City gets ready for landmark national conference — Centenary Conversations

From tonight Thursday to Saturday, NUI Galway and Galway City will host a landmark national conference and an impressive programme of events, all part of The Centenary Conversations.

This landmark conference hosted by NUI Galway will gather the brightest historic and academic thinkers in the country as well as from around the world to evaluate just what it takes to dismantle the structure of a society that does not work for the people in order that it might be rebuilt as a nation that does.

It will explore the role of idealism in the forming of vision, aspiration, and determination, and look at what was necessary, at the turn of the century, to cement those gossamer dreams into plans and schemes which would inch Ireland ever closer to the independence so fervently sought.

The conference will facilitate an intensive exploration of two connected themes — The vision and aspiration invested in an independent Irish state by idealists and thinkers of the revolutionary generation; and the challenges facing the Irish sovereign State in 2016 and the visions and horizons of ambition that should inspire the Irish people as they face the future.

Conference admisison is free and all are welcome to attend.

A special panel discussion for the landmark National Conference’s closing session has been announced. Taking place on Saturday November 12 and involving some of the country’s most important cultural leaders, this unique session, titled Looking Forward: the Arts and Culture Legacy of 2016, will explore just how the Centenary Year can help re-shape our national cultural agenda.

The public response to the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme has been characterised by unprecedented levels of cultural creativity and engagement, with our cultural sector having been central to this unforgettable Centenary Year.

From county libraries to local arts, heritage offices to community arts groups, from our National Cultural Institutions to our many theatres, and from the streets of our cities and towns to the very landscape itself, all of this and more became part of an enormous collective cultural endeavour.

The arts provided unexpected avenues for widespread participation in the 1916 centenary, and for non-judgemental reflections on our history and our future. Throughout the year we have been reminded of the centrality of the creative and participative arts to our sense of national identity and purpose. We have also been reminded that the artist is the primary interrogator and narrator of our culture and our society.

Against this background of much increased civic, cultural and national pride, this session’s impressive array of panellists will examine the artistic and cultural directions that the Centenary’s legacy may take and promises to be one of The Centenary Conversations’ many unmissable events this November 10-12.

Panellists include: Dee Forbes, Director General, RTE; James Hickey, Chief Executive, Irish Film Board; Aideen Howard, Director, The Ark; Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Galway; Mary McCarthy, Director, National Sculpture Factory, Cork and Chair of Culture Ireland’s Advisory Committee. The panel will be moderated by John Concannon, Director, Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

Find out more about the National Conference here and register for your place here.

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