbeing.
The vision of the Creative Ireland Programme is to position creativity at the heart of public policy, to enable, encourage and enhance collaboration and innovation, and to create opportunities for all citizens to engage with all forms of creative activity. In this regard, when we talk about "creativity", it is in its widest possible sense including traditional craft based activities.
In encouraging new ways and means to explore, express and engage with our natural creativity, the Creative Ireland Programme aims to give autonomy to partners (such as local authorities, community groups and schools) to decide on the creative activities that speak to their strengths, preferences and local traditions - including traditional and heritage crafts.
Under both Pillars 1 and 2 of the Programme, a full range of creative activities and pursuits are supported - whether that be in what can be considered traditional artforms (such as drama, music of the visual arts), through embracing new and innovate forms of creativity (such as coding) or through new ways to engage with and explore our traditional and heritage craft activities. Indeed, many of the initiatives and events that have been developed and supported through the Creative Ireland Programme have embraced or been influenced by traditional crafts and local heritage.
The main source of funding for local community events and activities under the Creative Ireland Programme is Pillar 2 - 'Enabling Creativity in Every Community'. In 2019, total funding of €3m has been allocated to all 31 local authorities (approximately €96,000 each) to enable them to support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives in each county. Each local authority has established a Creative Ireland Co-ordinator and a local Culture Team to manage and allocate this funding in accordance with local needs and in line with their own, individual 5-year Culture and Creativity Strategy. The projects funded cover a broad range of topics including archaeology, architecture, biodiversity, crafts, heritage, drama, dance, literature, music, storytelling and the visual arts.
In addition to this core funding, the Creative Ireland Programme has also allocated €15,000 to each local authority outside of Dublin and €75,000 each to the four local authorities in Dublin to develop a special programme of events for Cruinniú na nÓg – the national day of creativity for children and young people. Cruinniú na nÓg is taking place on 15th June 2019 and includes a range of traditional heritage based activities for all ages and full details of the Programme can be found on the Creative Ireland Programme website.