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!