Pictured: Denzyl Feigelson, adviser to iTunes and Apple Music; Minister Humphreys; Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners; Ambassador Dan Mulhall; Orla Kiely, designer pictured at the Creative Ireland event in the Irish Embassy in London.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, is in London today (Tuesday) to present details of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach to key stakeholders from the across the UK arts and cultural sector, members of the Irish diaspora and key contacts from the business community at a special event at the Irish Embassy. Creative Ireland is the Irish Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016; a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which aims to place creativity at the center of public policy.
The Minister will also meet with representatives of the London St Patricks Day Festival which will take place from 17-19 March. Supported by Culture Ireland, it includes top Irish musicians performing on the main stage at Trafalgar Square with a street parade and street performances by Macnas. The Festival, now in its 15th year, attracts over 100,000 people and explores the rich diversity of Irish culture across the city in many London venues as well as showcasing world-class Irish artists in London. More than €140,000 in Culture Ireland funding has already been announced to support Irish artists to perform across the UK in 2017, with a further grant round to be announced in April.
The Minister also visited the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, where she met with staff and trustees. The Centre has undergone major renovations with financial support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme and is expected to formally re-open in June 2017.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“I am pleased to take the opportunity to present Creative Ireland to key stakeholders across the Irish arts sector in London and to ask for their support. It is important to me that Irish artists at home and abroad are given the opportunity to participate in this ambitious five year initiative, which aims to place culture at the centre of our lives, for the betterment of our people and for the strengthening of our society.
“The Diaspora thoroughly embraced the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, and this is especially true here in London where a series of fantastic commemorative events were held. Just as connecting with our Diaspora was essential to the success of the Centenary Programme, I think the Diaspora can play a very important role in ensuring Creative Ireland delivers on its aims.
“Creative Ireland sends a very important message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. It is important too for us learn from international examples, and consider how other countries have prioritised arts and culture at national level.
“I am also delighted that the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, which has been successfully presenting Irish artists for over 22 years, will open the doors of its new facility this summer. It will act as a hub for artists, our vibrant Irish community, and anyone with an interest in and love of Irish culture.”
Ambassador of Ireland in Great Britain, Daniel Mulhall said:
“As Ambassador, I attach great priority to the promotion of Irish culture in Britain and to the cultural links between our two countries. I value Creative Ireland as an exciting opportunity to encourage creativity and to enhance further its standing and to celebrate Irish cultural vibrancy and diversity.”
John Gilhooly, Director of the Wigmore Hall added:
“Creative Ireland can send a very powerful International message about Ireland’s unique heritage and voice in the cultural world. Every child in Ireland can be introduced to the arts at a young age, the key unlocking a gift which will stand to them at every stage of life.”