Details for proposed international arts festival for Limerick unveiled

Feasibility report presented to Minister for Arts

Prof Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Prof Don Barry of the University of Limerick with Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan (centre) at the MA in festive studies launch. Photograph: Seán Curtin

Prof Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Prof Don Barry of the University of Limerick with Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan (centre) at the MA in festive studies launch. Photograph: Seán Curtin

 

Details of an international arts festival to coincide with Limerick’s reign as City of Culture have been unveiled.

A feasibility report on hosting the event, provisionally entitled the Living Bridge Arts Festival, was presented to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, at the University of Limerick yesterday.

Mr Deenihan was in Limerick to launch the master’s in festive arts programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the university.

Prof Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, chair of music, said it’s hoped graduates of the new programme would work on a practical level with a new International Arts Festival in Limerick which he described as “a further legacy project for the City of Culture year 2014”.

The feasibility study was commissioned by the Irish World Academy in 2010 and copies of the report were made available at the launch.

“With a festive arts MA programme, you are going to have to have what music therapists would call a clinical placement. They are going to have to do placements in festivals so we are looking for a major arts festival that we can release these students on,” he said.

“It is the university’s gift in a way, to the city of Limerick at this time of the approaching City of Culture status. It will intersect with the City of Culture initiative, and will serve as one of the important legacy projects of the City of Culture 2014 year,” he said.

It is proposed that festival run over three weekends in May from 2014.

Prof Ó’Súilleabháin described it as a community arts festival, which would suit the regeneration of the city, and while supported by the University of Limerick would be “owned by the city”.

Speaking at the launch of the new MA in festive studies, Mr Deenihan said it was a unique programme, which he’s sure would attract students from around the world.