Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit – Offline Film Festival

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

Work to complete a new Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit for the Birr Festivals Collective (made up of Birr’s five festivals) is well underway.

Nothing about us, Without us

Led by OFFLine Film Festival, the project in collaboration with Offaly Local Development Company’s (OLDC) Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) began earlier this year thanks to funding from the Arts Council’s Capacity Building Support Scheme. 

The first step on the diversity and inclusion journey commenced in May with a public event, facilitated by members of SICAP at the County Arms Hotel. These roundtable workshops proved very informative, capturing insight from a diverse group of attendees in a novel way through engagement with Clare-based graphic recorder, Gary Dempsey. His graphic recording showcases the conversations in an accessible and inviting manner and will now act as the cornerstone upon which further discussions will be based.

Social Inclusion Team Leader with OLDC is Louise Larkin:

“Diversity is a fact. It’s a matter of makeup, composition or genetics. Whereas inclusion is a choice, a matter of belief and behaviour. Consultation is vitally important when working on topics such as inclusion, accessibility and diversity. To implement anything in this area, there needs to be discussion and a raising of awareness. We all need to choose to address these issues and we are thrilled to be working in collaboration with OFFline who have made that choice to explore diversity and inclusion for the benefit of all the festivals we have here in Birr.”

Following the public event, a Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group has been set up and will meet regularly between now and the end of the year. They will give their input into the Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit which will be developed and published in early 2024 and will also support the Birr Festivals Collection with guidance and advice about festival programming and accessibility. Members of SICAP have also been surveying members of the public at key festival events in 2023 to gain insight into their knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion for the Toolkit.

Gary Hoctor is the Director of OFFline Film Festival:

“One of the strategic objectives of the Birr Festivals Collective is a commitment to designing and producing events in Birr in ways that extend a welcome to as many people as possible, particularly to those whose circumstances mean that they are infrequent attenders at festivals and events. I look forward to working with Louise and her team at OLDC. I hope this work leads to all Birr Festivals reaching a wider audience which can only be of benefit to all concerned.”

For more information on this project or to join the steering group, contact Louise on 087 692 5276 or email llarkin@offalyldc.ie

The Birr Festivals Collective is made up of Birr Festival of Music, Scripts Ireland’s Playwriting Festival, Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival, OFFline Film Festival and Hullabaloo Offaly’s Children’s Arts Festival.

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