There are many cities, towns and villages in Ireland that are synonymous with certain industrial activities or are best known for unique local characteristics associated with its people, its landscape, its sporting and cultural traditions — Headford is no different.
What is obvious to many is that the numbers of creative people residing AND working in the Headford environs, and the obvious prowess they hold within their chosen fields is becoming more and more prevalent as each day passes. Without doubt, Headford being a home for the arts is also certainly firmly etched in the psyche of those who inhabit the area. It is also very apparent that the numbers of young people engaging with the arts is far greater in Headford than other areas of similar size and economic capacity. During any given week there are countless creative practitioners working independently and collectively in the area with one modus operandi — they all wish to create something.
In early 2018 a steering group, made up of creative and business minds, from the Headford area got together to discuss the development of the arts in the greater Headford area and more specifically how this could be enhanced for the betterment of those currently working and studying in the region. They also discussed how future generations could and should benefit from measures taken by those working within the creative community at present.
Following initial scoping meetings and later presentations to potential external funders, a limited company was formed entitled CREATE Movement Ltd. It was agreed by all involved that the current creative ecosystem in the area needs to be given succour for it to grow and to propel it into the future.
Need for a bespoke building
Identified as one of the most important requirements both now and for future generations is the need for a bespoke building to be established in Headford where current and future needs are addressed and met. In essence there is a need for a ‘space’ where the meeting of minds and a cross pollination of creative ideas under one purpose built space will unearth additional practitioners, increase student numbers and lead to increased audience development. Not least of all, this is something that has the potential to contribute significantly to the local Headford economy. It should in essence also be an inclusive space for the whole community.
CREATE Movement is now spearheading the drive to build a purpose built facility in Headford to be known as CREATE — an acronym for the proposed Centre for Recreation, Education, Arts, Technology and Engagement. Details of the green field site in the town where the proposed facility will be built will be announced to the public shortly.
It is envisaged that CREATE will cater for the specific needs of the wider artistic community but also become a place for those who may not be practitioners, but are lovers of the arts and deserve a bespoke facility to enjoy classes, performances, demonstrations, talks, exhibitions, engagement of many types all in a proper setting.
Leaving aside the numbers of creative people working in the area, it is revealing to see the numbers of people working within the creative industries who live in Headford but leave the area to rent offices, spaces, warehouses, workshops and rehearsal rooms elsewhere.
Database of creativity
As part of its initial work the group discussed the fact that there is no all-encapsulating database or resource that lists all those who are working within the arts in the greater Headford area and as a result there is no direct way for people to communicate with one another or indeed for the public to engage with those who they might wish to but are unknown to them personally.
As a result of the aforementioned, the CREATE Movement has begun work on compiling a definitive database of all such practitioners.
The CREATE Movement would be delighted to hear from anyone who feels their activities or the work of their organisation fits the aforementioned criteria and they would be happy to include such details within this database which the organisation plans to make available online and as part of a freely & widely distributed booklet. It was also agreed that an extensive database of the individuals and organisations in the area will help shape ideas on the future make-up of the CREATE Movement and of those who will occupy the CREATE building.
Those who are interested in being included in the database can visit CREATEmovement.ie and in addition to getting more information they can input their details to be part of this definitive collaborative database for Headford.
Headford creative entrepreneur and producer Eric Cunningham together with lecturer and founding artistic director of Headford Music Works, Mairéad Berrill, are the Directors of CREATE Movement Ltd. Councillor Mary Hoade is the Chairperson of the greater CREATE organisation while John Mc Grath (Headford Development Association ) acts as Secretary.