The inaugural STAMP pop-up festival – taking place over the weekend of the 13-15th of May in 11 locations across Cork city centre – is a collective effort by benchspace, Sample-Studios, Cork Craft & Design and Shandon Art Studios. As a pilot, it responds to a recognised need to provide a visible showcase for the work of these organisations’ combined membership of individual cultural & creative industries (CCIs).
Over 55 art, design and craft events, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, panel discussions, screenings and markets have been conceived and scheduled to appeal to both locals and tourists. What makes this event different and innovative is that the emphasis is primarily on interaction and experiencing-by-doing or by making in order to gain a true taste and appreciation of what Cork’s local creativity has to offer. This means opportunities for the public to try their hands at creative writing, printmaking, origami, life drawing and botanical art, to name but a few activities, as well as to view fabric painting, woodturning and ceramics-making up close.
The festival is a key Cork-based output of the Cult-CreaTE EU project . This initiative has brought Cork City Council, and the 4 organisations as local stakeholders, into contact with partners across Europe to exchange and learn on approaches to the development of this form of niche tourism among small cultural and creative businesses. The festival represents the first public roll-out of the new STAMP branding as an umbrella cluster for the local creative sector. This was co-created over recent months by the groups through a tailored support programme, facilitated by CCC, to develop an agreed sense of identity and common purpose, including a potential to develop tourism opportunities. The grassroots branding approach has drawn inspiration from the example of work undertaken in Dundee to interlink local creativity with tourism while the idea for a pop-up festival is partly reflective of a similar event held annually in Nicosia.