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Leitrim LIVECRAFT ¦ Creative Training Programme

Leitrim Development Company - Leading the Way with Craft & Professional Development Programmes

Leitrim LIVECRAFT Exhibition 2013

The work of over 70 Leitrim based artists and craftspeople working in a range of different disciplines will be featured in an exciting new exhibition- Leitrim LIVECRAFT launching this week.  This exhibition will take place in both Manorhamilton and Carrick on Shannon. The exhibition opens to the public on Thursday 12th December at 5pm in Leitrim Sculpture Centre and Friday 13th December at 6pm in The Leitrim Design House & The Dock Arts Centre. The exhibition is free and open to everyone.


The exhibition will tell the story of the Leitrim LIVECRAFT Programme, which was a Leitrim Development Company Programme, implemented by The Leitrim Design House in association with Leitrim Sculpture Centre. The Leitrim LIVECRAFT programme allowed participants to learn new creative skills from practical and technical skills to business and marketing skills thus allowing them to develop their careers in a rural setting which in turn will enhance the wider rural economy. The Programme was aimed at people based in Leitrim, with an interest in the craft sector and who wished to explore their creative talents to how these can translate into a viable craft enterprise. The LIVECRAFT Programme was funded by Leitrim Development Company under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (LEADER). 


The Leitrim LIVECRAFT Programme concept was developed following consultations and discussions with those wishing to establish their own craft business, those wishing to sustain their existing businesses and those wishing to develop and adopt additional skills and expand the existing craft sector in County Leitrim. The craft and creative sector interlinks with, and helps strengthen other sectors such as tourism, hospitality, culture and heritage and also adds to the attractiveness of County Leitrim as a location for artists and craftspeople to live and work. As a result Leitrim Development Company undertook this bespoke craft programme to build the capacity of the sector and equip them with the relevant skills to build solid foundations for the future of the craft sector in County Leitrim. 


The programme took place over a period of 10 months. Practical courses ranged from ceramics, wood, glass, print making, both traditional and digital to stone, jewellery, metal fabrication, metal casting and mouldmaking and all took place in the Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton. Business development training took place in Carrick on Shannon. This included modules on Business Planning, New Product Development & Branding, New Product Design, Financial Planning & development of Business Plans. Participants were also given the opportunity to design and develop their portfolios thus enhancing their professional development.

Geraldine Gray, Manager of the Leitrim Design House has complimented the Leitrim Development Company on their vision for the creative sector in County Leitrim “The Leitrim Design House would like to thank the Leitrim Development Company for the support they have given County Leitrim creative businesses through the Leitrim LiveCRAFT programme. It is such a successful project. The response and feedback we have received from the participants has been fantastic. It is very encouraging to see over 70 creative businesses developing new product, learning new skills in both business and making. The artists and makers who live amongst us are such a rich resource for the county. Many of them have moved here for the quality of life that County Leitrim offers. Supporting them in their business development is something Leitrim Design House is very keen to do. This programme has grown the capacity of the creative sector in the county enormously and we are looking forward to 2014 and further growth in this sector”

Sean O Reilly Director of the Leitrim Sculpture Centre who were the Leitrim Design House partners in the delivery of the LiveCRAFT programme is also very pleased with the support for this sector, 'The Livecraft project demonstrated the creative powers of the Leitrim people in generating new approaches to arts, craft and object making. By working  across a range of diverse material processes and techniques at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre participants  stimulated the sharing of ideas and knowledge in a vibrant atmosphere of creativity and mutual support. The value of the project lay not only in the production of new and innovative craft products and designs but also in the underlying creative processes undertaken by  all participants and how this furthers significantly the continuation of a creative economy within the county at all levels: financial, social and aesthetic. It has been an honor to work with so many talented people whose contribution to the artistic life and energy of the centre we hope will continue to develop into the future.'

This project recieved grant aid from the Leitrim Development Company Rural Development Programme which is financed by the Irish Government under the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2007-2013 and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas.

Leitrim Live Craft

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