Critical Voices 2022To mark its seventieth year, the Arts Council has commissioned Critical Voices 2022, a collection of essays reflecting on the Arts Council’s history, the value of the arts, and the impact of 70 years of public investment.

6 August 2022
Parade Tower, Kilkenny
Free but tickets must be booked.


This special bilingual event, produced in collaboration with Kilkenny Arts Festival, brings together three of the essayists whose work appears in Critical Voices 2022 — visual artist Rita Duffy, poet Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh and artist and activist Sandy Fitzgerald — to read from and discuss their work, offering their unique perspectives on the role of the arts in Ireland’s past, present and future.

Topics for discussion include the relationship between various governments and the arts since the 1950s; arts and culture as common languages across the world; diversity and the role played by the arts in celebrating contemporary Ireland; creativity as a positive force in the world; ról agus tiomantas na Comhairle Ealaíon don Ghaeilge a mheasiú agus an ról is féidir leis na healaíona a imirt chun forbairt na Ghaeilge mar theanga bheo labhartha a chinntiú.

Rita Duffy is a Northern Ireland visual artist. She received her BA at the Art and Design Centre and her MA in Fine Art at the University of Ulster.

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh was born in Kerry and studied at NUI Galway. She has published two collections in Irish, Péacadh (Coiscéim, 2008) and Tost agus Allagar (Coiscéim, 2016, winner of the 2019 Michael Hartnett Award). Winner of the 2020 Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, her bilingual The Coast Road was published by The Gallery Press in 2016.

Sandy Fitzgerald has over thirty years experience as a cultural practitioner and manager. Beginning as an actor, writer and musician, he went on to become a founder member of City Arts Centre, Dublin, and director of that organisation from 1973 to 2002.

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