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In a year that has thrown up an unusual set of challenges the Creative Ireland Programme has responded with initiatives and additional funding programmes to support the creative potential of our young people and the educational and creative professionals who deliver them. We thought you might like to know a little more about them and if you have worked with us on any of these projects… thank you for your commitment and support!
The Creative Ireland Programme along with our partners in the Department of Education and Skills and the Arts Council are delighted to support an expanded Creative Schools programme this year.
On 29th September 2020 Catherine Martin T.D, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and Norma Foley T.D, Minister for Education welcomed another 164 new schools to Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools.
Since 2018 462 schools have joined this programme. The benefits of the Creative Schools programme were documented earlier in the year. If you missed the RTÉ documentary earlier this year you can watch it on the player.
The Creative Ireland Programme’s partnership with Fighting Words continues to thrive. Their wonderful “Storykeeper” project was part of Cruinniú na nÓg this year.
The “12 Stories of Christmas”, is a new project that is aimed at 6-10 year olds in primary schools throughout Ireland. It is a direct response from Fighting Words to concerns raised by small children that Christmas will not go ahead this year.
Fighting Words asked 12 authors including Cecilia Ahern, Eoin Colfer, Lisa McGee, Roddy Doyle, Stephen James Smith and Louise O’Neill to write a 200 word Christmas story beginning which children can then complete and upload onto Facebook and Instagram. The story beginnings have been read and filmed by Hilary Rose, Bronagh Gallagher, Shane Casey, Una Kavanagh and Stephen James Smith amongst others.
The Creative Ireland Programme’s work with three Local Creative Youth Partnerships continues. These pilots are run by Kerry, Laois/Offaly and Limerick/Clare Education and Training Boards and engage creative practitioners to deliver programmes for young people in “out-of-school” environments. They target children at risk of school drop-out, children from the travelling community and those living in family hubs and direct provision. A great example of this is the work undertaken by the Foroige Youth Group in Croom, County Limerick which the Creative Ireland Programme is proud to support.
Not surprisingly youth theatres faced challenges this year with prevailing health restrictions. The organisation also came under pressure to support young people with additional needs and from areas of social disadvantage.
Additional funds from the Creative Ireland Programme and our partners in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth allowed Youth Theatre Ireland to provide assistance to these groups as well as helping existing youth theatre groups to adapt and grow. Another focus has been to develop resources and training for youth theatre practitioners working with young people with autism.
We were delighted to launch This Is Art on the The Toy Show, it is a new partnership between the Creative Ireland Programme and RTÉ which seeks to encourage creativity in all young people. We feel this wonderful small film featuring Noah from Cork says all that needs to be said about the importance of creative expression for everyone.
Many thanks for your help and support during 2020 and we are all looking forward to working with you again in 2021.
The Creative Ireland Team
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