It’s still January so I can get away with it, right? We started back in term at UCD this week; the halls are buzzing again and the calendar’s already getting busy! I am on a research sabbatical this semester, but will keep the blog updated as much as I can, between travel and getting stuck in to some new big projects 🙂
Today I’m in Galway at the Creative Connections conference coordinated by Arts & Disability Ireland (27/28 January) — the schedule’s packed with great speakers and events – though I confess I’m most looking forward to the evening showcase and the promise of Ireland’s most inclusive disco!
I was shocked and dismayed this week to hear Block T has to vacate their premises in Smithfield, with the loss of 70 studios, and the need to relocate 120 of their members. They have made a tremendous impact as a dynamic and exuberantly creative community in that neighbourhood over the past six years; as their press release notes, this is the latest in a spate of closures of artist-led studio and event spaces across the city, especially as high rents return. Many of our students have interned, worked, and collaborated with Block T: I hope they can find a new home soon, and both Dublin City Council and the Arts Council are prompted to give this problem serious attention…
Interested to see Business to Arts is expanding FundIt to support creative industries, including software, video games and other digital projects. They’re running a series of workshops around the country, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to introduce folks to FundIt and crowdfunding as a form of finance.
So the General Election is coming (cue cymbal crash), and you want to know what to say to folks who will be doorstepping in coming weeks? The National Campaign for the Arts has you covered: they’ve published a manifesto with talking points you can raise with your local political candidates. They are also mobilizing constituency coordinators, to ensure the wretched state of arts funding gets political attention this season – email them to get involved, or just print out the manifesto and have it handy…
The 1916 creative initiatives are coming hot and heavy: I’m partial to the Dublin Rising virtual tour, created in collaboration with Google – fab layering of visuals and contemporary/historical photographs and primary documents – and the National Library’s The 1916 Rising: Personalities and Perspectives that also plumbs their rich archives and looks beautiful.
The Irish Theatre Awards are coming soon, and the public can vote in the Audience Choice category: so many fab productions from which to choose, many of which I enjoyed over the past year, but my vote has gone to PALS – The Irish at Gallipoli by Anu Productions at the National Museum of Ireland – such a stunning production and concept.
I had the privilege last week of visiting No. 14 Henrietta Street, which is under development as a social and architectural history museum exploring the townhouse’s mixed history, including its long life as a tenement. It was tremendously exciting to hear about plans for this project: Dublin sorely needs a heritage space that effectively interprets urban history in a creative and interrogative manner, and kudos to Charles Duggan (Heritage Officer) and Dublin City Council for taking this on.