About Culture Connects

Culture Connects is the culture programme marking Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union 1 January-30 June 2013. It has been programmed by the National Cultural Institutions of Ireland under the auspices of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

What is the Culture Connects International Programme?

The Culture Connects International Programme is coordinated by Culture Ireland, and presents hundreds of Irish artists and their works in festivals and venues across Europe, expanding the reach of Irish culture to new audiences abroad. 

What is the Culture Connects National Programme?

Nationally, Culture Connects features major events presented by Ireland's National Cultural Institutions, such as the Crawford Art Gallery Cork, the National Concert Hall and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

In addition, the Arts Council has coordinated a programme of over 90 contemporary arts projects and events taking place country-wide, whereby citizens in Ireland, from artists and participants to audiences and volunteers, are connecting with people and places all over Europe through each of these special initiatives.

What are the Arts Council's objectives for its participation in Culture Connects?

To coordinate a programme that would;

  •  Reflect the diversity of artistic practice undertaken by artists and arts organisations in Ireland working in co-operation with artists based elsewhere in Europee
  • Involve citizens (artists, arts participants, volunteers, arts audiences);
  • Be decentralised;
  • Invest in artistic and professional relationships that may help resource artistic activities beyond the period of Ireland's Presidency;
  • Raise awareness of EU supports for culture, and the next generation of EU funding programmes running 2014-2020.

What was the selection process for the Arts Council section of Culture Connects?

Local Arts Europe

The Arts Council ran a special issue of the Local Partnership Scheme, which invited applications from Local Authority Arts Offices and Ealaín na Gaeltachta for art projects in any discipline and any area of practice, that would be designed and carried out in partnership with artist and arts organisations within their localities or regions, and in co-operation with at least one partner based elsewhere in Europe. 23 Local Arts Partnership projects were selected through peer assessment, and are included in Culture Connects under the strand Local Arts Europe

Féile Festa

Applications were invited through the Arts Council's Festival and Events Scheme for special events with a particular European dimension, and 28 Festivals and Events were awarded supplementary support relating specifically to the EU Presidency culture programme. In addition, a small number of large-scale festivals, such as the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, that take place during the Presidency period and that have an important role in terms of engaging extensive arts audiences, were invited directly to participate in the Féile Festa strand.

Traditional Now

Six special cross-cultural projects in the traditional arts were selected through a competitive process, which was based on peer assessment and connected to the Arts Council's Deis award.

Young Creatives

The Arts Council invited five national youth arts resource organisations to coordinate a programme of special events and activities focusing on young people's creative involvement and engagement in the arts. The Arts Council's Young Ensembles Networking and Showcase Event 2013 has a special focus on artists' mobility in Europe, and is also included in the programme.

Partners for Imagination

Partners for Imagination showcases some of the arts organisations in Ireland that have been exceptionally committed to working across national borders in Europe to the benefit of artists, arts participants and audiences in Ireland. The Arts Council invited selected organisations who work transnationally.

How was the Arts Council programme for Culture Connects resourced?

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provided special support for Culture Connects events/projects to mark Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the Arts Council allocated €800,000 of this across over 90 contemporary arts events and projects.

What resources are available for the arts in Ireland and European cooperation projects beyond the Culture Connects programme?
  • The Arts Council of Ireland /An Chomhairle Ealaíon is Ireland's government agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland. Information about our policies and funding programmes are available on this website, and updates are circulated monthly through our electronic newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Culture Ireland supports the promotion of Irish arts abroad, and it runs a grants programme that has three application deadlines per year.
  • For information about national arts and cultural funding in other countries around the world, the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) is a good starting point.
  • The Arts Council of Ireland hosts the European Cultural Contact Point Ireland, and provides information, advice and technical assistance for anyone in Ireland interested in applying for EU funding for culture. 

Creative Europe Programme

2013 sees the launch of the new Creative Europe Programme, a continued commitment by the European Union to fund the creative and cultural sectors. Creative Europe will last for seven years from 2014 - 2020. The Creative Europe Programme will seek to help artists develop international careers and to foster international networks to create professional opportunities. The Programme will support the transnational circulation of works, including international touring, literary translation, and development of long-term audiences for European cultural works. When Creative Europe is officially launched in 2013, the European Cultural Contact Point (CCP) Ireland will host a series of information sessions to brief the cultural and creative sectors in Ireland. Ahead of this please feel free to contact Katie Lowry, CCP Ireland anytime on ccp@artscouncil.ie.

Further information