Our community arts projects is an important part of the St Patrick’s Festival and we want people to know that it is about promoting integration and inclusion and celebrating the diversity of our country at the time of our national holiday.
City Fusion and Brighter Futures are commissioned annually by St. Patrick’s Festival. The project engages with groups and communities from a variety of backgrounds and they work together alongside professional artists to create and stage two large scale pageants for the Festival parade. These pageants tell a story that will be brought to life through art, design, music, dance and most importantly, fun!


City Fusion, our community arts initiative is at the heart of the St Patrick’s Festival programme. It highlights the value of social diversity and integration through interaction with community groups and artists working both in the visual and performance arts. Through art and beauty, City Fusion each year creates a new pageant to honour the value of confidence in one’s own individual identity and the joy of feeling part of a wider community.
Over the years we have worked with participants from many areas of Dublin and its environs from Skerries and Dalkey to Ballyfermot, Balbriggan and Rialto. We have worked and made lasting friendships with participants from Nigeria, India, Philippines, Cuba, Brazil, France, Italy, Nepal, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Caribbean, Jamaica, Congo and Cameroon, to name just a few. We are always open and eager to meet with new groups who can teach us and inspire us with their own native traditions.

A large creative team of artists led by designer Sabine Dargent make the costumes, props and floats for the pageant. Amanda Donovan works on costume, creating a unique costume for each performer; Orla Clogher makes the wonderful props that are used to create characters and Gavin Morgan develops the impressive floats. These artistic teams work with an array of professional and voluntary craftsmen and women to craft and hone the art work for the pageant.
Performance skills such as acting, singing, dancing, audience interaction and improvisation (an important aspect of entertaining and communicating with the live audience on the streets on the 17th) are coordinated and choreographed by Creative Director Muirne Bloomer with her team of facilitators and performance assistants led by Hugh Brown.


In correlation with City Fusion, the Festival produces a youth arts project called Brighter Futures. It showcases the commitment and the talent of Dublin’s creative and enthusiastic young people and shines a light on the positive contribution made by youth culture to the city. Brighter Futures brings about a powerful opportunity for artistic engagement and expression through multi disciplined performance workshops led by Creative Director Muirne Bloomer and her assistant Hugh Brown. Participants enjoy workshops in dance, street theatre skills such as juggling and clowning, singing, drama and all performers are encouraged to explore their creativity by collectively and individually devising parts of their parade performance.
The participants also engage with art through their contact with designer Sabine Dargent as they witness the development of the design elements from concept through to the creation of the high artistic standards achieved by her and her professional team in costumes, props and floats for the pageant. Brighter Futures also has a multi cultural aspect similar to the festival’s adult initiative City Fusion. Both projects run concurrently with the same creative team and core values of communion, respect and joyful celebration.

CITY FUSION 2017: Alma Boliviana Ballet, Brazilian Samba Dance Community Group, Cameroonian Women Association, Emerald Chinese Group, India Umbrella Group/CICI, Lithuanian Association in Ireland, Peruvian Irish Community Association, St. John of God Menni Services Liffey Region.
BRIGHTER FUTURES 2017: Brazilian Children, Filipino Cultural Organisation of Ireland, New Communities Partnership NCP, Polish Weekend School SEN, Robert Emmet Community Development Project, Syrians in Ireland.

Following months of working together, City Fusion and Brighter Futures showcase a flamboyant and colourful procession of 200 musicians and performers who waltz and swirl their beautiful costumes as well as their enthusiasm and skill down the parade route to a live audience of 500,000 on the street and a further 595,000, who watch the parade on RTÉ1.


City Fusion:

Alma Boliviana Ballet
Alma Boliviana uses the art of dance to celebrate Bolivian culture throughout Ireland. Different cultures from all over Bolivia are represented through their mixture of dances.  The group has officially been together for 3 years and most performers are from Bolivia but they welcome everyone from all different nationalities.

Brazilian Samba Dance Community Group
This group consists of 10 passistas who have been performing Salsa since 2008, bringing energy and an energetic spirit to parties, festivals and weddings. Their mission is to showcase their Brazilian culture through music and dance and to transform simple moments into unforgettable dreams.

Cameroonian Women Association
The main objective of the group is to empower women through education and interaction with the community in Ireland and to assist women in expanding their capabilities by working in groups.

Emerald Media Group
Emerald Media was established in 2003 and is Ireland's first and largest Chinese Media platform. Their primary mission is to deliver news and to voice the interests of the 60,000 people who are part of the Chinese Community in Ireland. They also organise and participate in events and activities promoting cultural and business links between Ireland and China. The activities of Emerald Chinese Group promote an understanding and appreciation of the diversity and the rich cultures of Ireland and China.

India Umbrella Group / CICI
An estimated 25,000 Indian origin members are living in the Republic of Ireland and making positive contributions in the fields of IT, Health and Educational services. The aim of this umbrella organization is to support the needs of various Indian community organizations and provide better facilities to improve the social life of their members. Indian Diaspora living in Ireland wants to promote diverse Indian cultural heritage and integrate well with all people living in Ireland.

Lithuanian Association in Ireland
The Lithuanian Association in Ireland Limited officially registered in January 2005 and has been active since 1999. The association organises Lithuanian concerts and other events as well as running eight Lithuanian weekend schools in various counties throughout Ireland including a school run for children in Dublin. It organises monthly Lithuanian gatherings around the country and publishes Saloje (On the Island) twice a month, which has around 5000 readers and the weekly Lietuvis (Lithuanian) which are both the most popular local papers amongst the Lithuanian community.

Peruvian Irish Community Association
The Peruvian Irish Community Association is a non profit organisation which strives to promote Peruvian culture in Ireland as well as integration into Irish society. The Peruvian Irish Community Association welcomes everybody regardless of their background, age, or adversity.

St John of God Community Services, Liffey Region
This group is from the Liffey Services, St John of God. Their members are involved in different community activities and are all independent people. Some have paid jobs in the open labour market. Each year a new group of members come together in order to participate in the parade.

Brighter Futures:

Filipino Cultural Organisation of Ireland
The Filipino Cultural group has been in existence for almost 15 years. They work throughout the community promoting Filipino integration through culture, music and dance.
They also promote tourism to the Philippines by taking part in different festivals and events throughout the year. The group is diverse with Filipino and Irish members and has grown steadily over the past couple of years with the help of the St Patrick’s Festival Arts Projects and Filipino festivals.

New Communities Partnership (NCP)
New Communities Partnership (NCP) is an independent national network of 175 immigrant led groups comprising of 65 nationalities with offices in Dublin and Cork with outreach to other cities. They are a non – governmental organisation and a registered charity. They support and strengthen their Irish citizenship communities by offering a unified and inclusive voice for ethnic minority communities to interact, exchange ideas and empower themselves.

Polish Weekend School SEN
SEN Polish Saturday School was established in February 2010 and is attended by over 500 pupils aged between 4 and 17. Their main activity is promoting multilingualism, the Polish language and culture and their cooperation with the Irish educational and cultural associations.

Robert Emmet Community Development Project
Robert Emmet Community Development Project was set up in 2003 to work in the community living in and around Oliver Bond Flat Complex in Dublin’s South Inner City. They work across all age groups developing educational and cultural initiatives in the community. Robert Emmet Community Development Project has been participating in the St Patrick’s Day Festival since 2011.
It offers an excellent opportunity for the young people they work with a platform to perform and to represent Ireland whilst building their own confidence and skills. 

Romanians in Ireland Organisation
Romanians in Ireland started as a Facebook group in March 2013 and quickly became a little community of people helping each other. Today it boasts more than 20,000 members. They wanted to get involved in the community in a more direct and practical way. The organisation offers support of all kinds to Romanians living in Ireland and is also involved in several projects together with Dublin City Council and other community groups and charities. Their aim is to promote and preserve their traditions, culture and heritage and to also work on social inclusion for other Romanians.

Syrians in Ireland
The Syrians in Ireland group have been a wonderful addition to the Brighter Futures pageants. Their passion, love and integration have become a most welcome and valuable part of life in Ireland. Through their mission to celebrate, dance and sing with all people and communities, taking part in the St Patrick’s Festival parade makes them want to be happy and make people happy.

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