Cork’s RedFM has launched a new project to highlight the amazing work being done by creative groups of all sorts across the city and county. We have teamed up with the charity Creative Lives to focus a spotlight on the many vibrant creative groups across Cork.
Together we are working to support regular people get involved in creativity of any kind for fun e.g. singing, dancing, gardening, woodwork, pottery – you name it! Letting our creativity loose has countless benefits for physical, mental and community health. It’s a great way to make friends, connect with our community, reduce isolation, open our minds, use our imagination and even grow confidence. Cork has many different creative groups, which are open to anyone who wants to get involved.
RedFM’s Creative Lives on Air producer will be traveling across Cork to listen to the stories of these wonderful groups, letting the public know what’s on offer, what different groups are up to and how to get involved.
Creative Lives is a charity based in Ireland and the UK. Similar projects have been up and running across Britain since 2008. At the moment, Creative Lives is working with six BBC local stations. RedFM is their first radio partnership in Ireland.
Does your Cork-based creative group have an event coming up? Are you looking for new members? Or maybe you’re just a really great bunch of people who want to let others know what you are up to. Whatever the reason, you can get in contact with RedFM’s Creative Lives on Air Producer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carraig Na Bhfear Drama Society
Email : carraignebhfeardrama @ hotmail.com laharncross @hotmail.com
Carraig Na Bhfear Drama Society one of many local amateur community drama society groups around Cork city and county. It was established 35 years ago in the north Cork village of Carrignavar by locals who wanted to get involved in amateur drama.
Carraignavar has a long tradition of amateur drama. In the 1960s there were three, if not four, groups active in the locality who were involved in drama, stage work, play writing and competing in drama competitions across the country. One of these groups was the Carrignavar Drama Society, who staged One Act plays during Lent. At the time, dancing was not allowed during Lent, and television sets were uncommon. ‘Fit-up’ drama groups, travelling cinemas and the circus were the main forms of entertainment. The relaxation of rules relating to Lent and the arrival of television had a major effect on local entertainment and drama groups went into decline.
The Carraig Na Bhfear Drama Society was set up to revive drama in the area in 1988. Since then the group has put on countless 1-, 2-, 3- and 4- act plays. They rehearse in Carrignavar Community Hall, where they perform for the public – often in sold-out shows. They have also travelled to the country performing and competing in the amateur drama circuit.
Their most recent production at home was a 3-Act Comedy play called “Love Lost”. It was written by director Michael Manley. Everyone is welcome to get involved, on-stage or backstage, and no experience is necessary.
Laharn Cross • Crossroad Dancing
Crossroad dancing is said to exist since Celtic times – and the tradition continues in the community of Laharn Cross to this day. It has been associated with crossroads dancing for many generations. Laharn is situated at the foot of Baelic Mountain near the villages of Glantane and Lombardstown in North Cork. While it doesn’t have a village of its own, it does have a very active community.
Between the June bank holiday and the first week of September, hundreds gather at the crossroads every Sunday night to dance and enjoy live traditional Irish music. There is a special outdoor timber dancing platform overlooking the nearby fields and countryside for people to gather and enjoy the open air, scenery, meeting people and the live music and dance. The dancing attracts all generations and is popular among families.
Back in the early 1900’, local musicians would play for scores of people who either walked or cycled to gather at Laharn Cross for music, dance and match making! In the 1950’s, the tradition faded out with the introduction of showbands, but crossroads dancing was revived again at Laharn Cross by the local community in 1990.
Furthermore, the community’s newly refurbished Cultural & Heritage Centre hosts to a number of traditional and cultural events throughout the year such as music sessions, set-dance meetups, storytelling nights, singsong gatherings and many other activities. When the weather isn’t good during the summer, it acts as an alternative venue for crossroad dancing.
Irish Countrywomen’s Association
The ICA is the largest women’s association in Ireland, with around 6,000 members and over 440 Guilds across the country. They meet up to cook, travel, craft and socialise, while drinking copious amounts of tea!
Open to women of all ages, the ICA offers friendship, personal development, education and life-long learning opportunities. Their members regularly learn new skills, participate in local charity initiatives and get involved in their local communities.
Women come together to enjoy themselves while improving the standard of rural and urban life in Ireland – including by preserving Irish culture and our long tradition of heritage crafts, and by encouraging the use of the Irish language.
The ICA was founded 113 years ago, in May 1910 – and was originally called the Society of the United Irishwomen. Contrary to popular belief the “country” within the ICA’s name stands for the country of Ireland as a whole, as opposed to just rural areas. Most of the ICA’s biggest guilds today are in urban areas. Blanchardstown in Dublin is their biggest Guild.
Each ICA club is part of a nationwide structure, which campaigns for women’s voices to be heard locally, regionally and nationally – especially about issues of interest to women such as health, family and community.
In recent years, the ICA introduced a counselling service and helpline, offering confidential help and support to its members and their families. They have promoted easier access to breast and cervical cancer screening for all women. They opened “the Sanctuary” in An Grianán offering quiet getaways.
They helped lobby to make Irish the 25th recognised language within the EU. They have also joined forces with other organisations to launch campaigns to improve lives such as SOS, See Change, COFACE – with their most recent goal being to reduce the levels of depression within Ireland.
Irish Woodturners Guild, Cork Guild
Mayfield Men’s Shed
Mayfield Men’s Shed is a group which offers a warm and welcoming place for men to socialise while getting involved in an array of creative activities. Based in the suburb of Mayfield on the north side of Cork City, the group is run by volunteer members and is open to men of all ages and backgrounds.
All Men’s Sheds are different and the Mayfield group is particularly involved in music, choral singing, day trips, woodworking and history. They are planning to move into their own full-time premises in the near future, and hope that this will allow them to expand the range of activities they can offer e.g. larger woodwork projects, pool, darts, hoops. etc.
Newcomers are always welcome. Everyone who joins is given a form where that can suggest new activities which they would like to try. The group is always open to new ideas.
Mayfield Men’s Shed is proud off their track-record giving men opportunities to learn new skills, share knowledge and experiences, and build up-lifting friendships.
Amdie Mexican Dance Group
AMDIE (short for Anahuac Mexican Dance Ireland) is an dance group that was formed to enjoy and share traditional Hispanic dance and music in Ireland. Formed in 2014, and based in Cork, its goal is to achieve greater integration and inclusion into Irish society through a social dance community.
AMDIE regularly performs and showcases traditional Mexican dance at events, festivals and other cultural activities. The group features at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Cork, at the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, at Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with Cali Cultural Centre, and more.
Though the organisation represents the Latin American community in Ireland, it is open to anyone with an interest in Latin folk dances. It is also open to members from outside the greater Cork area. You don’t need any formal dance experience to get involved; the group would like to hear from anyone who would like to join. They are also interested in collaborating with other arts and community groups and to hearing from members of the media.
Voices of Cork • Community Choir
Website : voicesofcork.com
Email : email@example.com
The Voices of Cork is a four-part harmony choir which was founded in 2005 when Cork was the European Capital of Culture.
Their mission is to provide an opportunity for members of the community to participate and become members of the choir regardless of prior experience or knowledge of choral music. They believe everyone can learn how to sing, and are very proud to bring good choral music to the community. Their repertoire includes popular songs, ballads and jazz, among others.
They are a non-competitive social choir, who focus on community involvement. This can be seen in their interactive workshops with members of the community – from the very young to the very old. The choir performs in a wide range of venues including Cork City Hall, Nursing Homes, Hospitals etc.
The choir consists of men and women of all ages from diverse backgrounds, from all over Cork. It is run by a committee made up of members of the choir.