Skip to main content
Paper T rex, Kilkenny


What makes County Kilkenny culturally distinctive from other places in Ireland is that there is something for everyone from young to old and everyone is welcome to attend. Kilkenny has a proud and rich heritage, a unique and diverse arts environment and is a hub of crafts, design, culture and creativity. We recognise the transformative role that culture can play in people’s lives, contributing towards inclusive social and economic development, as well as sustainable development.

The challenge for us all is to sustain and improve the cultural life of the City and County by ensuring that the infrastructure and funding is in place to ensure our communities get maximum benefit, and that their high expectations of cultural activity and development are met.

Kilkenny City and County has an extensive, illustrious and spirited tradition of Culture, Heritage and the Arts all of which play an integral role in the life of Kilkenny. It is somewhat of a Mecca for artists, makers and those interested in culture, heritage and creativity. Kilkenny has a long history of cultivating and showcasing heritage and arts in its many guises and this has provided us with a rich legacy for the county. The Arts, creativity and heritage continue to be a significant ingredient in Kilkenny largely contributing to the progression of the social, cultural, creative, economic, and political future of Kilkenny.

Kilkenny hosts a variety of cultural spaces and organisations and is renowned for its festivals including the Kilkenny Arts Festival, The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Savour Food Festival, Kilkenomics Festival, Subtitle International Film Festival, Kilkenny Animated Festival and TradFest. We are home to the Heritage Council, the Butler Gallery, the National Design and Craft Council of Ireland, the National Design and Craft gallery, Cartoon Saloon animation studio and the Medieval Mile Museum.

Essentially Kilkenny has a proud and rich arts and cultural heritage, a unique and diverse arts environment and is a hub of arts, design, crafts, culture and creativity. It is a county that recognises and embraces the transformative role that creativity, arts, heritage and culture can play in people’s lives.

Kilkenny’s Culture and Creativity Strategy, focuses on the Creative Ireland programme’s belief that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity. Kilkenny’s Creative Ireland programme has seen a host of projects and initiatives since 2017 designed to illustrate the power of culture and social engagement in the overall well-being of its citizens. Projects delivered to date through the Creative Ireland programme have helped to promote the intrinsic value of culture, increasing the understanding and visibility of culture and creativity in County Kilkenny.

Image ALT text

Bookville Kilkenny

Bookville Kilkenny is designed to inspire children of all ages, fuelling their imagination and enhancing access to literacy, the arts , culture and creativity across the county. Bookville provides a unique opportunity for children, families and schools to engage in an exciting and energetic programme of completely free events each year, in both rural and central locations across the county.

Creative Ireland & RTÉ Supporting the Arts: Wolfwalkers The Exhibition

Open Video

Culture and Creativity Team

Annette Fitzpatrick

Creative Ireland Coordinator


Colette Byrne

Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council


Mary Mulholland

Director of Services


Mary Butler

Arts Officer


Josephine Coyne

County Librarian


Francis Coady

Architectural Conservation Officer


Evelyn Graham

Project Liaison Architect


Dearbhala Ledwidge

Heritage Officer


Our Strategy

Kilkenny County’s Culture and Creativity Strategy enhances cultural, artistic and literacy participation throughout the county. Our programmes support individuals and their communities in County Kilkenny. Our goal is to promote community and civic participation, social inclusion and a better sense of place and identity.