LIMERICK National City of Culture have refuted comments made by local election candidate Richie Ryan that the event is a “missed opportunity for encouraging and developing the arts at grassroots level”.
Last week the independent candidate for a seat in Limerick City West criticised City of Culture for not showing more support to local community arts and leisure groups, whom he hailed as “forgotten heroes”.
However, in response Limerick City of Culture stated this week: “One of the great strengths of Limerick’s designation as Ireland’s first National City of Culture is the long overdue local and national recognition and platform it is giving to arts and culture locally.”
Mr Ryan also estimated that only 10 per cent of the Made in Limerick Projects are up and running. But City of Culture proudly say that 109 of the 300 plus events taking place this year to mark the event are under the ‘Made in Limerick’ theme.
City of Culture stated that in 2014 local organisations are being funded to the tune of €2.3million under the City of Culture programme to enable the production of new work in theatre, film, visual art, craft, heritage, history and food.
“Perhaps one of the most recent outstanding examples of this is ‘Moyross’, a show involving the people of Moyross in association with THEATREclub and the Lime Tree Theatre in which local people were empowered to tell their story through theatre. This received not just local but national recognition and this will most definitely have a lasting legacy on the community and encourage further expression through theatre and other art forms in the years ahead.”
City of Culture cited other examples including ‘Are You Dancing’, which included a series of dance classes across the communities of Limerick that will manifest itself in a public celebration on June 22 along with an exhibition of personal memories, photographs and memorabilia from that important time in Limerick’s history.
“In addition, the Limerick City of Culture Pillars have agreed certain specific legacy projects, for film, visual arts, craft and theatre. Each of them will have project managers that will be delivering an agreed set of actions that will bring the various practitioners together to help them coordinate their activity going forward. This will have a long-term benefit as it will create a momentum and structure to ensure there is very much a City of Culture legacy and this will feed into the European City of Culture 2020 application.”