CLONAKILTY, Skibbereen and the Beara peninsula have embraced the theme of Lifelong Learning with a sparkle of spring festivals from April 9-17th.
The Lifelong Learning festival is an initiative of the Cork Education & Training Board (ETB) and community organisations.
Its aim is to promote lifelong learning for everyone.
It is an invitation to celebrate, investigate and participate in the many learning opportunities available throughout West Cork during festival week.
From biking in Clonakilty to making sand circles in Inchydoney, participants can also create a miniature museum at the ETB Adult Learning Centre at St Fachtna’s Terrace in Clonakilty or make sculpture from found objects and immortalise Clonakilty in art, print and digital media at the town’s Arts Centre.
Stroll down to O’Donovan’s Hotel on Saturday 16th and end the festival on a high note with Cork singer songwriter Fintan Lucy.
Follow the festival trail west to the Sutherland Centre on North Street in Skibbereen, where there is an interesting mix of events ranging from the environmentally friendly building of birdhouses to the traditional art of lace making.
Find out your season in the Colour me Beautiful workshop and take the opportunity to view the Early Birds Fly Exhibition – the work of participants from the Arts for Health programme, Arts for an Active Mind, a selection of crafts from local active retired groups and a book of haiku form Sherkin Island.
Go back in time with a Gramophone Recital with Leonard Desmond in Skibbereen County Library or write that haiku or memoir with poet Afric McGlinchey.
Wander uptown and visit the Uilinn Arts Centre and give art a go, book in for a session on iPads and iPods at Ludgate, or simply relax with a session of yoga, mindfulness and gratitude at Skibbereen Community and Family Resource Centre.
In Beara, learn about creative living and eco-friendly homes in Adrigole and Ardgroom, chat with the local artists in Skills Share in Castletownbere. Enjoy whole foods and painting with acrylics at the Family Support and Community Well-being Centre or wander down to Lehanmore and enjoy a night of ceol agus craic and discover the secrets of bee-keeping.
Go west to Allihies for a day at the museum. They are thinking about summer over on Bere Island, so get your boat on the water and discover the ways of the mountain trails.
The festival ends with Glitter na Gig, a puppet show at the County Library in Castletownbere, with Sean O’Laoighre’s invocation of spring, growth and learning. There are Beara Community Singers at the Sarah Walker Gallery and Issie shows off the fine art of chocolate making.
For further information on this action-packed week and to make bookings for the various workshops contact Clonakilty Arts Centre on 023 8859688 or 086 8239089 or the Cork ETB at the Sutherland Centre in Skibbereen, at 028 23502, or the CETB Adult Education Service in Castletownbere at 086 8239147.