International festival to celebrate rural arts

A celebration of inspiring arts and cultural initiatives in rural areas from home and abroad will take place at the end of June as the South Tipperary Rural Arts Group get ready to host their first International Festival of Rural Arts and Culture takes place on June 27 and 28. Key events will take place in the intimate setting of Burncourt Community Centre which will include a seminar to explore ways of creating vibrant rural communities through the power of arts and culture and local involvement, as well as an event in The Farmhouse Pub in Graigue, near Clogheen

A celebration of inspiring arts and cultural initiatives in rural areas from home and abroad will take place at the end of June as the South Tipperary Rural Arts Group get ready to host their first International Festival of Rural Arts and Culture takes place on June 27 and 28. Key events will take place in the intimate setting of Burncourt Community Centre which will include a seminar to explore ways of creating vibrant rural communities through the power of arts and culture and local involvement, as well as an event in The Farmhouse Pub in Graigue, near Clogheen

The festival programme starts with the opening of ‘The River Culture Pop Up Space’, on Thursday evening June 27 in Burncourt Community Centre.

This installation and exhibition is a collective effort by the artist Deirdre O’Mahony, the South Tipperary Rural Arts Group, local fisher folk, hunters and the County Museum to assemble a collection of museum objects and local collections of tools, flies, rods, traps and hunting and fishing related materials that speak to the specific culture of river life on the Suir and its surroundings. The artist has interviewed local fisher folk and hunters and these will provide the soundtrack to a DVD projection in the shed behind the community centre. Ms O’Mahony who is from Clare, will give a talk at 7.30pm on the X-PO Project, which she initiated in a former rural post office in Kilnaboy in 2007 and shows the potential of arts and culture to revive rural areas.

‘Inspiring Rural Creativity’, a public seminar and exchange event, takes place in the community centre on the following day, Friday, June 28 from 9.30am - 4pm and will feature guest speakers from across the UK and Ireland present innovative examples of initiatives which tackle the issues of arts and cultural promotion and provision in rural areas and its role in regenerating our society.

For example, hear how in Wales the ‘Night Out Scheme’ brings over 600 shows to local communities every year! And how does the Ballymena Arts Partnership work? Voluntary Arts Ireland will explain how they promote active participation in the arts in local communities, whilst Fragments Ensemble and South Tipperary Rural Arts Group will discuss the experience and outcomes of developing a community film project with young people in the local area, and show the film.

Plus it will also explore the role of the community and rural development, the impact of arts networks and volunteer promoters, and the relationship between artists and local communities. Seminar places are limited and cost €10 including lunch. Book your place through the South Tipp County Museum on 052 6134552 or email museum@southtippcoco.ie

Events will conclude on Friday night with a ‘Crossroads Gathering’ event celebrating the best of rural culture in the region and beyond, taking place in the Farmhouse Pub, Graigue, near Clogheen from 9pm until late.