Galway International Arts Festival and National University of Ireland Galway have announced the signing of a new multi-year partnership, which will see Ireland’s leading cultural organization and the Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 working together across a number of initiatives designed to provide inspiring cultural and creative opportunities for students.
Galway International Arts Festival and NUI Galway have a long-standing history of working together, with the University acting as Education Partner for the festival since 2011.
The new partnership comes in the wake of Galway being announced as European Capital of Culture in 2020 (ECOC 2020) and the announcement of the government’s Creative Ireland programme, which both parties see as a timely opportunity to develop a new type of partnership that supports and develops the cultural sector in Galway.
Galway International Arts Festival will work with the University on the development of a number of education initiatives that complement the existing suite of culture-related courses provided by the University. In addition, the University’s Alive programme will work with the festival to further develop the festival’s expanding volunteer programme as a best practice experience.
A formal arrangement will be put in place with the library to archive Galway International Arts Festival’s activities and Galway International Arts Festival will work with the university on the promotion of its new BA in Music programme.
The new partnership will also see greater ties between Galway International Arts Festival’s First Thought Talks programme and the University, with the campus becoming much more closely associated with this discussion platform.
A new First Thought Talks event will be developed and delivered on campus during the 2018-2019 academic year, with a view to developing it as an annual event.
As Galway International Arts Festival further positions itself as a producer and tourer of new work, NUI Galway will also form key associations with Irish work in each year’s festival programme, supporting the creation of new work created by Irish artists that will premier in Galway and tour.
Galway International Arts Festival CEO John Crumlish said: “This new partnership represents an exciting new development in the relationship with NUI Galway. It is a natural fit for the festival, as it is hoped the University will produce the graduates who will have a major role developing, producing and working on new productions in the future.
The association with such work further reinforces the University’s culture campus brand with audiences wherever the work is seen, while also further building the Galway brand internationally.”
NUI Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The Galway International Arts Festival and NUI Galway are partners with a shared focus on harnessing the creative spirit of the region, which is such a cultural strength that results in work in many local sectors having an impact throughout the world.
"This year, we’ve welcomed thousands of national and international visitors to the campus as part of the Festival, while the University has led a number of First Thought Talks and a vibrant programme of post-show discussions. As Education partner, we see our cultural hinterland as central to our mission and look forward to working with the festival over the coming years to support the next generation of creative artists, producers and cultural entrepreneurs.”