Elaine McGinty along with partner and band member Joe Buckley founded Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC in 2011 to bring a permanent community led, non profit, cultural, arts, live music and training venue into their town that, despite a rich music and diverse multicultural heritage, currently had none.
They put music on the streets, in pubs, cafes; original live music and musicians and mentoring them to more opportunities and ran a free community festival Phoenix Rising. In 2013 they took over a small shop next to the Job Centre and offered space for training and confidence building to people who had life interrupted and needed to get back on their feet. They hosted beginner’s open mics, affordable or free guitar and vocal lessons, writers workshops and health and wellbeing. In 2018 they signed a 2 year lease on a 1000 capacity disused nightclub offered by the local council to make a successful pilot to prove a case for a permanent venue. Thus the Fiery Bird Venue became another part of the Phoenix story and is thriving, offering more workshops, music, training opportunities and supported work experience.
The building is scheduled for demolition; the challenge is on to secure a permanent base in the town, because, you start where you stand and strong communities make kinder choices, both locally and globally.