29 Jun 2022

Arts projects in Kildare to receive funding from Bank of Ireland in new venture

Janet Adebola Jones and Ciara McCluskey from Sanctuary Runners, one of the groups to receive funding, and Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive Francesca McDonagh. Pic Supplied.

Janet Adebola Jones and Ciara McCluskey from Sanctuary Runners, one of the groups to receive funding, and Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive Francesca McDonagh. Pic Supplied.

Banking and the arts may seem like an unusual combination, but a prominent bank has agreed to ally itself with a number of Arts projects in Kildare.

Various projects will be supported by Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together programme, which will provide €825,000 in funding support for grassroots community groups, social enterprises and artists across the island of Ireland.

In addition, Community Fund grantees will receive up to €20,000 for projects spanning financial literacy and wellbeing, mental health, disability, inclusion and diversity, and social isolation.

Arts Fund grantees will receive up to €10,000 to support new works in music, theatre, dance, traditional arts, the visual arts, film and craft. 

Social isolation prevention, groups that work with migrants, financial literacy for young people, and multi-sensory arts experiences are among the projects being supported this year by the initiative.

Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland, said about Begin Together: "We're immensely proud to support a wide range of community groups, charities, and social enterprises working in every part of Ireland."

"What they do unites, supports and protects local communities and some of the most vulnerable in our society. While the road ahead looks much more positive, communities across Ireland still face many challenges."

She continued: "It’s our hope that this support will help them face those challenges, and overcome them.

The arts enrich our lives, but this sector has been one of the most seriously impacted during the pandemic."

Ms McDonagh concluded: "The Begin Together Arts Fund has helped sustain the development of new work and artistic practice during the pandemic and the new projects announced today will continue to enrich our lives and communities into the future."

So far, Begin Together has provided support for two ambitious Kildare projects:

  • Emmet Kane: Since Covid-19, St. Conleth’s Community College has had to adjust the building on the campus to accommodate social distancing and has encouraged the students and staff to use the outside spaces more during breaks and lunches to enjoy the fresh air and let them have a mask break. The funding will be used to create a seating area which will be carved from large tree trunks and an oak tree planted in memory of all those who have died from Covid in the school community over the last 15 months.
  • Memory Lane with Affiniti (Emer Barry, Aisling Ennis, Mary McCague). An outdoor performance in the grounds of Castletown House, aimed at people suffering from dementia and their carers, and a special concert in The Long Gallery at Castletown. The concert will focus on a programme of requests by carers of special songs for their loved ones. It will be streamed with a link provided to carers, as a symbol of gratitude for the sacrifices they have made, particularly during Covid.

The Begin Together Community Fund is held in partnership with The Community Foundation for Ireland and Business to Arts.

More information about all the projects supported by Begin Together is available here: begintogether.

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