NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival Announce New Partnership Initiative

8 April 2019

New MA in Creative Arts in autumn 2019 and major GIAF theatre production coming to campus this July.

NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) today announced details of a new MA in Creative Arts: Producing and Curation, with applications now open and the first classes commencing in autumn 2019.

This new course is the latest initiative arising from the ongoing partnership between the University and the Festival. The one-year full time programme for the MA in Creative Arts will ensure students develop skills in:

· Creative producing - putting in place the practical steps needed to turn an artistic vision into a realised project for an audience – whether the work is in the performing arts, literature, visual arts, or an interdisciplinary area.

· Curation - the assembly and delivery of artistic experiences for audiences, whether those experiences are in the form of arts collections, digital objects on a website, or a programme of performances in a festival (among other possibilities).

Over the course of this new MA, students will have ongoing contact with GIAF team members through a regular GIAF-led speaker series as well as participating in SELECTED, the Festival’s professional development programme for emerging artists, theatre-makers, curators and producers studying at NUI Galway.

This latest development between GIAF and NUI Galway builds on the existing partnership built around a number of initiatives; SELECTED, the Festival Volunteer programme and the University’s role as a key Festival venue hub where, in July 2018, over 50,000 people came onto the campus to attend Festival events taking place across NUI Galway venues.

To coincide with the course announcement, GIAF has announced its first theatre show of the 2019 programme, which will be one of a number of productions taking place on the University campus in 2019. Following their triumphant GIAF debut in 2017 with Tristan & Yseult, the celebrated UK theatre company Kneehigh is back with their theatrical tour-de-force Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) based on John Gay’s The Beggar's Opera.

Written by Carl Grose with original score by Charles Hazlewood and directed by Mike Shepherd; Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is busting with wit, wonder and weirdness. Using their legendary mix of puppetry, physical theatre and live music, the extraordinary cast of actor-musicians shoot and shimmy their way through this timeless story of power and lies in this trail-blazing and much celebrated production. It will run at the Bailey Allen Hall on the NUI Galway campus from 16 – 20 July as part of GIAF19.

Dr Charlotte McIvor, current Programme Director and Head of Discipline in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “Students will emerge from this programme as reflective practitioners with diverse transferable practical skills across these two interrelated industries. We aim to produce graduates capable of engaging with the shifting and complex demands of the creative arts industries in Ireland and beyond. To work in this area, you need to have a creative arts knowledge base that is diverse, interdisciplinary and ultimately practical - perspectives this programme emphasizes in the modules and experiences that are part of the degree. Without the work of producers and curators, the greatest works of art in our time would never have reached their audiences. In order to protect the arts and grow our creative industries, we need the best possible people in these roles, and this programme seeks to find and nurture them.”

John Crumlish, CEO, Galway International Arts Festival, said: “We are very excited to be involved in this initiative which will play such an important role in delivering the next generation of cultural producers and curators. If Ireland is to compete with the best in this arena, courses such as this will be invaluable in helping create the individuals capable of delivering excellence at both a national and international level.”

For further information, contact Dr Charlotte McIvor at or phone 091 492631.

For details about Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) at Galway International Arts Festival this July 16-20 see here.