Weekly update: 11 July 2013

Dublin Tenement Experience

It’s been a real challenge blogging this past semester – tackling new motherhood, taking over directing our MA in Arts Management at UCD while Pat Cooke is on sabbatical, travelling for my new research project and finishing my first book (in addition to the normal day job of the uni lecturer!) has meant the blog’s been neglected, poor thing. I’ve toyed with the idea of stopping, but I appreciate the messages of support (via email and in person) from folks who find it useful, so I’ll soldier bravely on ahead!

I’ll endeavour to ramp up frequency of postings as we head towards the autumn (with a slight rename) — there’s so much exciting activity on the horizon — with the aim of firing on all cylinders by September.

In the meantime, what’s cooking in the Irish arts world under that hot hot sun?

  • Biggest news yesterday was the launch of Dublin Theatre Festival’s new programme. Still need time to drool over the programme, but so far Neutral Hero by the NYC Players, Rape of Lucrece by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the multimedia piece Germinal, Rough Magic’s The Critic and the Danish children’s show A True Tall Tale are tempting me!! See also Irish Theatre Magazine’s complete review of the programme.
  • So many festivals, so little time — on the agenda this month and next is the Galway Arts Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival (more Shakespeare!) for starters… Clonmel Junction Festival is on now as well with a great programme (on til the 14th).
  • As a new mum myself for the second time round, I think the Mothership Project is a fab idea – it’s an emerging network for Irish visual artists and arts workers (who are also parents!)
  • Another step in the evolution of the Charities Bill… details of a regulatory body were announced yesterday (sorely needed!) and will be funded by a “modest annual registration fee” paid by charities themselves.
  • These days postgraduate scholarships (particularly for taught MAs) are thin on the ground, so y’all should be jumping on the full scholarships currently on offer at NCAD for their MAs in Art & the Contemporary World / Design History & Material Culture (deadline is 22nd July).
  • Delighted to see the sixth edition of Artefact: Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians is out! I was part of the team which launched the journal back in 2007, and it’s great to see it alive & kicking.
  • Breac is the new online journal in Irish Studies published by the University of Notre Dame, and their upcoming issue (with a call for papers – deadline 15 June) is on contemporary Irish drama.
  • I’m really looking forward to the Dublin Tenement Experience / Living the Lockout project — it’s on for only 9 weeks this summer at no. 14 Henrietta St. in Dublin. The short-term exhibit and performance tells the story of the 1913 Lockout in collaboration with Anu Productions; the hope is that the project will stimulate interest in a permanent exhibition/site interpreting 19th c./early 20th c. Dublin social history (a subject neglected in our heritage landscape).
  • Athlone Art & Heritage has a wonderful and ambitious exhibition programme this summer – including the multimedia exhibition I Hear a New World featuring ‘contemporary visual music’ in collaboration with graduates from the MPhil in MPhil in Music and Media Technologies (TCD), which sounds just fab.
  • The Irish Museums Association and the International Council of Museums (Irish chapter) are teaming up for the first time to offer a public lecture – Fintan O’Toole will be speaking in Waterford about the project A History of Ireland in 100 Objects on 19 July.

In comings & goings…

  • Ireland’s national opera touring company (now known as OTC) has just announced the appointments of Rosemary Collier as the new Executive Director, and Fergus Sheil as Artistic Director.
  • Róise Goan is stepping down as director of the Dublin Fringe Festival (a role she’s occupied since 2008) — and Canadian Kris Nelson is to take her place.
  • Raghnall Ó Floinn was announced as the new Director of the National Museum. As former Head of Collections, his appointment didn’t come as a surprise, and he’ll no doubt be a safe pair of hands as the Museum continues in a difficult funding climate.
  • Whoa nelly: the Chester Beatty Library is hiring two curators – one to manage the East Asian collection, and one for the Western. These jobs are rare as hen’s teeth, and will certainly be sought after.

Scorchio! Get thee into the sunshine.

Weekly round-up: 30 March 2012

I’m headed off to Australia on Sunday for three weeks’ research, so round-ups will resume in late April/early May (I’ll try to keep the jobs board updated as much as possible.)


The legend that is Tania Banotti has bid farewell to Theatre Forum, after eight years at its helm (while also leading the National Campaign for the Arts) — a lovely farewell video (see above) was put together for her leaving do yesterday evening. She’s transformed that organisation and will be very much missed!

Applications are open again for various postgraduate programmes in arts management, both here and in the UK. Here at UCD we’re accepting applicants for the 2012-13 MA in Arts Management degree— and further to this, a new scholarship scheme supporting MA/MLitt degrees in the College of Arts & Celtic studies is available– deadline for our programme is 16 April; deadline for UCD scholarships is 24 August. The University of Warwick’s highly regarded MA in Intl Cultural Policy & Arts Management is also offering bursaries; and there’s a PhD fellowship on offer in the Museum Studies dept of the University of Leicester, on the subject of ‘Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values’.

Following on from the very popular visit to the Little Museum of Dublin and the Freemasons’ Lodge, the Irish Museums Association is hosting another museum visit to Rathfarnham Castle and the Berkeley Toy & Costume Collection — they’re meeting tomorrow (Saturday) morning, so email the administrator ASAP if you’re interested in attending.

If that’s not your bag, there’s a public seminar at NCAD tomorrow (Saturday 31 March) entitled ‘What Do You Stand For: Who’s Afraid of Solidarity?‘ looking at alternative/subversive approaches to artistic practices, curation and exhibition in Ireland over the past few decades; Vaari Claffey & Francis Halsall are convening.

The Heritage Council has invited applications to be part of a new Irish National Consultation Panel on Cultural Heritage  — the deadline is today!

The Goethe Institute’s been hosting a series of events on the subject of migration — next up is a panel discussion on culture and migration, on the 26th of April.

Applications are being accepted for the Kennedy Center/DeVos Institute of Arts Management international fellowship programme (deadline 15 April); a number of Irish folks have been selected to be on this programme in the past, and apparently it’s a fantastic opportunity.

In a similar vein — keep your eyes peeled for Business to Arts’ announcement on 9 April for applications to its partnership programme with the DeVos institute, which will be offered to 15-20 organisations here in Ireland — more on this in the last round-up.

Lots of interesting tips on the live chat record at the Guardian Careers Blog, on the subject of finding a job in theatre.

Details of IMMA’s upcoming programme (which will be installed in Earlsfort Terrace while the Royal Hospital undergoes building work) have been announced — work by Alice Maher, Garrett Phelan and a film installation by Neil Jordan all feature.

Last week a fascinating article in the New York Times reviewed cuts to arts funding across Europe, and the impact this has made in touring etc. within the U.S.

Michael Dervan in the Irish Times has offered an overview of new Irish opera productions in the pipeline.

Lismore Castle Arts reopens for the season tomorrow — the first major show opens on 12 May (solo show by Hans Josephsohn) — this space has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and I’m looking forward to heading down myself in May.

The Crash Ensemble has a groovy concert (‘Free State 7‘) coming up in the National Concert Hall on Thursday 5 April, featuring the work of 11 young Irish composers, and a special appearance by the Dublin Laptop Orchestra!

Finally… thanks to everyone who applied for the Assistant Editor post for the new arts management journal (applications are closed now) — I was really overwhelmed with the response, and the high calibre of the folks who contacted me. More anon…

Weekly round-up: 10 January 2012

One day left for applications to be Curator of the Venice Architectural Biennale!

A few bits and pieces for the first round-up of the new year:

In case you missed it in December, the Arts Council has finally released details of a new policy on opera — hopefully this will go some way towards mitigating the disastrous handling of the sector to date by the Council and the Department.

Bob Collins was announced in late December as the new Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Thinking of going freelance in the new year? The Guardian Culture Professionals blog had a few good tips…

Applications are open for the Irish Curator of the Venice Architectural Biennale 2012 (but only until tomorrow, January 12!)

As of January 1st, the Artist Resale Right in Ireland was extended to heirs of artists (and not just living ones). The Irish Times provided a brief summary of the benefits artists & their descendants are now entitled to, with more info available from the Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation (IVARO, which incidentally came to life as a project by several of our MA students some years ago!)

The Science Gallery’s flagship exhibition for 2012 ‘Hack the City‘ is currently accepting proposals for: ‘Installations, Mass-participation experiments, Events, Performances, New products/services/start-ups, Workshops, Apps, Visualizations, maps and mashups’. Funding is available and proposals are due by 20 January.

Black Church Print Studio has an intriguing-sounding exhibition coming up, especially for an ex-pat Angelena like me:  ‘From Dublin to LA and Back’, an exchange between BCPS and the LA Printmaking Society will be on show at Monster Truck Gallery in Temple Bar from 12-28 January.

Laurence Mackin provided a very useful summary of arts funding and training schemes open for 2012 (covering both North and South). In a similar vein, Community Action Forum (NI) recently compiled a great list of small grants available to community groups seeking project funding.

An interesting editorial on challenges for arts policy was published in the IT on 29 December.

One of the best pieces of arts policy journalism I’ve read in a major daily for some time was David Edgar in last week’s Guardian, musing on ‘Why Should We Fund the Arts‘?

Can you tell the difference between a Stradivarius and a newer violin? A fun test and report on new research from NPR…

A little over 20 days until applications close for World Book Night 2012! I gave away loads of free copies of Beloved last year, it was great fun! Sign up to be a giver on their website…

The PhotoIreland Festival has announced its theme for this July’s festival, and it’s just up my street: ‘Migrations: Diaspora & Cultural Identity’.

Weekly round-up: 22 August 2011

Heritage Week 2011

It’s Heritage Week! There are special events happening at museums & cultural sites across the country — you can download a free iPhone app to keep track of them all, and plan outings until the 28th…

Speaking of iPhone apps.. Irish developer Justin McKeown asked me to have a look at his ArtWorker app, designed to help visual artists in valuing their work, time spent delivering workshops and other services, etc. It’s pretty nifty all right, especially the ability to help folks calculate a daily rate/hourly rate. I think the calculation of artwork value is a little fuzzier (as you’re meant to input your ‘level of recognition’, which can be pretty hard to assess, and has an important impact on price), but no doubt further improvements & refinements will be implemented. Worth a look/download if you’re figuring out how to value your work or time! I’m sure Justin would appreciate any feedback from artists on what other features they’d like to see..

Last week the  impressive programme for the upcoming Belfast Festival was also launched… I’d love to see Cuban ballet sensation Carlos Acosta, the Shipwrecked theatre piece (based on the wreck of the Spanish Armada), and the intriguing-sounding Woyzeck on the Highveld (a collaboration between artist William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company, famed for their London-based War Horse production). The hubs will no doubt make a beeline for Jan Garbarek & the Hilliard Ensemble (one of his favourite pairings). The Festival takes place 13-20th October but many of these events will undoubtedly sell out quickly!

The festivals are still coming thick and fast… this upcoming weekend sees the grassroots effort the Kilmainham Arts Festival, with a great range of music, visual arts, and literaryactivities in the Dublin 8 area on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the full programme!

Boardmatch.ie has just relaunched its website… if you’ve an interest in joining the board of a nonprofit arts & cultural organisation, it’s a good place to start…

In news that’s received a mixed response (given the impending rise in energy charges), Bord Gáis has struck a naming/sponsorship deal with the Grand Canal Theatre. At least it will be an easy walk from their new premises on Warrington Place

UCD, TCD and the NLI have announced joint plans to develop new preservation & storage spaces to address their collection challenges, sparked by a $50k grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. As a frequent user of all these collections I hope the government will see fit to prioritise this initiative, which is absolutely essential for the support of research and public accessibility of these marvellous resources.

Uh oh… the former owners of Bewley’s on Westmoreland Street are in trouble over damage to the historic Joshua Clarke windows (father of Harry) located in the former cafe. It’s terribly sad to see that space still shuttered… I remember many a rainy afternoon ensconced in its gloomy interior when I first moved to Dublin!

Reports of The Gloaming (Irish trad supergroup of Thomas Bartlett, Dennis Cahill, Martin Hayes, Iarla Ó Lionaird & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh) are, well, glowing… following their concert last Saturday at the National Concert Hall is a range of dates across the country…  you’d be nuts to miss it if they’re coming to your area!

News that BBC4’s schedule and budget will be pared back came as unhappy news to Irish viewers lucky enough to access its fantastic arts programming… there’s nothing on TV like it! Since we don’t pay the license fee it’s difficult to have a direct impact, but you can still sign one of the online petitions to protect its place in the broadcasting schedule.

Missed last night’s live stream of Britten’s opera ‘The Turn of the Screw’ direct from Glyndebourne? By all accounts it was smashing, and still available to view from the Guardian’s website until 12 September.

A lovely article on the United Arts Club on Upper Fitzwilliam Street is in the Irish Times… sounds like a club I’d love to belong to (and membership rates are quite reasonable) — looks like quite a step up from the UCD Faculty Club! 🙂

Finally, CAO offers to first year students have gone out today following release of Leaving Cert results. The annual news rush of stories about subject points gains & declines(arts/business down, science/tech/ag up), the inequities of the Leaving Cert, and what lies ahead for this year’s new student crop has already begun… I’ve already seen a few newbies (and often parents) wandering around the soon-to-be-busy halls of Belfield, and although I won’t be teaching next year, I wish all of them the very best start to their university career!




Weekly round-up: 15 August 2011

New LUAS Heritage posters

Time ran away before I could post on Friday, so here’s a a week’s worth of artscultury goodness for your Monday reading pleasure:

The Kilkenny Festival has wrapped up, but ah, the memories… highlights for me included the artist talk sponsored by Josephine Kelliher of the Rubicon Gallery, the amazing video installation by Jacco Olivier, the quirky and playful show by Ian Burns (still on!) at the Butler Gallery, and Angela O’Kelly’s curated show ‘Modified Expression’ at the National Craft Gallery of delicately crafted paper objects — simply delightful.

Go Karl! A former office-mate of mine from the Humanities Institute of Ireland here at UCD has taken the initiative to develop a series of historical community posters, now adorning a LUAS stop near you (you can see all the posters here). A great heritage initiative that’s very common in other European cities, it’s a wonderful way to share stories and images from archives with the public.

Cork was feeling the love in the Irish Times at the weekend, with a big article on the rebel county’s blossoming arts scene… lots of familiar faces there!

In today’s Irish Times, Michael Dervan pens a hugely depressing account of the failure of the Arts Council or the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to support Irish opera… a situation which shows no signs of forthcoming improvement.

The Department has also recently published a review of the Irish Heritage Trust, set up in 2006 to help preserve the Big House in Ireland and presumably acquire important properties, but which to date has only managed to conserve and re-present Fota House in Cork. The report is fairly negative about the value elicited thus far from the Trust, and seems to suggest an absorption of its functions into the existing bodies An Taisce, the Irish Georgian Society or the Irish Landmark Trust.

Planning a project with another European arts organisation? No? Well, you should be, cause the European Cultural Foundation has money to give ya! Deadline is Sept. 1st, and this fund tends to be underutilised by Irish arts orgs, so get creative!

Or how about if you have a project taking place within 1 km of the Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road!) in Dublin? There’s more funding up for grabs for community, arts & cultural projects…

News of the Dublin Contemporary’s preview dates & launch hit last week, and more details are coming all the time… next month’s Visual Artists News Sheet will have a special focus on the DC as well. I’m particularly keen to see the Willie Doherty retrospective coming up at the Hugh Lane.

Ai Wei Wei has spoken briefly about the conditions of his detention by Chinese officials to the New York Times — the censorship he has faced is still so shocking…

Is art being used as the ‘window dressing’ of the recession? Peter Crawley in the IT thinks so, but I disagree… site specific theatre is such a rich dimension of theatrical experience, and certainly responding to our changed physical environment in such direct ways is the very point and purpose of art?

The Cultúrlann building in Derry by architects O’Donnell Tuomey has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, considered the ‘Oscars’ of the architecture world… another kudos for the progressive firm who’ve won loads of acclaim for their arts and cultural buildings, including the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast opened in May, and of course the Glucksman Gallery (shortlisted in 2005 for the Stirling).

We knew it was coming, but still… sigh. IMMA’s announced its closure dates of November 2011-January 2013. The New Galleries will still be open and host small scale shows, but it’s going to be a lean year for visitors to our national visual arts institutions.

I had meant to give a heads up on the talk by my colleague Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith at Lismore Castle Arts last Friday on their current exhibition ‘Still Life’. Dangit. Go see the exhibition anyway, I thought it was wonderful!

Finally… no word yet on the new director appointment at the National Gallery, but if the gossip is correct there should be white smoke soon…