The Arts Council today announced key figures from the arts across Europe who will serve on the jury for the Arts Council’s €1 million ‘Open Call’ for national projects to commemorate 1916. The Arts Council has received 270 proposals from artists and arts organisations across all parts of Ireland, with strong applications in all art forms.
The jury, due to meet for the first time on 25th May, will be made up of three international figures – Ruth Mackenzie, Laurie Sansom and Annie Fletcher – along with visual artist Brian Maguire and poet John McAuliffe. The Jury will be chaired by the Chair of the Arts Council, Sheila Pratschke.
Ms Mackenzie is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Holland Festival, Amsterdam’s prestigious international arts festival, Interim CEO of the Arts Council of England’s digital collaboration with the BBC, The Space, and is also well known for successful, high-profile cultural projects and events in particular the Cultural Olympiad Programme as part of the London 2012 Olympics.
Mr Sansom is the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, and came to prominence with a series of successful productions in England.
Ms Fletcher is currently Chief Curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. She curated After the Future, the 2012 eva International Biennial of Visual Art in Limerick.
“Artists and arts organisations have wholeheartedly responded to our Open Call. I am delighted to say that this Jury will be faced with very difficult choices. These projects demonstrate the potential to truly capture the public imagination and impact on the lives of people across the country in 2016,” said Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride.
The contest will be highly competitive, the Arts Council said. While €1 million in total has been set aside for individual projects with a budget of up to €500,000, the combined ‘demand’ of the applications received touches €30 million.
The Jury will meet on the 25 May to shortlist the applications. The shortlisted applications will then be asked to submit more developed proposals for consideration. The Jury will meet again to agree the final projects in July.
The work will be presented to the public in 2016 and represent a key response by our contemporary artists to the centenary of the Easter Rising. The Arts Council’s programme which forms part of the Government’s Ireland 2016 Programme, will also include a number of special bursaries for a new generation of emerging artists, additional touring support in 2016 as well as a large scale national choral project in partnership with RTÉ.
The Arts Council's programme as part of Ireland 2016 is here.
The International Jury members are:
Ruth Mackenzie CBE is the Interim Chief Executive and Creative Director of The Space. She is also Artistic Director for the Holland Festival, Amsterdam’s prestigious international arts festival, with her first festival being June 2015.
She was most recently the Director of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and Curator of its finale, the London 2012 Festival. This official cultural programme for the Olympic & Paralympic Games was the largest UK Festival in the country’s history, involving over 25,000 artists from every country participating in the Games, and over 20 million attendances, 80% of which were free. She was General Director of the Manchester International Festival and Scottish Opera; Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, Executive Director of Nottingham Playhouse, Head of Strategic Planning for the South Bank Centre. She has also been Consultant Dramaturg to the Vienna Festival, Consultant to the BBC, Tate, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, British Council and British Film Institute amongst others and Expert or Special Adviser on culture and media to 5 Secretaries of State for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport in the UK Government.
Laurie Sansom is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland. Since joining the company in 2013, Laurie has directed The James Plays trilogy, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014, winning a Herald Angel award, before transferring for a sold out run in the Olivier Theatre, at the National Theatre in London and winning the Evening Standard Theatre award for Best Play 2014.
In 2015, he will be directing and adapting The Driver’s Seat, by Muriel Spark.
From 2006 he was Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton, and Associate Director to Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from 2002 to 2006. He was an Arts Council England Trainee Director at the Palace Theatre, Watford, from 1996 to 1997. He was a member of the National Youth Theatre and the National Student Drama Festival, for whom he has also worked extensively.
Laurie’s productions at Royal & Derngate include The Bacchae, Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler, which were presented as The Festival of Chaos, as part of London 2012 Festival. Other recent productions include Spring Storm and Beyond the Horizon which transferred to the National Theatre, London, and for which he received the 2010 TMA Award for Best Director, Frankenstein (with Frantic Assembly), The Duchess of Malfi, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Follies.
He has directed for theatres around the UK including the Traverse, Birmingham Rep, Salisbury Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, New Vic, Stoke, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the National Theatre, London, where he recently directed The Holy Rosenbergs.
At the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Laurie directed over twenty new plays including Villette (with Frantic Assembly) and a micro-musical season comprising three new musicals. His Watford Palace production of Dangerous Corner was re-staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and transferred to the Garrick Theatre, West End in 2002.
Annie Fletcher is currently Chief Curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and tutor at De Appel, Amsterdam and supervisor on the PhD Arts, international doctorate programme in art and design in the Netherlands . She has just opened the solo presentation of Ahmet Ogut and is working on a large-scale survey exhibition called A Republic of Art with Diana Franssen. She recently worked on the Museum of Arte Util with Tania Bruguera, and a retrospective of Hito Steyerl. She curated After the Future at eva International Biennial of Visual Art in Limerick in 2012.
Other projects include solo exhibitions or presentations with Sheela Gowda, David Maljkovic, Jo Baer, Jutta Koether, Deimantas Narkevicius, Minerva Cuevas, and the long term projects, Be(com)ing Dutch (2006-09) and Cork Caucus (2005) with Charles Esche. She was co-founder and co-director of the rolling curatorial platform “If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution” with Frederique Bergholtz (2005-10). As a writer she has contributed to various magazine including Afterall and Metropolis M.
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