Creative Places: West Cork Islands’ has been launched by Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan at Whiddy Island Community Centre. Forming part of the Arts Council’s Creative Places programme 2021-2024, the programme will see Cork County Council lead a consortium of local arts and development agencies that inclues Bere Island Projects Group, Sherkin Island Development Society, Comharchumann Chléire and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre.
The ‘Creative Places: West Cork Islands’ programme will strengthen existing local contemporary and traditional arts practice, create longterm community-led engagement in the arts that continues post-project, and make visible and strengthen the interconnectedness of the islands and the coastal communites on the mainland in West Cork.
The commitment by the Arts Council to sustain investment through the Creative Places Scheme over a three-year period allows the necessary time to develop and deliver a range of initiatives to support sustainable artistic and community engagement on each of the islands.
Attending the launch, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Gillian Coughlan praised the initiative: “Many individuals and groups have worked tirelessly to ensure that the rich, unique cultures on the West Cork Islands are sustained and continue to thrive. Creativity and culture are at the heart of what makes us human, and how we can connect to others; whether they are our neighbours, visitors to our shores or connecting digitally. This programme is bringing us together – starting on Whiddy Island – to create something new and exciting.”
Creative Places: West Cork Islands supports creative community engagement with climate adaptation and digital technology on the islands and coastal communities with connections to the islands. It seeks to give expression to what it is to be an islander from a person-centred perspective, foccussing on the lived experience of inhabitants, which is governed by nature: tides, weather,climate change. Over a three year period the programme aims to support creative innovation in socially engaged arts practice in the context of post-COVID rural development at local and national level. Radio, podcasting and digital media programmes in collaboration with partners will support nex and existing local and international links for islanders. The programme aims to create a sustainable residency programme for socially engaged practice that positively impacts on islanders’ ongoing cultural participation and the preservation and promotion of unique island cultures.