Galway 2020 unveils new programme of events

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Galway 2020 has unveiled its revised programme for the Capital of Culture project starting this Autumn after being forced to cancel events from March onwards.

The new programme sticks to the original themes of Language, Landscape and Migration, with a range of liver, in-person events and digital offerings that will allow people to still experience Galway 2020 if they decide to stay safe at home.

“This year has been a huge challenge for everyone, particularly those working in our sector, who have had their livelihoods put at risk,” said Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020.

“During this time, we’ve seen the importance of culture more than ever before, to lift people’s spirits and get us through the darkest of days.”

“We have had to rethink how some elements will be presented, and unfortunately it will not be possible to deliver all of our original programme.”

“However, it is vital that we  do so, both for the artists and organisations for whom this work is so important, and also for audiences, to have the opportunity to embrace their favourite art form and celebrate great art and cultural experiences again.”

People can expect in-person and live events, outdoor installations, publications, online events, outdoor performances, exhibitions and broadcasts, from Macnas, Druid, Galway International Arts Festival and many more.

The new programme will now run from September 2020 through to March 2021.

All events have been re-imagined to comply with public health guidelines for COVID-19. This means social distancing and limited

The re-imagined programme comprises hundreds of events from 28 projects, as well as 30 Small Towns Big Ideas community-based projects.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • The Irish language remains central to the programme, with Irish language and bi-lingual events embedded across the programme, including AistriúSea Tamagotchi and Óro.
  • Commissioned by Galway International Arts Festival for Galway 2020, Mirror Pavilion by John Gerrard, using cutting edge digital technology, will be one of the largest outdoor installations ever to be seen in Ireland.
  • Druid returns to live theatre in the magic fields, woods and gardens of Coole Park in a tribute to, and an animation of, the life and works of Galway’s Augusta Lady Gregory. DruidGregory will include six of Lady Gregory’s one-act plays, performed by a company of 12 actors and musicians, and directed by Garry Hynes.  This will be followed by a barnstorming 14 venue, four-week tour of Gregory’s beloved county Galway, from Portumna to Glenamaddy, Ballinasloe to Clifden, and many more communities in between. As part of the Education and Community strand, DruidGregory will also include one-off, outdoor performances of Galway writer Tom Murphy’s first play, On the Outside (written with Noel O’Donoghue).
  • Master storytellers Macnas will bring a dramatic new interpretation of the world’s oldest story to Galway – the legend of Gilgamesh. The extraordinary adventures of Gilgamesh will unfold across city, county and online and will see Macnas elevate its signature style and challenge the boundaries and possibilities of traditional theatre and storytelling, outdoors and indoors and at
  • Turning our bad weather to good use, Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann makes Galway the place to be because it rains and blows. The project is a beautifully curated series of installations, commissions and artistic responses to weather, with the aim of affecting cultural change in our relationship with weather. Hope It Rains invites people of all ages to join its projects to make Galway weather-proof and climate resilient.
  • RISE is a series of three collaborative projects from Baboro International Arts Festival for Children that will place the voice of the child at the heart of the performance, bringing to the surface the childhood experiences of joy, beauty, family, empowerment, loss and transformation.
  • Incredible exhibitions and commissions from TULCA Season of Visual Art, Project BAA BAA, Monument and Deeper Shades of Green and Oughterard Courthouse Arts Programme taking us on a journey around the city and the county to view work from wonderful artists both in person and online.
  • A modern-day fairy tale, Blue Teapot’s Into the Dark Woods entices us into rare territory, using the living realm of the woods as an extraordinary invitation into the world as experienced by someone with an intellectual disability.
  • Galway Moves is a series of site-specific dance performances inspired and informed by our landscape. Produced by Galway Dance Project, and devised by Dansnest, Galway Moves will celebrate community and connection bringing dance into open spaces, culminating in public performances in Galway city and county.
  • To the Islandis an enchanting story, beautifully illustrated, that families from Galway, Ireland and beyond will treasure. Patricia Forde’s story is about a little girl who visits the strange and mythical island of Hy Brasil, off the west coast of Ireland, but then follows her heart home to Galway. The book will be gifted to every child starting school in Galway in 2020.
  • Based on the ancient Irish tradition of ‘Meitheal’ the coming together for a common purpose, the Small Towns Big Ideas programme has impacted communities across Galway, focusing on over 100 community projects since its inception in 2018. The communal creativity continues into 2021 with 30 new and exciting projects and events.