Arts Fair run by An tOireachtas in County Derry
On Thursday 12 October the Irish language community and the arts community will come together in An Carn, Carntogher, in County Derry to discuss opportunities to promote the arts through Irish in the north.
Oireachtas na Gaeilge is running this event in conjunction with the Arts Council of Northen Ireland and Foras na Gaeilge, and as Majella Ní Chríocháin, the Oireachtas na Gaeilge Activities Officer, explained:
“This arose from a discussion between ourselves, the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge about how best to develop Irish language arts in the north. We agreed that an opportunity should be given to Irish language organisations and to Irish language officers, and to arts organisations which are not Irish language organisations, to come together and to present them with examples of high standard Irish language projects. The visual artist Nuala Ní Fhlathúin will speak about a community arts project in which she dealt with the importance of Irish for a small rural community. The choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill will show her short film Faoi Rún – Incognito about women in the 60s, 70s and 80s who raised their children with Irish, and about how her arts work is connected to the promotion of Irish. The title of the presentation which the poet and musician Marcus Mac Conghail will make is Buail Aríst Mé – Dé hÍde agus an Dúitseach.
“As for giving a stage to Irish language arts, Aisling Ní Labhraí from the Cultúrlann in Belfast will speak on the role of the venues; Rossa Ó Snodaigh (KÍLA, and founder of the Irish Language Tent at the Electric Picnic) will give an account of the opportunities for including Irish language activities in the programme of arts festivals; and the singer and musician Dermott Mulholland will discuss the difficulties of developing an audience for the arts in rural areas.’
Edel Ní Chorráin, Deputy Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, said of the event:
“This day, organised by Oireachtas na Gaeilge, is a great opportunity to promote two aspects of Irish culture, the Irish language and the arts. We are very happy to be involved in the first event of its kind in the north and we hope that there will be further opportunities in the future for more projects with the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge working together.”
Nóirín McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council, commented:
“The Arts Council has for some time recognised the arts in and through Irish as a living element of Northern Ireland’s cultural heritage. Working with the language community, it is the Arts Council’s aim to strengthen the infrastructure, provide support for practitioners, increase audiences and expand the community of artists.
“Today’s event is the first of its kind and brought together representatives from across the Arts Sector to discuss a progressive approach for programming Irish language arts. Working with Foras na Gaeilge, it is an important step in increasing access for artists and audiences across all art form areas including visual arts, poetry, music, drama and dance.”
All the presentations will be made in Irish and there will be a simultaneous translation system available for those not fluent in Irish. The Fair will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and tickets can be reserved free of charge at www.eventbrite.com/e/aonach-na-nealaion-arts-fair-tickets-37843393609?aff=es2. A free lunch will be provided as well and people will have an opportunity to share information about their own organisations at lunch time.
Nothing like this has ever been organised before and An tOireachtas, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Foras na Gaeilge hope that people will take part in the fair and that it will give rise to other arts projects.