Photo from the Irish Times, 5 April 2011: Rob Dunne and Antoinette Emoe prepare Diego Rivera's Landscape with Cacti for hanging at Imma. Photograph: Alan Betson
A sooper-dooper bumper round-up for today, to make up for my absence over the past 2 weeks (travelling for conferences & wrapping up MA course for 2010-11!) I’ve made a few sub-headings to make navigating this update easier; I promise not to stay away so long next time!
Jobs / internships
I’ve been following news on changing practices around internships/work placements in the UK (see ): just yesterday the of the advantage conferred to him via a placement in his youth arranged by his father. There’s been a recent push in government (as part of a ) to increase application transparency, fair remuneration, and access to internships in desirable professions — an issue of importance here in Ireland as well, though this has yet to be addressed in any substantial way. Groups/blogs like and have formed in the UK to push for reform and improve access (although I would disagree with their distinctions drawn between ‘interning’ for a company and ‘volunteering’ with a charity as neglecting/mis-characterising the non-profit sector); is it time for similar action here in Ireland?
Budget woes & money matters
As the Arts Council England finally sent out funding notifications to organisations, the scale of cuts was wide enough to warrant massive coverage in all the UK dailies () and even feature on a Newsnight segment. 206 organisations had their funding cut completely, and . The and an order to sell off big chunks of its collection, whilst the about funding decisions. It’s almost too much to digest, especially at a distance, but my impression is that ACE was in an impossible situation, with nearly every commentator convinced of his/her view that decision X or decision Y was a travesty of judgment — I would have more sympathy with that
… ACE’s behaviour is only a sideshow. The real story here is the gradually corrosive effect of a government that, while paying lip-service to the importance of the arts, seems intent on sleepwalking the nation towards cultural impoverishment. The cuts to ACE cannot be seen in isolation from the removal of public funding for humanities tuition in higher education; the absence of arts subjects from the English baccalaureate; the unstable situation among local authorities, some of which are bravely protecting cultural provision while all too many are cutting it off; the starvation of libraries.
Northern Ireland news
Have to give a shout-out to all the fab folks who hosted our MA class recently during our visit to Belfast… thanks to Stephen Douds from / , Ciara Hickey at the , & Paula McKetridge, and Trevor Parkhill at the for their fabulous hospitality — we had a marvellous time!
New research resources
Launches / event announcements / calls for participation
After lots of hard work and enthusiasm , a new crowdsourcing platform for funding Irish arts and cultural initiatives. Crowdfunding as a phemomenon recently received , and already there’s a great clutch of projects seeking funding on Fundit.ie: so far I’ve helped fund in Temple Bar, IMMA’s efforts to purchase , the for Open House Dublin, and an . One of the caveats of crowdfunding is that organisations don’t receive funds unless their target is reached — so get over there, register, and contribute what you can to what catches your fancy!!
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something… but gotta get back to the day job!