The Dragon of Shandon is a spectacular night time parade with a 36ft Dragon made entirely of tape and escorted by over 300 ghosts, ghouls and strange creatures, emerging from the underworld to walk with the people of Cork in a celebration of the ancient tradition of Halloween. The project is the result of an extensive outreach and community engagement programme, working with local groups and support services providing a platform for creativity while promoting social inclusion in Cork city. Cork Community Art Link’s focus is on engaging the communities and providing a cultural hub and outlet for creativity and skill-learning for all in Cork City and the surrounding areas, young and old. The Dragon of Shandon is the focal point of CCAL’s annual arts programme and is a creative partnership between artists and local communities that takes place on the night of October 31st, attracting thousands onto the streets of Cork City. In 10 short years the event and its processes have grown to actively involve a wide range of city-wide youth, community and arts groups and a participatory outreach programme that spans several months.
CCAL has worked with a wide range of communities and groups in Cork for over 23 years including the disability and health sectors, youth sector active age groups, schools, artists, arts institutions and higher educational bodies. We work closely with partners in the community, statutory and arts sectors to develop high-quality and socially inclusive participatory arts programmes. Core areas of work include the St Patrick 's Day Parade, 'What If' public art programme, the Dragon of Shandon and a World Book Day programme. All our programmes support participatory and community development processes. Our Artistic Director has over 20 years' experience in community street performance and his practice is shaped by a belief that the arts cannot be reduced to institutional and market driven conceptions and everyone has the right to create art and engage with culture on one's terms.
The increased demand from community groups and individuals for participation in both the outreach programme and the Parade itself, combined with the reduction in funding by the local authority, has put the Dragon's budget under severe pressure this year. It is important to us that the Dragon is wholly inclusive and anyone who wishes can participate, and we don't want budgetary constraints to prevent this.
All monies raised will be spent on materials for building props (1,000), artist fees (1,000).
There are risks involved when working with so many participants - up to 500 people, many of them minors. We have very strict child protection measures in place and all our event management staff and outreach facilitators are very experienced and have worked on the Dragon of Shandon Parade in previous years. We maintain close communication with all stakeholders throughout the lead-in to the event to ensure smooth operations.
The Dragon of Shandon is unique. It puts people at its core and relies on the goodwill of people like you to make it happen. We thank you for taking the time to find out more about it and hope that if you can help, you will.