Cruthú Arts Festival: “Art in the Heart of Ireland”

‘We are delighted to return for our ninth year with our most exciting festival programme to date! Keep an eye on our social media for the latest announcements over the coming weeks as we bring our annual splash of colour and fun to Longford for all the family to enjoy…Longford’s Premier Festival is back and bigger than ever this summer. From the 26 th to the 31 st of July, Longford Town will be buzzing with a massive program(me) of events for all ages and tastes.’,_Ireland_Genealogy#/media/File:County_Longford.jpg:~:text=https%3A//

So Where Is Longford And How Did Cruthú Take Life?

Irish Name: An Longfort, meaning “The Fortification”

Nickname: The O’Farrell County, The Slashers

Population: 40,873 (as of 2016)

Area: 421 square miles

Province: Leinster

County Town: Longford

GAA Colors: Blue and gold

Longford lies in the Irish midlands, in the heart of the country and the capital of the county is Longford town. The town itself often gets bad press in the newspaper because of certain family feuds, the number of immigrants, unemployment and other problems, but Longford has some of the friendliest people in the world, and is awash with people volunteering to make things better and it is a vibrant place for artists, writers, film-makers, musicians and other creatives. There is some beautiful countryside and history in the surrounding county and many trails, lakes, rivers and canals to explore. Those who have come to live in Ireland from other counties and countries are all bringing something extra to add to the mix and exposing people to new cultures and ideas, which can only be for the good of all.

The Cruthú Arts Festival was inspired by the highly successful Love Longford arts showcase; a one-off event that was held in Longford town as part of The Gathering in 2013. The Gathering was aimed at the global Irish diaspora to attract them to Ireland for a holiday to help drag the economy out of the recession.

‘Cruthú Arts Festival celebrates the wealth of artistic talent in the Midlands region by creating a positive, meaningful and fun engagement with the wider community. By enriching the town with exciting cultural events, exhibitions and installations, the programme helps to improve how Longford is perceived by its residents and further afield.’ 

Of course, Cruthú like other festivals didn’t go ahead in 2020 because of Covid restrictions, and in 2021 it was held in the autumn. In 2020 I wrote about this in my blog

My Contribution This Year And What The Festival Means To People Involved

Reading my poem, Medina Campfire in BeWell, Longford. Video courtesy of Shelley Corcoran

It means a week when Longford comes alive, and is filled with like minded creative people which in turn inspires me towards new projects and ideas

Maggi Mckenna

Cruthu Arts Festival is a fantastic festival that nurtures local talent across Longford from all of the arts. It’s a focal point of the community each summer and an important part of the Longford Arts calendar.

Rachel Masterson

The Cruthú Arts Festival this year has doubled down the focus on it’s core value and ethos. Inclusion and development for Irish and International artists has been the key to building a stronger and more diverse community. The quantity and standard of submissions was higher this year than that of previous years. We paid attention to local businesses that were willing to partner with us in developing the commercial aspect of art in County Longford. We have built a solid platform for our artists to further showcase their work and mentored those that wished to develop their business acumen. I am proud to say that I am part of the successful Cruthú team that delivered the promises we made earlier in the year. Let’s look forward to next year. The festival will be celebrating it’s 10th birthday and I fully expect there to be an even more impressive week-long summer event in 2023. Up Cruthú!

Lee Williamson

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