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iCommunity Wins Creative Climate Action Funding

03 Oct 2023
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iCommunity has been named as one of three Shared Island Initiatives to be included in the Creative Ireland Creative Climate Action Fund. Shifting Tides and Sea Change: Creative Coastal Conversations is the newest collaboration between The Wheel and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA).

This creative arts project will bring together the coastal communities from both sides of Carlingford Lough to engage with their marine environment and see artists and ecologists working through community arts engagements to raise awareness and mobilize action in response to the harms caused to our coastal environment.

The small-scale fishing, sustainable aquaculture, and tourism relied upon by coastal communities, all require a healthy marine environment to prosper. It is therefore in the interests of those same coastal communities to become custodians of a thriving marine environment. To help achieve this, our project aims to foster a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between humans and the marine world through participation and education. We will seek to inspire positive change and promote a sustainable future for coastal communities across the island of Ireland, while mobilizing actions designed to make visible the underwater and shore-edge world, and to help coastal communities realise the roles they can play in the restoration and preservation of the marine ecosystem.

Climate action involves acting locally but thinking globally and must, therefore, be rooted in community and ownership. Impacted local communities are the ideal candidates for placement at the forefront of marine management. Our project will be developed in collaboration with these communities by a multidisciplinary team synergizing backgrounds in the arts and sciences with experience in project management and communication, all supported by the reach and resources of The Wheel and NICVA.

Similarly, arts-based practices are increasingly seen as a highly effective way to collaboratively develop meaningful connection with climate change, and to encourage public engagement. Culture influences trends and behaviours and elicits actions essential in adapting to climate change. Bearing this in mind, our collaboration will begin by producing a series of site-specific performances co-developed with the coastal community, featuring input from a team with experience in ecology, zoology, scientific diving and underwater photography, filmmaking, circus performance and dance, music, printmaking, foraging, and aquatic sports. The team will also undertake the development of an educational outreach programme, community workshops, coastal foraging, oral heritage recordings, and scientific diving. A soundscape podcast and mini documentary web series along with short films incorporating arts outputs and elements of the local marine environment will also be created. In catalysing input from local artists and providing support and guidance across the community, our project will generate a definitive change in ways of seeing and approaching the issues of climate change, marine ecology, and biodiversity.

We’re also delighted to extend our congratulations to two other Shared Island initiatives which have also been announced as recipients of Creative Climate funding.

Divergently Together will empower neurodivergent communities in Laois, Cavan, Fermanagh, Waterford, Galway and Dublin to engage in climate action by platforming their voices and exploring ways in which climate policy can be more inclusive. This wonderful new project will be led by Dublin City University and supported by Insight Centre at DCU, artist Alan James Burns, Sofft Productions and Cavan County Council.

With Creative Boardroom: Collaborate4Climate, the Institute of Directors of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will join forces with Arran Street East and the Creative Futures Academy, which is a ground-breaking partnership between three leading creative institutions: The National College of Art and Design, University College Dublin, and the Institute of Art Design + Technology. Collaborate4Climate will generate a community of practice amongst company directors across Ireland with the aim of co-creating climate solutions that can be used in their spheres of influence as leaders. The creative medium will be design.

Expression of interest – Carlingford Lough communities individuals, groups, agencies- please use this form to express your interest, offer support, and opt-in to mailing list.

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