Supporting our Creative Sector - Strategic Priority 2

Closed21 Oct, 2022, 1:00pm - 28 Nov, 2022, 12:00pm

Supporting our Creative Sector

Waterford’s creativity is evident in our city, towns, villages and rural areas. Sculpture, Mural and Street Arts are proudly visible to locals and visitors alike. Waterford City’s public realm provides a canvas for music and arts performance. Our towns, villages and their surrounding landscape, including our long coastline, give inspiration to our poets, writers, visual artists, crafters and there is a deeply rooted sense of our culture here.

In order to support our creative sector, we will gather, build and develop data and information to inform decision making on how we continue to support this sector. Hand-in-hand with the Creative Ireland Programme and building on the legacy of past projects and strategies, we will support our creative economy through partnership and collaboration. Development of networks of interest and skill, such as in crafts, design and digital skills will be key to bringing creative people together.

Waterford Walls mural of Senan and his favourite book, ‘The Little Prince’. Artists were Zabou and Juliette Viodé. Browns Road Library. Photographer Ana Moretti  © The Walls Project

Artists, both professional and non-professional, are an integral aspect of creativity in Waterford, and their skills need to be recognised and supported. Emerging and nascent creative skills must be encouraged to take steps to come forward and be seen. Creative Waterford will be a vehicle to create points of connection between these skills and organisations and agencies who can benefit from creative approaches to their work. Supporting the principles of professional pay for artists – paying the artist – is a value that we continue to uphold. Capacity building for creative professionals and for community groups and agencies continues to be an important principle of Creative Waterford, carried on from our previous strategy.

The festival sector is important to Waterford, all of which celebrate creativity and culture including local authority and Arts Council funded Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, Waterford Walls, Summer in the City and St Patricks Festival, along with many others. Creative Ireland supports the creative ecosystem which fuels the festival sector including opportunities for youth to experiment, to learn new skills and to play. Cruinniú na nÓg allows young people to explore their own creativity and eventually consider careers in areas such as theatre, literature, street arts & digital technology, as they realise the value of creative approaches in many aspects of their developing lives.

Ensuring that the value of creativity is included in Waterford City and County Council’s strategies is essential. During the lifetime of this Creative Waterford Strategy, several policies and other strategies will be in development and will be delivered as referenced in Chapter 3: Culture and Creativity in Waterford. Creative Waterford can play a key role in ensuring the cohesive delivery of Waterford City and County Council plans.  Innovation is written into Waterford City and County Council economic and development policies as a key driver of our economy. Creativity and imagination are the cornerstones of innovation and this needs to be reflected in our strategies.

Post pandemic interventions to support Waterford’s creative ecosystem are key – providing opportunities for strong partnerships between creatives and local authority projects such as place-making, community engagement and digitisation. “Cultural sectors have long been at the vanguard of digitalisation, developing new models for production and consumption that are then mainstreamed across other sectors. New technologies have democratised ways to engage with culture and opened up new opportunities for CCS entrepreneurs, and in fact citizens, to disseminate content to larger audiences and reach new markets” OECD (2022), The Culture Fix: Creative People, Places and Industries, Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED), OECD Publishing, Paris,


Carry out research the creative economy of Waterford and the South East ensuring that funding and resources are used to support professional and emerging creatives in developing partnerships and opportunities.

Provide supports for the development of networks of interest within the creative ecosystem of Waterford and collaboratively within the region.

Support capacity building for the creative community of Waterford in collaboration with the Creativity and Culture Team.

Participants embracing new methods of e-textile making for smart textiles at a Re-Fashioning the Future workshop. Photographer Patrick Browne. © SETU