It’s June already, the stretch in the evening is undeniable, and everywhere in Ireland the summer festivals are already surprising, engaging and delighting us.
The Arts Council has always recognised the unique role of festivals. From a policy perspective, we see festivals as key producers and presenters of the arts, and critical for engaging large and diverse audiences. They provide opportunities for artists to develop their practice, and often showcase the arts in new and challenging ways, and in conventional as well as in non-arts spaces.
What is truly remarkable about festivals, though, is the unique nature of each one, reflecting so much about its locality and creating a real sense of belonging in a community. We know from research that 78 percent of people in Ireland believe that local arts help give each county or region is distinctive identity, that special sense of place. Festivals are the beating heart of that statistic.
So I encourage you this season to support and enjoy to the full your local festival, and as many others as you can. On social media, the Arts Council will place a special focus on festivals this summer, using the special #FindMyFestival hashtag, and everyone is welcome to join in celebrating the work right across the country with words, pictures and videos.
In other news, there are no fewer than four separate exhibitions featuring work from the Arts Council Collection running this month – details are here -- so catch them if you can.
With best wishes,