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Limerick to develop a new cultural strategy

Wednesday 30th March, 2016

Limerick City and County Council is calling on the arts and culture community and members of the public to play their part in the formation of a comprehensive new Cultural Strategy for Limerick. 
A series of public meetings will be held in Limerick throughout April to help develop the Strategy which will form part of Limerick's bid for European Capital of Culture 2020 and feature two strands covering the periods 2016-2020 and 2020-2030. 
Limerick is at a key point in its cultural history and development as it bids for the designation as European Capital of Culture 2020. 
Drawing from the experience of the designation as the first Irish National City of Culture in 2014 and the confidence gained from that year, the Council wants Limerick to strategically plan and look to the future to ensure culture continues to play a leading role in developing the city and region.  
Cllr. Liam Galvin, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick has welcomed the development of the strategy, adding; "Essentially, this strategy is about moving towards a wider idea of culture and how the Council supports culture into the future."
"There are 191,000 of us and during Limerick 2014 we were inspired to create new collaborations, to develop new thinking, to nurture and develop creative citizens,” he said.  “Supported by the Elected Members, the strategy is aimed at supporting new and existing festivals and events as well identifying the use of unoccupied spaces throughout Limerick for cultural purposes. I urge the people of Limerick who have an interest in culture to be involved in forming the strategy," said Mayor Galvin. 
Sheila Deegan, Arts and Culture Officer, Limerick 2020, said the new cultural strategy for Limerick will celebrate and recognise the multiplicities that make Limerick unique, colourful and diverse, and collectively tell a powerful story about the valuable impact this strategy can make. 
“The Limerick Cultural Strategy will be an integrated set of choices that will pave the way for effective planning to achieve change through cultural engagement,” she explained. “This strategy will be decided on collectively through public consultation and partnership. We are delighted to be working with Limerick Arts and Culture Exchange (LACE) and Professional Limerick Arts Network (PLAN) both new, independent, cultural representative bodies that work to develop, support and advocate for the cultural sector in Limerick. 
She added: “We are looking to create a meaningful cultural strategy that can be implemented with success across Limerick. The cultural strategy will be a catalyst for a step change in the way local government supports and delivers culture. Within the context of the bid, the strategy must embrace the links between the objectives of Limerick and the objectives of the designation.” 
From Monday 11th April, a working document will be available online at www.Limerick.ie/council for people who wish to contribute but are unable to make one of a number of the scheduled public briefings on the strategy. 
A community group meeting will take place on Tuesday, 12th April between 1pm and 2.30pm in the Council's Area Office in Newcastle West ahead of a separate meeting on the same date in the Rathkeale Arts Room from 5pm to 6.30pm. 
A meeting also will take place in the Friarsgate Theatre, Kilmallock on Thursday 14th April from 12.30pm to 2pm, while a World Café meeting will take place in Dance Limerick in Limerick City Centre from 1pm to 4pm on Friday 22nd April. 
Limerick City and County Council says the Cultural Strategy will be presented for the consideration of and adoption by Elected Members at the Council's May Monthly Meeting.

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