Kerry County, Ireland Dialogue Through Tradition

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Kerry County, Ireland

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in 2004

Source File:


Kerry County Council is the lead partner in an ‘arts in adult education’ project sponsored by Socrates ll programme ‘Grundtvig 2’ learning partnership, through Léargas. The project theme and delivery came about following discussion and debate at the Léargas seminar in Kinslale in 2004. At this seminar, Kerry County Council was represented by Arts Officer, Kate Kennelly, who met with Jarmila Stavinohóva of the Czech Republic, Voula (Paraskevi) Papakonstantinou of Greece all interested in the concept of a creative and cultural traditional arts learning process. The essence of the project is to provide adults the opportunity to learn about the traditional art forms of partner countries.

This project was born from a desire to learn about European traditional arts, in a way that transcends language barriers. Each country has a wealth of creative tradition that is communicated via music, song, dance and folk arts such as craft and costumes. To understand these arts forms, to learn where they came from and what they say about us as people is a way to understand cultural differences and similarities. It is a way to learn about each other – both people and place.

The aims and objectives of the project are clear:
Arts education affords a learning opportunity that transcends language. Barriers are broken down through music and dance. Adults of varying abilities and experience will enjoy and learn from this experience.

It is a two-part learning process. Initially facilitators ( dancers, musicians, and folk artists) will learn about other countries creative traditions. Following this, these facilitators will offer this learning to the wider community in their home country. The adult learners will be provided with learning of partner countries traditional creativity in the areas of music, song, dance and folk art of other countries. The adult learner participants will vary from country to country.

The project will have a learning process that includes:

  • Experiencing different cultures.
  • Learning the traditional music, dance and folk-art of partner countries.
  • Passing on this learning to an identified adult group/ groups in the home countries: e.g. isolated geographical area, socially isolated population, senior citizens etc.
  • Possibility of an end presentation of learning experience to share learning about other cultures through music, dance, song and folk art.
  • Produce a DVD and documentation, and a website to share the learning experience.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of project

The project commenced in September 2005, Kerry County Council is working with Síamsa Tíre to deliver a number of art workshops where traditional arts such as traditional music, song, and dance will be learnt by the participating groups. The adult learners have an opportunity to develop their creative abilities and cultural awareness through this ‘Dialogue through Tradition’. The first international visit was hosted by the Czech Republic in Valašské Klobouky from December 1st-December 4th . This was very successful and set a high standard.

Phase II:
The second phase of this Art in Adult Education project was hosted in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. Three partner countries, Greece, Czech Republic and Ireland participated in the learning process where the creative traditional arts of Ireland were explored. Irish music, song and dance was the focus of the seminar which was facilitated by Musicians, Dancers and Singers from Síamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland.

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