Rising Sparks for a Rising City

Corks Emerging Artists set to shine with support of Anonymous Donor

Innovative, ground-breaking and imaginative programmes secure backing

Ground-breaking arts projects which allow emerging Cork artists to break-through in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions are to go ahead after securing support from an anonymous donor through The Community Foundation for Ireland.

The Foundation has announced that three local groups have secured support from its Cork Arts Fund which was established after a donor came forward with €200,000 to support projects aimed at giving artists determined to overcome disadvantage an opportunity to highlight their talents.

Announcing the successful projects The Community Foundation has paid tribute to the passionate, energetic and vibrant artistic community undeterred by the huge challenges of the past 18-months.

Each has been selected on the basis that it will address or give voice to social disadvantage or injustice. The projects include 10 theatre productions, Bursaries and Artists in Residence Programmes as well as Exhibitions of new works. All have a strong community component.

The three projects are:

The Rising Sparks Programme by Benchspace in the Marina Commercial Park. Rising Sparks will engage artists from marginalised and disadvantaged communities who work with wood, textiles, jewellery or metal. Five will be offered year-long support to discover and nurture their talents before showing their ability to the wider community at a special Rising Sparks Exhibition.

The Cork Arts Theatre on Carrolls Quay is establishing a new Creative Empowerment Award Programme. Theatre companies and artists are invited to develop new stage works. They will be diverse, forward thinking and adventurous and will be supported by the theatre’s Artistic Director, Technical Director and other production expertise.  Cork audiences can look forward to 10 new premiers at the theatre.

Sample-Studios in Churchfield is providing residencies for at-risk and marginalised artists. In a first of its kind project for Cork a framework has been developed for holistic, practice-based learning, experimentation, and collaboration by at-risk and marginalised artists. Art and creative practices will be promoted as a means of cultivating personal development and cross-cultural understandings. There will also be a focus on building sustainable community alliances and social solidarity.

Announcing the projects, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland said:

“This funding is a direct result of an anonymous donor who issued a challenge to the Cork artistic community to come up with work which pushed boundaries, opened minds and gave voice to those who are too often excluded or silenced. Benchspace Cork with this project tick each and every one of those boxes.

The result will be work from new and emerging artists which will create energy, excitement and vibrancy to communities not just in Cork but further afield. Without Benchspace Cork these are talents which may not be realised. It is a tribute to all involved that after a year of huge difficulty that their passion, vision and commitment to bring about positive change has in no way been diminished.”