Creative Ireland: Excitement building ahead of Hospital Arts and Culture Festival

Creative Ireland: Excitement building ahead of Hospital Arts and Culture Festival

This Hospital Arts and Culture Festival takes place from September 13 to 17

THE Creative Ireland programme will assist the expansion and enhancement of the Hospital Arts Festival as it enters its third year, arts and culture officer Sheila Deegan has said.

Organisers of the community-driven festival will aim to attract more than 5,000 cultural fanatics to the East Limerick town, from September 13 to September 17.

A spokesperson for the four-day event said that the inclusiveness of the festival helps make the town “a vibrant place to live and work in”.

A plethora of special events will take place over the course of the festival, including documentary screenings; painting exhibitions; comedy evenings; youth performances; a Milford Hospice coffee morning; poetry readings; unique street theatre, and many more.

In November, Limerick Arts Office will work with the Hospital Arts Committee on a Creative Europe project, entitled the School of Spectacle through the European Outdoor Arts Academy. The school will oversee intensive training for the delivery of a small scale street production in Limerick.

Sheila Deegan, who is the local coordinator of Creative Ireland, said that the national initiative has been activated to “deepen existing programmes” in Limerick. Hospital Arts Festival is joined by 28 other city and county projects, under the Creative Ireland radar this year.

Ms Deegan said that Hospital is a “small town with big ambition”.

“The community is empowered to put on the events, respond to the creative practitioners who are there, and the opportunity to bring in new talent.”

The festival will take place a week before Limerick celebrates Culture Night.

“Hopefully, our support will help them expand on their ambition. There are limited resources, and hopefully Creative Ireland will enhance what they already do. They are committed and they want to create a valuable experience for the schools, in terms of working with professional artists. They want to highlight the town as being one of the bigger towns in Limerick, with a potential capacity to accommodate a large festival in the future,” she enthused.

Looking forward to the third annual festival, the spokesperson said: “We hope to make a difference in showing what communities can do by coming together to host these kind of festivals. The only means we have of evaluating the success of our festival is by the number of visitors and participation of people in our community.”

Organisers have said that they hope to provide a broad spectrum of the arts to the community, including secondary and primary schools, through active artist participation.