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Lord Mayor launches 7th Cork Lifelong Learning Festival

Lifelong Learning Festival 2010

A section of the audience at the launch of the 2010 Lifelong Learning Festival

On Friday March 12th  2010 the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Dara Murphy launched Cork's 7th Lifelong Learning Festival to a packed attendance in the Council Chamber, City Hall, Cork. In his address the Lord Mayor payed tribute to the large group of people, volunteers and sponsors alike, who have organised and supported this year's festival.

This year’s Cork Lifelong Learning Festival, which will run from  Monday March 22nd – Sunday March 28th, 2010 is bigger than ever before with more than 320 free events taking place all over the city and suburbs during the week - that’s an increase of 80 since last year.

On Monday, March 22nd, Minister for Education & Science Mr. Batt O’Keeffe, will officially open the festival at a ceremony hosted by Thomas Crosbie Holdings. During the event Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Dara Murphy, will also formally announce the linking of the festival with Féile an Phobail – the West Belfast festival.

This new link-up between the two festivals is part of Co-operation Ireland’s Building Peace – an initiative of its Cork branch to build up relationships between organisations in both cities. It builds on a relationship between groups in both cities over the last few years, including Beyond Borders – a three year project which brought together South City Resource Centre in Belfast and Mayfield Community Arts Centre in Cork. That project culminated in the joint painting of a mural during the festival two years ago – and that mural will be on display during the opening ceremony.  

During the festival Danny Morrison, Chairman of  Féile an Phobail, will introduce writer Tim Brannigan at an event modelled on one which he has organised during the Belfast festival for years.  Also, Cork Music Works and Open Arts Belfast jointly present Sing Le Chéile – a song workshop – in what it is hoped will be an on-going partnership.

The Cork Lifelong Learning Festival is unique – the only festival in Europe which promotes and celebrates learning of all kinds across all age groups, abilities and interests, from preschool to post retirement.

Its motto is Investigate, Participate, Celebrate, and the public can do that by watching demonstrations, trying out skills, and seeing others, from the young to the old, show off what they are learning.

Its aims are:

•           to celebrate those already participating in learning of all kinds;

•           to raise awareness of the huge range of options there are all over the city for others to get involved.

The festival attempts to particularly target those not usually attracted to learning of any kind. All events are free and there is no charge imposed on any of the organisations or individuals for taking part.

During the festival learning is brought out among the people with free events all over the city taking place in a variety of venues – among them shopping centres, parks, community centres, museums, colleges, galleries.

Events include introductory classes, tours, demonstrations, performances, workshops, talks, exhibitions, debates, film screenings, taster sessions… Contact details for all participating organisations are included in the programme so it can be used for reference after the festival.   

See the whole programme on www.corkcity.ie/learningfestival

The festival reflects Cork’s commitment as a City of Learning, and is organised by the Learning Forum, set up by the Cork City Development Board.

There really is something for all the family happening during festival week – from puppet shows to river trips, workshops and tours, talks to readings, and a whole lot more.

The Festival is supported financially by the City of Cork VEC, Cork City Council, FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council), Ballyphehane Credit Union, O'Callaghan Properties, CIT, UCC, FÁS and media partners The Evening Echo & 96FM.

Dorothy and Friends

 "Dorothy" and friends at the launch of the 7th Lifelong Learning Festival in City Hall on Friday March 12th 2010

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