Weekly round-up: 28 July 2011

Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival 2011

It’s been a while, but I missed ya. Here’s the latest round-up:

First Thursdays in Temple Bar (where cultural organizations stay open extra late) keeps getting bigger and bigger – check it out next week if you haven’t already!

While I was away the Arts Council appointed Orlaith McBride as its new director… still no white smoke on the new director of the National Gallery, however!

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of artist Bill Crozier — a lovely man and a wonderful artist, I interviewed him a few years ago for a book on Stoney Road Press and recently enjoyed seeing his work at the RHA Annual Exhibition. He was extremely warm, funny and generous and we had a wonderful time speaking about our shared love of jazz, among other things! His work will be a wonderful legacy of a great personality and aesthetician.

The Music Generation project is underway (with a coordinating post still open in Co Mayo) and a national seminar to alert folks to further funding opportunities and other aspects of the programme will take place in September and is now accepting registrations.

There’s so many folks looking for work out there at the moment (mucho trafico on the jobs & internships page at the minute) – and if you’ve an interest in upskilling in digital media, and have been unemployed for 6 months or more,  the WebElevate programme (in conjunction with DIT and the Digital Skills Academy) is offering 120 funded places on a series of courses to be run in the Digital Hub.

Lots happening in theatreland… Willie White was appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival to cheers all round! Congrats to Willie – there will be big shoes to fill at the Project!

Meanwhile both the Absolut Fringe Festival and the Theatre Festival have announced their programmes – with Irish Theatre Magazine providing a cheeky breakdown of Theatre Fest stats for your amusement J

The Everyman Theatre in Cork has also made a major appointment in its new Director Michael Barker-Caven, relocating to the People’s Republic from the UK.

I was delighted to see Thisispopbaby’s production Alice in Funderland is part of the Abbey’s schedule for 2012 – I missed its original staging and heard rave reviews, so it’s great to see there’ll be a second chance!

One great session at the recent Theatre Forum conference was led by John Deely on career management in the arts; he recently forwarded a useful e-workbook on to participants that might be of interest to many readers – it can be downloaded here.

The Guardian recently featured a polemic blog post on lack of women working in UK theatre – many of the comments are actually better (and more focused) than the original posting, but it makes for a really interesting read.

Festival season is in full swing and this weekend (and my family!) will see the Spraoi in Waterford, the international Street Fair festival. Lots happening over the bank holiday, but The Reich Effect weekend programme (celebrating the work of composer Steve Reich) at the Cork Opera House looks like another great bet if you’re down south.

Open House Dublin 2011 is looking for volunteers! It takes place from 7-9 October and is a fantastic event – have a look at their flier if you have time & energy to spare!

Over my holidays I read with some bemusement further articles on the ambition to turn Bank of Ireland’s College Green premises into a literary/cultural centre (a move strongly rebuffed by the bank) – an Irish Times editorial from a few weeks back offers the sage advice to consider the failure to establish a national opera company and the stagnation of plans to move/expand the Abbey and the National Concert Hall before plowing ahead with another ill-advised capital project.

However I was extremely pleased to hear the Irish Georgian Society has acquired the former Dublin Civic Museum for its new premises and plans to embark on a restoration of the building; we’ve a close relationship in the School with the GS and wish them the best with their snazzy new digs! It’s wonderful to have new life breathed into such an important city space.

The Irish Writers’ Centre is launching a new initiative in its ‘Novel Fair’ event, which invites first-time authors to submit anonymous work to be considered by a judging panel of folks from the publishing industry, and have the opportunity to meet directly with publishers and agents. It sounds like an unmissable opportunity for new writers; the submission deadline is November 11th.

Audiences Northern Ireland has re-launched its website – fancy!

Putting my board member hat on… the Irish Museums Association is seeking contributions (both articles and exhibition/book reviews) to this year’s journal Museum Ireland, the only publication in the country devoted to articles and discussion of museum-related matters. Send ‘em in!

I’m looking forward to seeing the latest exhibition at IMMA of photographs from the David Kronn collection – he’s promised his collection to IMMA, and it looks like a great chance to get a peek at a marvelous private collection.

Dublin-based Irish visual artist Al Freney has had one of his works selected for the prestigious BP Portrait Awards, hosted annually by the National Portrait Gallery in London – congrats! Here’s a press release if you’re interested to know more…