Mayo County Council in partnership with National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Mayo Artsquad and the Linenhall Arts Centre, is delighted to announce that In the Open | Faoin Spéir - Castlebar was one of 16 projects to receive funding from the Arts Council.
In the Open | Faoin Spéir is an Arts Council funded programme developed in response to the Covid-19 crisis for 2021 which will see a variety of outdoor arts events taking place in public spaces around Ireland. On emerging from the pandemic in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, In the Open | Faoin Spéir is designed to help bring a renewed spirit of optimism and confidence in a full return to the arts.
The programme is broadly focused on the concept of folklife and providing a platform for artwork that explores materialism in society, changing values systems and the telling of future stories through national collections and the role of the artist in this process.
Cllr Michael Smyth, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, warmly welcomed the announcement saying: "The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyday life and cultural expressions locally, nationally and across the world and this project aims to provide the people of Castlebar and Turlough with the opportunity to experience great art on their doorstep."
The project will be delivered in collaboration with a curator and will involve a residency and multi-disciplinary programme of high-quality and engaging arts events/interventions on the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life at Turlough Park and along the Great Western Greenway, Castlebar - Turlough to be experienced and enjoyed by the people of Castlebar and surrounding areas.
Dr Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections & Learning, National Museum of Ireland, said: "The National Museum of Ireland is delighted to be collaborating with Mayo County Council Arts Office, Mayo Artsquad and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, on this project.
"In the Open / Faoin Spéir is a really worthwhile initiative as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is exciting to fully re-engage with the arts after such a difficult period and see new arts programmes and artworks in outdoor community spaces. We look forward to being a part of this project and delivering an innovative new programme for the enjoyment of the public."
The scheme encouraged collaborations between arts organisations, festivals, arts centres and local authorities to programme innovative events for local audiences in outdoor public places. It plans to ensure that the public will be able to safely enjoy arts events as the nation continues to emerge from the pandemic. It will also bring employment to many artists, curators, event and production managers over the coming months.
Bernadette Greenan, Director, Linenhall Arts Centre, enthusiastically greeted the announcement, stating: "The Linenhall is pleased to partner on this project with Mayo County Council Arts Service, National Museum of Ireland - Country Life and Mayo Artsquad, which will be of great benefit to artists and audiences in Mayo.
"Art is an opportune way to help us understand and interpret our experiences over the past two years and can encourage us to look to the future as a time of hope and opportunity. This project will allow us to explore these themes further and bring added value to the locality."
The project will run from July 2021 until April 2022, although work on-site will not commence until early 2022. For future updates and information on In the Open | Faoin Spéir – Castlebar please see www.mayo.ie/arts .