On the 7th December Creative Ireland delivered on one of it’s key promises by publishing Creative Youth: a Plan to enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person. This now represents the core work programme for Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland Programme. Michael O’Reilly from Creative Ireland discusses the plan development and implementation.
Michael O’Reilly – Creative Ireland
Developing the plan was an interesting and not entirely pain-free process: it is no secret that the 2018 budget didn’t allow as much scope for new investment as had been hoped. But in the end, a creative engagement between the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs produced a plan with a long-term vision – cultural and creative education for all – a strategic approach to the further development of pillar 1, and 18 implementation actions.
The two headline actions are implementation of Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools – an Arts Council led project, which is a development of the Arts in Education Charter initiative, Arts Rich Schools – ARIS, and the extension of Music Generation countrywide during the lifetime of the Programme.
There are several entirely new ideas in the plan but in the main it builds on existing initiatives. For example there will be a significant research project, and a culture and creativity-mapping project, but both will build on existing work.
From our point of view the most encouraging aspect of the plan is the acceptance of the long term vision of cultural and creative education for all: Cultural education that enables young people to explore and understand their own and other people’s cultural assumptions, viewpoints, beliefs and values, and Creative education that uses the innate creative skills of children and young people as a powerful instrument of learning.
The plan is not static. A Pillar 1 expert advisory group will be appointed shortly which will guide the further development of pillar 1 and also monitor the implementation of Creative Youth. A cross-departmental working group and a senior officials group will ensure that implementation stays on track.
We now have a clear agenda and cross-government support for its implemenation. The next few years will be both testing and exciting.
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