We have just announced the key figures from the arts across Europe who will serve on the jury for the Arts Council’s €1 million ‘Open Call’ for national projects to commemorate 1916. I'm also happy to tell you that we received 270 proposals from artists and arts organisations across all parts of Ireland, with strong applications in all art forms.
The jury is due to meet for the first time on 25 May and will be made up of three international figures – Ruth Mackenzie, Laurie Sansom and Annie Fletcher – along with visual artist Brian Maguire and poet John McAuliffe, both members of the Arts Council. It will be chaired by the Chair of the Arts Council, Sheila Pratschke.
Ms Mackenzie is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Holland Festival, Amsterdam’s prestigious international arts festival, Interim CEO of the Arts Council of England’s digital collaboration with the BBC, The Space, and is also well known for successful, high-profile cultural projects and events in particular the Cultural Olympiad Programme as part of the London 2012 Olympics. Mr Sansom is the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, and came to prominence with a series of successful productions in England. Ms Fletcher is currently Chief Curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. She curated After the Future, the 2012 eva International Biennial of Visual Art in Limerick. You can see more details about the international jury members here.
Artists and arts organisations have wholeheartedly responded to our Open Call. I am delighted to say that this Jury will be faced with very difficult choices. These projects demonstrate the potential to truly capture the public imagination and impact on the lives of people across the country in 2016.
The contest will be highly competitive; we have set aside a total of €1 million for individual projects with a budget of up to €500,000, but the combined ‘demand’ of the applications received is almost €30 million.
The Jury will meet on the 25 May to shortlist the applications. The shortlisted applications will then be asked to submit more developed proposals for consideration. The Jury will meet again to agree the final projects in July.
The work will be presented to the public in 2016 and represent a key response by our contemporary artists to the centenary of the Easter Rising. The Arts Council’s programme which forms part of the Government’s Ireland 2016 Programme, will also include a number of special bursaries for a new generation of emerging artists, additional touring support in 2016 as well as a large scale national choral project in partnership with RTÉ.