Weekly round-up: 16 February 2011

  • The Dublin Culture Trail was formally launched today by Temple Bar Cultural Trust — check out the press release and download the iPhone app too! This is a new online ‘virtual tour’ of major cultural sites in the city — looking forward to exploring this…
  • The NCFA Hustings grabbed much media attention this week (Irish Times, Irish Independent, and a playback of RTE’s coverage) — in Dublin a huge crowd turned out to Project Arts Centre on 14 Feb, receiving a rather uneven set of policy statements/responses to audience Q&A, and with Mannix Flynn making a noisy exit. A full podcast of the event is available for a listen.
  • Gerry Smyth published a useful overview of the various parties’ arts policies and platforms in the Irish Times on Monday, detailing the highs and lows (Sinn Fein, seriously?!?) of party positions. On the evidence of the hustings and the policy statements, some parties have a ways to go in terms of offering adequate levels of consultation, and demonstrating they’re aware of key priorities within the sector (not to mention reconsidering some of the dafter ideas, like Labour’s misguided suggestion to merge Culture Ireland and the Arts Council). Visual Artists Ireland has also posted responses to their questioning of party positions on the visual arts, and the NCFA has posted links to all of the parties’ full statements of policy.
  • Still on the election… if you’ve been wondering what’s behind all the funky posters jostling for space with candidates’ grinning jowls, check out www.upstart.ie.
  • Are you a 15-19 year old culture vulture? Sign up to be part of SCENEnotHERD, Temple Bar Cultural Trust’s new arts collective that is going to offer you lucky ducks tickets to screenings, exhibitions, events etc.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education (US) published an article discussing the rise of business & management training within art colleges, citing target student audiences of designers and other arts professionals who have “hit a ceiling. They want to get hired in upper-level positions or be more successful in their current roles, but they need to be able to articulate the value of their skills in a way that management can understand”. The extension of such programmes into the BA curriculum is particularly interesting.
  • The Science Gallery boasts a stellar line-up of talks this week on art, science and design — tonight (Wednesday) is academic superstar Martin Kemp, discussing “Structures and Intuitions in Art and Science from Leonardo to Now“, and tomorrow features home team superstar Hugh Campbell (UCD Professor of Architecture), screening Charles & Ray Eames’ A Communications Primer (1953) followed by a lecture.
  • The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival kicks off tomorrow (17 Feb), with an intriguing screening next week (Feb 25th at the IFI) of ‘Build Something Modern‘, a documentary exploring the unusual story of Irish architects who brought modernist architecture to Africa from the 1950s-70s.
  • Want to impress your friends with your in-depth knowledge of Hollywood’s lack of historical accuracy (or otherwise)? The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Trinity is hosting a groovy film & discussion series ‘Filming the Middle Ages and the Renaissance‘ which will include screenings of The Lion in Winter, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Death, The Name of the Rose, Lost in La Mancha,  Elizabeth, and Alatriste. Screenings are free, take place at 7 pm on Thursday and begin on March 24th.
  • The Clore Leadership Programme has opened for applications to be a 2011-12 fellow; the scheme is open to individuals working in the cultural sector (practitioners, managers, etc) — folks in Ireland who’ve participated as Jerome Hynes Clore Fellows give the experience high marks; applications close 11 March.
  • Next week a ‘Fundraising Tweetup‘ is being staged at the Clarence Hotel to explore ideas around social media and fundraising.
  • A new group has formed to stage a Culture Hack Ireland day — in January a Culture Hack was held in the UK ‘bringing cultural organisations together with software developers and creative technologists to make interesting new things.’ (see the video) Sign up to the group & join in the discussion on how to make this happen in Ireland…

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.


Belfast Film Fest & Silent Clowns

Jameson Belfast Film Festival 2009

The Jameson Belfast Film Festival is now recruiting volunteers! Details of the full programme will be launched at the end of February, but already they’re advertising Paul Merton & his ‘Silent Clowns‘ tour as a highlight event… anyone who knows me & my husband also knows we’re silent film buffs (yes, we had a Laurel & Hardy-themed wedding reception) so this is great news! And speaking of silent film, get ye to the closing-down Zaavi in Dundrum for a fantastic Charlie Chaplin box set, cheap as chips…

Culture Night 2008: this Friday!

Just a reminder to all you vultures out there– the third annual Culture Night takes place this Friday, September 19th, from 5-11 pm. In Dublin more than 100 arts & cultural organisations will be staying open late, offering unique & fun programming for this evening only. Temple Bar Cultural Trust is the driving force behind the initiative, which includes special bus routes (map pdf) laid on to take vultures from spot to spot, and lots of outdoor performances and entertainment.

It’s not just Dublin getting all the action either:

Culture Night Cork: http://www.corkcity.ie/culturenight
Culture Night Limerick: http://www.limerickcity.ie
Culture Night Galway: http://www.galwaycity.ie

Last year’s event had a great buzz to it– wandering around the National Gallery at near 11 pm was a surreal highlight for me!– and it’s a great chance to check out (for free!) sites that normally require admission. I’ve got a few circled already… 🙂

Copies of the programme can be downloaded as a pdf here, or picked up in print copy from participating venues, the Suffolk St Dublin tourist office, or Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre at 12 East Essex Street (the latter two will be open 9am until 11pm on Culture Night).

Lighthouse Cinema set to open in Smithfield Square

Last week’s Ticket carried a story about the impending launch of the new Light House Cinema, on May 9th:

The new Light House at Smithfield is a custom- built, four-screen cinema with a 614-seat capacity – 277 in the largest auditorium, and seating for 153, 116 and 68 in the others.

“The four screens will allow for enormous flexibility in terms of programming, delivering a greater choice and diversity of films to invigorate the cultural cinema landscape in Ireland,” promise Neil Connolly and Maretta Dillon, who also ran the original Light House on Middle Abbey Street until it closed in 1996. The new venue promises “stunning, imaginative architecture, making Light House at Smithfield the most unique of cinema spaces”.

Says architect Colin Mackay: “The organisation and distribution of screens will allow patrons to walk over, under and around the forms, affording an alternative and dramatic cinema experience.”

The old Light House Cinema on Abbey Street closed in 1996;  this new addition to Dublin’s cultural landscape is bound to be a popular one, and will hopefully breathe some life into the Smithfield development, which has had its share of difficulty creating a sense of community and activity around its swish new buildings.