Thu 18 July 2019

Think it! Create it! Share it! says Fidel

Cavan Chapter participant inspired to create cultural hub in local community

Next Chapter participant Fidel Hogan Walsh tells us the background to getting involved in her local community.

“Back in September of 2018 myself and a friend Sally-Ann, went along to the first meeting of the Next Chapter Cavan hub, not knowing what to expect," explained Fidel. "The co-coordinator on the night, Sinead Dooley from Irish Rural link, explained exactly what the Next Chapter was about. From this very first meeting with Sinead it galvanised us to get actively involved in our own community of Bailieborough.

We come from an artistic background and felt that Bailieborough didn’t have a cultural hub for all different types of artists to come together. There and then we said what are we waiting for or more importantly who are we waiting for to start this new venture. No one better than ourselves to get this up and running!"

Photo: First Training Module 'Women as Champions of Peacebuilding' with Cavan participants in November 2018. Fidel Hogan Walsh is front row, fifth from the left.

"Bailieborough Creative Hub was founded by myself, together with Sally-Ann Duffy and Suella Holland, who all seemed to have the same idea at the same time. It's open to all creatives whatever their genre, skill level or ability. The aim of the Hub is to get people out of their houses into a supportive and encouraging environment and to help them to Think It! Create It! Share It! At our very first meeting 20 people turned up to see what we were about, that was on 29th January 2019 and we haven’t looked back since.

Our first introduction to the Town was for St Patrick’s Day. Link Credit Union was looking for a group to represent them in the three local parades, we pitched our idea to them and they loved it.  The hub won in all three of the parades, to say that the credit union were pleased is an understatement they have been supporting and promoting us ever since.

Next came, Welcome to Poetry Town.
Poetry Town was an idea that was pitched to Poetry Ireland who were looking for ideas for Poetry Day – the 2nd of May. Our aim was to make Bailiebourgh the most poetic town in Ireland and for six weeks, members of Bailieborough Creative Hub had been creating artworks from books to install in all the shop windows. We had book-folded windmills, hearts, flowers, hedgehogs wearing glasses, cups; creations made into handbags, fascinators and even a mannequin dressed in a poetry book cover skirt and poetry book shirt ; child-friendly windows with paper folded houses and balloons and, along the main street, hanging from the lamp posts were 'poet-trees'. Each of these trees had a vine of leaves running down the pole which members of the public were free to take and ponder on. Free Poetry Goodie Bags were also available from all of the shops. Poetry Day in Balieborough has helped to highlight poetry to all generations especially when there was so many different events to choose from all around the country. There's something for all tastes.

Watch RTE coverage of Poetry Town on Facebook here

Poetry Town was covered by The Anglo-Celt view here

As of writing this the hub are preparing for the Bailieborough Mid- Summer Festival weekend in July, The Taste of Cavan and an exhibition for Heritage week in August.

From all the training provided by The Next Chapter it helped me to promote myself and my poetry, enabling me to bring my words to a bigger audience! A promise to me is to get my book of poems published!”
Thanks to Fidel for writing this article.