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First looks: Organising projects as ‘heritage newcomers’

In 2021, National Heritage Week wants to involve as many people as possible in heritage. Our ‘heritage newcomers’ approach is a general invitation to individuals, families and communities who have never participated in National Heritage Week before, to work on a heritage project.

During the recent lockdowns, many of us had more time to explore our local areas and think about our own heritage. National Heritage Week 2021 may be the perfect opportunity for you to showcase what you discovered or find out more about your local or personal heritage.

You may want to explore the history of local landmarks, old buildings or land formations that have become more familiar during the last year. Is there a tradition such as a song or craft that has been passed down through your family or community that you are curious about? Have you become more aware of nature in your locality? Or, did you come across materials that could contribute to a family project? Opportunities for heritage exploration are endless, no matter your interest.

If you’re a first-time organiser, you may be wondering where to begin. As you think about what sort of heritage you would like to explore, take a look at our useful links page, where you’ll find dozens of nationally renowned cultural, built and natural heritage resources. From the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Irish Historic Houses Association to the Irish Wildlife Trust, there’s much to discover.

We also recommend digging into National Heritage Week projects from 2020 for topic ideas and for inspiration on formatting your project for digital sharing.

Keep a look out for our upcoming webinar series in June, presented by the Heritage Council to support project organisers as they prepare for National Heritage Week 2021. During the sessions you’ll hear from heritage experts and past National Heritage Week project organisers. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions relating to this year’s approaches (heritage newcomers; heritage sharing; and heritage for all ages), as well as about the practicalities around developing and sharing your project.

  • Tuesday, 22nd June, 1pm – 2pm: Welcome to National Heritage Week 2021. Learn about this year’s approaches and key dates. Register here.
  • Tuesday, 29th June, 1pm – 2pm: Taking your project online. Learn about the methods and benefits of digital heritage sharing. Register here.
  • Tuesday, 29th June, 3pm – 4pm: Communicating your project. Learn about how to share your project widely over social media and local media outlets. Register here.

You may find answers to many of your questions about National Heritage Week 2021 on the FAQ page. We are looking forward to exploring all of the projects from Ireland’s heritage newcomers.