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Pianist Mairead Hurley and Irish Soprano Claudia Boyle at the launch of a new exhibition at the Little Museum of Dublin Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Night at the museum

Government launches pilot scheme for museums hosting late night events

Museums and galleries can apply for up to €10,000 in funding to host late night events this year.

MINISTER FOR TOURISM, Culture and the Arts, Catherine Martin, has launched a late night museum pilot scheme today in support of the Night-Time Economy.

The “After Hours” strand builds on last year’s pilot Night-Time Economy Support Scheme and aims to support small museums and galleries across the country to open later, programme new live events and encourage diversity of offering in small towns and villages across the country.  

Members of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) and the Irish Museum Association can apply for up to €10,000 in funding to host late night events this year.

Events can include live music, live DJ, dancing (performative or participatory), exhibitions, poetry readings, comedy shows, theatre, film, live podcasts, storytelling, classes and wellbeing initiatives.

National Cultural Institutions can also avail of this funding to build on last year’s later openings and events which included the National Concert Hall’s sold-out Haunted Dancehall music festival. 

Speaking at the launch of the scheme in the Little Museum of Dublin ahead of International Museum Day tomorrow, Minister Martin said:

“International Museum Day is being marked this week and we celebrate how museums and galleries throughout the country are the beating heart of culture in our communities.”

“They are the keepers of our history, reflect our cultural identity and provide a space for creativity which future generations can enjoy. They play a vital role in smaller towns and villages supporting open conversations, promoting positive mental health and are inclusive to all.”

“A thriving Night Time Economy is valuable to communities and I would like to encourage local museums and galleries to look at their spaces through a late night lens,” she said.

The scheme, developed in conjunction with the Irish Museum Association, The Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland, is expected to reach over 80 museums and galleries in towns and villages across the country.

Funding will be offered if museums and galleries open later and/or schedule events for a minimum of 4 nights until at least 9pm.

Additional funding may be considered if a more ambitious programme of openings is proposed.

The chief executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said that the Council is committed to making “our heritage as accessible as possible to as many as possible”.

“By supporting late night events in our museums and galleries, this pilot scheme is sure to increase accessibility to our cultural heritage for new audiences, but will also facilitate the creation of new and interesting works.”

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