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29 Jan 2022

TikTok come on board with big funding for unique Offaly project

TikTok onboard with big funding for unique Offaly project

Cllr. Mark Hackett; Mary Hickey, Eithne Quinn, and Nesrin El Azaly, Creative Edenderry; Damien McGlynn, Creative Lives; Cloda-May O’Neil, Amy Smullen, Cheryl Corrigan Ballet School

TikTok has announced the recipients of the €100,000 St. Patrick’s Festival X TikTok Creative Fund, which has been awarded to ten community groups across Ireland.

Creative Lives and Creative Edenderry, Offaly will receive €10,000 from the St. Patrick's Festival X TikTok Creative Fund, for their project, Dancing Shoes, which will bring together local residents of Edenderry through many different forms of dance.

The fund, which was designed to support and inspire creativity in Irish communities, will be distributed to ten community groups and charitable organisations in counties Dublin, Cork, Offaly, Louth, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Cavan, and Donegal.

This €10,000 project award will support the work of these local groups in developing and delivering creative responses to their own unique community challenges.  A pop-up community choir, dance workshops, heritage projects and tours, and arts and craft therapy sessions are just some of the projects which will be supported by the St. Patrick’s Festival x TikTok Creative Fund. 

This creative investment forms the final part of the €500,000 commitment made by TikTok earlier this year to support St. Patrick's Festival 2021.  This took place over six days in March through SPF TV, a dedicated online TV channel, and an historic partnership with Oireachtas TV which brought the Festival to 1.1 million homes in Ireland during lockdown. St. Patrick's Festival 2021 was Ireland’s most significant digital festival to date, with more than 102 million global engagements.

The St. Patrick’s Festival team will now commence work with each of the ten selected community groups to realise their ambitious creative projects.

Creative Lives is a non-profit organisation that champions community and volunteer-led creative activity, and Creative Edenderry, Offaly, is a community project that aims to grow and promote creative activity.

Speaking about the funding, Damien McGlynn, Creative Lives said: “I am delighted that St. Patrick's Festival and TikTok have supported our 'Dancing Shoes' project in Edenderry through their Creative Fund. After so much time spent apart, this will be an opportunity to bring people together and celebrate the creativity of the people of Edenderry. Our organisation supports and encourages people to be creative in their everyday lives, and what better way to do this than to remind people of the simple joy of dancing together!" 

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, said: "I very much welcome this initiative from St Patrick's Festival and TikTok which is helping voluntary organisations and local groups across Ireland empower and inspire their communities through arts, culture, and creativity. This fund is a vital tool in helping communities re-invigorate important local projects after a very difficult period. It is great to see such creativity, artistic flair but also real community value in the work of the ten recipients, and I have no doubt the €10,000 award will support these local groups in continuing to deliver creative responses to their own unique community challenges.”

Caroline Goulding, Director and Data Protection Officer at TikTok, said: "At TikTok our goal is to inspire creativity and to bring joy, so we're delighted to see 10 inspirational and deserving community groups receive €10,000 each from the St. Patrick's Festival x TikTok Creative Fund. We believe that arts and culture are essential for enriching, nourishing, and illuminating our communities, so we're pleased that this fund and our TikTok masterclass will help to nurture creativity in these communities across Ireland for years to come."

Anna McGowan, Interim Director of St. Patrick’s Festival, said: “We’re delighted to support 10 wonderful community groups to connect with their communities through art and creativity with the St. Patrick’s Festival x TikTok Creative Fund. Each organisation has their own unique history and personality and responds to the needs of their members and communities in distinct and creative ways. We look forward to guiding these community groups throughout the creative process and sharing that experience with the wider public in next year’s St. Patrick’s Festival’s celebrations.”

These ten groups from eight counties across Ireland will also be invited to participate in a special community focused TikTok masterclass, where they can develop and enhance their storytelling skills through the TikTok platform and learn how best to harness the potential of social storytelling to communicate with their audiences.

The artistic journey of each community group, from selection through to the presentation of their creative project, will be captured and shared on both St. Patrick’s Festival and TikTok platforms. A selection of work will also be showcased to Ireland and the world during the national St. Patrick’s Festival in March 2022. Details of the Festival will be announced in the coming months.

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