Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rural Arts Network and a stolen rose

Last night I attended A county of Arts and Culture. Would you like to see more arts and cultural events in your community? Presented by the Rural Arts Network. It was held in Leighlinbridge Parish Centre, Co. Carlow and run as part of the √Čigse Festival which is Carlow's Arts Festival.
No mean feat as it is a 90 mile round trip from Leighlinbridge to Ballygarrett.
The meeting was really good and very well facilitated by Conor O'Leary, a dedicated professional who wants to enable local communities to run arts events in their rural communities. He is interested in working with rural communities so if your interested in having arts events running in your community have a look at his website, what he does and contact him for more details.
I really liked the way Conor had three performances interspersed with the content of the meeting, he started with a performance from the Carlow Youth Orchestra, then did a short presentation followed by a great story from a local story teller. The arts officer Aileen Nolan, gave a presentation (too heavy on text) but great to see arts officers at local community based events standing up and reminding people of their role and what they do in the county.
Tara Connaghan the √Čigse Festival Director spoke briefly, she seems to be having great success diversifying the arts festival from Carlow town to the outlying more rural communities.
After that Conor broke us into groups by location and was surprised to see that half the people in the room were from outside Carlow County.
The group I was in really represented the South East; Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, all the areas involved in Artlinks. We were asked to brainstorm ideas for local rural arts events. All of the groups came up with 15+ ideas for local arts events. Then we chose one idea and mapped it out further what would we need to do to take the idea further. Then all the groups made a presentation back to the large group on the idea the group discussed and expand on.
Following on from this we got a short form to fill out which asked what three ideas we would like to see happening in our local area and taking one of those ideas what three steps would we need to take to make one of those ideas happen.
After all creative ideas are just that unless you can make them happen.
The evening was closed with two traditional musicians who finished the meeting on a great lively note.

On the way out of the Parish Hall I was stopped in my tracks by the rich and heavily scented rose bushes either side of the drive way entrance. The air was thick with the smell of a good old fashioned T-rose. It had been raining heavily and this seemed to add to the scent the bushes were laden with roses. I broke a rose, stealing it I suppose. I placed it on the dashboard of the car and enjoyed the fragrance as I started my journey home. As I drove by the river a fog had descended capturing the beauty of the river, fields and isolating the trees showing off the shapes in monochromatic splendid foggy isolation.
This morning after making school lunches, cooking pancakes for breakfast I got into the car to drop the boys to the school run and I was meet with the same wall, the heady intoxicating fragrance of the stolen rose.

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