Hundreds of free events have been scheduled, promising performances, poetry, plays and exhibitions. The organisers once again have a variety of venues on board, and not just in schools, colleges and libraries.
Museums, parks, private businesses and shopping centres will host classes and displays, while a free tour of the Inniscarra dam is planned on Wednesday, March 21.
That is one of six Learning Factories taking place in conjunction with Cork Institute of Technology, giving people a chance to get behind the scenes at innovative businesses, also including technology support company, Flex, on Dublin Hill.
These and a number of other events throughout the festival, which runs from next Monday to Sunday, require advance booking due to restrictions on numbers. However, most items in the bumper programme are open to turn up on the day or evening itself.
Festival organiser Siubhán McCarthy said Cork loves learning and the week has been packed with free accessible events for all, regardless of their learning abilities or ambitions:
Learning is not just about gaining qualifications, it’s about making life more fulfilling and enjoyable and I passionately believe in the power of knowledge to change lives for the better.
Many events are informative, such as the city centre historic walking tours and a coaching skills lecture at University College Cork.
Others invite the public to get a taste of new activities, including pole fitness at the Firkin Crane, or having a go at arts of the visual or even the martial kind.
This is the 15th year of the festival, which also includes a number of fringe events happening outside in north, south and mid-county Cork.
The festival was key to attracting Unesco’s international learning cities conference to Cork last September. Delegates from around the world got a chance to see the range of formal and informal education, training and classes operating in different settings.
Cork was one of the first 12 cities in the world to earn the Learning City Award from Unesco three years ago, and the same award was received by Limerick during last year’s conference.
The full programme of events from Monday, March 19 to Sunday, March 25, is available in Cork City Hall, libraries, and other venues, or HERE