Meet the ambitious artists who are designing their paths to success:
Ten talented designers and makers have this week celebrated many achievements on their final day of training with Creative Coast Donegal and the Design and Craft Council of Ireland (DCCI).
A special presentation event was held on Wednesday 9th May to mark the end of the unique programme that blended creativity with enterprise, organised by the Local Enterprise Office and DCCI.
The course concluded with the launch of an exhibition of participants’ works, including art, clothing, jewellery, sportswear, pottery and dolls, at Letterkenny’s Motley Crow Anti-Café. The exhibition will run until Saturday May 19th, so make sure to call in to see all the impressive pieces.
Visitors to the Motley Crow can admire works by the following creatives up until next weekend: Ann McGonigle, Fiona Doherty, Lorraine O’Carroll, Eilis Galbraith, Olive McGovern, Fiona Herbst, Alarnagh Barrett McGinley, Margaret Gillespie, Grainne Campbell and Ciaran Boyce.
This group has spent the past number of months learning about business development, sales and marketing in order to make their enterprises a sustainable success.
It was a proud moment for all on Wednesday evening when each of the creative entrepreneurs was presented with a certificate by the Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Gerry McMonagle.
Speaking at the event, Head Enterprise in Donegal Michael Tunney urged creative businesses in Donegal to continue engaging with the Creative Coast initiative run by Local Enterprise Office, Donegal.
“This is the second such programme we have run in conjunction with the DCCI and on both occasions the feedback on the training the businesses have received has been excellent,” Michael said.
He added that the training was part of the wider Creative Coast initiative aimed at creating the right conditions for creative entrepreneurship in the county.
“We launched the Creative Coast three years ago and we have plans to hold an event at the end of this month to review what has happened since that launch. There has been progress made – programmes like this for instance have been very successful – but there is still much work to do and I believe this needs much more time and more engagement from our creative community, to really see the results.”
Mr Tunney added that there is merit in investing the time and resources towards making more sustainable creative businesses.
“We know there is a real value in creative businesses for the local economy and they link into the whole visitor and tourist experience as well. I’m not just talking craft either, but across the wider creative platforms and we need our creative businesses in the county to continue to engage, to get involved with our programmes and keep the momentum going.”
Emer Ferran from the Design and Craft Council of Ireland said Donegal has an outstanding array of craft makers across the county, but she echoed Michael Tunney’s comments by urging creative businesses to continue to engage with the Creative Coast.
“Working as a creative you can often feel very isolated and it is good to be part of programmes like this to learn and help grow your business, but also to network and talk to other creatives to see potential new opportunities,” she said.
As part of their programme, the group went to London to visit the Top Drawer exhibition, while their own exhibition currently on show in The Motley Crow, was curated for the Design and Craft Council of Ireland by well-known interior designer Milo Fitzgerald.
Meanwhile all creative businesses in Donegal have been urged to look out for details of an event to mark a review of the Creative Coast at the end of the month. The event will take place at 2pm in the Regional Cultural Centre on Thursday 31 May and further details will be released soon.
Visit creativecoastdonegal.ie to find websites and contact details for the featured creatives.
Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020.