Ireland’s Whole-System Approach to Spark Creative Spirit

On Tuesday, May 18, OECD Education and Skills hosted a webinar that explored the all-of government Creative Ireland Programme, a whole-system approach aiming to embed creativity throughout society.

Launched in 2017, Creative Ireland is a five-year well-being program that creates opportunities for every person in Ireland to unleash their full creative potential to drive societal development. Creative Ireland partners with local and national government, cultural and enterprise agencies, and local enterprises to spark creativity in people and communities in Ireland. The program has four key themes to embed creativity in all levels of society: Creative Youth, Creative Communities, Creative Places, and Creative Nation.

The Creative Youth Plan aims to “give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.” Creative Schools, the flagship program of the Creative Youth Plan, offers children and young people opportunities to experience and explore arts and creativity at the center of their school life. Each of the 462 partnering schools has a designated “Creative Associate,” a creative professional who collaborates with the respective school to develop a plan to increase creativity and strengthen relations between the school and local organizations dedicated to arts and culture.

To advance the whole-system approach, the Creative Ireland Programme also has established Culture and Creativity Teams and an appointed Creative Ireland Coordinator in each of the 31 local authorities. The Culture and Creativity Teams unite local experts in arts, heritage, libraries, enterprise, and community engagement to promote collaboration and spur new initiatives.

Last year, they released a progress report that outlines updates within each component, providing a temporary blueprint for other national and regional governments to consider approaches to unleashing the power of creativity and positively influence society.

Please refer to the following for more information on upcoming and recent events:

•  June 12, 20201: Cruinniú na nÓg (described as “a day of free creativity for children and young people”)
•  May 13, 2021: The 2021 Creative Youth Conference
•  May 11, 2021: Recorded webinar “Embedding creativity in education: Ireland’s whole-of-government approach”