Arts centre reports busiest year yet

2013 saw the highest ever number of events take place in Mullingar Arts Centre, with attendance also up on the previous number of years.

Some 127 separate events took place in the centre during 2013, up from 99 the previous year.

In 2013, a total of 81,745 people attended events across the centre’s theatre and workshops programme. This figure was a significant increase on the previous year, when the total attendance was 68,334. In fact the last time attendance was so high was in 2006 when almost 83,000 attended the centre.

The figures came to light as the arts centre published its annual report for 2013/2014 this week.

According to the report, drama was the most popular category of event held in the arts centre in 2013, with 34 events coming under this heading. There were 17 concerts, eight recitals, eight school events, and one opera, in addition to 59 ‘other’ events.

Chairman of the arts centre John McGrath said the centre is very proud of its involvement in the local community, particularly with young people.

“The involvement of people aged three to their mid 80s is particularly pleasing... We interact with almost 1,300 children a week, in drama, dance, music, and the visual arts. Several of our past students have gone on to third level education in the arts. We are particularly proud that two students who went through our education programme were awarded Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarships for college in London. Daniel Egerton is attending the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, while Mark Irwin is performing in The Commitments at The Palace Theatre, West End,” said Mr McGrath.

Events in the past year include community arts projects, a dance outreach programme, music workshops, art classes, Mullingar Photographic Club, children’s art exhibitions, Joe Dolan International Westmeath Bachelor Festival, Nomad theatre productions, stage schools, plays by the Mullingar Student Players and Rail Theatre Company, musicals performed by Mullingar Musical Society, pantos, Zumba classes, photography workshops, dance schools, Academy of Rock, music lessons, orchestra rehearsals, and teenage discos.

Mullingar Arts Centre comprises a 416-seat theatre, two general purpose workshops, and a music room.

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