Upcoming events in Irish arts management and cultural policy

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Titanic Quarter – image c/o visitbelfast.com

Lots of exciting updates in today’s post!

Jobs have recently been refreshed: closing soon are posts at the Tain Arts Centre, Droichead Arts Centre, Screen Producers Ireland, etc.

Next week (13-15 October) is a major conference on Making Memory: Visual and Material Cultures of Commemoration in Ireland, at the National Gallery of Ireland and NCAD. A very diverse lineup of artists, historians, archaeologists, geographers, and heritage professionals will be speaking about memory-work in a variety of commemorative contexts. Don’t miss Guy Beiner’s keynote on vernacular memory in the Royal Irish Academy on Day 2 – he’s really an outstanding speaker, and his visits to Ireland are always a treat.

Enfranchising Ireland? Identity, Citizenship and the State is a public seminar on offer at the Royal Irish Academy on 20 October. Expect political big-hitters including Francis FitzGerald (Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality), and expert presentations on contemporary and historical perspectives on Irish citizenship and the public sphere.

The Irish Museums Association event City Life: Museums and Community Regeneration on 21 October is now taking reservations. This is a FREE event at Ulster University (with free transport from Dublin – Belfast provided for students and IMA members) sponsored by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional, and Gaeltacht Affairs,. A great lineup of speakers will be addressing case studies of community-building and museums, followed by a guided site visit.

Mise Eire? Shaping Ireland through Design is taking place from 4-5 November at the National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks). Apart from having a stunning website (!) this 2-day seminar is part of the 2016 centenary programme, and a partnership project between the National Museum of Ireland and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. Highlights include a keynote by Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes, and a fabulous range of speakers encompassing all aspects of design and national identity.

The Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland has announced details of its 2-part winter seminar at University of Limerick on 16 November. Part 1 is a Methods Seminar for CPOI Affiliate Researchers and doctoral candidates; Part 2 is a public lecture by renowned cultural policy scholar Eleonora Belfiore. Reservations for both segments are now being accepted!

City Life: new NCAD + UCD summer school this July

Delighted to share details about a new accredited international summer school we’re launching as part of the NCAD + UCD project:

City Life: A Shared Summer School

Celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and history, Dublin is at a crucial point of transition. Currently re-negotiating its approach to urbanity, the city is an exemplar of many of the most critical challenges facing the contemporary global metropolis.

In July 2015 (13th – 31st), UCD and NCAD will join forces to offer a unique summer school programme giving students the opportunity to pursue their disciplinary and scholarly interests through a creative and critical engagement with the ongoing transformation of Dublin today.

Over a three-week period, students will explore and respond to Dublin’s rich urban culture. Along with numerous tours, visits and special events, the programme will combine shared studio activity with focused workshops, seminars and lectures.

Students will be given unique access to leaders in the cultural and creative sector, meeting and working with significant practitioners, artists, museum directors, and critical thinkers. High-profile visiting speakers will also contribute to the programme.

Along with Dr Declan Long from NCAD, I’ll be coordinating one of the programme tracks:

Culture, Memory and the City:

This strand is intended for participants keen to interrogate the relationship between memory and the city, through psycho-geographic and critical writing practices. Daily sessions will explore the imprint and trace of modern Irish historical experience on Dublin’s urban spaces and institutions. Together we will track (and experience) how film, photography, commemoration, ritual, artistic practice and and urban placemaking have intersected with political, social, economic conditions over the past century.

Students will be encouraged to formulate a creative and critical response to daily topics in the form of a photo essay/blog, piece of critical writing and group presentation. Sample sessions include:

  • Institutions, Archives and Memory (National Gallery of Ireland / National Archives)

  • Making and Working: Producing Culture in the City (Temple Bar Gallery & Studios / Francis Bacon Studio, Dublin City Gallery – The Hugh Lane / Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar)

  • Public Monuments and Urban Memories (walking tour of Dublin city public monuments)

  • Film, the City, and Memory: Dublin Onscreen (film viewing in association with the Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar)

Applications are open until 1 May, and details of the programme & costs are available here: http://ncad-ucd.ie/summer-school/. Happy to answer any questions as well about the programme, just drop me an email!

Artsmanagement.ie round-up: 22 July 2013

Clearly there’s nothing else clogging up your news feed this morning, so how about some arts & cultural goodness?

Check out Patrick Lonergan’s new blog ‘Scenes from a Bigger Picture’ (Dept of English, NUI Galway): very thoughtful, extended pieces on issues connected to contemporary Irish theatre, well worth a read.

Eleonora Belfiore – a prolific academic from University of Warwick who researches cultural value and social impact – is looking for new contributors to her #Cultural Value online initiative: proposals for short essays, blog posts, etc are welcome.

The Upstart campaign’s looking to transform a derelict space in North Dublin city into a pop-up cultural space for the summer — full deets on plans & how you can pitch in are here.

Keen on finding a vacant space yourself for an arts/cultural project? Dublin CC is taking applications for use of two empty buildings on Cork St. in Dublin for a nominal fee – suitable for use as studios, by organisations, etc. Applications are due 31 July.

The Galway Arts Festival’s apparently a stunner this year – Aidan Dunne’s review of the visual arts programme certainly whets the appetite.

Dublin Fringe Festival has issued its annual call for Willing Workers – a list of volunteers willing to pitch in & assist with Fringe productions coming to the Festival, in all areas of production, advertising, design, tech, admin etc.

The inaugural Festival of Curiosity is kicking off in a few days, with lots of events spanning culture & science planned around the city from 25-28 July. An outgrowth of Dublin City of Science 2012, hot tickets will no doubt include Dara Ó Briain’s BBC Science Club on 26 July at the Mansion House and the free, family-oriented Curiosity Carnival at Smock Alley Theatre from 26-28 July.

Michael Dervan, I feel ya: on why the rebranding of classical music as easy listening (I’m looking at you, Lyric FM) is problematic.

The RAISE project (run by the Arts Council and managed by consultancy 2into3) is looking to fill five major fundraising posts in Ireland — for the Irish Film Institute, National Chamber Choir, Royal Hibernian Academy and Wexford Festival Opera. Salary of €70k is disproportionate by Irish standards, though not unusual by international ones; expectations will be high.

Half of this year’s Stirling Prize architectural shortlist are Irish! My money’s on Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.

The LAB on Foley St has an upcoming group exhibition entitled NINE – a family-focused exhibition on what it’s like to be nine years old, and a child in Ireland. Puts me in mind of Sandra Cisnero’s much-celebrated short essay Eleven from her collection Woman Hollering Creek – beautifully capturing the voice and feeling of that age.

The Arthur Guinness Projects is a new vehicle for supporting initiatives in Irish arts, music, sports and food. Project submissions are being taken until the 9th of August, with public voting taking place until the 23rd, and final selection by an expert panel will offer bursaries up to €50,000! A fantastic opportunity, and the projects submitted so far are impressive & inspiring in their range.

Weekly round-up: 29 November 2011

'Buddie and Hallie' by Mike Disfarmer (c.1940-45), part of exhibition on now at the Douglas Hyde Gallery

Glad to be back in Ireland again after many weeks of travel (well, excepting the weather today)! Today’s a bumper round-up to amend for my absence!

Following Professor Niamh O’Sullivan’s retirement, the key post of Head of Visual Culture at NCAD has been advertised.

Delighted to see that Justin Carville, lecturer in photography at IADT, has published his volume on Photography & Ireland, which will fill a significant scholarly gap in the field… congrats Justin!

In other photography goings-on… the new show just opened of Mike Disfarmer’s photography at the Douglas Hyde Gallery looks fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his vintage photos shown here in Ireland, so this is a great opportunity to have a look-see.

In today’s Irish Times, Aidan Dunne feeds the rumour mill over new director appointments at IMMA and the NGI: it’s a bit gossipy really, and focusing on only the Irish potential candidates (not all of whom are really credible candidates) distracts from the real need for fresh blood at these museums. More importantly however, he pooh-poohs the silly idea of merging national institutions that’s been mooted *again* as a cost-saving measure.

Still waiting to hear further details of plans by IMMA to take over Earlsfort Terrace for exhibition purposes in 2012… would love to see some really exciting shows there, on a scale that’s not always possible at Kilmainham.

Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian has penned a column urging the UK government to protect free museum entry, a much-lauded achievement of the Labour years that’s under scrutiny as the belt tightens.

Whoa nelly: I had to scrape my jaw off the floor after reading about the launch in rural Arkansas of the ‘Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’, funded by Walmart’s heiress at a price tag of $1.4 billion (yes, billion). Seems not everyone is so impressed…

Woop woop! Boulder Media (a Dublin animation company well known to me & my kin!!) has just won a Children’s BAFTA for its co-produced series ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’. Congrats folks!!

On December 6th Dublin City Council’s Arts Office is hosting a meeting at its offices: ‘Unoccupied Retail and Commercial Spaces – Is this a cultural opportunity for Dublin? An open conversation for Artists, Arts organisations, City officials, Landlords and Letting agents.’ Today is the deadline for registrations…

Calling young (18-30) artists! Sky Arts (in association with Arts & Business UK) is giving away £30,000 each to five artists to help fund their work for a year (disciplines include visual art, theatre, performance art, film, music, dance or literature, and it’s open to Irish applicants). Business to Arts is hosting an information session on the scheme on 14 December from 2-5 pm at the Science Gallery, but booking is required.

It’s a few weeks old, but in case you missed it, Mick Heaney’s article on the relationship between arts and politics in the Irish Times was a thoughtful, very well written piece; I would share his ambivalence over the increasing tendency to reduce the cultural agenda to a creative industries one, and the general disregard/low valuing of cultural activity by our political class.

Rise Productions has recently developed a series of podcasts with Irish theatre-makers (so far featured are Peter Daly, Philly McMahon and Aoife Spillane-Hinks) — well worth a listen!

Building on the popularity of their various pop-up shops (and just in time for Christmas), the RHA is welcoming the Irish Design Shop as a long-term resident in its shop space from 7 December (see press release here).

From 2-4 December, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios will be hosting the Dublin Art Book Fair & Magazine Archive, featuring twenty publishers (Irish and international) of art books, a series of talks aimed at artists/publishers/designers etc, and of course the lovely books themselves!

The NOISE Sounds Music Festival is inviting applications from young performers (13-25) in all genres (pop, electronic, DJ, brass, rock, trad, classical etc) to participate in a series of live gigs alongside professional musicians. The gig’s in February, but deadline for applications is 15 December!

Stranded Aoife’s written a lovely piece paying tribute to Donal Dineen’s radio programme The Small Hours (drawing to a close this week), laced with a bit of righteous annoyance at the lack of quality music programming it leaves in its wake:

There are a small number of excellent music broadcasters on the irish airwaves, but the vast majority of the output is being dumbed down for the so called masses. We’re being target marketed to such an extend that genres and sub genres are dictating playlists, and we’re in danger of disappearing into ever decreasing circles of sameness. It’s getting to the point where it’s rare to encounter music on the radio, rare to have things suggested to you that you might like, instead of things the computer thinks we’ll like. There is nothing more infuriating than programming that doesn’t trust its audience’s intelligence, or our ability to adapt, and the disappearance of this show just adds another nail to that particular coffin.

Still flying the flag for wonderful music — Music Network’s announced details of its Spring season ticket (a real bargain) with a fantastic line-up for the beginning of 2012.

The Ark will be collaborating with the Science Gallery to develop a special ‘artscience’ exhibition for Dublin City of Science 2012, and has issued a call for creative practitioners interested in submitting ideas — deadline is 6 January!

… and if you’re at a loose end tomorrow, pop down to the Science Gallery’s next Make Night on 30 November from 6-8 pm, the casual creative/making sessions that are kicking off again — tomorrow’s theme is ‘Christmas Jumpers‘ — reindeers ahoy.

Weekly round-up: 4 November 2011

Hope Painting (2008) by William McKeown (1962-2011)

Happy Friday! It’s nice to be back.

Yesterday’s symposium at the National Gallery of Ireland (‘Future Gazing’) was enjoyable & enlightening, with lots of folks in the room contributing & following on the live stream. If you missed it, you can read some of the Twitter feed of the event, or check out some of the ‘Ten Beautiful Things’ digital media projects mentioned by speaker Hugh Wallace (Head of Digital Media at National Museums Scotland).

The Arts Council has launched an intriguing microsite ‘Supporting the arts – Stories from our archive‘ that draws upon digitised versions of key policy documents/images to tell the story of the evolution of State cultural policy. Structured across decades, one of the first installments (the 1950s) has been written by my colleague Pat Cooke from UCD.

A blow to contemporary art in the North: Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast has closed due to financial difficulties, bringing to an end two decades of exhibitions & programming. The Gallery was beset by financial and administrative problems over the past few years, and despite earlier indications it had turned a corner, its board has decided operations are unsustainable. This is a real loss to the visual arts community in Belfast, and perhaps the biggest casualty in the vis arts in recent years.

The inaugural VUE National Contemporary Arts Fair is on now at the RHA (through 6 November), with works for sale from most of Ireland’s top contemporary galleries.

The National Dance Archive has been launched at University of Limerick, filling a serious void in our performing arts archival records — it looks to be a fab resource for students & scholars of dance!

The Dublin Contemporary reached its expiration date on 31 October, and Aidan Dunne in the Irish Times penned an extensive and insightful reflection on its genesis and outcomes: highly critical of curator Jota Castro’s own participation in an event he curated, and of the likely shortfall in anticipated visitor numbers, he nonetheless reaches a cautiously optimistic conclusion.

The Glucksman Gallery is hosting its annual Craft Fair from today until Sunday — a great opportunity to start the Christmas shopping early!

A new website for the National Arts & Health initiative has been launched, with lots of resources for practitioners, artists, and others interested in related policy, opportunities and case studies.

If you’ve an interest in the humanities and inter/transdisciplinary digital initiatives: Professor Michael Shanks of Stanford University has been visiting UCD’s Humanities Institute of Ireland to speak about his work in archaeology, pedagogy & new media and his role running the Stanford Humanities Lab and the groovy research studio and lab Metamedia. He’ll be presenting two public lectures entitled Collaborative innovation networks: how to be interdisciplinary (Nov 8th) and What it is to be human: archaeological perspectives on human creativity (Nov 9th) — download details here.

Congrats to Temple Bar Gallery & Studios on winning Best Arts Website at the 2011 Irish Web Awards! Other nominees included nch.ie, fringefest.com, irishtheatremagazine.ie, axis-ballymun.ie and ewaneumann.com (although that last one is a total mystery to me).

We may have lost out on our bid to be 2014 World Design Capital (curse you, Cape Town!) but there’s still time to catch some design action at Limerick Design Week!

Last year I took part in World Book Night UK/Ireland and had the chance to give away 30 free copies of a book I love (Beloved by Toni Morrison) — the new books have been announced for 2012, but word is that applications to be an Irish giver will be different this year (check here for updates).

I was terribly sad to hear of the untimely passing of Co Tyrone-born artist William McKeown. I visited Willie in his Edinburgh studio some years ago while writing an article on his 2008-9 IMMA exhibition for Irish Arts Review (read it here). He was a lovely, gentle and very talented painter; we talked about many things, including our mutual interest in Brueghel — I later sent him a copy of William Carlos Williams’ wonderful book of poetry Pictures from Brueghel, some of which perhaps captures a bit of what Willie’s work felt like for me, too:

The living quality of
the man’s mind
stands out

and its covert assertions
for art, art, art!
painting

that the Renaissance
tried to absorb
but

it remained a wheatfield
over which the
wind played

(from ‘Haymaking’, William Carlos Williams)