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Hugh Lane Gallery attendant Peader Fitzgerald packs up Francis Bacon paintings being moved to Brussels. Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

400 events promoting Irish arts organised across Europe for Ireland’s EU Presidency

Hundreds of events are taking place across all Member States of the European Union to help promote Irish culture during the country’s EU Presidency.

MORE THAN 400 events to promote Irish arts and culture will take places across Europe during Ireland’s six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has said.

Minister Jimmy Deenihan said his Department was promoting Irish arts and culture worldwide through regular grant rounds and special initiatives through its Culture Ireland Programme.

For the first six months of 2013, to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, an “extensive” programme called Culture Connects has been put in place, embracing all Member States and some significant third countries, Deenihan said. It will involve l more than 400 events taking place across all Member States of the European Union.

The high profile events which have been launched include:

  • ‘Changing States’ in Brussels, an exhibition of 20 of Ireland’s strongest emerging visual artists and Francis Bacon in the high profile Beaux Arts Gallery
  • An exhibition of the work of Eileen Gray in Centre Pompidou, which is expected to be seen by around 500,000 visitors
  • Extensive theatre tours to sell-out houses, including ‘WATT’ at the Barbican in London and Brokentalkers ‘Blue Boy’ at various cities across Europe
  • An exhibition of Irish craft and artwork involving cutting-edge technology is being presented in the Council Headquarters in Brussels for the duration of Ireland’s Presidency

Deenihan said that, January of this year, his Department supported a delegation of key theatre, dance and music practitioners to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference (APAP) 2013, as part of an Irish Government trade and promotional mission for the performing arts.  ”This is a key target market for Irish artists and is of strategic importance in the development of US Irish cultural relations. Reports to date are very positive for future tour bookings for 2013/2014 for the Irish artists and delegates who were part of the delegation,” he said.

The Culture Ireland programme also supports Irish artists in presenting their work at strategic international festivals, venues and showcases, and work on a cross-agency basis on key initiatives of joint interest. Over the St Patrick’s Day period will support more than 60 events across Europe, the US, China, Russia and Australia.

Other activities to be supported this year through the Culture Ireland Programme include:

  • WOMEX, the World Music Expo, in Cardiff in October – a partnership sharing showcasing and networking opportunities for Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland
  • A showcase at the Edinburgh Festivals in August, displaying new theatre work being created in Ireland
  • Support, in partnership with the Arts Council, for Ireland’s participation in the 55th International Venice Art Biennale 2013

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