After a wonderful summer for the arts, we move towards autumn, but I can confirm already that, far from slowing down, our artists and arts organisations are planning a huge range of excellent work between now and the end of the year.
Let me flag just one event from the hundreds that will take place across Ireland. We are particularly excited to welcome the public to our offices in Dublin on Culture Night (Friday 21 September), where we will be showcasing new artworks from the Arts Council Collection.
On display for the first time will be three works: an ambitious installation, Exquisite tempo sector, by Barbara Knezevic; and two large paintings, Protest Crowd, Chicago USA, Trump Rally (2016) 1 & 2 by Joy Gerrard.
We are very proud of the Arts Council Collection. It was established in 1962, and is comprised of almost 1,100 works of modern and contemporary art. At any one time, about half of the Collection is on display all around the country, and the works are available for public organisations and bodies to borrow and showcase for the benefit of the public. We also co-ordinate a programme of exhibitions with galleries and arts venues, in Ireland and occasionally abroad.
The Arts Council will also be collaborating with RTÉ’s Arena as part Culture Night at Collins Barracks, National Museum of Ireland. The exciting programme for the evening will be broadcast live and will feature writers and artists supported by the Arts Council in a specially curated element of the programme.
Finally, can I remind organisations that the window for applications to our funding scheme, Strategic Funding, is still open. The deadline is 17:30 on Thursday 6 September, but my best advice to those applying is not to leave it until the last minute, just ar eagla na h-eagla.