This month’s newsletter is filled with future opportunities and events including the busy Faoin Spéir / In the Open programme. The announcement that 188 schools and youth reach centres are part of the Creative Schools programme is especially important and we are extremely grateful to the students, teachers and creative associates who have kept faith with us at such a difficult time.
Like many people, I’ve had the pleasure of attending in person artistic experiences over recent weeks. I’m fairly sure that my sense of surprise at the novelty of this act will not wane. Over the last 18 months, we’ve often heard it said that the arts will never again be taken for granted. People rue the fact that it has taken a pandemic for us to realize what we have in our midst, and it is indisputably true that we did not know what we had until it was abruptly taken away.
As we tentatively nudge our way out, adapting to this new environment, we’re keenly aware of many people who will not relish this return – people whose anxieties may now be at an all time high and for whom hibernation represented a welcome reprieve from the world. In our new way of living, when we now have a chance to imagine and realize a better way of life, we will think more carefully about the vast panoply of needs and perspectives.
In the current presentation of events, there is a quiet dignity, a reassuring calm. Front of house teams deal expertly with the public and show immense professionalism and care for their audiences. Box office, technical and front of house personnel have always distinguished themselves by high standards of service and their added responsibilities now see them excel.
The forthcoming budget and the just announced National Development Plan represent landmark blueprints for the arts and these will help us shape a better future for this fine profession, one which will include significantly more voices, many of them previously unheard. That is a truly exciting prospect to anticipate.