‘MONAGHAN – A CREATIVE AND CULTURAL COUNTY’

25 August 2017 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Creative Ireland is the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016 – a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. It is a high-level, high-ambition, all-of-government initiative to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation so that individually and collectively, in our personal lives and in our institutions, we can realise our full creative potential.

Creative Ireland is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. Creative Ireland is also the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in the Government’s policy document, Culture 2025.

The programme is built around the themes of identity, culture and citizenship. The core operating principles are Collaboration and Communication, Community Empowerment, and Internationalisation.
Local authorities have a crucial role in the overall local delivery of the entire Creative Ireland programme and are exclusively mandated, through their culture teams, to deliver Pillar 2 of the programme – Enabling Creativity in Every Community. This devolution of responsibility for Creative Ireland to local authorities is inspired by the extraordinary impact of collaborative local authority co-ordinated projects for the centenary of 1916.

Monaghan’s 2017 Creative plan sets out the beginning of our part in this five-year journey, a truly important national policy initiative centred on culture and wellbeing. Monaghan is a county historically steeped in cultural heritage and industry. It is renowned for its cultural and creative activity, with a wealth of vibrant heritage, arts and culture opportunities for everyone to learn and engage with.

The establishment in recent years of the Heritage Network and Arts Network, has enabled and developed more community awareness and engagement in arts, culture and heritage. Both have identified hidden gems of cultural activity whilst discovering a wealth of talented people across the county, who were quietly working away unbeknownst to the wider community. The Arts Network monthly showcase has been a tremendous success in showcasing and bringing to the fore the vast range of creative people living in our community from songwriters, poets, artists, local historians to digital media/technology.

Monaghan County Council’s Cultural Team, led by Deirdriu McQuaid, wish to build on these established networks and to work in conjunction with key cultural and heritage stakeholders in rolling out a diverse programme of events, which are open to everyone. The plan is to add value to established festivals such as the Carrickmacross Arts Festival, Clones Film Festival, Patrick Kavanagh Weekend whilst working with centres such as the Iontas Arts Theatre, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Clones Arts Studio, Garage Theatre and local artists on particular projects.

Some of the highlights in 2017 are:

DRUM et Stedi I Irland (October 2017)
Krass Clement, a celebrated Artist from Denmark was awarded a Danish Artist Bursary, which he used in part as an Artist in Residence at the Tyrone Guthrie centre in 1991.While there he took a series of photographs on a single evening with only a few rolls of films while conversing with the men of Drum Village over some pints of stout. It has been stated that he captured them in a unique and compelling manner. His Publication containing many of these shots, was published in 1996 titled DRUM et Stedi I Irland and is considered as a ground breaking publication.
Artist Krass Clement will return to Monaghan in association with The Gallery of Photography, Ireland and Monaghan County Council in late Autumn 2017. There will be various strands to his visit –

His short films will be screened in association with The Clones Film Festival. The people from Drum will be specially invited to attend to view the early work of this great Artist as part of the familiarisation of both parties to each other.

An exhibition of the work he created as part of his book will be on display jointly between the County Library and the Courthouse in Clones

Krass Clement will give a talk on his work and legacy of his book, which may involve giving a copy of the book (Errata Editions) to those involved from Drum.

Krass will follow his past footsteps by staying as a guest in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

The Gallery of Photography, Ireland will be exploring a continuance or a contemporary version of what occurred back in 1991 by cataloguing and setting up family portrait sessions including the collation of existing family archival photographs from those left in the village.
Aspects to this project may involve exploring in more detail the dereliction, vacancy and isolation created in villages like Drum in more recent times.

Beyond the Typewriter – Writers & Readers Seminar
Clones Library Saturday 14th of October 2017

We are very fortunate in Monaghan to have a very dynamic literary scene with many famous authors, poets and playwrights.

The reader’s day event will showcase and support top Irish Authors and emerging talent in 2017 by welcoming them to Clones Library on Saturday 14th of October. The event will reflect the creativity and character of the Irish writing scene allowing readers, bookworms and aspiring authors to actively engage with arts and culture.

Those in attendance will engage with the authors as they read from their work, chat about what inspires them and what the life of an author is really like.

This event will help unleash the full creative potential of all aspiring authors in Monaghan.

Tradoodle Festival:
24th – 28th October

Thomas Johnston is the artistic director of Tradoodle, a new traditional arts festival for children taking place in selected venues throughout Co. Monaghan between 24th – 28th October.

Presented by Ceol Connected in association with Monaghan county Council, Tradoodle Festival is working with local partners – schools, crèches, libraries, arts venues, and community centres – to enhance and invigorate traditional arts, folklore, and other forms of artistic heritage in the county.

A jam-packed programme features Ceol Connected’s ‘The Quiet Tree’, a traditional music, storytelling, and puppetry performance; Fiona Kelleher’s lullabies in ‘I Am a Little Boat’; the irresistible MOXIE; a hair-raisingly spooky Halloween session; sean-nós dancing for early years with Sibéal Davitt; exhibitions of Finn Harper’s exceptional portrait work; online music lessons for children, and lots more.

An exciting element of this year’s programme also includes ‘Sí Beag, Sí Mór’ – an artist residency – where traditional artists from different disciplines will come together to explore, develop, and present early stage ideas and new work for children. “One of those chosen to participate in this initiative will be a traditional artist, whether that is a sean nós singer, dancer, storyteller, or musician” says Dr. Johnston. “The others can be from any creative background – theatre, puppetry, set design, or anything else”.

As a Monaghan native, Johnston is looking forward to engaging children across the county in a rich and meaningful experience of the traditional arts. To do this, he says, children will be positioned at the heart of what the festival sets out to achieve. He adds that there is a real power in bringing local communities and partners together and in bringing the traditional arts into the same space as other art forms. As this year is the first year of the festival, it will, he says, look to the local and regional while also embracing the wider world of traditional arts. There has been significant work carried out in recent years in nurturing awareness of Monaghan’s cultural traditions and musical heritage and Johnston hopes that Tradoodle will build on this potential.
Tradoodle Festival is funded by the Arts Council and supported by Creative Ireland and local partners.
Check out tradoodle.ie and social media @tradoodlefest for further details.

Cavan Monaghan Science Festival
12th – 19th November

A week long programme of activities to engage all members of the public in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths with particular focus on how science and technology is hugely relevant to us all in our everyday life and to develop creativity in our children. For 2017, there will be an emphasis on supporting pillars 1 and 2 of the Creative Ireland programme, with a host of workshops on coding, using art and crafts to learn about science, to exploring biodiversity, the environment, and our heritage.

The festival will have some of the best national and international scientists, artists, researchers and speakers, who will demonstrate, showcase and discuss on a broad range of subjects. The week will conclude with a free Family Fun Day with workshops, demonstrations, storytelling, and music. For more information go to www.cavanmonaghansciencefestival.com

As well as the programme of events, there are two other key strategic actions the Culture Team will work on in 2017. First is the submission for funding to Music Generation Phase 2 in partnership with Cavan County Council and Monaghan Cavan ETB, of which the County Council is fully supportive off and will support Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland plan. The second very important piece of work to be carried out is the publication of a 5 year Creative and Cultural Plan for County Monaghan 2018-2022, which will compliment and bring together elements of the Council’s Arts Plan, Library Plan, Heritage Plan, Museum Plan whilst supporting the County Development Plan, LEC Plan and the Rural Action Plan. Public consultation for this plan will take place during September and October with public meetings taking place on Monday 18th September at 7.30pm in the Carrickmacross Workhouse, Tuesday 19th September at 7.30pm in Clones Library, Thursday 21st September 4-6pm in The Market House Monaghan and at the PPN plenary meeting on Thursday 21st at 7.30pm.

Deirdriu McQuaid has been appointed Creative Ireland co-ordinator for Monaghan County Council. For more information regarding the Creative Ireland programme contact creative@monaghancoco.ie

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