Culture and Creativity: The case study from the West of Ireland
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Collins, P. and Fahy, F. (2010), "Culture and Creativity: The case study from the West of Ireland", CISC Working Paper No. 31.
Recent years have shown a growing appreciation for the place of culture in sustaining economic and social prosperity. This paper explores this recognition through a case study of Galway City on the west coast of Ireland. It sets out to answer two simple and related questions: How important has culture been to the city's economic and social development?; and how integral is culture in maintaining the city's economic and social sustainability? In order to provide answers we look at the city's development in relation to an emerging body of literature concerning creative cities. The city itself is a dynamic second tier city that functions as the main economic hub serving the central west of the country. We focus on production of culture and gauge its assimilation into the economic life of the city by looking at various facets of the city's economic structure including one of its most innovative sectors: the technology industry. The aim of this paper is to analyze cultural policy in Ireland within the domains of Technology; Institutions; and Spatial Culture. The case study of Galway provides interesting insights for policy and practice as well as cultural/creative activity arising out of place specific circumstances. Throughout the paper the reaction of some of the city's major arts groups and sponsors to the changing role of culture is explored and the paper concludes by drawing attention to the tensions surrounding the perceptions of ownership of culture and questions to what impact this will have regarding the city's sustainability into the future.