The Hen’s Teeth culture report was created to celebrate where Ireland is at right now creatively and to better understand how it can continue to grow through both the help of private businesses, brands, state bodies and organisations.
The first-hand insights were generated by holding roundtable discussions with some of the country’s leading cultural innovators, surveying 500 members of the Hen’s Teeth audience based in the Republic of Ireland and conducting interviews and case studies with key individuals, projects and places that shape their respective industries.
Speaking about creating the report, Rosie Gogan-Keogh, managing director, Hen’s Teeth, said: “We’ve set out to uncover the needs of Ireland’s cultural consumers and creators, and to understand their perception of the brands and organisations trying to reach them and we hope this report will inspire as much as inform. This is our community and this is what they want.”
Key themes and trends that emerged from the report include:
Re-Representation: In spite of dramatic shifts in Irish culture, creatives still feel like they are being misrepresented in Ireland and internationally. Only 12% think that the representation of Ireland internationally is accurate.
Intimacy: Hen’s Teeth’s audience are seeking moments of intimacy and closeness to offset the anonymity of their digital lives. 74% are actively trying to spend less time on their smartphones and 76% are seeking out smaller scale-spaces and events.
Third Spaces: With a dire housing crisis, space is at a premium. While the focus is – and should be – on creating badly needed homes, spaces to create and consume art are under threat. 73% would like to see more spaces to develop creative work in.
Alternative Education: Only 20% of the Hen’s Teeth culture report respondents think the national education system is serving Irish youth. 68% would like to see government and local council support the creative industry by implementing creative education schemes.
New Irish: Ireland has become a heterogeneous society. Regardless of how accurate those stereotypical images of Irish identity used to be, they’ve certainly been shattered now as a range of backgrounds come to occupy the Irish consumer base. 85% of respondents now want their identity to be defined by their interests/hobbies, rather than race, religion or sexuality.
Radical Empathy: Over the past five years Irish people have been waking up to their ability to enact change. Countering generations before them, 64% say they are striving to improve things in their hometown as opposed to getting away.
Original Space: While the mainstream becomes more homogenous, creative audiences look to experiences that prioritise uniqueness. There’s a desire for locality in their audience’s choice of food, clothing and drinks with 88%, 63% and 59% willing to spend more for them respectively when they’re branded as local.
Sustainable Voices: 85% are concerned about the state of the environment – making it their second-highest concern, after the cost of living at 86%.
Self-Care: 93% are increasingly conscious of their own self-care and 87% are striving to find time to relax and take it easy rather than get drunk and party.
City Quitters: There’s no doubt our cities are growing, but 44% of their audience are considering, or have recently considered, leaving the city to live in a small town or rural location and 68% feel like they need to leave Ireland entirely to succeed creatively. From rising rents to an absence of spaces to create, people are re-evaluating the benefits of city life.
In November 2019, Hen’s Teeth opened a 2,600 sq foot multi-functional destination where art, music, food and design could meet. It was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign which saw 600 people contribute more than €47,000. It is this broad community from all age groups, demographics and parts of the country who have made this report possible by sharing their views and insights with Hen’s Teeth.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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