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Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme launched       printable version
29 Jun 2015: posted by the editor - Events, International, Ireland

The Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme, an exciting international programme of creative, community and commemorative events to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, has been launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan and  Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Heather Humphreys.

Diaspora and Ireland’s international friends are encouraged to get involved in events taking place in cities from Buenos Aires to Paris and New York to Rome to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, including its international dimensions. The programme is being organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Culture Ireland, and will be an opportunity to share the best of Irish arts and culture with the world.

Speaking ahead of the launch in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, where Michael Mallin and Countess Constance Markievicz were based during the fighting in Easter Week 1916, Minister Humphreys said: “The arts are at the very centre of Ireland 2016. Through the Global and Disapora strand of the programme, we want to invite an international audience to get involved in the centenary celebrations with arts event, concerts, exhibitions and so much more. It is also vitally important that we engage with our Diaspora and recognise the huge contribution they have made to this country over the last 100 years.

“Culture Ireland has a wonderful reputation for showcasing the best of Irish arts abroad. Its Ireland 2016 programme, which will be developed further in the coming months, will bring the best of Irish arts to some of the world’s greatest cities, including major events in New York, London and Sydney. The Irish are renowned globally for our artist excellence and through 2016 we can utilise the arts as a unifying force that brings people together at home and abroad.”

Minister Flanagan said: “From Washington to Tokyo, and from Paris to Buenos Aires, an exciting range of historical, cultural and arts events will take place over the coming year to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916. I would like to invite Ireland’s global family and friends to come together to remember the events of a century ago, reflect on what we have achieved and what we need to continue to strive for and to look forward to the next 100 years.

“The programme will encourage reflection on the international dimension of the Rising. Many of the leaders of 1916 spent time in the United States and in other countries – experiences that shaped their thoughts and actions. We should remember too that what happened in Ireland a century ago echoed around the world and became a significant reference point for other countries seeking independence.”

Minister for the Diaspora,Jimmy Deenihan TD, said: “Our Constitution recognises the diaspora as part of our nation and this is central to Global Irish our new diaspora policy. This Global and Diaspora Programme reaches out to the diaspora.

“As part of sharing this occasion in a real and tangible way with those overseas, we will ensure that the Gala Concert to be held in the National Concert Hall on 16 March 2016 will be beamed around the world and we will make artefacts from 1916 available in digital form on the award winning website”

Minister of State with responsibility for Culture Ireland, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, said: “The ideals of 1916 were born out of a movement that was as much cultural as it was political. The Gaelic and Literary revivals helped to inspire a new generation who believed Ireland could flourish as an independent nation. It is fitting, therefore, that Culture Ireland is developing an extensive programme, allowing Irish artists to present their work, and their reflections on 1916, to the world.

“The recent Marriage Equality Referendum demonstrated just how connected our young diaspora are to life here at home. I want to ensure that we capture their imagine next year, as part of the Ireland 2016 commemorations. What better way to engage young people than through the arts. The Culture Ireland Ireland 2016 programme will have the global reach to connect with our Diaspora and make them a part of this once in a generation event.”

Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme
The Global and Diaspora Programme is one of the seven strands of the overall Ireland 2016 programme, which was launched by the Taoiseach on 31 March 2015. The Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme is a once-in-a-century opportunity at home and overseas to explore, present, debate and reflect on Ireland then, now and to imagine the next 100 years.  As part of Ireland 2016, Ireland’s embassies and consulates, together with Culture Ireland, will also be promoting the best of Irish arts and culture worldwide. The following are just some of the events that are currently being planned around the globe:

  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, will host a three-week festival of Irish arts and culture entitled ‘Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture’.
  • A concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers will take place at the renowned London venue, the Wigmore Hall, in April 2016.  Led by the Wigmore Hall’s Irish Director, John Gilhooly, this major concert will showcase the Irish contribution to classical music as part of the 2016 commemorations.   
  • Over the course of the weekend of 27-29 June 2015, a range of events will take place to commemorate the life and death of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa with the support of the Irish Consulate General in New York. These will include a GAA tournament at Gaelic Park in the Bronx; a community and cultural celebration in Queens; and a mass and wreath laying ceremony at the O’Donovan Rossa memorial at St. Peter’s Church in Staten Island.
  • From March to July 2016, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires will hold schools’ essay and art competitions, which will encourage participants to reflect on themes that include the Easter Rising and Irish-Argentine relations. A schools’ ‘Gaelic Football Blitz’ will also take place.
  • In Sydney, a series of performances of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars will take place during the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival.
  • Next year’s Paris International Beckett Festival will run for the entire month of March 2016 and will include a focus on the 1916 Rising.  The Sixteen16 centennial programme will involve performances that respond to Samuel Beckett’s work by sixteen Irish artists or artistic groups from Ireland’s theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, music and film sectors.
  • The Culture Ireland International Programme for Ireland 2016 includes major tours, performances and exhibitions involving Irish artists across five key territories (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
  • The Irish Arts Center in New York will run an expanded programme of activity in 2016 including artists such as The Gloaming, Corn Exchange and Camille O’Sullivan, while Poetry Ireland will run an Irish Writers’ Touring Programme to US Literary festivals and events.
  • Irish Film Institute International will hold a series of international screenings in New York and London including archival feature films relating to the events of 1916.
  • Presentation of The Casement Project by Choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchuir as part of the London International Festival of Theatre with a possible symposium partnership with the British Library.
  • A new operatic version of James Joyce’s The Dead, produced by The Performance Corporation and presented at Festivals in Canada.
  • Macnas will perform at the 2016 South by South West Festival, Austin, Texas, while a major international exhibition will be curated by the Science Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.

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