Introducing Heritage Week 2020
National Heritage Week, our annual celebration of natural, built and cultural heritage is back and will take place from 15th to 23rd August! In county Wicklow we are well equipped to showcase our heritage through the resource offered by this website and our sister Our Wicklow Heritage community sites.
This year will see a new format whereby rather than focussing on events, local heritage groups and organisers, families and communities are being invited to develop projects around this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’. Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events and has seen a huge uptake in activity in county Wicklow in recent years.
A new approach post covid
The new approach is designed to promote the sharing of experience and knowledge. Expressions of interest and project ideas should be submitted to HeritageWeek.ie, and be carried out throughout June and July. Projects should be completed in time for National Heritage Week when they will be showcased. Accepted formats for showcasing may vary from online talks or exhibitions, to a video, podcast, slideshow presentation or blog, to media coverage, a dedicated website or moderated social media account, or by means of small, restricted social gatherings, which comply with official public health advice. All projects submitted will be considered for a Heritage Week Award.
We are delighted to say that the resource offered by this website or our other sister sites under Our Wicklow Heritage for groups to share, showcase and store their heritage projects is freely available to all and offers a readily available asset for your Heritage Week project.
Some ideas to consider
To support project organisers in arriving at an aspect of heritage that they might want to explore under this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’, three broad sub-themes can be considered for projects:
Heritage on your doorstep: Projects might research, and collect local knowledge about a monument or landmark; explore the origins of local customs or traditions and how these may have changed over time; examine how aspects of the local landscape, such as a canal, river or lake, have influenced a community; or capturing stories from local members of the community who have survived adversity (for example, the TB epidemic of the 1940s).
Relearning skills from our heritage: Projects could explore forgotten or overlooked skills with a view to sharing them among younger generations; document crafts, skills or trades that one’s community was previously well-known for; investigate traditional remedies unique to a locality which were used to treat common aches and pains, and record the stories of individuals who remember such remedies; research traditional food preparation or preservation methods throughout the ages.
The heritage of education: Projects might explore the history of an old school which has served many generations; better understand the role of a local hedge school; delve into the history of a monastic settlement; interrogate how the experience of going to school has evolved over time.
In addition to developing new research, projects could also revisit or build on a heritage project which may already have been started at an individual, family or community level. In this instance, the National Heritage Week project could involve showcasing research already done on a monument, a waterway, or a skill or tradition in the community, and finding new ways to grow awareness of it. The Heritage Council is developing a suite of resources to support projects, which will be made available on HeritageWeek.ie
During lockdown, many people around the country – in both rural and urban environments – have developed a greater appreciation for their immediate surroundings. The restrictions have caused us to reconnect with, and reconsider what can be found in our immediate locality, from noticing birds and birdsong, and changing patterns among plants and wildlife as spring became summer, to local built heritage and monuments. Others have returned to traditional skills, be that baking, growing fruit and vegetables or handcrafts, like knitting and embroidery.
Get those thinking caps on and use these pages to capture, store and share your heritage stories for National Heritage Week 2020
Contact Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to help your group develop your project