Arts Council boost for City of Culture

editorial image

The latest details of the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013 programme have been revealed this morning (Wednesday 10th October), as the Arts Council announces an investment of £1million in 18 new arts projects.

The funding will be used to support local arts organisations to present world-class standard work to international audiences and will include new theatre productions, live music showcases, dance performances and visual arts exhibitions.

While culture lovers will have to wait until the end of the month for full UK City of Culture 2012 programme, the Arts Council today released details of three of the 18 events it will help to bring to the city next year. Highlights include the largest ever exhibition of works by the city’s own twice Turner prize nominated artist Willie Doherty, Northern Ireland’s first international contemporary dance festival, and a punk musical, written and produced by the acclaimed author Colin Bateman, featuring the songs of seminal Derry-based band, The Undertones.

Bob Collins, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said today’s announcement is just a taste of what we can expect from next year’s cultural festivities. “As the first ever UK City of Culture, expectations are high for Derry~Londonderry to deliver an outstanding programme in 2013. Today’s announcement confirms that there will be much to look forward to.

“The Arts Council’s £1million investment will be used to support local arts organisations to deliver new projects worthy of international attention. The arts are helping to transform our image and show the world what we already know, that we have some of the best artists right here in Northern Ireland. City of Culture 2013 is an opportunity to celebrate that and showcase their work to global audiences.”

Martin Bradley, Chair of Culture Company 2013 commented: “This latest investment is great news for the city and for next year’s much anticipated cultural programme. The three top class events that have been announced today give an indication of the Arts Council’s commitment to our celebrations in 2013. To invest a sum of £1million in City of Culture shows the faith that the Arts Council has in Culture Company’s ability to deliver the fantastic full programme of events that we are looking forward to announcing on October 25th.”

Colin Bateman is currently in the early stages of developing his script for Teenage Kicks. The punk musical, set in the city during 1970s, will be produced by the Millennium Forum in association with the Nerve Centre and features songs by The Undertones.

Speaking about today’s announcement he said: “Even those too young to remember The Undertones first time around will be familiar with their music. As a band they captured the mood of a generation and their amazing energy immediately comes back to life when you hear their songs today. They have become synonymous with Northern Ireland and Teenage Kicks will use their distinctive sounds as the starting point to tell a story of the punk generation.”

The UK City of Culture 2013 programme will begin in January, with events happening throughout the year across Derry~Londonderry.

Echo Echo Dance Festival

The first dedicated dance and movement festival in Northern Ireland created by one of the island’s leading dance companies. Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company will draw on its extensive local and international networks to curate a programme of acclaimed dance, movement and physical theatre works. Strong local performance and participation will be developed through new individual artist commissions, artistic development intensives, and education and outreach programmes. The first edition of Echo Echo Dance Festival will take place in the city in November 2013.

Teenage Kicks

‘Teenage Kicks’ is a punk musical written by Colin Bateman. The play is set in the 1970s and will be set against a backdrop of classic songs by the Undertones. The play will be produced by the Millennium Forum in association with the Nerve Centre. Colin Bateman is a Northern Ireland author currently based in Co. Down. He has written over 30 novels for adults and children, with titles including The Prison of Brenda, Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men, and Divorcing Jack, which was made into a movie in 1998. He has also penned several screenplays including the BBC1 drama Murphy’s Law, staring James Nesbitt. Teenage Kicks will be his second work for stage and follows the success of National Anthem which debuted at the 2011 Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens.

‘Unseen’ – Works by Willie Doherty

‘Unseen’ will be the biggest ever exhibition of photographic and video works by Willie Doherty. The artist was born in Derry in 1959 and he has had a range of international shows of his work. The exhibition will give an overview of the work that he has created in Derry and it will give new insights into his thinking and methods. It will give audiences the chance to see the work in its local context. Since 1985 he has recorded the way in which the city has been shaped and altered in response to unfolding political events. The title refers to his need to be unseen in recording these things. The exhibition will contain key photographic works and tell of the complexities of representing a contested landscape. Video represented will include his Turner Prize nominated work of 2002. New works produced for the exhibition reflect the evolution of the city. The exhibition will be a rare opportunity to see his work in this concentrated way. The project will be delivered by Nerve Centre and Matt’s Gallery, London. ‘Unseen’ will coincide with the 2013 Turner prize exhibition in Derry.