In 2020, Galway, on behalf of Ireland, will host the European Capital of Culture, one of the biggest cultural initiatives in the world. Galway's designation as European Capital of Culture 2020, is a great honour for Ireland and a wonderful opportunity to strengthen and promote our culture nationally and internationally.
The Board of Galway 2020 comprises 15 members, drawn from a range of expertise, including the cultural, governance, audit, business, legal, marketing and communications, digital and language sectors.
Last week, I appointed Dr Moling Ryan as my representative on the Board of Galway 2020. Dr Ryan has a proven track record in governance and public service, having lead and managed a number of public service organisations. He continues to chair and sit on a number of boards, as well as carrying out high-level reviews of various national and international organisations. Dr Ryan has replaced Mr Declan McGonagle who stood down recently for personal reasons.
The new Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Michael Cubbard, and the Cathaoirleach of Galway County, Councillor Jimmy McClearn, are also taking their seats on the Board following the recent local elections and their election last week to the positions in the City and County.
Having regard to events in 2019, this year is very much about getting a flavour of what is to come in 2020. These events include cultural projects such as Fresh Street #3, the international seminar for the development of street arts, which took place in Galway last month and included various street spectacles throughout the 3-day event.
Many other exciting events, along with workshops and launches, are also planned, an example is Galway Community Circus’ ‘Wires Crossed’ spectacular funambulism (high wire walking) project, which was launched last month and is holding workshops and training sessions over the summer in Galway, in preparation for their spectacular event next year.
Galway 2020’s community based programme, Small Towns Big Ideas comprises over 50 projects in round one, over 20 of which have already taken place and the remainder will follow throughout 2019. Applications for round two closed recently and successful projects will be announced in early July.
The cultural programme for Galway 2020 will be launched in September this year. Under the programme, we can look forward to a year-long celebration of street spectacle, exhibitions, readings, classical concerts, dance, schools’ projects, children’s events, the Irish language, musical performances, digital encounters, live art, theatre, circus, funambulism, public art, heritage, food, sports, sheep, folklore, our islands, our people, imagination and creativity.