Ireland is renowned for a vibrant living culture of song, music, stories, and dance that reaches deep into our ancestral past. Here at Siamsa Tíre, our aims are to explore, sustain and celebrate our living cultural heritage and develop our creative practices within an ever-evolving contemporary context. We do this by engaging and connecting artists and communities, gathering them together to explore Ireland’s cultural past, present, and future.
Our vision is for Ireland’s living cultural heritage to be celebrated locally, nationally, and internationally as an inclusive wellspring for our national character. For it to be sustained and enjoyed within communities. For it to evolve, over time, as it passes from one generation to the next, meeting fresh ideas, new techniques, innovative approaches and different customs.
Siamsa Tíre means ‘mirth and music of the land’, an acknowledgment of the fact that our folk traditions originate from a rural way of life. Although this way of life is disappearing as Ireland becomes more urbanised, our rural history has shaped many of our national narratives, and it lives on through our enduring customs, philosophy, character, and values. Our mission is to ensure that our folk traditions continue to be explored through our cultural and folk archives and exhibitions; sustained through our academy, skills classes, and workshops; developed through creative practice; and exuberantly celebrated through shared experience.
Our cultural centre in Tralee has grown from the grassroots of rural Kerry communities to become a gathering place for all. We consider Siamsa Tíre to be the contemporary incarnation of the warm homes of the past where people came together on long dark winter’s evenings to share their stories, to pass on their customs and skills, to open themselves up to new ideas, and to strengthen their sense of family and community.
At Siamsa Tíre, we are passionate about the culture, heritage, and creative traditions that have shaped us as a people over centuries. We believe that these are the very things that continue to define our character and communities today. They are the wellspring that we draw upon to express who we are in the modern world. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our communities, our integrity, our appreciation of our natural environment, our warm hospitality, sense of enjoyment, and openness to new ideas. These are the enduring values at the heart of Irish folk culture, and they are what inform all of our work here at Siamsa Tíre.