Gorey Cultural Centre
Gorey Cultural Centre has been set up to act as a proposed management facility for a recommended 'cultural cluster' within Gorey, Co. Wexford. This recommendation has come about from a series of public consultations with diverse stakeholders active within the cultural community of Gorey Town; from Culture Clinics, one to one meetings, cultural mapping tools as well as a series of public surveys. It views itself as the first step in bringing about an increased focus on cultural development for both the community and policy makers when moving into future planning and development strategies.
Its mission is to encourage greater use of its spaces and places for creative and cultural events by developing furthered connectivity and access as well as the cross-pollination of knowledge between both its cultural assets and people. We want to inspire a broad public in exciting, sustainable and friendly environments by facilitating a supportive atmosphere for innovative and enterprising local, domestic and foreign visitors with refreshing ideas.
Cultural Mapping has been identified by UNESCO as a crucial tool and technique in identifying, preserving and developing both the intangible and tangible cultural assets of a place/community. Engaging in this process can reveal invigorating information on a communities strengths and resources. It is a valuable process that can help communities and policy makers move into a planning and implementation stage by helping to identify the efficiencies, resources and links between arts and cultural groups as well as their common aspirations and values.
"Cultural Mapping involves a community identifying and documenting local cultural resources. Through this research cultural elements are recorded - the tangibles like galleries, craft industries, distinctive landmarks, local events and industries, as well as intangibles like memories, personal histories, attitudes and values. After researching the elements, cultural mapping involves initiating a range of community activities or projects, to record, conserve and use these elements. ...the most fundamental goal of cultural mapping is to help communities recognise, celebrate, and support cultural diversity for economic, social and regional development." (Keynote speech; Clark, Sutherland and Young, 1995)
The concept of creative/cultural clusters has been widely recognised around the globe as central for the economic, social and personal development of cities. However more recently it is been looked at as a crucial tool for smaller towns and villages existing within the creative economy. Clustering is based on the view that industry, culture and communities thrive when in each others company, working in a collaborative fashion by opening up and sharing resources and knowledge. Clustering goes beyond traditional notions of 'branding' by creating a living, breathing and creative cultural ecosystem.
According to UNESCO (2005) Clustering consists of a concentration of creative places, spaces and people which "pool together resources into networks and partnerships to cross-stimulate activities, boost creativity and realise economies of scale."