Weekly round-up: 4 February 2011

Blowin’ in the wind this week:

  • As seen in the last post, the Dublin Contemporary‘s appointed 2 new curators; its site has just come back online again as of today, with further details of its theme and what the heck they mean by ‘The Office of Non-Compliance’, whose explanation still sounds a bit Cheneyesque to me.
  • The director job for the National Concert Hall was featured in The Irish Times today.
  • Many were dismayed this week (not least the staff) to hear of the closure of Waterstone’s Dublin branches. I can only hope great indies like the Gutter Bookshop, Winding Stair and The Company of Books continue to thrive.
  • The new Google Art Project has been wowing everyone in these parts– more fun than ArtStor, but can the Irish museums play too? Pretty please??
  • The Model: Sligo has a great new Jack Yeats exhibition ‘The Outsider’ on show, and a talk tomorrow (5 Feb) with Brian O’Doherty and Hilary Pyle that I wish I could attend!
  • Business to Arts has published a useful evaluation of its own ‘New Stream’ project, aimed at improving development skills in the arts sector through a series of workshops and professional development activities. Our own Pat Cooke provides some of the feedback on the programme.
  • Arts Audiences has launched details of two audience development schemes: Building Your Audience focuses on cultural tourism and assisting arts organisations with attracting domestic and international visitors (in partnership with Failte Ireland), while Media Mentoring offers the opportunity to match orgs with a mentor from Google who will provide advice and guidance on using new media to best advantage. Both schemes are currently open for application by organisations large & small!
  • The Moderns has continued to attract high visitor numbers (though some mixed reviews) but an announcement that the catalogue will be AGAIN delayed until March (when a significant part of the exhibition will be closed) was deeply disappointing (and frustrating for those of us hoping to use the exhibition for teaching purposes!)
  • Alain de Botton’s provocatively titled missive ‘Why are museums so uninspiring?’ set off lots of debate & discussion in the blogosphere; personally I think Charlotte Higgins from the Guardian had the most spot-on response (and interesting comments, too).
  • In the US, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman sparked more debate over his comments that suggest American theatre was in a state of oversupply and under-demand, and should be adjusted accordingly.
  • The Observer on Sunday had an interesting piece on the death of the critic in the face of social media, but it still sounds like the funeral may be premature.

Weekly round-up: 26 January 2011

IMA Annual Conference: The Way Forward: Sustainability and the Museum

This year’s Irish Museums Association annual conference (25-27th February 2011) is now accepting registrations (full disclosure: I’m on the organising committee)! Our theme this year is ‘The Way Forward: Sustainability and the Museum‘, and we’re delighted to be headed to Drogheda, where we’ll be hosted by the Droichead Arts Centre.

We’ve a great series of events lined up– as always, Fridays will feature a selection of members’ papers (see the call for papers here) and an interactive workshop (Annette Nugent leading the group for a session entitled ‘What can the museum sector offer the visitor, and how can museums grow their visitor base?’).

Saturday will see a full roster of speakers take the podium, including:

  • RACHEL MADAN (Greener Museums and author of Sustainable Museums: Strategies for the 21st Century)
  • EAMONN McENEANEY (Director, Waterford Museum of Treasures)
  • OLE WINTHER (Head of Museums Office, National Heritage Agency, Denmark)
  • SAMUEL JONES (Policy Fellow at the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Head of Culture at DEMOS)
  • STUART McLAUGHLIN (Chief Executive, Business2Arts, Dublin)
  • IZABELLA CSORDÁS (Head of Visitor Services Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary)
  • GRAINNE MILLAR (Head of Cultural Development, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Dublin)
  • DR HUGH MAGUIRE (Director, Hunt Museum, Limerick)

The Millmount Museum, Highlanes Gallery, Beaulieu House and Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre will all be welcoming conference delegates for special receptions and visits. We are offering a special 40% off concession rate this year as well.

Full details of the conference programme can be found on the IMA website. Hope to see you there!

Weekly round-up: 19 January 2011

I need a lie down– far too much happening over the last week! Here’s the skinny:

  • In a (relatively) surprising announcement, Fionnuala Croke (head curator at the National Gallery) was named new director of the Chester Beatty Library, replacing the outgoing legend Michael Ryan. Croke had been tipped as a potential replacement for Raymond Keaveney as Director of the NGI following his retirement this year, so her appointment to the CBL has led to much speculation about future leadership at the Gallery.
  • The word on Fundit.ie, Business to Arts’ new crowdsourcing site (check out the video above!), was leaked to a wider audience this week, with a formal launch coming in February. If you aren’t familiar with crowdsourcing, have a look-see at established sites like www.kickstarter.com— this project has major potential for Ireland’s creatives.
  • Music Generation, the new music education programme managed by Music Network and set to be rolled out nationwide, has received major sponsorship from U2 and the Ireland Fund which will allow it to be realised over the next three years (speaking of Music Network, they’re looking for an intern— deadline is Friday!)
  • Yesterday’s Irish Times ran an article by Gemma Tipton detailing pressure artists face to make ends meet: sobering first hand accounts strike a sharp contrast with critiques of the income tax exemption in recent months.
  • The Jameson International Film Festival has announced a screenwriting competition and issued a call for volunteers.
  • Why have I not seen this blog before? Diane Ragsdale (pursuing a PhD in cultural economics in Amsterdam), has written a great series of pieces on cultural management & policy (attracting many excellent & insightful comments).
  • The shortlist for the Irish Times Theatre Awards has been announced– according to the article, the Gate has refused its productions to be allowed for consideration (apparently last year was the same). I’ve yet to discern the logic behind this? In other theatre news, The Company is looking for a last-minute, eager assistant for its production ‘As You Now Are So Once We Were at The Abbey.
  • ACE cuts are to be announced in 2 weeks’ time… meanwhile the Guardian has made the excellent move of centralising information about UK arts funding on its Culture Cuts blog.
  • The VIP Art Fair is set to go live in 2 days — a groovy new model of an online-only art fair that’s attracted the participation of major international galleries, features high-tech means of viewing the work available and offers the ability to chat live with dealers in a suite of innovative features. Will have to check out and ogle the functionality, ummmm.
  • I’ve shied away recently from posting event announcement (as I receive so many!), but I always have a soft spot for projects run by programme alumni: tomorrow is the launch of ‘Haiti Lives – One Year On‘, a photography exhibition run by TCD’s International Development Initiative, on view at Trinity until Wednesday Februrary 9th.


Weekly round-up: 1 December 2010

Snow, snow everywhere! Thaw out and enjoy: