Last Friday’s National Campaign For The Arts free hugs event was a huge success and one we were very proud to be part of. It was fantastic to see such a huge mobilisation of Kilkenny’s arts community, all coming together for the one cause.
With the budget coming up, it’s important that we are lobbying our local politicians and drawing attention to the crucial role of the arts in our communities. We had a lot of local politicians in attendance including Minister Phil Hogan, John McGuinness T.D., Cllr Andrew McGuinness, Mayor of Kilkenny Sean O’hArgain and Cathaoirleach Cllr. Marie Fitzpatrick and it was great to demonstrate to them the passion and pride we have in our local arts community.
Kilkenny has a thriving arts scene and punches way above its weight nationally so it was great to see such a nice spread of representation. Apart from ourselves, there were members of Barnstorm Theatre Company, Young Irish Film Makers, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Arts Office, Barn Owl Players, Spark Productions and The Watergate Theatre. We were all fighting against arts cuts and potential loss of funding and jobs throughout the city and everybody did a great job of getting into the spirit of the day.You can see a video of the event here, as made by the scamps of YIFM.
What we need to do next is to see Kilkenny artists being showcased within Kilkenny itself in a more positive fashion. Yes, we’re referring to ourselves, but we’re also referring to the innumerable amount of local artists who aren’t given the spotlight they deserve. Our talent is as good as any county and when given the opportunity to prove this we do. The united front that was put on Friday proves that there is a huge community prepared to proudly represent Kilkenny arts and fight for the work we make. Now let’s now see that work better represented in our own events and festivals all year round.
This event shone a huge light on our local arts community, lets keep it there throughout 2013.