State’s five-year creativity plan includes children’s music skills

Strategy will place creative and cultural infrastructure ‘at the centre of Irish life’

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys:  Creative Ireland/Clár Éire Ildánach will promote culture and creativity across art forms and media over the next five years. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: Creative Ireland/Clár Éire Ildánach will promote culture and creativity across art forms and media over the next five years. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

Every child in the country will be given the opportunity to develop their musical creativity and skills as part of an ambitious new five-year Government plan to be announced by the Taoiseach on Thursday.

Creative Ireland/Clár Éire Ildánach, an initiative running from 2017 to 2022 which aims to “place culture at the heart of Irish life”, will be launched by Enda Kenny and Cabinet Ministers Heather Humphreys and Paschal Donohoe at the National Gallery in Dublin.

The plan is based on five key pillars: enabling the creative potential of every child in the country; enabling creativity in every community; investing in creative and cultural infrastructure; building Ireland as a centre of excellence for media production; and “unifying our global reputation”.

In addition to the proposal for access to music education, other items on the agenda include a new annual cultural day, “Cruinniú na Cásca”, to be held nationwide on Easter Monday each year, replicating this year’s successful Reflecting the Rising event.

State bodies

The Taoiseach will chair a new Government committee dedicated to achieving the objectives of the plan and comprising all relevant Ministers. Agencies such as the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, as well as cultural funding bodies such as the Arts Council, Irish Film Board and Culture Ireland will all be involved.

A programme office is being set up within the Department of Arts under the leadership of John Concannon, a former head of marketing at Fáilte Ireland who directed the 1916 centenary programme. This office will drive collaboration between different organisations and agencies. It will have an initial budget allocation of €5 million, some of which will go towards cultural events such as Cruinniú na Cásca.

Local authorities will have to outline five-year plans for how they will improve cultural programmes in their counties and cities. It is understood the Government will outline a template for councils that will guide them for the duration of the plan between 2017 and 2022.

The councils will be given some extra funding by Ms Humphreys, and they will then appoint a “culture team” to implement cultural plans locally. Every council will have to publish their own cultural plan next year.

The plan will seek to make Ireland an international “centre of excellence” in media such as television and film production. It is understood this will involve closer co-operation between RTÉ, the Irish Film Board, independent producers and others.