What We Do

Cork City Council Arts Office develops and instigates a range of arts projects and directly manages a variety of events in Cork city throughout the year.  

The role of the arts office is to
• Advise and support the Council on all arts matters
• Ensure there is an infrastructure to support the arts sector to grow and develop.
• Bridge gaps in arts provision through programme development through civic and cultural partnerships


GLOW, A Cork Christmas Celebration


Experience the festive season on the Grand Parade at the much-loved festival GLOW, A Cork Christmas Celebration. Organised by Cork City Council, the event runs on weekends in the run up to Christmas. Attended by over 160,000 people annually, Bishop Lucey Park invites families to explore a magical bespoke installation, while food and crafts tempt revellers on the Grand Parade. Enjoy seasonal tunes from local groups and take a trip on the giant Ferris Wheel.

The Bishop Lucey Park experience opens on the relevant dates from 4.30pm to 8.30pm. The Christmas Food Markets open from 12noon to 8.30pm and the Ferris Wheel spins every day from 12noon to 9pm right until the end of school holidays. For full & up-to-date information visit Cork Christmas Celebration

Cork St. Patrick’s Festival

St Patrick's Day

Join us to celebrate the Cork St. Patrick’s Festival as the city comes to life for St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17 from 1pm.

Cork St. Patrick's Day Parade will take place in the heart of the city. Join us for a carnival of colour, music, pageantry and fun when over 50 local community groups participate in the city's parade along with visiting groups from overseas and a variety of large scale commissioned pieces. See

As part of a wider festival, join us also for music, history and cultural experiences across the city. For full & up-to-date information visit St. Patrick's Festival webpage

Culture Night

Culture Night

Culture Night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts, which takes place on the 3rd Friday in September annually.

On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, including the National Cultural Institutions, extend their opening hours to allow for increased access to the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge.

For full & up-to-date information visit Culture Night

Public Art

Evening Echo Public Art project, Shalom Park, 17th Dec 2020

Evening Echo 2019

Sunset  -  Thursday 17th December 2020                                                          

Shalom Park, Gas Works Rd & Albert Rd, Cork, Ireland


Lighting Sequence

9th Lamp on : 4:13pm

Sunset : 4:23pm

9th Lamp off : 4:53pm


Due to the current Covid 19 restrictions there is a limit of 15 people for this outdoor event.

We encourage people to view the live-streaming of the event by the Cork City Council - see link below


Evening Echo is a public artwork by New Zealand artist Maddie Leach. It is sited on old gasometer land gifted by Bord Gáis to Cork City Council in the late 1980s. This site was subsequently re-dedicated as Shalom Park in 1989. The park sits in the centre of the old Cork neighbourhood known locally as ‘Jewtown’. This neighbourhood is also home to the National Sculpture Factory.

Evening Echo is an art project generated as an artist’s response to the particularities of place and locality. Now in its tenth year, the project continues to gather support from the Cork Hebrew Congregation, Cork City Council, Bord Gáis and its local community. 

The project is manifested in a sequence of custom-built lamps, a remote timing system, a highly controlled sense of duration, a list of future dates, an annual announcement in Cork’s Evening Echo newspaper and a promissory agreement. Evening Echo is fleetingly activated on an annual cycle, maintaining a delicate but persistent visibility in the park and re-activating its connection to Cork’s Jewish history. Intended to exist in perpetuity, the project maintains a delicate position between optimism for its future existence and the possibility of its own discontinuance.

This year the last night of Hanukkah is Thursday December 17th and offers the only opportunity to see the tall ‘ninth lamp’ alights until next year. The cycle begins 10 minutes before sunset, which occurs this year at 4.23pm, and continues for 30 minutes after sunset when the ninth lamp is extinguished.

This work of art is a fitting tribute to the Cork Jewish Community who lived nearby in the Shalom Park area of Cork city at the turn of the century. The Hebrew Congregation has since dispersed but is remembered with affection and respect in the local community and city wide.

 The event will be live-streamed by the Cork City Council on Cork City Council's Facebook page

 For further details see



Community Engagement Projects

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



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. In 2018 BEAG worked with 406 children.

For further information visit Beag


Rebel Streets Bus

The Newest Festival in Cork, REBEL STREETS is a street arts festival celebrating all things creative and urban.  Supported through Creative Ireland REBEL STREETS is an joint initiative of Cork Community Artlink,  Cork City Arts Office, RAPID, Cork City Library and Cork City and County Archives where young people and streets artists and rappers are given to opportunity the explore stories of Cork through the Cork City Archives and create new art inspired by them.

In 2018 the inaugural Festival, saw street art on display in Bishop Lucey Park, a Double Decker Bus Eireann Bus painted by artist Dusto, and a artwork of historical Cork women activist  ‘Birdie’  was created by artist Mr Everybody, now on permanent display in Fitzgerald’s park.

There were also talks on Graffiti and stencil workshops for children in Cork City Library.

For further information visit Cork Community Art Link Facebook Page

 Arts in School

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

An art project that explores childhood creativity and interesting places of work created and delivered by artists Leah Murphy and Susie Walsh.

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of local arts or educational organisations and workplaces? This is exactly what pupils from three city centre primary schools had the opportunity to explore in an innovative arts project called ‘Tools of the Trade’.

Over several months in 2018 , 71 pupils from St. Maries of the Isle and Sundays Well Boys and Girls Primary schools worked with artists Leah Murphy and Susan Walsh in ‘Tools of the Trade ’. The children taking part had the chance to see behind closed doors in three varied and interesting places of work in Cork City.

In 2018 these were: The Cork Public Museum in Fitzgeralds Park, the Ceramic Department in the Crawford College of Art on Sharman Crawford St, and the Cork Centre for Architectural Education on Copley St.

And in 2017 were; Cork Printmakers, Hubert Book Binders, the Tindell Institute and the UCC School of BEES Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Introductory workshops were given where the children were shown tools that are in everyday use in these particular workplaces as a starting point. With site visits to each distinct working environment inspiring a creative response, the children experienced first hand the idea of the artists’ line of enquiry.

In a series of fun, interactive and educational art workshops, the children then created artworks inspired by the specific activities encountered in each place of work.

This artworks were then exhibition in 2017 in City hall and 2018 in Cork Public Museum.

‘Tools of the Trade’ is 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.

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 a seminar held as part of the Cork International Choral Festival, where student get the chance to perform their compositions and listen to the composition of other schools in the scheme.

Participating schools for 2018/2019

Mayfield Community School, Composer Fergal O’Connor: 086-3953706 / mannasounds@gmail.com
Ursuline Secondary School, Blackrock, Composer Irene Buckley: 087 6201073 / irenebuckley@gmail.com
St. Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill, Composer Sam Barker: 086 0784306 / sambarkerguitar@gmail.com

Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Composer Paul Linehan: 0863699591 / paulfand@gmail.com

The Unfinished Book of Poetry

Unfinished Book of Poetry

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.

Schools and writers for the Unfinished Book of Poetry 2019:

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire - Bernadette Nic an tSaoir

Coláiste Chríost Rí - Tina Pisco

Christ King Girls' Secondary School - Niamh Prior

North Monastery Secondary School - Dean Browne

Educate Together (Wellington road) - Paul Casey

 Arts and Older People

Arts and Older People Creative Enquiry

Creative Enquiry 

Artist Residency and Older People Engagement Project

Call for artist submissions

Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People is an investigative collaborative venture that creatively explores fresh approaches to arts engagement with older people and advances best practice models. The focus of the Creative Enquiry is three artist-residency and older-people-engagement projects, hosted by 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.

The Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People programme draws on the creative inputs and specialist know-how of the different partners that make up the consortium. Creative Enquiry is 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 financially supported by: the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon Invitation to Collaboration scheme; Cork City Council; Cork County Council; and, the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare- Cork South Community Work Department, with in kind support from Age and Opportunity, and each host arts organisation.

 For more details and how to apply please click on the link Creative Enquiry Call for Artist Submissions.pdf (size 640.6 KB)

City of Sanctuary

Cork City Council Arts Office is supporting the Cork City of Sanctuary movement and is leading the Culture sub group of the Cork City of Sanctuary bid for Cork to become a places of Sanctuary.

The culture sub group hope through a series of new actions to ensure that immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees have more opportunity to actively participate in and have access to the rich cultural offer of this city. 

Professional Development

Social Practice Workshop Series and Toolkit

Cork City Council Arts Office and Leitrim County Arts Office have co-developed a FREE professional development opportunity on Social Practice. This exciting programme, Social Practice – A Workshop Series & Toolkit 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.

The programme is delivered through a series of six workshops that focus on relevant topics presented by leading artists in the field in Ireland who will offer learning based on their own experience and practice areas. Topics covered will include 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.

Individual workshops in 2020-2021 will be led by artists Marie Brett; George Higgs; Michael McLoughlin; Deirdre O’Mahony; Seoidín O’Sullivan; and Kate Wilson.

On the conclusion of the workshop series, a Social Practice Toolkit, containing a set of Case Study videos with interviews of the presenting artists will be published online. These videos will provide a critical set of resources to supplement a text-based toolkit for practitioners with practical tips and templates.

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.

Social Practice Workshop Series

There are 20 places on the online workshop series, limited to 10 participants from each local authority area. Those interested should email their local Arts Office by 4th November 2020 with 'Social Practice Workshop Series' in the subject line. Include your CV and an outline (approx 150 words) of your experience and interest in social practice and why you would like to participate in the programme. Allocation of places are prioritised for artists and arts workers living in the local authority areas only (Cork City or Leitrim County). Artists working in these areas may be considered for inclusion. For more information, watch this recording from the Social Practice Toolkit Information Session on 28th October 2020:


Cork City Applicants contact:           Siobhán Clancy, Community Arts Coordinator: arts@corkcity.ie

Leitrim County Applicants contact:               Leslie Ryan, Creative Frame Leitrim Coordinator: lryan@leitrimcoco.ie

This social practice workshop series will also be delivered via Zoom and may be repeated depending on demand.

Dates in 2020-2021 are as follows with online Meet Ups supplementing the programme through peer exchange :

18.11.20              Workshop 1        Presenting Artist: George Higgs

09.12.20              Workshop 2        Presenting Artist: Marie Brett

13.01.21              Workshop 3        Presenting Artist: Deirdre O'Mahony

03.02.21              Workshop 4        Presenting Artist: Michael McLoughlin

24.02.21              Workshop 5        Presenting Artist: Seoidín O'Sullivan

24.03.21              Workshop 6        Presenting Artist: Kate Wilson

 *Please note: The realisation of some of these projects has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. See our Facebook page for updates*