“Sustain, Nurture, Grow”, is the title and theme of the fourth Laois Arts Plan 2014-2017. It will be launched in the Laois Arthouse, Stradbally, on Wednesday 7th May at 2.30pm, by Orlaith Mc Bride, Director of the Arts Council.
This plan is the result of a review the Arts Office undertook and its response to the challenges presented with the current economic environment. The Laois Arts Plan, 2014 – 2017, is the fourth Arts Plan to be implemented by Laois County Council. Although the plan was devised and written during economically challenging times when resources are scarcer than previously, a solid foundation has been built for the arts in Co Laois in the last twenty five years. This Arts Plan will offer a pathway to consolidate and nurture programmes and strategies already established by the Arts Office in its 2006-2011 Arts Plan. The need for greater partnership is the key to enhancing the arts developments in the county and the current Arts Plan also offers scope for embracing new ideas for partnerships, and in further developing the work done with artists, people and creative communities.
Since the last Arts Plan exciting developments have taken place in the county. These include the opening of the Laois Arthouse in 2011, in Stradbally. This facility offers national and international artists the opportunity to work and stay in a beautiful environment with excellent facilities and comfort. Another new development is Music Generation Laois. Music Generation Laois, enhances the existing Laois School of Music established in 2001, under a previous Arts Plan, offering a wide range of musical tuition to hundreds of people countywide on a weekly basis.
The Arts Office has in its overview looked at how it utilises precious resources available to it. One of the ways is through thoughtful use of the Per Cent for Art Scheme. This programme has enabled the funding of residencies and commissions and will continue to do so through the lifetime of the plan.
The Arts Office is focussing on greater partnership with the Dunamaise Arts Centre, in devising programmes, as evident in the current Arts Council Theatre Residency programme currently taking place. The Arts Plan will also look to further develop investment in various programmes that focus on young people and the place of the arts in education and youth culture. Already a successful Youth Theatre programme is run by the Arts Office and it is hope to develop this further in the lifetime of the plan.
Advisor to the plan was Clíodhna Shaffrey and design of the plan was by Laois born Graphic Designer, Caitríona Maher. Thanks is extended to all those who contributed to the plan, the Members, Management and Staff of Laois County Council for their continued support.
Following the launch, the Arts Plan will be available to download from our website on www.laois.ie.
A limited number of hard copies are available from the Laois Arts Office.
Further information from Muireann Ní Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 057 8664109.