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Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates children’s creativity


EXPRESS YOURSELF Two Creative Ireland schemes are helping to support creativity among children and throughout communities during lockdown.

Creative Ireland’s Community Fund is also being rolled out by Mayo County Council

Áine Ryan

FROM baking to basketmaking, painting to printmaking, children’s creativity has had to embrace new frontiers during ‘the new normal’. Just ask housebound parents or remote teachers. They know all about it.  
So they are sure to be delighted about the announcement of funding by Creative Ireland for various projects for children and young people.
Organised through local authorities, Mayo County Council is now seeking proposals for projects to take place on Cruinniú na nÓg on June 12 next, the national day of creativity for children and young people.
The really wonderful thing about the possibilities of this project is its broad remit. Whilst those traditional genres like artists, crafters, dancers, musicians, storytellers, street performers are all included, so too are those interested in the marvels of science and technology. Add to the creative carnival those interested in traditional skills, folklorists, historians, those with an interest in built heritage, the rich flora and fauna of Co Mayo, and it really is a potpourri of culture and expression. Proposals may be made by individuals, centres or community groups.    

Cultural carnival
DUE to take place on Saturday, June 12, this dedicated day will be one of ‘celebrating and encouraging children and young people to take part in cultural and creative events around the county’. It will encompass a medley of performances, demonstrations, coding, theatre, workshops, readings and screenings, special events and much more. Obviously, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, it will most likely be mainly an online celebration.
With a fund of €15,000 available to cover the cost of selected events, Austin Vaughan, Mayo Creative Ireland Coordinator and County Librarian, says applicants should prioritise the scale and cost of their proposals.
“Mayo County Council will cover some of the costs of the selected events, including the costs of hiring artists or other cultural or creativity sector practitioners, and the costs of materials. However, it will not be possible to approve all proposals in which case funding will be allocated to those events which best meet the objectives of Cruinniú na nÓg. The aim is to provide variety in terms of cultural and creative experience, age groups and locations, all of which will be considerations when deciding on applications.”
The deadline for receipt of proposals is Friday March 12 at 5pm. Application forms can be found at

Community fund
SIGNIFICANTLY, Cruinniú na nÓg is not the only initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme. Its Creative Ireland Community Grant Scheme 2021 has also been announced.
The aim of this fund of €35,000 is to provide support to local community groups; artistic, heritage and creative practitioners; event organisers and those involved in creative activities and projects, to encourage creativity, collaboration and cultural participation.
Creative Ireland was established in 2017 as a five-year Government initiative that places creativity at the centre of public policy. Its vision is to maximise opportunities for engagement in culture, heritage and creativity, to nurture our creative talent, whilst embedding the individual, social and economic benefits.
Austin Vaughan says: “This year we are particularly pleased to advertise this scheme as the importance of culture, heritage and creativity have never been more important than in this time of lockdown.
“We realise that most proposals will be of an online and digital nature, but this will have the advantage of making them more widely available. So we are asking Mayo artists, heritage workers, coders and any organisation or individual with an interest to use this fund to show the world the wonderful cultural heritage and creativity that we have here in Mayo.”
He adds that although the community fund is aimed more at institutions rather than individuals, he hopes that as much of the funding as possible goes to artists and practitioners in this time of lockdown when work is scarce.
Last year, Mayo Creative Ireland funds supported the digitisation of old photographs, a study on food traditions on the Mayo islands, traditional iron workshops, Ballina Fringe Festival, a project on Travellers’ hair, and a graphic novel on Michael Davitt.
The closing day for the community funding is March 31.

To find out more about either of these creativity supports, go to