Tallaght Community Arts to Receive a Grant of €18,000 from EU Grundtvig Learning Fund for Songwriting Initiative

Tallaght Community Arts has recently received approval for a grant of €18,000 to support the development of Folk Music and Songwriting. They will be working with partners from 9 different European Countries over the next two years, during the course of which there will be visits to six different countries.  The local grant is part of a total of €156,000 which will be disbursed by the EU Grundtvig Programme. This programme supports cross border adult education initiatives as a means of encouraging participants to work together on specific projects with the added benefit of experiencing varied different cultures and traditions. The first of the international visits will be to Bucharest in Romania in early December. This will be followed by trips to Poland, France, Denmark, Slovenia and Ireland

Since January 2011, Tallaght Community Arts has been supporting the development of fortnightly Songwriting Workshops known as the Tallaght Songwriting Collective and it is the participants in this workshop who will benefit from the grant.

The collective is the brainchild of two local songwriters, Shane O’Fearghail from Tallaght and Tony Bardon from Rathfarnham.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together established as well as upcoming songwriters with a view to the following:-

Writing new songs and developing new ideas on writing

Teaching and learning from each other

Performing songs for constructive evaluation

Songwriting Circles

Co-writing opportunities

Inviting guest speakers to talk on different aspects of songwriting

Creating a network of talented songwriters at a national and international level

Shane and Tony consider songwriting to be a craft and they wish to nourish the development of that craft among local songwriters. Now that the Tallaght Songwriting Collective has the support of the Grundtvig Programme, giving it a European dimension, its goal is to give its participants an opportunity to be involved on a national and an international stage.

The workshop recommenced after the summer break on Monday 5th September and will be held fortnightly thereafter.The meetings are held at 7.30pm in Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre Tallaght (At the end of Luas Red Line).

Songwriters in the South Dublin area are welcome to attend. Priority for the international trips will be given to those who show a commitment to the local workshop and have the capacity to make a contribution to the overseas workshops.

Shane and Tony are experienced singer/songwriters who met in Innsbruck Austria in April 2010 at a Grundtvig week-long songwriting workshop. There were 23 participants from 15 different countries attending and over the course of the week there were 19 different work sessions held.  This proved to be hugely beneficial on many different levels, musical, cultural and social. 33 new songs in many different genres were written.

This experience motivated the participants to apply for further funds for this new project where they can come together over a more extended period of time and use their talents and friendship to explore the folk music tradition of the different countries they will be visiting and develop their songwriting skills.

Shane is the guiding force behind the popular band Caruso and he has built up a strong following in Ireland as well as in Europe, where he tours extensively. Tony was a regular contributor of political parodies to Lifeline’s Funny Friday show over a number of years and he has a strong international following on the internet for his more serious music.

Tony Fegan, Director of Tallaght Community Arts, has had a previous involvement with the Grundtvig Programme, when he was Director of Learning at the London International Festival of Theatre

I consider it a very worthwhile programme providing opportunities for many new and diverse learning experiences for those involved. There is likely to be additional benefits for Tallaght Community Arts from this new partnershipand already the possibility an Acoustic Festival to be run in conjunction with the Irish Visit in 2012 is being explored. There has also been talk of an Album release in 2013 at the conclusion of the project. Tony Fegan

Photo Credit: Tallaght Echo

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