Call out in creating European Capital of Culture

The Rubber Bandits' Blindboy Boatclub's call to arms, heard by Róisín Hayes, Ennis Road at LCGA Picture: Alan Place/FusionShooters.
Rubber Bandits’ Blindboy Boatclub’s call to arms, heard by Róisín Hayes, Ennis Road at LCGA
Picture: Alan Place/FusionShooters

BLINDBOY Boatclub of The Rubberbandits was integral to the unveiling of Limerick’s identity in our bid for European Capital of Culture 2020. The subtext is clear: expect mischief in the mix, and public input is sought to pitch our documented self as European Capital 2020 successfully to an international jury of decision makers. Subverting the expected is good; so is Sport, we heard on Tuesday 26th in Culture House.

A video ( created by Piquant Media platformed Ministers, housewives, playwrights, academics, immigrants voicing their vision of this city today: ‘progressive’, ‘inclusive’, ‘with culture’, ‘fun’ and then… Blindboy’s ‘fishing rod’.

The film is beyond the touristy cut of rival cities’ PR thus far. Any available paper work issued by contenders Dublin, Galway and the South East amalgam is being scanned here for content, and how to outstrip same.

Core to the required 80-page bid is that Limerick is a place for all to have a say in its challenges – and how Culture can change us in the context of Europe. The call is out to input on and create events in the community to signal on#limerick2020 and social media.

The city as a whole, building a coherent, positive presence is key.

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Mike Fitzpatrick and 8-strong team want us all to  have a crack at with ideas Picture: Alan Place/FusionShooters
Mike Fitzpatrick’s team want us all to have a crack at with ideas
Picture: Alan Place/FusionShooters

“And my God, how we want it,” stated Limerick arts officer Sheila Deegan of the Capital of Culture 2020 status to be shared with a Croatian city.”We submit our bid in October and basically unpack our presentation to the international jury in November”.

Expect a multidimensional response to 52 set questions embracing six broad areas (Governance; Outreach; Finance; Creative and Artistic content; European dimension; Cultural Strategy). These will be fleshed out to the jurors by practitioners and artists, with the administrators.

A team of eight, led by Mike Fitzpatrick of LSAD (LIT) and Sheila Deegan, is augmented by Dr Dominique Bouchard as curator of the catalytic Engagement and Participation committee to bring community feedback back to the table for conversion to gameplan.

Cllr Maria Byrne, who sits on the committee for Regions in Europe, officiated at Tuesday 26’s launch as deputy mayor. She drew attention to the vital role of Sport in our identity and the hundreds of involved organisations that rival artistic groups in passion and strength.

“Looking back on 2014 city of Culture, it was a very positive year,” reflects Dr  Fitzpatrick, speaking to Limerick Post. “Limerick came to be seen by so many people as overcoming difficulties and becoming an expression of culture and performance. I hope to say we have all areas of life involved and Sport is to play a big  part as well, there’s a linkage between the two”.

Ultimately as director of the many strands pulling into a momentous one, his feeling is that “if we don’t win, we will lose incredibly well so how do we lift our game, look at our production values and up them?”

Answers, please and make haste, to Dominique Bouchard’s Engagement and Participatiion tentacles – explore and write to Culture House, No. 2 Pery Square, hub for consolidating energy.

She is clear that “in order to work the  programme and have content to put together, Limerick needs to say what it wants.  People have to highlight what they feel is important. [European Capital of Culture 2020] is not just about activities , it is partly about culture in service”.