The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Conner T.D., officially launched IT Sligo’s new Yeats Academy of Arts, Design & Architecture yesterday at the Northwest campus, yesterday. The creative hub will be a centre of excellence for the development of arts, design & architecture for the region and further afield.
Officially launching the new Yeats Academy, the Minister said:
"We think of Joyce’s Dublin, Kavanagh’s Monaghan, Heaney’s Derry and Yeats’s Sligo. So I’m really pleased to formally launch the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture. May it be wonderful and may it be a successful catalyst for imagination and creativity."
The new Academy offers six distinctive programmes across the disciplines of Arts, Design and Architecture and aims to become a creative centre of excellence along the Wild Atlantic Way, building on its reputation in architecture, design, art, literature, music and theatre, enabling more students to nurture and grow in the northwest.
Speaking at the launch, President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack, thanked the Minister for her continued support and outlined the importance of the initiative to the region;
"This is also a seminal moment for the creative industries in the north west. We recognise that, while many come to the north-west for the nature, the quality of life and the inspiration of the people, they cannot always stay for economic reasons. We want this new creative hub to provide support to the creatives in the region. The doors of the Yeats Academy will be open to creative collaborations, to visiting performers, to artists in residents, ensuring that our students have an opportunity to learn from the creative practitioners and that they, in turn have a place to come for inspiration and support."
IT Sligo has been delivering courses in the arts since 1972 and has helped artists across the region to develop their skills and master their craft. The institute has several award winning lecturers across all disciplines and is one of the only colleges in the west to offer architecture courses recognised by both the Royal Institute of Irish and British architects.
Head of Faculty of Engineering & Design, Una Parsons said it was "a great day for creativity in the Northwest and for IT Sligo." Adding: "We have a vision for the Yeats Academy; It will be a catalyst for creativity, providing accessible learning experiences across creative disciplines and will seek to make a lasting contribution, locally and globally."
The new academy will be housed in the buildings designed by the renowned architect Joseph Downes in the 1930’s beside the campus, which recently received funding of €13.7 million in capital investment from the Higher Education Authority, to create a suitable centre for the new Yeats Academy, accommodating all disciplines of the arts, design and architecture courses, under one roof.
Additional Funding Announced:
At the launch the Minister revealed more good news for the region, announcing additional funding of €960,000 for IT Sligo’s craft apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution. IT Sligo offers training in three trade apprenticeships, one in Tool Making, one Carpentry and Joinery and one in Electrical Instrumentation.
President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack, welcomed the announcement by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Conner;
"This is a significant announcement by the Minister and shows the commitment by the government to invest in apprenticeship programmes which are growing in popularity at IT Sligo and across the country, enabling students to "Earn & Learn" simultaneously."
The Yeats Academy will also be offering a new suite of Master’s as part of a new initiative by IT Sligo.