Local artists and communities come together for Baltinglass Creative Places


Creative Places Baltinglass and Wicklow County Arts Office in collaboration with local artists and communities are presenting a range of events for the pre-Festive season.

Jazz Token – an evening with live jazz and seasonal crafts curated by a local musician, Vincent Gethings, will open the concert season in Baltinglass on Friday, 8th December, in the Old School Building Stratford Lodge at 8 pmA three-piece band consisting of Christy Stapleton on drums, Rory Adams on piano and vocals and Frank Gallagher on guitar and vocals will interpret relaxing jazz classics and offer an opportunity to socialise over a cup of tea. Tickets are free but registration is required.

On Wednesday, 13th December, at 7 pm, the Baltinglass Sings group, which began in September 2023, invites the community to an open rehearsal to hear their work and Festive songs. The group is comprised of over 50 local participants who range in age from 30 to 93. The conductor Paula Phelan and accompanying musician Halyna Fler Obshta extend a warm welcome to people to drop in for a social evening of song, mince pies, a cup of tea and a chat. This event is free and open to all, no booking is required.  

Along with the programme focused on general audiences, Creative Places Baltinglass invites artists and creatives based in Baltinglass and West Wicklow to a Funding Application Clinic at the final local artist gathering of 2023. Facilitated by Marianne O’Kane Boal, a well-known curator and writer who has been delivering professional development workshops for over 11 years, the session will provide the artists with the nuts and bolts of making a funding application and how to present their support material to make their best case for funding in competitive contexts.

Marianne O’Kane Boal is a well-known curator and writer on art and architecture. She has written extensively on these subjects over the past 20 years. She writes for the Irish Arts Review, Circa, Perspective, Living Design, Visual Artists Newsletter and Architecture Ireland.

O’Kane Boal is currently working as a postgraduate researcher at IT Sligo on her PhD in Social Research. She is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and Expert Advisor on Art for the Ministerial Advisory Group on Architecture and the Built Environment. She has been delivering professional development workshops for Visual Artists Ireland for over eleven years since 2009 on tendering, creative proposals, presenting work, and public art.

The session will also provide an overview of the funding opportunities offered by the Wicklow County Arts Office – the Artist Award, the Artist & Community Collaboration Award and the Arts Festival Award, which will open for application for 2024 shortly. Participation in this session is free but registration is required.

In the nearby town of Blessington, well-known author and journalist Edel Coffey will be taking part in an ‘in conversation’ event in Blessington Library on Saturday, 9th December at 4 pm. Moderated by local writer Olivia Fitzsimons, this is the final event of the 2023 ‘Way with Words’ Literature Festival. This event is a fantastic opportunity to learn about Edel’s creative practice and her debut novel ‘Breaking Point’, a No. 1 bestseller in Ireland, which received the An Post Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction Book of the Year in 2022. The event is free, but booking is essential.

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, said: “I’m delighted to see the wide range of cultural activities presented to the Baltinglass community, which for a long time did not have such inspiring opportunities.” 

Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, Emer O’Gorman, extended her best wishes to the community of Baltinglass for the Festive Season and thanked all the artists and contributors for their support of the Creative Places Baltinglass Programme for Wicklow.

To find out more information and to register to attend events, click here.  

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