Creative Ireland’s core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. By identifying specific areas of focus, the Local Authorities, Creative Ireland Co-Ordinators and Culture Teams highlight the potential for long-term impact to the well-being of communities with reference to our children, our cultural infrastructure, our creative industries and our global reputation.

Under the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Communities many projects work collaboratively to create dynamic and innovative partnerships. One example of a successful partnership is a project called Historic Shopfronts of Leitrim. This is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, Leitrim County Council Arts Division and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association.

As many changes of use and occupancy occur to historic buildings in both rural and urban locations, this project sets out to highlight the significant contribution of traditional shopfronts to our built environment and to acknowledge the social value of the local shop in people’s lives and communities.

The project aims to celebrate the traditional shopfronts of Leitrim through photographic documentation and exploration of the stories, people and events associated with these important social spaces. This project planned to encourage and develop more creative activity and collaboration within our rural communities.  It brought the community together with tangible results.

Rolled out in 2018, the project documented noteworthy shopfronts or traditional commercial premises through photography, complemented by a social narrative. In 2019, it plans to publish this material in book form and exhibition, as a starting point to explore issues of heritage, design, planning and globalisation within the community.

Leitrim County Council, Creative Ireland Co-Ordinator and Culture Team supported this project through funding made available by the Creative Ireland Programme in 2018.