Funding approved for reimagined Galway 2020 programme

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The government has approved funding for a reimagined Galway 2020 programme as the European Capital of Culture project will now run to early 2021.

Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture Catherine Martin said this week that she is committed to sharing the “immense work” undertaken by the many cultural partners involved in Galway 2020, much of which has been years in the making.

The reimagined programme contains 28 projects involving more than 350 artists across theatre, dance, visual art, musical composition and performance, circus and street performance, literature, poetry and film.

Some of the big names which will be getting their work out in some format include Macnas, whose ambitiously epic take on Gilgamesh will be moving to a largely digital format.

Galway’s world renowned Druid Theatre will also be staging a series of one-act performances in an outdoor setting.

“Bringing the Galway 2020 Programme to audiences in innovative ways will serve to highlight the creativity of Galway and Ireland on the global stage”

The Galway 2020 team welcomed the government’s approval of funding to allow the European Capital of Culture year to go ahead, albeit in a reduced format.

The highly anticipated project was one of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it impossible to hold large scale events over the past few months.

The Capital of Culture team was forced to make significant personnel cutbacks in April, including ending its partnership with Creative Director Helen Marriage and Artichoke, the company behind organising the original programme.

The delivery of the programme has had to be reimagined by the cultural partners in order to take account of changed circumstances owing to COVID-19 and public health guidance.

It will now involve a mixture of physical performance in compliance with prevailing restrictions and online delivery of events.

In a statement the Capital of Culture team said that the confirmation of funding for the new programme comes after long discussions with the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht and the EU Commission, as well as engagement with their cultural partners.

“The focus of the re-imagined programme is primarily on the local and national artists from the programme that won Galway 2020 the European Capital of Culture designation for 2020.

“Ensuring that these projects could be delivered, to help sustain the local cultural economy in light of the devastating impact of Covid 19 on the sector, has been the priority for Galway 2020.

More details about this new programme will be announced in the coming days.