2020 opening ceremony will leave people astonished, says creative director

Helen Marriage, Creative Director, Galway 2020

Helen Marriage, Creative Director, Galway 2020

The opening ceremony in February of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture will leave people astonished and proud, the creative director of the project, Helen Marriage has said this week, adding that the events will not be merely spectacle, but will have long term benefits.

In an article inside this week’s Galway Advertiser, Helen Marriage, who joined the project last January said that she was looking forward to witnessing astonished reactions at the opening ceremony in February 2020.

“Whether that is people signing up to take part or showing up and being amazed at what they’re seeing, that lovely sense that you’ve helped to create a something that will stay with people forever,” she said.

It is believed the full programme for the year will be unveiled inside the next six weeks, possibly in early October and will give people a clear view of what to expect throughout the year.

Ms Marriage, who is the director and co-founder of Artichoke, which has produced and performed spectacular events over the past decade, has said that to achieve its objectives, Galway 2020 will work in alliance with the 12 major festivals in the city and county to create a unique calendar of events.

Ms Marriage insists, however, that the main aim of the programme is to sustain cultural activity – “not necessarily ticketed performances but things happening throughout the whole year.”

Her vision for Galway 2020 is that of an engine for change. She says that global connections will provide local opportunities; there will be no “parachuting in and out.”

“The knitting together of genuine connections across the world into Galway is part of the programme,” she added.

She also dismissed claims that the work of Artichoke may often be seen as merely spectacle.

“Artichoke’s work has garnered acclaim for one-off spectacles but the long-term effects of our work are perhaps overlooked.

“You could see our events as simply spectacle, but what nobody sees are the months of work behind the scenes that go into preparing them, and quite often the outcomes which are communities regenerated, new relationships founded, and groups that continue to meet,” she added.

Full article on Page 24.


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