The Dublin Book Festival begins next Wednesday — a great line-up of events and talks! In my own small corner of the universe, I’m going to be giving away 50 copies of Toni Morrison’s Beloved as part of World Book Night: swing by Starbucks in Blackrock Village from 11 am on Saturday 5th March to snag a free copy, first come first served (just mention the blog!).
Project Arts Centre is looking for a few good bloggers — dangled carrots include free tickets, opportunities to interview artists and performers, use of a spiffy blogger-phone (sounds positively Batman-esque), etc… apply for the My_Project scheme by 7 March!
The First Thursdays initiative by TBCT carries forward the enthusiasm of Culture Night into a regular late-night opening of galleries and arts spaces in Temple Bar. The Clyne Gallery, Exchange Dublin, Gallery of Photography, Graphic Studio Gallery, Monster Truck Gallery & Studios, NGG / No Grants Gallery, Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios will all extend opening hours until 8 pm during the first Thursday of every month.
Whilst on the subject of Northern Ireland — our annual MA trip this year is to Belfast, where we’ll be visiting a number of cultural institutions & meeting with managers and policy-makers. If you have any suggestions of groovy places/people to add to our itinerary, please email me!
The OPW has begun recruitment for its seasonal heritage guides at sites around the country; this is a popular summer job for many of our current and past students, and online applications will only be accepted from 24 February – 3 March, so get cracking!
Eamonn O’Doherty will be one happy camper: the Anna Livia fountain (the ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’) is finally being re-installed in Dublin city centre after more than a decade in storage; eyewitnesses from the National Museum noted it being lowered into position today in Croppie’s Acre. Hopefully she will receive better treatment than her last respite on O’Connell St, although over on the online Vulgo zine Ciarán Mac Gonigal gives a fairly pessimistic view of the state of Irish public sculpture.
Some really thought-provoking debate is over on Diane Ragsdale’s blog on the subject of ‘failing’ arts organisations and the theatre ‘oversupply’ issue raised previously by NEA chariman Rooco Landesman. I agree that it’s very easy to pontificate on the (somewhat specious) claim of oversupply, far harder to suggest ways this would actually be dealt with (if even proven!). On her blog, Shoshanna Fanizza examines the claim of oversupply against her own community in Boulder, Colorado. I can only imagine the wars that would be started should someone claim that Irish theatre is oversupplied (although recent funding decisions by the Arts Council certainly have had the whiff of rationalization, and one of the keynote address at last year’s Theatre Forum conference addressed this very issue of a sustainable theatre economy).