From next month until March 2021, more than 350 artists from Galway, and across Ireland, will take part in a seven month, reimagined, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme.
While much of the original programme had to be cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Galway 2020 has "remained committed to the recovery and sustainability" of the arts and today announced details of a reimagined programme of live events, outdoor installations, publications, online events, outdoor performances, exhibitions, and broadcasts, from Macnas, Druid, and Galway International Arts Festival.
The public will be able to attend in person, or watch online, with digital events allowing for the retention of international partnerships and collaborations. The events will adhere to public health and Covid-19 guidelines. The measures will be further supported by the Galway 2020 Wave Makers (volunteers ) who have received Covid 19 training, to help patrons, artists, and staff feel comfortable and safe.
What's happening, what to see
The new programme continues the original theme of 'Language, Landscape and Migration'. Highlights of the programme include DruidGregory, with Druid performing the plays of Lady Gregory at Coole Park, and performing plays by Lady Gregory and On The Outside by Tom Murphy across County Galway [see separate article in #GALWAY].
Macnas will bring a dramatic new interpretation of the world’s oldest story - the Epic of Gilgamesh - to Galway. The extraordinary adventures of Gilgamesh will unfold across city, county and online and will see Macnas challenge the boundaries and possibilities of traditional theatre and storytelling, outdoors, indoors, and at Macnas.com
There will also be unveiling of the art installation Mirror Pavilion by John Gerrard [see separate article in #GALWAY]. The Irish language remains central to the programme, with Irish language and bi-lingual events, including Aistriú, Sea Tamagotchi and Óro.
Hope it Rains/Soineann nó Doineann is a series of installations, commissions, and artistic responses to weather, with the aim of inviting people of all ages to join its projects to make Galway weather-proof and climate resilient.
Blue Teapot’s Into the Dark Woods entices us into rare territory, using the living realm of the woods as an extraordinary invitation into the world as experienced by someone with an intellectual disability.
Galway Moves is a series of site-specific dance performances inspired and informed by our landscape. Produced by Galway Dance Project, and devised by Dansnest, Galway Moves will celebrate community and connection bringing dance into open spaces, culminating in public performances.
'During this time, we’ve seen the importance of culture to lift people’s spirits and get us through the darkest of days'
RISE is a series of three collaborative projects from Baboro International Arts Festival for Children that will place the voice of the child at the heart of the performance, bringing to the surface the childhood experiences of joy, beauty, family, empowerment, loss, and transformation.
To The Island, an illustrated storybook by Patricia Forde, about a little girl who visits the strange and mythical island of Hy Brasil, off the coast of Ireland, but then follows her heart home to Galway, will be gifted to every child starting school in Galway in 2020.
Culture can 'lift the spirits'
There will also be exhibitions and commissions from the TULCA Festival of Visual Art, Project BAA BAA, Monument, Deeper Shades of Green, and Oughterard Courthouse Arts Programme. The Small Towns Big Ideas programme will continue into 2021 with 30 new projects and events.
'Through it all, we have remained determined to persevere and present as much of our programme as possible'
“This year has been a huge challenge for everyone, particularly those working in our sector, who have had their livelihoods put at risk," said Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. "During this time, we’ve seen the importance of culture to lift people’s spirits and get us through the darkest of days.
"Through it all, we have remained determined to persevere and present as much of our programme as possible. We have had to rethink how some elements will be presented, and unfortunately, it will not be possible to deliver all of our original programme. However, it is vital we do so, for the artists and organisations for whom this work is so important, and also for audiences, to have the opportunity to embrace their favourite art form and celebrate great art and cultural experiences again.”