Art for Everyone

The freedom to participate in the cultural life of your community and to enjoy the arts is a human right.  Art for Everyone recognises this. We call it out here as a strategic priority, as a focus of our work. Art for Everyone is also a principle, driving all that we do.

In that regard we are proud to be a signatory to Cork’s ‘Arts for All’ Charter and we look forward to advancing the Charter’s vision for ‘a city which is open, accessible and intentionally inclusive in the arts and which celebrates diversity as a cornerstone of creativity’ over the coming years.

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

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


Arts and Older People

Creative Enquiry and What's Next?

Two older men exchange stories inspired by walking sticks and the materials used in making them

Photo Credit: Jed Niezgoda 2019

Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People was an investigative collaborative venture that took place in 2019 and creatively explored fresh approaches to arts engagement with older people and advanced best practice models. The programme drew on the creative inputs and specialist know-how of the different partners that make up the consortium hosted by including three distinct arts organisations: the city-based multi-disciplinary Cork Midsummer Festival; Music Alive, a county-wide arts and mental health organisation; and Sirius Arts Centre, an arts venue located in the heritage town of Cobh. 

What's Next? is a peer exchange programme that shares the learning gained through the Creative Enquiry in a dynamic way with stakeholders that include practitioners and policy makers working with older people in health and community contexts through the arts.

Outcomes to date of the Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People, including the follow up 'What's Next? programme, are:

  • Three artist-residency and older-people-engagement projects hosted by each of the participating arts organisations in 2019
  • A print publication reflecting on the achievements of the residencies and projects launched in 2020
  • A podcast series launched in 2021
  • A set of fully subsidised workshops and clinics in November 2021 (To sign up, see 'Professional Development' section below)
  • A digital set of critical essays to be launched in 2022

Creative Enquiry was an initiative of two Cork based local authorities, Cork City Council and Cork County Council arts offices in strategic partnership with, Age and Opportunity, the national organisation supporting people to reach their full potential as they age, and, the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare-Cork South Community Work Department, facilitating community health and well-being initiatives, and, the three independent partner arts organisations.

Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People is supported by: the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon Invitation to Collaboration scheme. The outcomes will be showcased on www.Age& in 2022.


 Arts in Education

Composers in the Classroom

The Composers in the Classroom (CIC) scheme is an initiative which brings professional composers and musicians into the classroom as part of a special curriculum devised for transition year music students and their teachers.

Initiated in 1998 by Cork International Choral Festival and the Arts Officers of Cork City and Cork County Councils, the scheme offers music students and their teachers the opportunity to work with professional composers throughout the school year.

The scheme has been highly successful in encouraging and assisting students, many with little or no musical training, in their musical creativity and experimentation. Students are required to listen to a wide range of music, analysing and discussing various elements. For the teacher, the residency provides an opportunity to work alongside a professional composer, discussing and developing approaches to creative composition in the classroom.

The residency culminates in an event held as part of the Cork International Choral Festival, where students get the chance to experience the performance of their compositions live.


Music Generation Cork City

Music Generation

Music Generation Cork City is an innovative and progressive community education programme which delivers music educational experiences in a diverse range of music genres to children throughout Cork City.

Music Generation Cork City is modelled on a community education model where community music providers deliver music programme within the children own community, sustaining relationships with the children’s schools, families and wider community.  The community music providers are GMC Beats, Barrack Street Band, Cork Academy of Music, SoundOut, Creative Tradition, Music MashUp and Ballyphehane Youth Project.

Cork City Council Arts Office is proud to be part of, and Co Chair, Cork Music Education Partnership which is  funded by U2, the Ireland Funds , Cork City Council, Cork ETB, Cork CITY and UCC to deliver the  Music Generation Cork City programme to 2000 Cork children.

For further information visit Music Generation Cork City


The Unfinished Book of Poetry


Photo Credit: Paul Casey, Ó'Bhéal Events 2021

The Unfinished of Poetry is a Creative writing in school programme which began its life in 2005 when Cork was designated European capital of Culture. During Cork2005 the library staff conceived the idea to have a book by young people that continued on beyond the City of Culture Year. The project became ‘the Unfinished Book’ and involves creative writing workshops  in local libraries with students of Cork schools each year working with professional writers and poets from Cork. The students work is published in a book which is then launched. These workshops foster creative, personal and educational development and support participants in gaining new insights into the creative art of poetry writing.

The project is an Arts Office and Cork City Libraries schools programme managed by O’Bhéal.


Tools of the Trade


Photo Credit: 2022

Tools of the Trade is a cross curricular, multi-disciplinary collaborative art project that explores childhood creativity and interesting places of work created and delivered by artists Leah Murphy and Susan Walsh.

Hands on encounters allow primary school students to engage with tools that are in everyday use in a range of industries. Site visits to distinct working environments inspire creative responses by the participating students facilitated through methods that introduce the artist's line of enquiry.

In a series of fun, interactive and educational art workshops that follow, students then create artworks inspired by the specific activities encountered in each place of work. Themes in recent years have included Architecture, Archaeology, Engineering, Environment and The Maritime.

‘Tools of the Trade’ has been supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, an all of Government five year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy.


Community Arts

Cork Community Art Link and Cork Traveller Visibility Group

For 'Rebel Streets' 2021, Cork Community Art Link collaborated with Cork Traveller Visibility Group to produce a large scale mural on the walls of the Cork TVG building in the city centre. The project truly brought visibility to Irish Traveller culture and history.  It is just one example of the many community arts projects in Cork City supported by Cork City Council as part of the Creative Ireland Programme.  This particular project was also supported by Traveller Pride.
This recording of a talk on the project also provides an insight into Community Arts projects by Cork Community Art Link in collaboration with the Traveller Community in Cork City over the last three decades.


 Early Years Arts



Photo Credit: Graffiti Theatre Company 2022

BEAG is a early years arts programme established in 2008 , an initiative of the Local Authority Arts Offices of Cork City and County Councils and the Health Services Executive Cork Arts and Health programme, with organising partner Graffiti Theatre Company.

The focus of BEAG has been to develop quality creative multi artform experiences for children between the ages of 0-3. To enhance health and well being for the young child, to develop art practice with artists, to support the artist’s development and increase access to quality arts experiences for children through a range of childcare settings in the city and county.

Since its inception BEAG has led an annual programme, initially with three artists and 10 childcare settings, growing to eight artists working with up to 23 childcare settings. Artists have worked collaboratively across art form and individually. Original work has been created by the artist team for early year’s audiences.

For further information visit Beag


 Youth Arts

Cruinniú na nÓg Cork City


Photo Credit: Darragh Kane 2021

Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan to enable the creative potential of children and young people. The inaugural Cruinniú na nÓg took place on 23rd June 2018 and for the past number of years, including under exceptional circumstances in 2020, young people and families have come together to enjoy, a wide range of creative activities including workshops and tutorials to recitals and readings in Cork City and every city, town and village across the country. Delivered in partnership with local arts organisations and practitioners and supported by RTÉ, children and young people are invited to contribute to this annual programme of fun, free, creative activities through their creative leadership and participation.

For more information, visit Cruinniú na nÓg Cork City.