Arts Council announces funding worth over €1 million for 11 new projects around the country under the Open Call programme

Arts Council of Ireland - An Chomhairle Ealaíon,
13 July 2017, Ireland

Today, the Arts Council announced over €1m in funding for 11 new innovative arts projects around the country under the Open Call Programme. Open Call is an Arts Council programme which funds ambitious, once-off artistic projects by some of Ireland’s best artists and arts organisations.

The projects involve a visual arts project in rural towns with local communities designing their own community chairs, a project in prisons examining how the arts impact on prison health, arts projects targeting emigrants and the new Irish, the commissioning of new plays that will be performed in peoples’ living rooms, a major theatre adaption of Louise O’Neill’s ground-breaking novel Asking For It and a site specific contemporary theatre performance based on a long forgotten and lost Sean O’Casey play. 

Speaking today, the Director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride said: 

“We are delighted to announce the eleven successful projects for this year’s Open Call awards. There’s a great variety of organisations and projects addressing a number of topics ranging from prison health, emigrants, a lost Sean O’Casey play, the restoration of the Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland murals, to an adaptation of Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, targeting a younger audience.”

The 11 successful Open Call projects are:

Home Theatre (Ireland) presented by Draíocht - Provides 40 Irish playwrights and theatre artists and new audiences with an opportunity to work together in a profoundly meaningful way in the commissioning and production of 30 one person plays, referred to as a gift, to be inspired by Dublin 15 residents and performed in their homes. Draíocht becomes part of a vibrant and forward thinking international network of organisations pushing the boundaries of what and who theatre is for. Work with Kerry Michael of Theatre Royal Stratford East and  Marcus Faustini, Brazil, to adapt and produce large scale and ambitious Home Theatre project across Dublin 15

Home from Home by Katie Hennessy- This portrait photo project will document the visual representation of home for those who have come from abroad and settled in Ireland. Its aim is to explore the various ways in which people find comfort and peace in foreign surroundings, and particularly the ways in which people can develop and grow in a new environment. The need for this is evident considering globalisation and forced migration, and warrants a particular need to understand the shared human experience of movement, as humans as creatures of habit, no matter the habitat.

Michelle Browne and Callan Workhouse Union - Bring Your Own Chair is a performance in public space in 12 acts, across 12 small towns and villages in the South East region (counties Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford). The project is led by visual artist Michelle Browne and produced by Callan Workhouse Union and will develop in distinct stages through participatory design, craft and performance workshops and residencies. As the heart of our small towns face decline, Bring Your Own Chair looks to reclaim public space for collective experience and action. Bring Your Own Chair asks what can art do to contribute to the reactivation of public space as an agora – an arena for civic engagement?

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by Teaċ Daṁsa (formerly Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre) - Teaċ Daṁsa in a co-production with Sadlers Wells Theatre and the Dublin Theatre Festival will make The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - A Prophecy for Ireland, (working title), a Dance and Theatre Performance Ritual which will be devised in collaboration with an International Company of 16 dancers and 5 musicians. By taking genuine possession of the great William Blake poem, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and leaning on his visionary poetic genius, we aim to create our own apocryphal Blakean Song of Ireland by working across genres and performance disciplines and developing a new kind of interdisciplinary collaborative expression of theatre. Our largest scale work to date, it will be made for touring.

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, adapted by Meadhbh McHugh by Landmark Productions - Co-produce with the Everyman the world premiere of a large-scale, technically ambitious theatre piece: an adaptation by Meadhbh McHugh of Louise O’Neill’s ground-breaking novel Asking For It, directed by Annabelle Comyn

  • Champion the voices of young people by partnering with Fighting Words Cork at Graffiti Theatre Company to deliver an arts participation programme for 14-19 year olds in tandem with the stage producti•on 
  • Partner with Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey, and with Cork Midsummer Festival, Theatre Royal Stratford East (London) and Irish Arts Center (New York) to present it to the widest possible audience.

Health Inside: Thinking about Prisoner’s Right to Healthcare’ by Sinead McCann - Develop an innovative collaborative partnership between an artist and 3 medical historians to investigate and represent historical and current perspectives on prison health in Ireland. Use a unique approach, combining public intervention artwork, and archival historical source material to facilitate creative public engagement. Critically engage the public with an ambitious site-specific public art intervention that makes visible multiple perspectives on prison health.

Luminous Void by Rouzbeh Rashidi – A poetic examination of experimental filmmaking in Ireland and Iran viewed through the personal prism of Dublin-based Iranian experimental filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi's experience of emigration.

Control Panel by Eva International - Develop, produce and display an ambitious large-scale new commission by Irish artist Sam Keogh. The process towards the fabrication of this new work includes two production residencies at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and the Irish Museum of Modern Art-IMMA in Dublin. The project will involve the scheduling and production of performances by the artist during EVA International 2018 as part of its active comprehensive engagement with local, national and international audiences.

One, Here, Now Restoration Project Programme - Sirius Arts Centre 2018 One, Here, Now is a series of spectacular floor-to-ceiling wall paintings that were made twenty years ago by Irish artist Brian O’ Doherty (then known as Patrick Ireland), and subsequently covered up, until now. In 2018 Sirius Arts Centre will undertake an ambitious project to restore these murals. As part of a planned programme around the works, this funding will allow Sirius to commission visual artist Ailbhe Ni Bhriain to make a site-specific film piece, and a number of international composers to make new works, all in response to the newly restored murals. Sirius will also partner with Liz Roche Company and Cork Opera House to create a major new choreography for the stage.

Folkland by Pat Collins - Folkland will be an imaginative and poetic film essay inspired by the writings and ideas of the celebrated American folklorist Henry Glassie. Set among the rituals and rhythms of working artists across Brazil, Turkey, North Carolina and Ireland it will be an exploration of creativity: an immersive, experiential and meditative work of art in itself. The film will be exhibited nationally and internationally at film festivals and the art house circuit. It will be the centre piece of a touring programme across Ireland which will involve screenings, discussions and workshops.

The Lost O'Casey. Lost Play. Lost Language. Lost City by Anu Productions - This is an important, potent and timely project. Placing our work at the heart of the geography and architecture of Dublin’s North inner city, we will recover and present back to the Irish theatrical landscape a lost Sean O'Casey play Nannie’s Night Out (performed only once at the Abbey Theatre in 1924) and the only copies thought to be subsequently destroyed in the Abbey fire of 1951. We will reframe it as a catalyst lens by which we can make 3 real and urgent contemporary inquiries and critical comment on the places, languages and politics of the play and on our changing capital.