A City for Artists

In 2005 Cork was European City of Culture. The designation brought pride and distinction to our city acknowledging our rich arts and cultural heritage and progressive, contemporary practices.

We have enjoyed and built on the legacy of Cork 2005 since that landmark year, and we want to continue to distinguish Cork nationally and internationally as a city of art and culture. Specifically, we want Cork to be a city where artists can live and work; to be a base from where they can build a career, supported by an enabling arts and cultural ecology.

Over the next five years, Cork City Council Arts Office will take important steps towards achieving the culture and conditions that will affirm Cork City as an attractive and feasible home for artists and arts professionals.

We will marshal Cork City’s strengths as an open, compact, creative city, its designation as a UNESCO Learning City, and its highly developed arts educational infrastructure towards the achievement of this goal.

Below are some examples of initiatives delivered by Cork City Council in partnership to further the strategic priority 'A City for Artists'.

For more information on this strategic priority, follow this link to the Cork City Council Arts and Culture Strategy 2022 - 2026.

Continuous Professional Development Resources

Arts and Older People

How do arts organisations connect with older people? In 2019, the Creative Enquiry – Arts and Older People initiative took place consisting of three residencies and engagement projects involving four artists hosted by three organisations: Cork Midsummer Festival with Marie Brett; MusicAlive with Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon; and SIRIUS with Colette Lewis. The disproportionate impact of Covid on older people motivated these partners to come back together to share their learnings through the ‘What Next? Arts and Ageing’ programme supported by The Arts Council, Age and Opportunity, Cork City and County Arts Offices and Cork and Kerry South HSE.

'What's Next?' workshops and clinics offered an opportunity to discuss and reflect with artists, programmers, curators, and local authority arts officers regarding how to meaningfully engage with communities through the arts. They were aimed at staff members at arts organisations, artists and other creative professionals, community workers, health care professionals and policymakers.

A podcast series and digital publication provide a lasting resource available to artists interested in exploring this emergent and growing area of practice. 

These resources are Coming Soon.


Social Practice Toolkit

Cork City Council Arts Office and Leitrim County Arts Office have co-developed a web resource focusing on Social Practice, a key growth area in the arts. Launched via a dynamic workshop series in 2020, it consists of an online toolkit featuring information, tips, templates and video cases studies.  www.SocialPracticeToolkit.com is aimed at artists and arts workers who are keen to learn about practical social practice skills and see how they might be applied to their own practice and production methods.

Topics cover the nuts and bolts of social practice such as relationship-building and initiating collaboration or partnership, sourcing funding, planning, self-advocacy, risk assessment, engagement methods, negotiation of challenges, dealing with representation, acknowledging ownership, managing communications, reflection, evaluation and completing a project. Contributors include Marie Brett, George Higgs, Michael McLoughlin, Deirdre O’Mahony, Seoidín O’Sullivan and Kate Wilson.

Apart from building the capacity of participating artists to understand and engage in Social Practice the programme offers a unique opportunity to connect with peers and gain new insights into a professional practice area from both rural and urban settings and from emerging and more experienced practitioners. For more information see below.

To access this resource, go to www.SocialPracticeToolkit.com


Streets Ahead and Street Smart

In partnership with ISACS (the Irish Network for Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle) and supported by Creative Ireland, Cork City Arts Office delivered a professional development programme in 2021 in response to the demand for arts in the outdoors during a time of Covid. The programme recognised the rich history of street arts in Cork City, bringing together leaders in the field to explore critical issues and emerging opportunities. Online workshops for arts practitioners and community workers supported the development of skills for those new to the field. Cork Community Art Link and Ardú contributed to the programme content and delivery.

As a compliment to the Streets Ahead programme, a downloadable resource 'Street Smart' has been published to support anyone interested in producing street art in Cork City.

To access Street Smart, follow this link.