Symposium on Artist/Academic Collaborations: Uncomfortable Encounters, Disruptive Pedagogies (10 December)

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I’m pleased to share details of an event I’m helping to co-organize in Dublin on 10 December, led by my colleague Dr Alice Feldman (UCD Sociology).

Uncomfortable Encounters, Disruptive Pedagogies is a symposium funded by the UCD+NCAD Alliance project (organized by a team of artists and academics from NCAD, UCD, UCD Parity Studios and Create – the National Development Agency for the Collaborative Arts) that will explore collaborative teaching and research practices between academics, artists and activists in Ireland.

We are delighted to welcome guest speaker Marina Gržinić (University of Vienna) who will introduce and discuss her own transdisciplinary conceptual work. An artist and academic, her work concerns neoliberal global capitalism and necropolitics (eg the politics of death and technologies/modes of power), and its manifestations in post-socialist transformations within Eastern Europe.

Her presentation will be followed by three mixed panels of Irish researchers and practitioners who will discuss how their work relates to the symposium’s three central strands of aesthetics, knowledge and pedagogy.

The purpose of the overall project (and this event) is to cultivate collective understandings and vocabularies surrounding this sphere of work in Ireland; to support an evolving network and community of practice; and to locate Irish practice internationally. It will be followed in the new year by additional workshops focused on networking and funding opportunities to support future research endeavours.

All are welcome! This event is free, but please register your attendance.

Download: press release/event info (pdf)

Ways to make a living (in the arts)


NINE TO FIVE, (aka 9 TO 5), Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, 1980. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved..

The jobs page has just been refreshed — an unusual amount of public history positions on offer at the moment (maybe it’s the 1916 effect?) as well as many other positions… but what a week it’s been, especially for the ladies!

The Waking the Feminists campaign for gender equality in Irish theatre has been extraordinary, in its intensity, its reach, and hopefully its impact — catch up on the video of the public meeting held last week (12 November) in the Abbey. Possibly one of the defining moments for women in the arts over the last decade in Ireland.

My colleague Niamh NicGhabhann has penned an insightful blogpost on women and leadership in higher education – very kindly including me in her list of inspiring Irish academic women – thank you Niamh!

Some very cool theatre apprenticeships / residencies worthy of note:

  • Pan Pan Theatre is offering an International Mentorship & Bursary with Stewart Laing of Untitled Projects (deadline 19 November)
  • Applications for the 2016 MAKE residencies for developing creative theatre work (based at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and co-organised by Theatre Forum, Cork Midsummer Festival, Project Arts Centre and Tiger Dublin Fringe) are closing soon (deadline 20 November)
  • The Lyric Theatre (Belfast) is hiring an Apprentice Producer as part of its participation in the Stage One: Regional Apprenticeship Scheme (deadline 30 December)

The Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray has come up with a groovy idea: it’s offering a funded ‘Gap Day’ to independent theatre creatives (directors, makers, writers, designers, production managers and creative producers) to take a day off to concentrate on creative thinking and dreaming – deadline for applications is 23 November.

Time’s running out to add your two cents on how CIRCA – Ireland’s only contemporary art publication for many years, until it folded in 2011 – might be revived /re-invigorated, with a series of small grants to support new ideas: deadline is this Thursday (19 November).

Would you know what to do if you made an archaeological discovery? Help out a Galway-based researcher who is conducting a survey to assess public awareness of reporting procedures.

Cobwebs plaguing your parlour? A day long seminar on taking care of historic houses is taking place on 26 November at Russborough House: Heritage Housekeeping: Philosophy and Practice is sponsored by the Irish Georgian Society and the Institute of Conservators-Restorers in Ireland, aimed at owners, managers and curators of heritage properties (both public and private).

The Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy will shortly be launching its third issue – a special issue featuring contributions from the UCD/IADT cultural policy conference, ‘Mapping an Altered Landscape‘ held last year – watch for an announcement, I’m putting the finishing touches on it this week!

Our colleagues over at University of Warwick are hiring an Associate Professor in their acclaimed Centre for Cultural Policy (deadline is 2 December).

Bumper crop of arts jobs & other news

Some of our MA in Arts Management & Cultural Policy students from UCD attending the Irish Museums Association event in Belfast

Some of our MA in Arts Management & Cultural Policy students from UCD, attending the Irish Museums Association event in Belfast

Just finished another update to the jobs page – whoa mama, there’s a lot on offer at the moment! Happy hunting…

A few other bits and pieces from this week:

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Irish Museums Association event in Belfast at the weekend, and especially to our wonderful speakers sharing their experience of creative collaborations with museums (slides will be posted soon!) Our next big event is the annual lecture on 11 November at the NGI, where we will welcome Sir Christopher Frayling, former Chair of the Arts Council England and the Design Council (UK), former trustee of the V&A, governor of the British Film Institute — you won’t want to miss it! Tickets are free but *must* be booked in advance (and our lectures usually book out!)

The Arts Council of Ireland recently announced its 10-year strategy Making Great Art Work – Leading the development of the arts in Ireland — and are inviting responses to the strategy, as well as hosting a series of fora nationwide from late October – November (registration required).

Arts Audiences’ Focus on Audiences – Digital Day 2015 event will take place on 17 December at Dublin Castle — an essential event if you’ve an interest in development, marketing, etc!

I’m intrigued by the Light Moves festival in Limerick (18-22nd November) that explores screendance and dance on film… such an unusual and engaging programme.

Limerick seems to be quite the busy place next month: on 19 November the Hunt Museum will host a symposium on Digital History, focusing on interactivity in heritage sites and museums.

The Abbey Theatre launched details of its 2016 programme yesterday, Waking the Nation – it looks to be a strong programme, although protests on twitter about about the lack of female playwrights seem justified… something to discuss perhaps in the new Peacock cafe just opened there too…

On 5 November we’re very pleased here at UCD to host a performance by Artist-in-Residence Dominic Thorpe, entitled Disjunction, based on work he’s been doing over the past year as part of UCD’s highly successful artist-in-res programme.

I’m delighted to be involved in the lecture series accompanying the National Gallery of Ireland’s upcoming exhibition The Pathos of Distance, a collaboration with the artist Sarah Pierce, exploring images of Irish immigration and diaspora. Lots of great info and images are now appearing on the NGI’s blog to accompany the exhibition which opens in December…

Finally — if you’re interested in arts fundraising and development — hope you’re following Jeremy Hatch (The Artful Fundraiser) — I just love his candid, funny (and highly knowledgeable!) blog posts on the ins and outs of arts development…

Arts news round-up: 19 October 2015

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A few bits and pieces for your Monday…

Last call! We’ve more than 70 signed up for The Creative Museum: Extending Participation Through Collaboration’ this Friday/Saturday at Queen’s University Belfast; a few extra tickets have been released through the link above, and there are some additional seats on the (free!) Dublin-Belfast bus taking folks up & returning on Saturday. It’s going to be a great day — many thanks to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for their sponsorship of this event.

Always love seeing arts organisations venturing into new territory, and the Royal Hibernian Academy’s been leading the way on this one: their Blue Moon Lost Wednesdays events have been fab mixes of music, food and art — and their inaugural Interlude festival this weekend looks promising, with a live music room, club space, cabaret cinema, cocktail club, craft beer bar, vinyl room and pop-up restaurant!

Congratulations to my colleagues Victoria Durrer (QUB) and Kerry McCall (IADT) on the imminent launch of the Cultural Policy Research Observatory Ireland, a new network and resource for Irish academics (north and south) engaged in cultural policy research, across disciplines. Seed funded by the Irish Research Council, its inaugural event (by invitation) is taking place this Thursday, 22 October at QUB on the subject of The Production of Our Contemporary Livelihood. More great things are to come!

The details of Budget 2016 were announced last week; however the rather cheerful press release from the Department was quickly countered with more negative assessments from the National Campaign for the Arts and Theatre Forum. Both correctly highlight that most of the significant new funding allocations are devoted only to impending commemorations: core funding is only being increased by €4.5 million, a very disappointing sum given the substantial cuts to the arts & culture budgets since 2008. The Department has further indicated a ‘boost in funding for the National Cultural Institutions and the Arts Council’, but few details of what this constitutes are yet available (excepting a €2.5 million increase for the AC, but the wording suggests this may be a one-off). There’s no two ways about it: funding for the centenary is eclipsing investment into core arts and cultural funding. This is very problematic, especially for any and all activity falling outside that narrow categorization. I’m feeling a 2016 hangover coming on already…

Applications for the 2016 Government of Ireland postdoctoral scholarships are now being accepted. This is the primary means by which arts & humanities postdoc work is funded at Irish universities; if you’ve a PhD and would like to come speak with us about postdoc opportunities, feel free to get in touch!

Along with colleagues at Maynooth University and the International Network of Irish Famine Studies, I’m co-organising a conference on The Great Famine and its Impacts: Visual and Material Culture (14-16 March). Our call for papers has just been announced; we’ll be producing an edited volume, and have planned several special events in conjunction with the conference, so do consider sending in an abstract if you work in this field…

On 29 October I’ll be participating in the symposium Talking About Perpetrators, a cross-disciplinary event taking place in Dublin Castle and co-organised by College of Arts & Humanities Artist-in-Residence Dominic Thorpe, and Dr Emilie Pine from UCD School of English, Drama & Film. Tickets are very limited, so do book asap if you wish to attend!

Happy birthday, dear blog!

Today marks the 8th birthday of! Whoever would have thought I could keep the lights on for so long… :)

Thank you to everyone who has remained a reader — through the peaks and valleys of my own posting frequency! — and for the many, many kind emails over the years. I’m so pleased the blog has helped people find work, switch careers, conduct research, and stay updated with arts management and cultural policy news.

A few interesting tidbits, for the factoid fans:

  • The Jobs section is the most popular page (unsurprisingly). And this is the most popular post of all time. I don’t really know why!
  • The blog has grown from zero to more than 3,000 followers/subscribers. Most months it receives between 6-8,000 visitors, with just under 800,000 views since it began. Here’s a snapshot of where the top blog visitors have come from in 2015 so far (lone reader in Mozambique, I salute you): viewers

  • Yes, there really is just one person behind this (me!), and I don’t accept ads, payment or sponsorship of any kind (nor do I intend to — although I’m contacted often about this — because I think independence is important). I try to squeeze it in between teaching classes, giving lectures, doing research, writing articles, attending conferences, and keeping up with my 3 and 5 year old little boys — and unfortunately sometimes it slips a little down the list of priorities at busy times. I’ve seriously considered chucking it in quite a few times, but the volume of blog-related email I receive keeps me convinced it’s still of value. I certainly hope so, anyway!
  • I always welcome thoughts & responses to how the blog can be more useful — so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks, y’all.