Minister welcomes Other Voices Courage Programme overall reach of 2.7 million with live views of 1.15m

Minister Madigan today welcomed combined figures from the recent online series of performances in Other Voices’ Courage Programme, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Intel.

Courage blended newly-created content and live streaming with existing archive materials, edited to achieve a consistent narrative and experience that offered high quality sound and vision on all platforms. The project comprised of two live performances per week, on Tuesday and Thursday, streaming live online on Other Voices website, YouTube, Facebook and on RTE.ie.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Other Voices showed archived material online.

The project will delivered a weekly series of episodes over a four week period which began on 23rd April. The newly-created material was filmed in a Whelan’s music venue in central Dublin, at the National Gallery of Ireland and at the National Library of Ireland in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Courage is also being shown on RTÉ2 from the 7th of May and every Thursday thereafter at 23:30 until 7th July, and content will be available via the RTÉ Player.

Performances have included the Grammy nominated artist Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Ye Vagabonds, Oscar nominated Lisa Hannigan, Oscar winner Glen Hansard and acclaimed artists Mango x Mathman, Sorcha Richardson, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Denise Chaila and Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

Courage had an overall reach across platforms of 2.7 million, with over 1.15 million live views and 92,000 Facebook engagements.  The programme was provided within the existing 2020 allocation to the Other Voices.

Speaking today, Minister Madigan said: “The resounding success of the Other Voices Courage programme shows that the appetite for culture has not waned in the face of the current COVID-19 crisis – in fact, quite the opposite.  Once again, culture has shown to be a galvanising force for the people of Ireland and beyond and a vital element of our mental and physical wellbeing in such challenging times.

Philip King, founder of Other Voices, added: “Our partnership with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and with Intel enabled us to think ambitiously and creatively about supporting artists and about connecting globally with audiences in these very destabilising and unsettling times. Courage underlined, yet again, the power of culture and the arts to connect people, to collapse distance, and to let us imagine and feel the world in other ways. We are indebted to the artists who performed for Courage, to the crew and production staff who worked under very challenging conditions, and to the staff in the National Gallery of Ireland, in the National Library of Ireland and in Whelan’s for facilitating us in these iconic cultural locations.” 

This project was part of the Department’s ongoing engagement with national and global audiences – this included Culture Ireland presenting Irish artists  online in #IrelandPerforms. The 6 week programme included 120 events and reached over 800,000 spread globally, who actively engaged with the artists online.  Around 100 performances are still available to view through Culture Ireland’s Facebook page https://events.cultureireland.ie/events/

The Department is also running Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of free creativity for children and young people up to 18 years old, has also been transformed into an online initiative in response to Covid-19 and social distancing.  Pursuing a digital Cruinniú of over 460 events on June 13th in partnership with RTÉ and local authorities was considered the best way of supporting the mental wellbeing of children and young people at this crucial time, and of demonstrating through our own actions that creative thinking can overcome significant challenges.  Believed to be the only national event of its kind in the world, the online delivery of Cruinniú na nÓg in 2020 has also provided the opportunity to showcase the initiative and support engagement internationally particularly amongst our diaspora with assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and our global embassy network.

On Cruinniú na nÓg, Minister Madigan today stated “With the substantial challenges social distancing has presented, I was particularly keen that we should proceed with Cruinniú na nÓg to support the mental wellbeing of our children, young people and their families during this difficult time and to show that thinking and acting creatively can help overcome even the most difficult of challenges.  By being creative and moving Cruinniú na nÓg online in response to social distancing, I hope a positive outcome is the opportunity not just to increase children and young people’s access to events nationally but to showcase this day and create greater engagement globally.”


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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