What a treat it is to be experiencing events in person again! Last month I attended Branar Theatre’s delightful production of Rothar as part of the Baboró Festival in Galway. The sound of children’s laughter was glorious and touching. If ever we needed to be reminded of the power of live performance, it was all there. A colleague told me of surprising herself by spontaneously bursting into tears during the scene with five young dancers in United Fall’s electrifying Night Dances. Observing these fantastic young performers, she couldn’t stop thinking about the hardships they had particularly faced over the last 20 months.
That production was one of a welter of very fine shows in the recent Dublin Theatre Festival. Like so many of the other good festivals that we are privileged to support, the programme shows us how places can be transformed through culture. To be in Dublin Port and to cast your mind forward to how this part of the city could be an engine for change through culture was truly exhilarating. In a similar vein, our programme Faoin Spéir / In the Open features the groundbreaking artist Nigel Rolfe perform in Lough Boora Parkland. Lough Boora is a brilliant example of how art can transform the landscape and create a powerful bond between people and place.
The Irish Theatre Institute’s comprehensive report into workplace behaviour in the arts makes for sobering reading. The findings tell us that significant reform is required in order to ensure people can enjoy safe and fulfilling work experiences. Inextricably connected to this is the quest to make circumstances better for everyone working in the arts. Research into pay and conditions has been completed by Theatre Forum, Words Ireland and a number of other organisations and this work greatly supports our Paying the Artist policy. The aspiration of dignity for everyone in all parts of the profession must be universally held. The announcement of a maintained level of funding for the Arts Council is very welcome and it will allow this work to happen in an accelerated fashion. The value of the arts in our lives is now better understood and this instills confidence that we can make transformative changes to the arts landscape in years to come.
As we all edge our way back to physical connection, we hope that you are finding much energy and encouragement from your renewed engagement with your colleagues and with your audiences.
This information session is aimed at dance practitioners and producers planning to apply for awards over the course of 2022. It will also cover general information relating to making an application for dance funding from the Arts Council.
The Arts Council is pleased to publish Informing the Future of Culture Night the evidence review, research and consultation report by Janice McAdam, Annette Nugent and Heather Maitland. Culture Night is the annual all-island event which celebrates culture, creativity and the arts.
In the Open | Faoin Spéir , the Arts Council funded programme which was developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis for 2021 continues to bring a variety of outdoor arts events that take place in public spaces around Ireland.
At the start of Covid, the RAISE team created and shared ‘The Top Ten Things Arts Organisations Can Do for their Stakeholders during the Covid-19 Crisis’ from creating online content to communicating in new ways through digital platforms. The RAISE organisations did not disappoint.
Opportunities for Regional Coordinator and Creative Associates services will be announced shortly for Creative Schools. Further details will be available on Arts Councils social media accounts in the coming weeks.