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On November 16th, Cultural and Creative Industries Skillnet hosted its first annual Culture Crush event at The Complex arts centre, Dublin.  

Over 300 professionals from across the Irish creative sectors packed into the bustling venue from early morning. The overall theme of the inaugural Culture Crush was ‘The Intersection of Creativity and Technology’, and the programme featured an impressive line-up of Irish and international speakers and performers discussing the role of technology in the creative space. 

Some 30 experts working at the cutting-edge of creativity and technology shared their knowledge and experiences at the event. The programme featured panel discussions and keynote addresses from industry experts, live music and spoken word performances, a chill out space with creative industry support service Minding Creative Minds, and plenty of networking and connecting throughout the day. 

The event brought together creatives from various disciplines including film, TV, animation, visual effects, gaming, immersive technology, music, performance, visual arts and more. 

During his opening address, Gareth Lee, Cultural and Creative Industries Skillnet Network Manager, said: “Culture Crush is about bringing together our incredible communities of creatives, to connect with each other, to celebrate all that we have achieved, and to look to the future together. 

“The creative and cultural communities have long been operating in silos, but many of the current challenges and opportunities are relevant to us all, collectively. By coming together to support and empower our creatives, explore collaborations and new ideas, and learn from industry pioneers, we can help shape the development of the creative industries for everyone.”

Highlights from the day included a stunning opening performance from world-renowned Irish composer, conductor and producer, Eímear Noone. Eímear led a string quintet who performed an original composition from the record-breaking video game ‘World of Warcraft’ and AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’.  

A native of Kilconnell, Co Galway, Eímear studied music at Trinity College Dublin and said her career benefited greatly from the types of programmes and supports that are delivered by organisations like Cultural and Creative Industries Skillnet. “I’m here today because I’m a benefactor of what Gareth Lee and his team at Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet do. A course I did brought my professional arts education together with practical training and ultimately led to my first opportunities to work on video games scores,” she said. 

Throughout the day future technologies, artificial intelligence, creativity and ownership, intellectual property, and ethics, audience and experience, sustainability and access were discussed and debated as speakers shared their insights. 

A diverse range of experts explored the impact of technology across the arts, both in terms of its opportunities and challenges. One of those speakers, Jo Mangan from The Performance Corporation, spoke about the fun of embracing technology to aid creativity. Meanwhile, Oscar nominated and Emmy award winning Japhet Asher’s keynote address examined the power of context and how platforms and technological tools change creative ideas and vice versa. 

Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet was established in January 2023 as a consolidation and expansion of three existing and established Skillnet Business Networks, Animation Skillnet, Screen Skillnet and Immersive Technologies Skillnet, to support the following cultural and creative sectors: Animation, Visual Effects, Games, Film, TV, Documentary, Post-Production, Immersive Technologies, AR/VR, Virtual Production, Digital Media, Entertainment Events, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. 

Culture Crush 2023 was supported by Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán, Furthr and Bank of Ireland. 

Further information about the event and Cultural and Creative Industries Skillnet are available online here

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