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

Annual Events

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

Cruinniú na nÓg Cork City


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 about Cruinniú na nÓg Cork City, go to https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/arts-culture-heritage/creative-ireland/crinniu-na-nog

Culture Night Cork City

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

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

Public Art

Evening Echo Public Art project, Shalom Park, 5th Dec 2021

Evening Echo 2020

Clare Keogh 2020

Sunset  -  Sunday 5th December 2021                                                          

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


Lighting Sequence

9th Lamp on : 4:16pm

Sunset : 4:26pm

9th Lamp off : 4:56pm


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 eleventh 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 Sunday December 5th 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 4.26pm, 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.

 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.

For further information visit Beag

Rebel Streets

Rebel Streets Bus

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 Éireann Bus painted by artist Dusto, and an homage to 'Birdie', a much loved Cork-based activist created by artist Mr Everybody, now on permanent display by Fitzgerald’s park.

‘Rebel Streets’ 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.

The KinShip Project with Lennon-Taylor


To the south of Cork City, near the famous Nemo Rangers GAA Club sits Tramore Valley Park, the site of The KinShip Project. The KinShip Project is one of 15 projects taking place all around the country that are being funded by the €2 million Creative Climate Action fund through Creative Ireland. These projects will work with communities to empower people to make real changes about how they interact with the environment.


Tramore Valley Park itself has been the site of great environmental change. Until 2009, this site was used as a landfill for the city. The area began opening up as a park in 2015 before fully opening in 2019 and has the capacity to harvest rain water and any gas produced by the former landfill to produce energy to power approximately 500 local homes.


The KinShip project will be led by Cork City Council along with a team of two artists in collaboration with the council, Marilyn Lennon and Sean Taylor. Both Marilyn and Sean’s respective practices are rooted in the notion of the site and in the process of collaboration. Other partners who will contribute to the KinShip Project include Cork Nature Network, Cork Healthy Cities, Cork’s UNESCO Learning City, MTU Clean Technology Lab and UCC Environmental Research Institute.


Marilyn is a visual artist and lecturer whose work examines and reimagines both urban and rural social spaces. The outcomes of her practice are typically co-created artefacts, situations, actions and sites of exchange exploring social use of spaces and the environment.


For 25 years, Sean has been developing a practice and process based on the connection between audience and site, with a rigorous approach to the collection of data about both in the projects he has undertaken. The resulting artworks have taken many forms, including a number of sound installations.


The KinShip Project is a durational public artwork, developing a variety of socially engaged cultural initiatives at the park over the course of 15 months. The overall aim is to develop a real sense of connection between the community and its park. This kin-like connection is a civic goal, to have people to treat the park like part of their wider family.


To achieve this, there will be a programme of artistic residencies, the design and building of a sustainable eco-lab and series of creative exchanges and knowledge exchanges. All these elements will put the the local community at the centre of the project.

For more information, go to https://www.corkcity.ie/en/kinship/

 Arts in School

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

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

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.

 Arts and Older People

Arts and Older People Creative Enquiry

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&Opportunity.ie in 2022.

City of Sanctuary

City of Sanctuary

The Cork City of Sanctuary (COS) movement is committed to making Cork a place of welcome, support and safety for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants and persons of migrant origin, where diversity is recognised and celebrated.

Cork City Council Arts Office lead the Culture Subgroup in the bid for Cork to become a City of Sanctuary.The aim of the Culture Subgroup is 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. 

More information about Cork City of Sanctuary can be found here: https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/community/community-initiatives/cork-city-of-sanctuary.html

Professional Development

Arts and Older People

How do arts organisations connect with older people? In 2019, the Creative Enquiry – Arts and Older People initiative consisted 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 has 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 offer 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 are aimed at staff members at arts organisations, artists and other creative professionals, community workers, health care professionals and policymakers. Book here to participate.


Three workshops take place from 9–11 November, 10 am–noon each day, via Zoom, with facilitation by the journalist Ellie O’Byrne. All events are free but booking via SIRIUS’s Eventbrite page is required. These events will take place online via Zoom (link shared in the ticket order email confirmation).

How Do We Embed the Arts in Community Settings?

9 November, 10 am–noon; Zoom

Kevin O’ Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive, delivers a workshop with artists Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon. There is a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, the promotion of good health, and the management and treatment of illness across the life span. Together Kevin, Helga and Susan ask how one might embed arts in health care. The residencies in which Helga and Susan took part had many positive outcomes. They worked in Nazareth House nursing home in Mallow and Mayfield Men’s Shed. Meeting these groups as they are, in their own contexts, provided unique opportunities for collaboration. Kevin, Susan and Helga consider how their work was responsive to the participants.

Cultural Lore Case Study: People’s Thinking on Arts Engagement, Ageing and Impact

10 November, 10 am–noon; Zoom 

Kath Gorman, former Head of Participation and Engagement at Cork Midsummer Festival delivers a workshop with artist Marie Brett. They present and discuss the key findings and considerations of Marie’s 'Cultural Lore' residency with Cork Midsummer Festival, which included how arts programmes might be made accessible for and with older audiences. This used the model of a ‘creative enquiry’ based on building relationships through a more flexible developmental approach.


What Are the Ethics of Engaging with Older People?

11 November, 10 am–noon; Zoom

Miguel Amado, Director of SIRIUS, delivers a workshop with artist Colette Lewis. Colette explored ways of collaborating with older people that are accessible and innovative, considering the specificities of operating within a regional context. Rather than emphasising final outcomes, she initiated relationships for the future. Miguel and Colette discuss the role of the arts in society: How might an arts organisation maintain links with participants after a project is ‘complete’? They provide guidance on the ethical imperative that an arts organisation should have today, particularly when working with older people, and how that might contribute to discussions of wider societal matters.


Thirty clinics are also available to participants in the workshops. They take place from 9–11 November, 2–5pm each day; the duration of each session is 30 minutes. The schedule is s follows: 2–2.30pm, 2.40–3.10pm, 3.20–3.50pm, 4–4.30pm, 4.40–5.10pm. Participants should prepare a topic they would like to address.

Workshop participants will receive an email from SIRIUS to confirm which clinic sessions and times they are interested in, if any, and subsequently SIRIUS confirms the booking and shares the relevant Zoom links.

9 November: Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon, Kevin O’ Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive

10 November: Marie Brett, Siobhán Clancy, Community Arts Coordinator, Cork City Council Arts Office

11 November: Colette Lewis, Miguel Amado, Director, SIRIUS

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, go to https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/arts-culture-heritage/arts-office/street-smart_street-arts-toolkit_cork-city-council_2021.pdf