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Cultural programme to mark Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the EU

Kildare’s cultural programme to mark Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the EU

Kildare County Council was recently awarded significant funding form the Arts Council Local Partnership Scheme, to develop two key programmes of work to mark Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The projects, ‘If You Were in My Shoes’ and ‘This is Who We Are’ will be included in the national programme of event to mark this occasion.  Both projects will celebrate artists and arts organisations in Kildare, working in co-operation with colleagues based elsewhere in Europe. 

1. ‘If You Were in My Shoes’ seminar, May 2013

Led by Nas Na Riogh Housing Association, Naas, this international seminar will share with European partners, the learning from the intergenerational arts project - If You Were In My Shoes (IYWIMS).  Led by creative director/producer, Tony Fegan, the seminar will focus on shared values and learnings from the role of creativity and the arts.  International partners will join Irish delegates from Co. Kildare and national Arts in Health networks, Age Concern and Bealtaine Festival, meeting with participants from IYWIMS.  

The project focused on the creation of individual felt slippers, collected stories, observations and opinions of participants and the world around them, which emerged during the process. The project is an enquiry into present day and future, placing value on experiences and wisdom gained from the past.   At the seminar the projects creative director, facilitators and participants will share experiences.  This will be the catalyst for delegates to debate creativity and participation in the arts as a lifelong cultural entitlement.

Kildare County Council is recognised nationally for its work in the field of Arts and Health.  One of the priority areas of work is Older People. 

2. This Is Who We Are: European Youth Identity. April – June 2013

In partnership with Crooked House Theatre Company and their network of European contacts and partners, a project will be developed to explore European Artistic Collaborations with Young People.

This project will include a youth theatre festival with public performances by artists & youth from Norway, France & Ireland.  During the festival, youth identity as a cultural and not an economic construct will be explored.  A public seminar will also take place, with European theatre makers working collaboratively with young people.  The local artists leading the project are Peter Hussey (director), Tom Swift (writer), Jillian Bradbury (actor/voice coach), Cathy O' Kennedy (choreographer) and Mo Khadem (film-maker/drama facilitator).

Lucina Russell, Arts Officer for Kildare County Council warmly welcomed the initiatives.  She commented that in its recently published arts plan, the local authority set out its way of working over the next five years – to curate, mentor, broker, inspire and respond.  The Arts Service will use these ways of working to assist in the delivery of these exciting Arts Council EU Local Partnership schemes.

Furthermore, Dawn Williams is curating an OPW / Irish Cultural Presidency project next year that will take the form of an exhibition at Castletown House, Celbridge.   She has requested that ‘Carpet for the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale’, by Sarah Browne, which is part of Kildare County Council’s Municipal Collection, be exhibited as part of the collection.  Kildare County Council purchased the carpet when Sarah, an emerging artist from Maynooth represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2009

For further information, contact Lucina Russell, Arts Officer, Kildare County Council Tel 045-448328; Email lrussell@kildarecoco.ie

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