14 February, 2019 - Ministers Madigan, McHugh and Zappone announce €6m for Creative Youth to enable creative potential of children and young people

  • Doubling the number of Creative Schools from 150 to 300, registration for new applicants now open with applications accepted online from 19th February.
  • Over 140,000 children and young people will be participating in Creative Schools and Creative Clusters programmes in 2019.
  • Increasing opportunities for CPD for teachers across the country.
  • Music Generation to commence 5 new Local Music Education Partnerships in 2019, a further step in delivering on the promise of a national roll-out by 2022.
  • 15 innovative projects for children and young people will be rolled out as part of National Creativity Fund.

Speaking today at the National Gallery of Ireland, Ministers Madigan, McHugh and Zappone announced a combined 2019 budget of €6m for Creative Youth, an initiative of the all-of-Government Creative Ireland Programme, which aims to enable the creativity of children and young people. 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D. said; “It is really important that children and young people have the opportunity to explore their creative potential both inside school and outside school.  Today’s commitment represents this Government’s commitment to the Creative Youth Programme.  Working in partnership with the Arts Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, means that we have secured an increase of nearly €4m on last year’s budget to enable a range of exciting and innovative pilot projects to be rolled out over the coming year.  I look forward to the outcome of these projects and the positive impact it will have on our children and young people.” 

A highlight of the announcement today (Thursday 14th February) is the expansion of CreativeSchools, a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme which is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 

Creative Schools aims to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity, as a core aspect of school life, and to foster children and young people’s creativity and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education in Ireland.  Creative Schools recognises that the arts are a powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations to be inventive, and harness their curiosity. Engagement in the arts and creativity requires rigour, discipline and resilience nurturing learners’ sense of agency and self-worth. This combination of skills underpins all successful learning. 

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. added; “I am delighted to announce that the combined budget from the two departments for Creative Youth for 2019 is up to €6million. 

“That’s a near trebling of investment in our young people and a signal of how great an impact this initiative can have. 

“It will ensure the support is there to inspire creativity and develop it. 

“It makes sense to encourage children to engage with the arts early in life. They can learn life changing skills and the exposure they get from music, drama and dance for example can make a big difference in their overall levels of achievement and quality of life. 

“Creativity is key for our children to develop. I would like to see as many schools as possible apply for the Creative Schools initiative.” 

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone T.D. said: “I am delighted that my Department is involved in the Creative Ireland Programme ensuring that the voice of the child is central to the design of Creative Youth programmes, such as Creative Schools, Cruinniú na nÓg and Local Creative Youth Partnerships."

While the existing 150 pilot schools in Creative Schools will continue to participate in the initiative for a second year, 150 new schools across Ireland will be added in 2019. This is an exciting opportunity for these schools to understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with creativity, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work.  Working with a Creative Associate, schools draw on the range of resources within their school and wider community, developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on student learning, development and well-being. In addition, all schools under the initiative receive a further range of supports including a grant of €2,000 and training for teachers in the school. 

Director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride said “The Arts Council has long been committed to the arts being a lived experience for every child and young person in the country.  The doubling of this programme in 2019 is a very significant step towards this goal, and also means that there are increased opportunities for artists and creative practitioners to work in schools and to facilitate their engagement with Ireland’s rich and varied cultural infrastructure.” 

National Director of Music Generation Rosaleen Molloy said: “When Music Network first established the Music Generation programme in 2010 the vision of our principal Donors, U2 and The Ireland Funds, was for universal access for all children and young people to music tuition, regardless of circumstance. This latest commitment as part of Creative Youth brings us closer than ever to realising that vision. We are extremely grateful to our Government partners for their continued support and investment, and we look forward to sharing details in the coming weeks of the next five areas to get underway.” 

Further information on the Creative Ireland Programme and Creative Youth is available at www.creativeireland.gov.ie 

For more information on Creative Schools see http://www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/                               

 Notes to Editors

The Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-Government initiative which aims to place creativity at the centre of public policy. Creative Youth, one of five Programme pillars, aims to enable the creative potential of every child and young person. www.creativeireland.gov.ie

An initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, the National Creativity Fund activates, enables and supports ground-breaking and innovative initiatives, research projects and community programmes, which have creativity and wellbeing at their centre. 15 of the 30 projects are specifically for children and young people including a pilot model for an intercultural Schools Programme, the first of its kind in Ireland (Chester Beatty Library/Mary Immaculate Training College, Limerick) and the development of a new creative mental health programme (the ‘Sound Schools Toolkit’) for primary school children (Irish Youth Foundation /A lust For Life). 

The Arts Council of Ireland is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. We work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life. www.artscouncil.ie

Initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships, Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality.  www.musicgeneration.ie

Creative Schools                                                                                                                                                                 

All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools, special schools and Youthreach centres across the state are eligible to apply. Interested schools should: 

·         Step 1 – Get online to find out more www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools

·         Step 2 – Register your school today (this can take up to 5 working days).

·         Step 3 – Apply online between 19th February 2019 and 21st March 2019. 

Schools Excellence Fund Creative Clusters 

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, led by and in partnership with the Association of Teacher Education Centres Ireland (ATECI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund - Creative Clusters Initiative. A Creative Cluster will engage schools to collaborate on the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of an innovative arts and creative learning project which supports them to address a common issue or challenge. Participating schools were announced on 20 September 2018. 

Voice of child  

With the assistance of Hub na nÓg in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, training has been rolled out to those involved in developing the various initiatives under Creative Youth to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard throughout the process.  This is a key working principle of Creative Youth. 

ENDS