The Creative Ireland Programme is the Irish Government's major five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. It is an all-of government initiative to mainstream creativity in the life of the people so that individually and collectively, in our personal lives and in our institutions, we can realise our full creative potential. It is the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in Culture 2025, which sees a vibrant cultural ecosystem as essential to society.
The core proposition of this culture-based programme is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. Its main feature is the collective mobilisation of Irish institutions and citizens to create an Irish cultural legacy. It brings an enhanced level of coordination, focus and leadership to existing policies and initiatives across national and local government, State agencies, the arts and culture sector, Gaeltacht and Irish language organisations, and provides linkages to the private business and NGO sectors.
It also supports a representation of Ireland to the outside world that is well grounded, widely understood and meaningful. Creative Ireland coordinates and enables the construction of that representation, seeking coherence among all stakeholders and placing a clear focus on our rich cultural heritage and our creativity.
Under the guiding principles of creativity, collaboration and transformation, the Programme strives to;
* promote understanding and appreciation of the value of creativity in all its forms;
* engage and influence decision-makers to embed creativity across public policy; and
* support and enable participation in creative industries.
The Creative Ireland programme consists of five pillars;
1. Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child;
2. Enabling Creativity in Every Community;
3. Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure;
4. Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production; and
5. Unifying our Global Reputation
The Creative Ireland Programme works through various Government Departments and agencies to make significant progress in each of the five pillars listed above. Investments are focused on supporting direct engagement with creativity (e.g., on education, institutions, industry, etc.) as well as creativity as a way of engaging with broader societal issues (e.g. mental illness, social marginalisation, rural isolation, poverty, isolation of the aged, individuals with disabilities or special needs, migrant integration, intercultural dialogue, climate action, biodiversity loss, etc.). The following is a summary implementation update in respect of each of the pillars.
1. Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
The national Creative Youth Plan was published in December 2017 with four key objectives:
(i) supporting collaboration between formal and non-formal approaches to creativity in education;
(ii) extending the range of creative activities for our young people;
(iii) embedding the creative process by developing programmes that will enable teachers to help young people learn and apply creative skills and capacities; and
(iv) continuing professional development for teachers working in Early Years, Primary and Post Primary Schools
The Creative Youth Plan is led by a working group including the Creative Ireland Programme office in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the Arts Council.
The key results to date are:
- Creating Positive Outcomes with Creative Schools: Through an annual grant and access to a Creative Associate (either a teacher with arts practice, or a creative or arts practitioner), schools are supported to develop and begin to implement their own Creative School plan. The long-term aim is to enable schools to fully embrace the arts and creativity, ensuring a positive experience and strong outcomes for children. Schools all around Ireland are now participating in this initiative, including primary, post-primary, Youthreach, Irish language, special schools and schools with DEIS (disadvantaged) status.
- Fostering Co-Operation with Creative Clusters: Creative Clusters are groups of between two and five schools working together on a creative project. A facilitator provided by the Education Centre helps each cluster formulate their plan and a fund of EU2,500 ($2925) is provided to each cluster. Projects include coding, drama, Green Forest and Wellbeing.
- A Structured Approach to Creativity: Local Creative Youth Partnerships: These Partnerships provide a structure for the development and co-ordination of out-of-school creative activities for children and young people by bringing together a variety of actors in education, local government, community and arts sectors to establish and nurture new partnerships and networks. Partnerships also aim to enhance creative and cultural activities in disadvantaged areas.
- Creative Ireland is also working with and providing support to Youth Theatre Ireland, Fighting Words creative writing skills initiative, Sing Ireland and Music Generation to enhance their offerings to children and young people.
Cruinniu na nOg, a national day of free creativity for children and young people was established in 2018 with 500 free events and activities organised. In 2019 this increased to over 780 free events/activities with an estimated 55,000 children participating. In 2020, Cruinniu moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with over 500 events taking place mainly online and participation by almost 500,000 children and their families.
2. Enabling Creativity in Every Community
Creative Communities engages local communities with creativity to support place-making, social cohesion (encompassing social inclusion), and the local creative economy. Through investment in the Local Authorities, initiatives were developed to enhance creativity in every community across Ireland. Each Local Authority published a Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022 in consultation with their local communities. These are now being implemented through 1300+ projects a year. A cross-sectoral Culture and Creativity Team led by a local coordinator has been established in each Local Authority to lead this engagement of citizens with our heritage and culture.
Projects have addressed people, place and identity, social, economic and environmental challenges and a clear picture has emerged of a common ambition and vision to work as pro-active catalysts, where creativity contributes to addressing the wider social challenges that constitute the context of and conditions for 'wellbeing, social cohesion and economic success'
3. Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure
Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027 is a ten-year plan which sets out the commitment for capital investment in Ireland's cultural, heritage and Irish language infrastructure. The development of this plan, facilitated by the Creative Ireland Programme vision, includes investment of EU460 million ($538m) in Ireland's national cultural institutions, ensuring that they continue to protect and present the national collections, as well as creating new spaces for creativity and engagement.
A new capital grant scheme to renew and enhance existing arts and culture facilities throughout the country is also established. Notably, this new scheme, for which an initial funding envelope of almost EU5 million ($5.85m) has been identified, includes environmental sustainability as a key criterion for investment in line with the Government's new Climate Action Policy.
4. Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production
A number of initiatives have been progressed under this pillar including;
* A new EU200 million ($234m) Audiovisual Action Plan to support the screen industries (feature film, TV drama, etc.) was published in June 2018, and it aims to position Ireland as a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation. There is more information on the Plan under Measure 6 of this Goal;
* In response to the ambition of Future Jobs Ireland 2019 to identify opportunities in the wider creative industries sector, the Creative Ireland Programme is currently working to finalise a Roadmap for the Creative Industries, in consultation with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The Roadmap is focused on the design-based, digital creative and content creation industries
5. Unifying our Global Reputation
To realise the ambition for Ireland and Irish people to be recognised internationally as a cultural and creative nation, a number of key initiatives have been undertaken as follows:
* Irish culture and creativity featured prominently in Global Ireland 2025, the most ambitious expansion of Ireland's international presence ever undertaken. Many of its actions to bring Irish culture and heritage to the wider world have been delivered through the Department's Culture Ireland programme including the hosting of a conference on how best we can promote our culture globally, capital support for the redevelopment of the Irish Arts Center New York and the London Irish Centre, and the appointment of five Cultural Ambassadors;
* The Department's Culture Ireland programme presented GB18, a special year-long programme designed to celebrate and renew the unique cultural relationship between Ireland and Great Britain.
* Each year Culture Ireland support Ireland's representation at the Venice Biennale, which offers a unique opportunity to showcase Irish talent to the world and enabled Irish architects to achieve international exposure with visitor numbers reaching over one quarter of a million; and
* In 2019 a new partnership was created with the Fulbright Programme to enable three Irish post-graduate students opportunities to undertake short-term research at one of three world-class museums in the United States.
In addition, some interesting innovations and partnerships emerged outside of the five pillars including;
* the National Creativity Fund 2018/2019 was established to identify and support pilot projects that are genuinely innovative and significantly add value to the Creative Ireland Programme, and to help inform policy and/or cross-sectoral development in the area of culture, creativity and wellbeing; and
* exploration in how the cultural and creative sectors can engage the public on the challenges and opportunities related to climate change and biodiversity loss in imaginative ways.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Creative Youth and Creative Communities segments of the Creative Ireland Programmes were allocated over EU24m ($27.12m) in funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media with additional funding from the Departments of Education and Children and Youth Affairs.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
National Cultural Institutions
Heritage Council of Ireland
Third Level Education Sector
Arts Council of Ireland
Creative Ireland has produced an annual report for each of the years 2017 and 2018 and a progress report for 2019 and up to April 2020. The reports set out the projects funded, the achievements of the programme to date and the full breakdown of expenditure each year. In this regard, the reports demonstrate that the programme is meeting the annual objectives set.