Statements from Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture
30 April 2020: Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture has today confirmed it has reached agreement with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to consult with Galway 2020 cultural partners to explore options for a re-imagined programme of events to take place in the closing months of this year and in early 2021.
Working with local and national cultural partners with whom formal arrangements are in place, to make this re-imagined programme a reality, Galway 2020 will also look at the potential for what may be viewed and experienced in a digital format. The focus for Galway 2020 is on maximising the delivery of the bid book projects, many of which are to be delivered by local cultural partners.
In light of a wider reduction in funding for the project and Galway 2020’s commitment to deliver a re-imagined programme, the Board of Galway 2020 has also made the very difficult decision to substantially reduce the team working on the project.
Commenting on the announcement, Chairperson of the Galway 2020 Board Arthur Lappin said; “The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed all our lives. Galway 2020 could never be immune from that change. The agreement reached with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is regarded by the Board as a most welcome affirmation of the work being planned by our cultural partners and allows us to map a new way forward. Our future work will necessitate a much leaner organisation, and the Board is extremely disappointed that it will not be possible to retain all members of our team as we move forward. We acknowledge with gratitude all the members of our team for their hard work and dedication to this project. In conjunction with our cultural partners we will explore a programme of events, albeit smaller than originally envisaged, to be presented at the end of this year and into next year. This programme will celebrate the cultural vibrancy and brilliance of our city and county, will lift the spirits of our creative community and audiences, and leave a legacy of which we can all be proud”.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD said; “I am today pleased to confirm my continued support for Galway 2020 and a revised Galway 2020 programme that can be delivered in line with public health guidelines. This will ensure many elements of the programme can still be delivered and enjoyed by audiences in Ireland and internationally. As importantly, 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. It is a great sadness that redundancies will be required and I want to assure all workers affected that the relevant COVID-19 supports will be available to them.”
7 April 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has left no aspect of our lives untouched. Across the world, communities are doing what is necessary to slow the virus and save lives. This has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on economic, social and cultural life everywhere. The necessary restrictions put in place in relation to gatherings, social distancing and national and international travel have implications on how organisations can work and means that Galway 2020 must consider the future of our programme.
In response to the unprecedented nature of this crisis, the Board of Galway 2020 has been working in recent days and weeks to make important decisions about the future of our programme.
This work involves close consultation with our stakeholders- the European Commission, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, sponsors and all of our cultural partners with whom we have worked and with whom we intended to work over the course of this year. We hope this will result in a viable, vibrant but undoubtedly contracted programme of events that will take place later in the year. We have begun the process of communicating with those partners whose projects will not be included in the contracted programme and we are engaging with those partners whose projects, albethey reimagined, we hope will be included.
As part of the enforced contraction of our programme we are implementing a three-week temporary layoff programme for all but a skeleton staff, effective from today. We have also made the very difficult decision to bring to an end our contract with Artichoke. We are very disappointed to have had to make these decisions. Galway 2020 wishes to acknowledge and thank all staff and in particular Creative Director Helen Marriage and the team at Artichoke for their hard work and commitment to Galway 2020. Helen, working with the Galway 2020 team, had curated an extraordinary cultural programme of events, which would have provided many amazing cultural moments and experiences for local people across Galway city and county.
24 March 2020: The Board of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture held a meeting today to discuss the evolving situation regarding Covid 19 and how we move forward during these unprecedented times.
In light of the extraordinary challenges we are facing and the unknown timeline as a result of this ongoing public health emergency, the board of Galway 2020 today decided that a significant contraction of the programme is necessary. Decisions, which will be taken in the very near future, will be consistent with Government policy and will be in the best interest of the health of the public, our team, cultural partners and our volunteers. More detailed information will be provided in the days ahead.
The board of Galway 2020 wishes to acknowledge and thank our team and cultural partners for all of their hard work and commitment to date.
12 March 2020: Following the guidance issued by the Government today in relation to new measures to contain Covid-19, Galway 2020 in conjunction with our Cultural Partners and artists have been reviewing all of our events scheduled during the period up to 29 March.
The following projects are impacted as follows:
• The Deepest Shade of Green- West of Sumer, Saolta Arts, Launch and talk
• Northern Peripheries, Galway Stories Through A Lens, Galway Film Centre in association with Screen Talent Europe
• West Words, Apeirogon, Galway Public Libraries
• Comhaltas – Moycullen 17th March
• Livefeed (Loughrea)
• Laurie Anderson, To The Moon
• Onside & National Football Exhibition, FAI
• TULCA – Threads
• Immersive Classroom, NUIG
• Reimagine Loughrea, Irish Architecture Foundation
• Buzzing – Kiltiernan National School
• Savage Beauty, Kari Kola (Ticket holders will be contacted directly and will receive a refund)
• Sruth Na Teanga – Branar
• Home Truths: Domestic Violence Response Exhibition
• Interaction, Galway Theatre Festival launch event
While Galway 2020 and our Cultural Partners are extremely disappointed to have made these decisions, public health is our number one priority and we must follow Government advice.