Community, Arts and Culture.

Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
Rosie Lynch

Callan Local Area Plan 2019

6.1 Community Facilities

Amendments and suggestions to text. Final three paragraphs:

Community organisations are also well established in Callan with the Callan Community Network established in 1999 as a voluntary group. The core aim of this group is in the betterment and advancement of Callan. Droichead Family Resource Centre provides a variety of universal family supports and services from its premises on Mill Street. Callan has a youth club led by Foróige, which meets at the Friary.

The town has established itself as a hub for artistic production with a network of arts organisations and collectives.

Residents of Camphill Community Callan and L’Arche (separate disability organisations providing supported housing and meaningful work opportunities) are an integrated part of the wider community in Callan participating in the cultural, social and economic activities of the town. L’Arche runs a social enterprise cafe on Green Street. Some smaller social enterprises are in development in the town including a community bicycle workshop and horticulture at the Workhouse.

8.2.1 Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy

Ammendments and suggestions to text:

Arts and cultural activities enable people to develop a sense of ownership of their area and to achieve a sense of place. The provision of the necessary community infrastructure is vital if arts and culture related activities are to expand and continue to make a meaningful impact in the plan area. There is potential for the area to generate tourism through arts/music festivals, art exhibitions and installations, etc.

The network of arts organisations and collectives in the town include KCAT Arts Centre, Equinox Theatre Company, Workhouse Union, Abhainn Rí Festival, Fennelly’s of Callan, Monkeyshine Theatre, Asylum Productions, Tony O’Malley Residency and Trasna Productions. Over 30 people are employed on a full-time or part-time basis in the arts in Callan, with a considerable number of self-employed artists and creative practitioners working in the town too. KCAT is a multi-disciplinary Arts Centre dedicated to the fostering and nurturing of creative ambition and professional development in the arts. Over 100 participants per week take part in an aspect of KCAT’s artistic activities. With support from this LAP and other policy and funding opportunities, Callan could be further developed as an excellent place to make, support and foster artistic production and engagement. The vibrancy of the arts activities in Callan also holds additional tourism potential.

Kilkenny County Council supports cultural participation and practices through partnerships and collaborations, through significant direct and indirect support and the provision of cultural infrastructure across the City and County. Kilkenny’s Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018–2022 is an Integrated Strategic Plan for the delivery of the Arts, Heritage and Library Services of Kilkenny County Council. Its five strategic priorities include

Enable best practice delivery of culture

Increase and diversify participation

Support culture in rural and urban areas

Engage children and young people in culture

Communicate the value of culture

Kilkenny County Council has an ambitious capital programme for 2018 – 2022, including investment in key cultural infrastructure in the county. This includes, but is not limited to the Callan Cultural Hub: Proposed Capital Project also referred to as the Friary Conservation Plan which is the subject of a funding application under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. Funding is sought to support the development of the Friary Complex as a cultural and creative hub with a modern library service at its centre. The application refers to the ‘Our Public Libraries 2022’ which seeks to reinforce the local library as a trusted place at the centre of the community’. The application which is currently under consideration seeks funding to undertake a specialist condition and conservation survey of the full Friary Complex and to then complete a masterplan for the strategic development and use of the property as a flexible and integrated library, community and creative youth facility.

Callan’s artistic network has developed a particularly strong practice in participatory design and civic engagement, providing a solid basis for a community and arts-led regeneration approach to improving the town centre, particularly around Bridge Street. Public and community engagement work on the future of the Bridge Street Upper has been significant over the past five years and should be further developed and built on through the LAP. ‘The Bridge Street Project’ was an interdisciplinary collaboration between theatre-makers, architecture practitioners, residents and business owners of Bridge Street, and the wider community of Callan. Together with Callan’s unique townscape and history, these creative initiatives form part of an important cultural asset base in the town. A similar approach has happened in the existing ‘civic cluster’ at Callan Workhouse and should be further developed and built on through the LAP.

8.2.3 Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy Objectives

Amendments and suggestions to text:

ACCE4: It is an objective of Kilkenny County Council to support the further development of existing cultural facilities and activities in Callan and to investigate the feasibility of providing additional cultural facilities in the town.

ACCE5: It is an objective of Kilkenny County Council to support the development of Callan Workhouse as a civic and cultural cluster.


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