Artists who work across genres included

 

Aosdána members elected this year have broadened the scope of the organisation to include artists who work across genres, and choreographers have also been included for the first time.

At an event at the Arts Council yesterday to welcome the 15 new members of the Irish affiliation of creative artists, who were elected earlier this year, council chairwoman Olive Braiden said Aosdána's continued success "sends a strong message to the world that this is a country that takes its artists very seriously indeed and seeks to honour those among the arts community who have exceptional achievement to their credit".

Peer recognition was the factor most of the new Aosdána members were pleased about yesterday. For the first time two choreographers, David Bolger and Cindy Cummings, are members of Aosdána. Bolger was delighted that it meant "recognition of dance having a major voice", and Cummings said "It makes the years of being overlooked or ignored or incredibly poor worthwhile."

Council director Mary Cloake was pleased that membership had increased to include creative artists who have "worked for a long time in areas of the arts that are less formally structured, and artists who work across genres".

Aosdána members with earnings below a designated amount may draw down a cnuas of about €12,000 a year - about half of the 220 members are entitled to it.

The 15 newly elected members, most of whom were at the reception yesterday, are: David Bolger, choreography; Pat Boran, literature; Eamon Colman, visual arts; Cindy Cummings, choreography; Shane de Blacam, architecture; Vivienne Dick, visual arts; Kerry Hardie, literature; Pat Harris, visual arts; Brian Henderson, visual arts; Bernadette Kiely, visual arts; Trevor Knight, music; John McLachlan, music; Paul Mosse, visual arts; Ciaran O'Driscoll, literature; and Donal O'Kelly, literature.