17 December 2010
Last digest before Xmas, folks! And it’s a doozy…
- Jim Carroll in the IT wants to know your cultural highlights of 2010. No doubt the Rubberbandits will make multiple appearances (2 million+ views on YouTube? no. 1 on iTunes? Giant response from Liveline appearance? Willie O’Dea & Limerick never had it so good.)
- The Science Gallery is cited in today’s Times Higher Education as ‘a refreshingly upbeat public venue, with a strong focus on collaborative art-science projects that encourage audience participation (it also has the best cafe of any science centre in the world)’. Nice one, MJG et al.
- Druid & NUI Galway have announced a new partnership training future theatre professionals.
- Check out the website for the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, winner of best interactive site at the Eurobest Awards. In a word: wowsa (nice use of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ for the soundtrack, by the way!)
- More censorship woes back stateside, where MOCA in LA has painted over a commissioned mural deemed offensive.
- Coming to another wall near you– the Dublin Docklands launched its ‘Art Park’ project, to be coordinated by the Sebastian Guinness Gallery, featuring large-scale nightly projections/screenings on the wall of the new Dublin Convention Centre. Proposals for projections, exhibitions, and other arts/cultural events in the new park are being solicited.
- Ok, so it’s a week old by now, but in case you missed it Gerry Smyth in the IT provided an excellent overview of how the budget cuts will affect the arts, and some musings on why cuts weren’t as savage as they might have been.
- In other funding news… the draft budget for Northern Ireland was announced on Wednesday, with a 9.3% cut forecasted for DCAL. No details yet, and more will emerge following public consultations through February.
- ‘Tis the season of university commencement… I’ve read this piece a few times and still find it clear-eyed and moving– Theo Dorgan challenges current new university graduates to imagine a new Ireland, in spite of the havoc that’s been wreaked on their futures.
Season’s Greetings to all my readers!! Thanks for granting me the gift of your eyeballs over the past year.
8 December 2010
Woe is us– budget, snow, and Jackie Healy Rae. Sigh.
Here’s what been buzzing on the wire:
- Breakdowns on the arts & the budget can be found from Theatre Forum and the National Campaign for the Arts. Reactions? Cuts don’t seem to be as savage as anticipated (possibly due to very successful lobbying & high-profile appeals?), and Culture Ireland’s budget has actually been increased by 71%*. Overall the Culture budget was cut by 10.63% (versus Sport which had a 26.5% cut). The Arts Council is down by 5%, IMMA, CBL, Crawford, and NCH down 8%, and the NLI down 14% (ouch). A statement from the Minister leads with the headline ‘Budget provides 400 million to support Tourism, Culture and Sport sectors’ (hmm, positive spin much?) Laurence Mackin has reviewed the cuts in the Irish Times as well.
- The RHA is offering a cut-price deal on renting a pop-up space on their premises between February-April.
- Clear favourite Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize– the first to win for an aural work.
- We teach the 1980s US ‘Culture Wars’ as if a part of art’s history, but I was shocked to hear of the recent censorship at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C.’s exhibition Hide/Seek (the first major American exhibition of homosexuality in portraiture) . Even the (relatively conservative) Association of Art Museum Directors has condemned the decision, truly a disgrace for the Smithsonian.
- After the recent excellent conference on the arts & diversity at the Chester Beatty Library, it was sobering to read that 21 Oxbridge colleges admitted zero black students last year: ‘The FoI data also shows that of more than 1,500 academic and lab staff at Cambridge, none are black.’ Is it possible!?! Apparently so…
- In case this week has you hiding under the covers, wondering if there’s hope left in the world… I give you scientists in panda suits.
* edit: Laurence Mackin had CI’s budget down by 2%; I asked him on his blog about the discrepancy in his figures versus the 71% increase cited elsewhere, and here’s his response:
According to the Government estimates (available at http://www.budget.gov.ie/budgets/2011/Documents/Estimates%20Budget%202011.pdf) Culture Ireland got €4.083 million in 2010 and will get €3.997 million in 2011 – a decrease of 2 per cent. According to the Minister for the Arts Mary Hanafin “a carry-over of €3m from 2010 will be used towards the funding of Culture Ireland’s major year-long season of contemporary Irish culture, Imagine Ireland, across the US in 2011” – hence the figure of €6,997 at Theatre Forum and elsewhere.
Basically, Culture Ireland’s budget is the €3.997 and the €3 million is a once-off payment to fund this once-off programme. You could argue that their budget has gone up by that much, but my understanding, following a phonecall to the Department, is that the €3 million must go on the US programme and isn’t transferable to other projects under CI’s aegis. Hope that clears it up.
It does… sort of. Certainly it clears up the discrepancy, and the earmarked €3 million can’t really be considered a true budgetary increase… nevertheless it’s a clear vote of confidence/investment in favour of CI’s work in a difficult climate.
2 December 2010
Hot off the presses… at long last, behold the new NGI website! Seems to be a few glitches however… I couldn’t use the online collections search feature, and the calendar function isn’t the best design. Ditto for the ‘Top Reasons to visit’ and ‘About Us’ pages which have weird formatting in Firefox. Also once you go into the shop the primary navigation disappears. Most unhappily there is a severe lack of any interactive content (although they’ve signalled the development of a YouTube channel)… pity. Although it’s a vast improvement on the old site, this isn’t a particularly ambitious replacement. Bummer.
1 December 2010
Snow, snow everywhere! Thaw out and enjoy:
- Dublin’s been shortlisted to host the World Music Expo in 2013 (any detectable irony with respect to the possible cancellation of the Festival of World Cultures?)
- Trinity has unveiled its new Long Room Hub – in a word: jealous.
- Judith Woodward is stepping down as director of the National Concert Hall – she will be greatly missed.
- A new report on Arts Attendance in Ireland has just been published & makes for fascinating reading.
- Speaking of new research, Arts Council England has published a report on the Internet and ‘digital arts audiences’ – should be required reading for Irish arts orgs (and the Irish Arts Council, and the Dept of TC&S– digital/internet strategies and development support in this country have a long way to go!)
- The Dublin Contemporary project‘s been picking up steam – although support for the event has so far been couched in the language of cultural tourism, I can’t help feeling the timing will do this initiative few favours.
- Richard Conway in The Guardian recently sang the praises of new pop-up arts spaces in Dublin– great responses in the comments (unfortunately now closed)– ryan333 however has a point!!
- I was interested to read about this campaign about charitable legacies in the IT, launched by Legacy Promotion Ireland – back in my IU fundraising days bequests were a standard part of the curriculum & training, and it surprised me initially they were so rare in Ireland. Until there are significant changes in the tax structure however I don’t see them becoming a widespread practice.