Welcome to the May edition of our Newsletter
This month the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, will visit the Arts Council’s offices in Dublin and announce our fifth Laureate na nÓg. As you can imagine, this, along with the enormous success of the initiative, makes us very happy.
Like most success in the arts it did not happen overnight. In 2009, we developed a comprehensive vision, strategy and action plan for children’s literature. Central to this new strategy was the establishment of a children’s laureate, a role designed to celebrate children’s literature and its contribution to cultural life; our inaugural Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson was announced in May 2010.
We had high hopes for this initiative, but we could not have anticipated the extent of Laureate na nÓg’s reach or the depth of its impact. From Siobhán Parkinson’s Laureate International Library to Niamh Sharkey’s Pictiúr to Eoin Colfer’s Once Upon a Place – each Laureate has left a meaningful creative legacy and inspired a new generation of readers, writers and illustrators.
Our fourth Laureate na nÓg, the celebrated author and illustrator PJ Lynch, will complete his two-year term this month. His project – The Big Picture – focused on the art of illustration and visual storytelling that celebrates children’s literature and the power of the imagination. Over the past two years, PJ Lynch has participated in regular podcasts where he discussed various aspects of illustration and picturebook making. He also initiated a number of significant public art projects in partnership with festivals, communities and schools that encapsulate the theme of storytelling through visual art. On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank PJ for his incredible passion and commitment.