Arts Council publishes review of ‘A Year in the Arts’, 2018-19
Thursday 16th January 2020 at 11am 0 Comments
The Arts Council today published its Annual Review of 2018-19, recounting many of the highlights of the Year in the Arts in Northern Ireland, supported by Arts Council exchequer funding from the Department of Communities as well as National Lottery funds.
2018-19 represented another outstanding year of accomplishment by artists and arts organisations working throughout Northern Ireland, providing the full range of creative activities, from large-scale festivals to local-level community projects.
Artists, writers and performers promoted Northern Ireland’s creative and cultural reputation at a growing number of high-profile international showcase events, from Brussels and Paris to India and North America. Young people’s health and wellbeing received new levels of support from the arts thanks to the development of a new Creative Schools Partnership, which is increasing creativity in the classroom and boosting educational outcomes for students. Major arts projects took place across eight local authorities as a result of the Local Government Challenge Fund, which offered Arts Council match funding as an incentive to District Council’s to increase their investment in the arts and embed the arts in the planning and delivery of key areas of civic responsibility. Northern Ireland’s first Man Booker Prize-winning author, Anna Burns, returned to Belfast for a special reading and ‘in conversation’ event with fellow Booker-Prize winner, Anne Enright; and the inaugural Seamus Heaney International Visiting Poetry Fellow, the distinguished American poet Mark Doty, presented public readings, workshops and masterclasses at Queen’s University, the Seamus Heaney Homeplace and at a number of arts festivals.
Seventeen up-and-coming artists embarked on the ACES programme, which provides bursaries and career development/mentoring opportunities with professional arts organisations, and the Arts Council acknowledged the contribution to Northern Ireland’s creative life of four mid-career Major Individual Artists – two writers, a composer and a playwright - each of whom were awarded substantial grants to develop a new body of work of lasting value.
The Annual Review provides a vivid account of the (financial) year in the arts, its many highlights reminding us all of the breadth of contribution that a rich creative environment makes to the quality of everyone’s lives in Northern Ireland.