Galway 2020 to run scaled down Capital of Culture lineup late this year

Local and national partners to deliver ‘reimagined’ programme running into 2021

Kari Kola’s artwork Savage Beauty turns Connemara Mountains emerald and blue. The public presentation in March 2020 was cancelled because of Covid-19. Photograph : Christopher Lund

Kari Kola’s artwork Savage Beauty turns Connemara Mountains emerald and blue. The public presentation in March 2020 was cancelled because of Covid-19. Photograph : Christopher Lund

 

Galway 2020 will resume its lineup as European Capital of Culture events towards the end of the year, and will run into 2021 with a contracted programme, it announced on Thursday evening.

The statement on “reimagined” events with local and national cultural partners, comes after it suspended its year-long programme on April 7th due to the coronavirus crisis, temporarily laying off 19 of its 30 staff and ending its contract with artistic director partner Artichoke.

Galway 2020 has agreed with the Department of Culture that it will explore options for a “re-imagined programme” in the “closing months” of this year and into early 2021, with artists and organisations with whom it already has formal arrangements. Its focus will be to maximise the events in the bid book that won the city the EU designation, many of which were by local organisations.

Galway 2020 chairman Arthur Lappin said the decision was a “most welcome affirmation of the work being planned” and lets Galway 2020 “map a new way forward”, with a much leaner organisation. The board was disappointed it can’t retain its full team.

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan said the revised Galway 2020 plan would be in line with public health guidelines and would ensure many elements could still be enjoyed by audiences in Ireland and internationally. “At a time when Covid-19 is having a profound impact on our arts and culture sectors, the possibility to deliver projects will be a support for our arts community and arts practitioners.”

She assured workers affected by redundancies that Covid-19 supports were available to them.