Fourteen cultural and social-tech projects aiming to help make a difference to society in some small way – via the mediums of food, the arts, music and sport – have been chosen as the 2013 winners of the Arthur Guinness Projects. The winning projects will now get a share of a €500,000 funding pot to take their projects to the next level.
The Arthur Guinness Projects launched in June this year, and is now set to run annually. The goal of the initiative is to champion and celebrate people whose ideas, passion and spirit are enhancing and shaping Ireland’s cultural and social fabric.
In all, hundreds of project applications were submitted from across the island of Ireland. As well as this, thousands of people voted for their favourite initiative online.
A taste of the winners
All of the winners in the 2013 Arthur Guinness Projects initiative. They were pictured on Fade Street, Dublin 2 this afternoon
First up is the Arts category:
Our Nation’s Son’s is a project that wants to encourage and empower potentially marginalised young men in their community, particularly in light of the recession.
The Aerial Dance Creation Centre is set to a dedicated space for aerial and circus arts to develop and rehearse in a purpose rigged facility.
Man on Bridge will celebrate the legacy of Arthur Fields, a Jewish-Ukrainian photographer who took at least 182,000 portraits of passers-by on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin over a 50-year timeframe.
The Lifeline Project + Soap is a concept that will aim to ‘sensitively’ regenerate the disused Midland Great Western Railway, Broadstone to Broombridge, Dublin 7, into a productive green corridor, public amenity and inter-model transport link.
The sport vibe
Clubcolours.ie wants to give all sports clubs in Ireland, regardless of size, a chance to sell bespoke merchandise online in their club colours. The aim is to help local clubs to fundraise and grow support.
Accessing the Ocean, Liquid Therapy will provide free individually tailored surfing programmes for young people with special needs.
Breast Cancer Fitness Programme is an aerobic fitness programme that uses Dragon Boat Racing. This is a sport that originated in China as a means to build strength and fitness to those recovering from breast-cancer treatment.
Good vibrations – hitting the musical notes
Popical Island is an independent music collective who rehearse, record and release music. They wish to provide opportunities for new and up-and-coming bands and musicians that are sprouting up around Ireland.
GoldenPlec is an online music resource. It provides a creative platform for aspiring journalists, photographers and musicians. It is aspiring to be an outlet for daily music news, event information, interviews and reviews.
Voices of Hope is a community choir for people affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Led by Move4Parkinsons, the idea for this social enterprise grew from the growing awareness globally of the positive improvements singing has on the quality of life for those effected by Parkinson’s.
Grow HQ will aim to create a broader understanding of and empathy for food, its origin and how it is produced. By addressing global environmental and food problems, this grass-roots initiative will aim teach people to grow their own food in an urban setting, helping them to appreciate it, and to lower their food footprint.
The Green Kitchen is set to be the central hub of a new multi-functional community resource facility. It is being led by the community charity, WALK. The people behind Green Kitchen will use produce from the community garden and provide training courses in food preparation, promoting upskilling and employment.
Foodcloud is aiming to provide a solution to food waste and food poverty, redistributing food, from those who have a surplus, such as supermarkets and restaurants, to those who are in need of more.
Gaelic Escargot is on a mission to be Ireland’s first free-range snail farm, producing snails more sustainably than in the warmer continental climates, where they are traditionally farmed.
"We have been really struck by the quality of the entries with no shortage of amazing ideas right across the four categories," said Stephen O’ Kelly, marketing director, Guinness, this afternoon. "Passion, flair and creative spirit were clearly evident and today we pay special tribute to the winning projects."
Pictured are Clubcolours.ie, Breast Cancer Fitness Program and Accessing the Ocean, winners in the sport category at the announcement of the winning Arthur Guinness Projects
While th overall applications were shortlisted by a public vote, a panel of 16 experts then whittled down the entries to chose the overall winners. The panel included Irish band The Script, chef and entrepreneur Dylan McGrath, Donegal inter-county manager and sports consultant Jim McGuinness and Irish actor Chris O’ Dowd.
In determining the winning projects, the expert panel evaluated the projects against the criteria of innovation, creativity, achievability, as well as cultural impact and social good.
The panel will also be lending their advice over the next six months to the new ventures.
McGuinness said today that he was "thrilled" that some "worthy" sport projects will now get off the ground.
"It was heartening to see the drive and professionalism these project owners have to succeed. What’s deep routed in all of them is the desire to implement projects that will benefit others," he said.