03/10/15

The Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD today announces Culture Ireland’s International Culture Programme as part of Ireland 2016

Culture Ireland’s international culture programme entitled I Am Ireland, part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, announced today Saturday 3rd October by Minister of State Ó Ríordáin with an event at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre.  I Am Ireland will enable Irish artists and companies to present their work across the globe.  The programme, a key element of the Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora strand, is one of celebration through contemporary arts while also reflecting on Ireland’s cultural journey over the last one hundred years.  I Am Ireland marks the centrality of the arts to Irish identity, and acknowledges the key role artists play now, as they did in the 1916 Rising.  It will further demonstrate the strength of Ireland’s creative sector and build on Ireland’s international reputation for artistic excellence and innovation.

With support of over €2 million, major tours, performances and exhibitions involving Irish artists will take place throughout the year in key territories such as the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, with a special focus on key cultural dates such as St Patrick’s Day and Bloomsday and dates of historic relevance. Among the dozens of events in the I Am Ireland programme will be a 2016 Commemorations Irish Film Season in cinemas across London, and Corn Exchange on tour in the UK and US with Eimear Mc Bride’s A Girl is a Half Formed Thing, adapted for stage by Annie Ryan.  A new operatic version of James Joyce’s The Dead produced by The Performance Corporation will be presented at festivals in Canada, the Irish Youth Chamber Choir will collaborate with the Canadian National Youth Choir, the Science Gallery Dublin will present Blood – Not for the Faint-Hearted in Melbourne, and Landmark Productions/Wide Open Opera’s The Last Hotel, a new opera by Enda Walsh & Donnacha Dennehy will be presented at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, New York. A curated programme of Irish writers will tour to US festivals and venues and Macnas will be at large at the 2016 South by Southwest Festival, Austin, Texas. Solo exhibitions of Irish artists touring will include James L Hayes in the US and Daphne Wright and Dennis McNulty in the UK.

Minister of State Ó Ríordáin says “It is for our artists and their talents that Ireland is known globally. Ireland has been home to many creative geniuses whose work is applauded worldwide and for 2016 the Irish Government is committed to a special programme to share globally the treasures created by our artists.  As we commemorate the centenary of this momentous time in our nation’s history, I am delighted that promoting our artists overseas, through Culture Ireland, plays such a prominent role in our Ireland 2016 programme.”  The announcement of the programme for I Am Ireland comes as Culture Ireland celebrates 10 years in existence.  During those years Culture Ireland has supported over 4,000 projects to present in over 100 countries reaching over 20 million audience members.

The support and platforms offered by Culture Ireland helps ensure that Irish artists can continue to reach global audiences. Ireland 2016 offers a special opportunity to raise further international awareness of Ireland as a country of strong creativity and artistic excellence and to celebrate Ireland’s global cultural achievements.

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Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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