Anonymous €200k donation delivers boost to Cork arts scene 

Anonymous €200k donation delivers boost to Cork arts scene 

Cork Arts Theatre on Carrolls Quay is establishing a Creative Empowerment Award Programme.

An anonymous donation of €200,000 to the Community Foundation for Ireland is giving emerging artists a boost despite the pandemic challenges.

The foundation was able to set up the Cork Arts Fund to support artists addressing social disadvantage or injustice. The projects, described as “innovative, ground-breaking, and imaginative” include 10 theatre productions, bursaries, and artists in residence programmes as well as exhibitions.

Chief executive of the foundation, Denise Charlton, welcomed the donation. 

“Our anonymous donor wanted Cork’s artistic community to push boundaries, be bold and be brave in giving voice to those who are disadvantaged, excluded, or isolated," said Ms Charlton. "The response has been overwhelming.

It is clear the vibrancy, range, and resilience of artists and their supporters in Cork remains strong despite the challenges of the past 12 months.” 

Ms Charlton predicted “an energetic period for the arts in Cork”.

But she noted the devastating impact of the pandemic and said the application was heavily over-subscribed.

“Philanthropy has an important role in supporting the arts, and that has never been more important than now, when our theatres, studios, and galleries are looking forward to welcoming audiences back.” 

Projects include the Rising Sparks Programme by Benchspace in the Marina Commercial Park. This programme will engage artists from marginalised and disadvantaged communities who work with wood, textiles, jewellery, or metal. A year's support will be offered to five artists working towards an exhibition.

Cork Arts Theatre on Carrolls Quay is establishing a Creative Empowerment Award Programme. Theatre companies and artists will be supported by its production expertise to create 10 premieres.

Sample-Studios in Churchfield is providing residencies for at-risk and marginalised artists. In a first for Cork, a framework has been developed for holistic, practice-based learning, experimentation, and collaboration. Art will be promoted as a means of cultivating personal development and cross-cultural understandings. 

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