Inclusivity and Ambition – A Strategy for Cavan Arts, 2018 to 2023 and Peace IV Youth Arts Lab Launch

The importance of the arts to the social and economic fabric of everyday life in County Cavan was emphasised at the launch of ‘Inclusivity and Ambition – A Strategy for Cavan Arts, 2018 to 2023’ on Friday, 23 March at Johnston Central Library.



Cavan County Council’s Arts Strategy is a framework for the continuing sustainable development of the Arts locally for the period 2018-2023. This strategy has been prepared following extensive consultation with local communities, key stakeholders and the county’s arts sector; a process that began in September 2016.


Well-known arts critic and pop culture commentator Tony Clayton-Lea and Sinéad O’Reilly, Head of Local Arts with the Arts Council, were special guests on the day, and Tony Clayton-Lea spoke of the value of the arts as a vocation and as a creative release for all who practice their art.


“I fully believe that engaging in art; embracing art, working in art; can quite literally change – if not save - your life.”


This theme was echoed by Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, Tommy Ryan who noted “the value of the arts as a tool for community revitalisation is long recognised”.  


“In Cavan we value the arts and the contribution they make to the social, economic and environmental aspects of community life. The Arts Council recognises the value of the artist to our society and this strategy places the artist central to our work in Cavan,” said Mr Ryan.


“Equally, the support and guidance of the Arts Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are essential.  The significant investment in Townhall Cavan by the Department, the Local Authority, and Peace IV indicates our shared commitment to the arts. The Culture Team will continue to deliver positive outcomes through working with artists to develop our communities in County Cavan.”


At Friday’s event, the Cavan Youth Arts Lab project was also officially launched. This PEACE IV-funded project enhances the capacity of children and young people to develop awareness and respect for self and others and to form positive relationships through the arts. Local circus arts practitioner Kim McCafferty was on hand to perform for pupils from St Felim’s National School.


Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor Paddy McDonald said “these young people and the artist facilitators in the Peace IV Youth Arts Lab are a great example of the ability within our community. My fellow elected representatives and I will do what we can to ensure that the resources are in place for Cavan to deliver on the ambition for the many artists working in different art forms throughout the county.”


County Cavan Arts Officer Catríona O’Reilly said “The priorities in this strategy: artistic, diversity, audience and infrastructural can be delivered upon if we, the various players; artists, audiences, agencies, and the local authority, work together to nurture and create the conditions in which great art can happen”. 


“It is important that we ensure as many people as possible can participate in high quality arts experiences. Resources remain key to delivery and to ensure the capacity of the arts sector in the county to manage and balance future needs and demands,” added Ms O’Reilly.

Download 'Inclusivity and Ambition - A Strategy for Cavan Arts, 2018 to 2023' (PDF, 13MB)


Pupils from St Felim's National School with PEACE IV Cavan Youth Arts Lab facilitator Marilyn Pepper. (Photos: Lorraine Teevan).

Journalist Tony Clayton-Lea and Sinéad O'Reilly, Arts Council

PEACE IV Cavan Youth Arts Lab Facilitators Christine O'Brien and Marilyn Pepper, with Cavan County Council PEACE IV Youth Arts Lab co-ordinator Kim Doherty and Cavan County Council PEACE IV co-ordinator Jane Crudden.







09 Apr 2018

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