A call has been put out for Craft makers, designers and creative professional to apply to be part of the Craft Hub activities. The first activities for Craft Hub are Maker Exchange Residencies which are a central part of the newly funded EU Craft Hub project which will showcase the wealth of European Craft practice and address sector challenges through artist residencies, training workshops, exhibitions, conferences and a European Festival of Craft. The project will run over three years and includes nine European partners with Carlow County Council as the Lead Partner.

In 2021, the Residency and project activities are virtual but from 2022 onwards the programme will be physical with opportunities for Craft professional to travel to a number of European countries to develop their craft and network.

Explaining the application process, Kieran Comerford , Head of Economic Development & Enterprise in Carlow County Council – Local Enterprise Office “this is a unique opportunity for the craft and creative sector in Ireland to apply to be part of a programme of activities which are truly designed to be expanding opportunities for professionals in the area of audience development, creative processes and enterprise and I’d encourage all to apply by 30th June 2021 in order to be considered for this programme”. Kieran continued to say, “the Craft Hub Activities are free of charge to selected individuals with travel and subsistence expenses covered for participants in the programme and up to 15 individuals will be selected in Ireland to participate in the International Element of the Programme”. The International activities of the programme will be run in synergy with local activities also for a wider group of individuals.

Speaking about the importance of the sector , Kieran continued to say “The Craft & Creative Sector is of significant cog in the unique DNA which is the County Carlow economy and County Carlow Craft & Creative professionals have shown their ability to adapt creatively this past year”, “while the past 12 months with Brexit and the uncertainties around Covid have presented an ever-changing landscape, Craft Hub provides opportunities for individuals who participate to take stock, evaluate and pivot by expanding their network via this unique opportunity to engage”

Craft Hub is a EU funded Creative Europe Programme and aims to foster the professional development of creative careers and their work cross borders and to reach new European audiences and develop innovative artistic models designed to help strengthen and sustain the arts and cultural sectors here in Ireland.

Welcoming the call, Tom O’Neill, Cathaoirleach with Carlow County Council said, “I’d encourage creative professionals to be part of this process and I very much welcome Carlow County Council taking the lead in this European project”. The Cathaoirleach continued to say “I know we have a wealth of creative talent in the County and Carlow provides an ideal backdrop to inspire and engage and by us facilitating the bringing together of our local talent with international talent I know amazing things can be achieved”.

Craft Hub is co-ordinated by Carlow County Council, Local Enterprise Office, Arts Office & Library Services. To apply log onto https://leocarlow.submit.com or call 059-9129783.