A number of creative initiatives were announced today by government. Shutterstock/Nadeene
shine a light

Public urged to 'shine a light' in their windows on Easter Saturday for the sick and frontline workers

A light will be shone on public buildings and Irish embassies on Easter Saturday.

EVERYONE AROUND THE country is being urged to take part in a national initiative to honour all the sick, those who have lost their lives, frontline staff and healthcare workers.

On Easter Saturday at 9pm, the Shine Your Light call invites the country to shine a light – be it a light or candle – in the window to pay tribute to those “keeping us going through these dark times”.

A light will be shone on public buildings, Irish embassies, and peacekeeping posts all around the world, with the images being shared with the public across all of the RTÉ platforms.

Everyone, especially children, are invited to get involved and to create their own way of shining a light from their homes.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan today launched a range of specific measures to support the artistic and cultural life during the Covid-19 emergency, urging young and old to get involved. 

“We can all use the resources of arts and culture to get creative, to have fun with creativity and to learn a new creative skill. I am confident that arts, culture and creativity will play an important role in bringing healing to the nation as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge,” she said.

The following initiatives are now being rolled out to get people creative at home: 

  • RTE School Hub and RTE Culture are showcasing material from the National Cultural Institutions, national arts organisations and the Arts Council across their platforms.
  • Fighting Words also have online resources to support Creative Writing for both Primary and Post-Primary levels, and have set up Story-Starter for kids aged 7 to 12, to spark their imaginations and help them get started on a story. They also want teenagers to share their stories, poems and graphic fiction so it can be included in their online anthology.
  • Waterways Ireland have developed a series of educational resources for children to bring the waterways and the outdoors to life in a fun, creative manner which RTÉ is featuring this on their Home School Hub.
  • Music Generation partnerships throughout Ireland are providing online tuition for musicians, groups and ensembles
  • Sing Ireland are inviting people to join together in a ‘virtual choir’. Those who are missing their regular singing practices around the country are being encouraged to record a video of them singing ‘Ireland’s Call’. Sing Ireland will bring it each recording together.
  • The Design & Crafts Council Ireland supported by Creative Ireland has a new series of online workshops and activities involving Ireland’s designers, makers and the public

Artist supports

The minister also announced a number of measures to support Ireland’s artistic community. 

A new €1 million scheme will support Irish and Irish-based professional artists to create new writing, new music, visual art, painting photography and sculpture. 

In addition, a partnership with RTE and others, will bring a broad range of cultural, heritage and language content from archives and new sources which will include input from bodies such as Druid and Other Voices.

Working with Facebook Ireland, Culture Ireland is operating an online initiative which will see a new grant scheme called Ireland Performs for Facebook Live.

RTÉ will be airing a short film each day, in partnership with Screen Ireland, while TG4 will partner with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for a reimagined Fleadh Ceoil. 

The Abbey’s Dear Ireland project will see 50 writers producing monologues to be performed by 50 actors in April.

The Arts Council is also finalising a special fund to enable Irish and Irish-based professional artists to provide access for the public to new and original art during the period of Covid-19 isolation.

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