Speech by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, at launch of Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child


Go raibh maith agat, a Thaoisigh.  Gabhaim buíochas libh, a mhúinteoirí agus a dhaltaí, as fáilte croíúil a chur romhainn inniu.

Mar Aire nua-cheaptha sa Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, tugann sé sásamh an-mhór dom go bhfuil ócáid an lae inniu mar cheann de na céad ócáidí oifigiúla atá agam mar Aire.  Tá an plean seo fíor-thábhachtach d’ár gcultúr agus do leanaí na tíre go léir.

I am particularly pleased that this is one of my first official events – this Plan is so important and it recognises for the first time that arts, culture and creativity affect all our lives in multiple ways.

Children flourish through creativity and experimentation. With this Plan we will support and encourage our children and young people to embrace culture and creativity and to make it an essential part of our learning process.

Creative Youth commits to ensuring that that by 2022 every child will have practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, art and coding.  The Plan will help us to achieve this.

But we’re not stopping there.  We want to ensure that our young people can experience the visual arts, traditional arts, media arts, literature and creative writing, dance, play, our heritage, circus arts, craft, architecture, design. We do that by bringing together the best that can be offered in school and outside of school.

Agus ná déanaimís dearmad dár dteanga féin, dár dtraidisiúin féin – an ceol, an damhsa, an amhránaíocht, an scéalaíocht. Tugann siad sin go léir sainmhíniú dúinn mar Éireannaigh. Is ceart ár dtraidisiúin a cheiliúradh dúinn féin – ach  is ceart freisin iad a roinnt le daoine nua atá tagtha chun cónaí in Éirinn chomh maith. In other words, sharing our own culture and traditions with others enriches all our lives, breaks down barriers, and creates respect for diversity.

Creative Youth is ambitious. But it is important to remember that this is a five year Plan, and in some respects a journey into the unknown. It will take time to get everything right.  We are building on existing programmes and introducing new and innovative ones.  2018 will be a year of piloting these.  Key initiatives include:

  • The Creative Schools initiative which aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.  This will provide schools with the opportunity to develop a programme which responds to their unique needs with  children and young people having a central role in shaping their own plan.
  • A new National Creativity Fund to provide financial support for organisations that promote creative activities for young people that may not be eligible for other agency funding.
  • The Continuous Professional Development course for teachers in primary and post-primary schools with artists working in partnership with teachers in the school
  • Highlighting innovative and best practice ways of extending participation in drama, theatre and music. We will also theme the annual Cruinniú event as a national creativity day for children and young people.

These are just some of the actions contained in the Plan.

I look forward to working with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Arts Council over the next year to deliver on our plans.

This is about realising the full creative capacities of our young people. Creative Youth represents the beginning – not the end – of this process.  There will be a lot more to come between now and 2022.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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