World Cafe event examines cultural strategy in Limerick

FORUM: PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE TO 15-YEAR ARTS STRATEGY

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

World Cafe event examines cultural strategy in Limerick

Marketa Dowling, Belltable programme manager, Fiona Booth and Nina Pongratz, Clancy's Strand and Maeve Butler, Dance Limerick Picture: Adrian Butler

MEMBERS of the local arts community attended an open forum to discuss Limerick’s cultural strategy for the next 15 years, ahead of the city’s European Capital of Culture 2020 bid.

The event on Friday afternoon, entitled the World Cafe, saw more than 40 people have round table discussions about the current and future status of Limerick’s arts and culture, at Dance Limerick, John’s Square. 

The event kicked off at 1pm and wrapped up at 4pm.

Limerick 2020 deputy director, Sheila Deegan told the Limerick Leader that the relationship between the Regeneration plan and culture is an “obvious relationship that needs to be strengthened and built upon.

“Because they are about social change as much as we are about social change.”

One group argued that the sports sector benefits more from sponsorships, and that culture could benefit more, while another group stressed that arts and culture could be used to bring about social change through “greater emphasis on the arts”.

Another round table of people argued that the arts “is too fragmented and too low-key and is mainly because of it being so competitive”.

EVA International chairperson, Hugh Murray said that one of the bigger issues facing Limerick was its “sense of community.

“Limerick has huge cultural assets, and it’s just hidden away. Have a huge story to tell, and we have a good platform to tell it, so we really have to be more ambitious.”

Facilitating the event was Gráinne Millar, who founded the first ever Culture Night in Dublin, in 2006.

Fiona Booth and Nina Pongratz said that they attended the event because they are “passionate” about the 2020 bid and they wanted to be part of “evolution of cultural change”.