Passing the poisoned chalice
At last we have a leader: Pat Moylan, former artistic director of Andrews Lane and a wonderfully energetic, personable supporter of the Arts has been appointed chairwoman of the Arts Council. She’s being joined by Louise Donlon (background theatre), Paul Johnson (dance), Fiona Kearney (visual art), Orlaith McBride (youth theatre), Caroline Senior (music, arts) and Sheelagh O’Neill (performing arts). The new names are added to existing council members Maurice Foley (music, visual arts), John Crumlish (arts festivals, performing arts), Philip King (music), Aibhlín McCrann (music) Alan Stanford (theatre) and Colm Tóibín (literature).
As Very Hungry Caterpillar points out, this appears to leave Colm Tóibín as the only voice for literature on the Council. If that’s not worrisome enough, it also seems that most of the decisions about funding for next year had already been made before these new appointments. All, apparently, will be revealed on Friday, though far from a denouement, it’s likely that the announcements about funding will be the start of a series of battles with the new Arts Council army forced to defend decisions they likely had little part in. Hasta manana . . .