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ISACS Member - Spraoi
ISACS Member - Spraoi St Patrick's Parade 2017 | Photographer Graham Cullen
8 minutes reading time (1586 words)

2018 RoundUp - ISACS Network Year in review!

From talking at major international conferences, hosting national and international talks, welcoming our biggest delegation of international programmers to Ireland, supporting and bringing artists to a dozen of renowned national and international events, creating new international exchanges, to running a large scale outdoor arts audience survey and joining a national campaign for insurance reform; 2018 was banner year for the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network!

Let's look back at ISACS Network highlights and achievements!

ISACS Network Highlights 2018

In 2018, ISACS Network offered professional mentorship and support to up to 100 artists and organisations. ISACS Networked facilitated six professional development programmes (N.E.S.T., 5 D.E.L.V.E. programmes, 7 L.E.A.P. training, one Irish Focus Showcase, one International Residency, Meet & Greet sessions with programmers), which all directly benefited the career and practice of up to sixty arts professionals. ISACS also hosted two professional focussed discussions on insurance and business skills. 

As Ireland's leading Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle support and advocacy organisation, ISACS hosted a dozen of national and international talks such as the Annual Seminar for Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle, the Annual National Circus Forum and the second Irish Youth Circus Focus and an International Street Talk. ISACS Network also represented the sector at too many national events to list, ran several advocacy campaigns and conducted a major national outdoor arts audience study.

ISACS Network also represented the sector abroad traveling to six different countries and delivering keynotes speeches and presentations at five major international events (FiraTarregaARTICULTURE National Outdoor Arts Gathering for Wales, BurningMan European Leader Summit, Power of the Possible, A Day of Outdoor Arts in Glasgow).

Please scroll down to discover the highlights of a stellar year in review and in pictures!

Professional Development for Circus and Street Arts 

''ISACS professional dedication, commitment, and talents are the key factors in the growth and development of this sector in Ireland"
Loosysmokes, ISACS member.

  • National work

In 2018, we supported 6 circus and street artists in residence in Waterford with Simon Thompson (Clown Noir) before showcasing their new work to the Spraoi festival audience as part of our New Emerging Street Talent programme (NEST) in partnership with Spraoi Festival and Arts Council Ireland.

ISACS Network brought 11 circus and street artists to 5 renowned national festivals across Ireland as part of our DELVE programme to see and discover new artwork and art forms through attendance, participation and mentoring.

Many thanks to all five hosts (Dublin Dance Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Carlow Arts Festival, Spraoi, National Circus Festival of Ireland) and our main funder, the Arts Council of Ireland!

from ISACS members participants are now available to read on our website.

Focussed discussions with experts
ISACS Network also led two professional focussed discussions with experts to answer its members' needs. 

ISACS Network held a two hours training in business and negotiation for circus and street artists, led by business expert Rowena Neville 'The fine art of negotiating and business savvy for Circus and Street artists', at the Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin in May.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities was held in Tralee on the 10th of November with special guests (Joe Mannix – Mannix & Co Solicitors, Michael Sheehy – Alert Claim services and Liability Management, Peter Boland – Alliance for Insurance Reform and Aidan Phelan – Chair of ISACS Network)

Information and resources sharing
Through the year 2018, we shared more than 400 professional opportunities with practitioners of the sector, mentored and supported a growing network of up to 100 members. We also built up a database to expand our members' professional resources and toolkits. 

In 2018, we have provided seven young professionals from six different countries with a L.E.A.P. training adapted to their professional backgrounds and ambitions.

Check out the L.E.A.P Programme training available on our website this year.

  • International work

Irish Focus at Mirabilia Festival, Italy
ISACS negotiated a direct international platform for eight artists ISACS from three artistic organisations to present work at Mirabilia Festival in Italy as part of the second Focus Irlanda Programme supported by Culture Ireland.

LoosysmokesTom Campbell and Fanzini.

Irish Residency at CINEU, Mallorca
Seven Irish artists were invited to apply for a two-week residency at C.In.E, Balearic Islands, Mallorca in 2018.
This project was the result of a partnership between the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS), The Performing Arts Research Centre – Centre d’Investigacio Escenica (C.In.E) Sineu, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, the Irish Aerial Creation Centre (IACC), Institut Ramon Lull and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick.

Siolta Collective

One to one international programmers and artists meeting, Spraoi, Waterford
As part of our SeeHere Programme at Spraoi Festival, supported by Culture Ireland, ISACS Network organised opportunities for one-to-one-meetings between 25 Irish artists and professional of the sector and 8 international programmers.

Advocating for Circus and Street Arts

  • National work

In 2018, ISACS Network hosted 8 discussions and talks across the country on various topics from  Outdoors arts, to Circus250 celebrations, to specific focus.

Talks highlights:

International Irish delegation at Spraoi International Street Arts Festival 

In August, ISACS Network invited eight international programmers to Spraoi
, to discover Irish work and meet with local street and circus practitioners and artists, which strengthened our relationships with our European partners and grew seeds for future collaborations.

Many thanks to Culture Ireland for their support in this SeeHere programme.

Alfred Konijnenbelt (Festival Spoffin, Netherlands), Julia Von Wild (Tete a Tete, Rastatt, Germany), Bruno Costa (Bussola Outdoor Arts, Portugal), Polona Prosen (Ana Monro, Slovenia), Sebastia Jorda & Virginia Garau (Circaire, Balearic islands), LLuc Silverstre (Institut Ramon Llull, Catalonia), Robin Morley (Magnetic Events, UK), Fabrizio Gavosto (Mirabilia Festival, Italy)

In 2018, ISACS Network conducted a large scale audience research at various festivals across the country.

ISACS Network also conducted a study on 17 Irish Youth Circus organisations to map and build a national overview of the national youth circus landscape, identify this sector's needs and challenges ahead of future Irish Youth Circus Focus and events.

ISACS Network conducted various campaigns promoting more than 100 artists and artistic productions.

ISACS Network supported the worldwide Circus250 campaign, celebrating 250 years of Circus by producing many articles and materials on the theme of Circus.

ISACS Network also conducted a campaign to raise awareness on how insurance hikes hugely affect circus and street artists and organisations. ISACS joined forces with the Alliance for Insurance Reform to bring the issue to the Nation's and policymakers' attention. ISACS Network took part and hosted interactive talks with experts on insurance for the street and circus sector and acted as the sector's voice on local radio and in the national press.

  • International work
In 2018, ISACS Network represented the Irish sector at 8 major international events in 7 different countries!

Circostrada General meetings
In 2018, ISACS Network pursued its international work in partnership with Circostrada, the European Network for Circus and Street Arts.
ISACS Network was holding a seat on the steering committee of Circostrada and particularly focussed its work on preparations to host FRESH STREET#3, the International Seminar for the Development of Street Arts. CEO Lucy Medlycott and ISACS Network representatives attended three Circostrada General Meetings.

International Speaking
In 2018, ISACS Network represented the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle sector at three major international conferences and delivered talks as a key player of the Circus and Outdoor Arts community:

Artists mentorship and support

ISACS also provided support to three presenting artists (Angelique Ross, Siolta Collective) at the Arts of the Possible (UK)

Irish delegation at FirraTarrega Festival
The ISACS Network was invited to host an Irish delegation at the renowned FiraTarrega street arts festival and professional market, Spain. A delegation of 12 Irish representatives was selected by Culture Ireland and joined the ISACS team to deliver a presentation at ISACS Network stand at the
 international market, and networked with international colleagues.


Johnny Phelan - C Circus K, Juley Ann Collins - Fidget Feet, Debbie Wright - Turas Theatre Collective, Elaine McCague - Loosysmokes

Irish organisations:

Lucy Medlycott - ISACS Network, Kath Gorman – ISACS Network,
Lynette Moran – Live Collision, Paul Brown – Earagail Arts Festival, Craig Flaherty – Galway 2020, Mike Leahy – Waterford Spraoi, Paul Fahy – Galway International Arts Festival, Jo Mangan – Carlow Arts Festival.

Looking forward to 2019!

ISACS Ireland would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies Arts Council IrelandCulture Ireland, European partner Circostrada Network and local partners Wexford Co Council and Irish Theatre Institute, as well as all the festivals, organisations and individuals who made these achievements possible.

To another year! Slainte!

Lucy Medlycott, Charlotte Haffner & ISACS team.
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Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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