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ISACS Member - Spraoi
ISACS Member - Spraoi St Patrick's Parade 2017 | Photographer Graham Cullen
6 minutes reading time (1149 words)

Critical Encounters with Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle

Critical Encounters with Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle

The MA Festive Arts is delighted to present a series of events around Writing for Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle. These events are presented in collaboration with ISACS, the Irish Street Art, Circus and Spectacle Network.

Critical responses and reflections are crucial for the development of any cultural sector. Reviews, critique and written responses play an essential role in the visual arts, music, dance and theatre, providing a space for reflection and development, as well as an archive of work carried out for future researchers to trace and explore. In Ireland, we need to develop a strong traditional of critical response to street arts, circus and spectacle.

Outdoor arts are integral to our cultural life, from the magic of the Macnas parades to the spectacular performances that take place during the Waterford Spraoi festival each year. Outdoor arts animate our streets, towns and cities, they engage with and creatively explore public spaces, and they connect with audiences from all walks of life. In order to contribute to the development of a culture of writing about, reviewing and reflecting on these essential, exciting and innovative art forms, the MA Festive Arts programme is presenting a series of events, free to all, on the subject with a range of international and national invited speakers.

These seminars are open to all, and will be of interest to art critics, writers, performing artists, academics.

Booking and Registration for all events -  https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/writing-for-street-arts-circus-and-spectacle-tickets-28395229897


Tower Seminar, Wednesday 9 November 2016, 4pm - 5.30pm.

All welcome. Tower Theatre, Irish World Academy Building.

Seminar title: Critical Encounters with Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle

This seminar explores different ways of critically engaging with street arts, circus and spectacle. Drawing from their own experience within the sector, the speakers will explore the role of reflective and critical frameworks in the development of the position of street art, circus and spectacle in a range of international contexts.


Floriane Gaber is a writer, researcher, journalist, teacher and cultural consultant. She is a well-travelled European commentator and critic of street theatre, mime, circus and spoken/written word performance. She has been published widely and is a regular contributor to cultural and arts journals and magazines. Her books 40 ans d’arts de la rue and How it all started: street arts in the context of the 1970s are important texts that chart this history of street and outdoor arts.

Lucy Medlycott BA, FRSA is project manager for the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network ISACS. ISACS is Ireland’s lead umbrella organisation for the development and support of these art forms in Ireland today. Lucy co-founded and managed outdoor arts company Bui Bolg in Wexford from 1994 to 2013.

Kim Tilbrook is a producer and facilitator with over 25 years’ experience of working on socially engaged arts projects, including Nowhere Island for the 2012 Olympiad, Wye Valley River Festival and numerous opportunities for youth participation in the South West.

Paschale Straiton is artistic director of Red Herring, an outdoor theatre company based in Brighton. She trained at Circomedia Circus School, Bristol and holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck, UCL. She has worked as a deviser with companies ranging from Wildworks to Improbable.


LOGOS Seminar, Thursday 10 November 2016, 10am - 12 noon.

All welcome, but places are limited so booking required. IW1-008 (Conference room, Irish World Academy Building).

This seminar will feature all of our speakers from the Tower Seminar (see above), but will have a more practical focus on creating networks between artists and writers, with time for discussion and exploration with our invited speakers.


Practical skills in arts journalism with Cristín Leach, Thursday 10 November 2016, 1pm-4pm.

All welcome, but places are limited so booking required. Theatre 1, Irish World Academy Building.

This session is suitable for all those interested in developing skills in arts journalism, or who are interested in developing their writing skills. There will be an emphasis on developing practical writing skills around street arts, circus and spectacle.

Cristín Leach is an art critic who has been writing for The Sunday Times Ireland since 2003. As a freelance broadcaster, she has reported and reviewed on TV and radio for arts programmes including RTÉ's The Works, The View, The Arts Show, Rattlebag and Arena, since 1999. She was Entertainment Editor for RTÉ Interactive from 2001-2003 where she launched and edited the national broadcaster's first online arts and culture website, rte.ie/ACE. A graduate of UCC Arts and DCU School of Journalism, she teaches occasional critical journalism workshops.

Following this series of events, MA Festive Arts students will be attending the National Circus Festival, which takes place in Tralee, Co. Kerry, from 10-13 November. The students will be creating new writing in response to the many events and performances during this festival - for more information on the National Circus Festival, please visit: http://www.circusfestival.ie/

The MA Festive Arts programme focuses on festival development, festival performance and research on the role of festival in society. For more information on the MA Festive Arts Programme, please visit: http://www.ul.ie/graduateschool/course/festive-arts-ma or contact the Course Director, Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann at niamh.nicghabhann@ul.ie. You can watch a short video on the MA Festive Arts programme here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM0H7KyOYeY

For more information on all our programmes, events, public talks, lectures and performances at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, please visit: http://irishworldacademy.ie/

Getting to the University of Limerick:
Limerick city can be accessed by bus and train. Both bus and train routes bring you to Colbert Station in Limerick city. It is possible to get a taxi from the station to the University, or to take the 304 bus from William Street in Limerick city centre (a 10 minute walk from the train station). Leap cards are accepted on the Limerick city Bus Éireann buses. Online booking fares via Irish Rail are available for many journeys to Limerick so advance booking is recommended.

The best method of transport from Dublin to the University of Limerick is the M7 bus, which leaves Burgh Quay twice every hour, at quarter to and quarter past the hour. The bus journey takes c. 2 1/2 hours. It is worth booking ahead in case of large groups in order to avoid delays. The bus journey is €10 each way. The link to the M7 bus site is here: http://www.dublincoach.ie/timetables-fares/M7-bus-ennis-tralee-killarney-limerick-dublin-city.php

Bus timetables: http://www.buseireann.ie/
Train timetables: http://www.irishrail.ie/

For those driving to the University of Limerick, information on parking and on the Irish World Academy venue is available here: http://www.irishworldacademy.ie/venue/map-directions/

For hotel deals, we would recommend the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel and will update all attendees on deals for Irish World Academy-affiliated guests: http://www.kilmurrylodge.com/

ISACS would like to thank Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann, of the the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, for her work and enthusiasm in putting together this event. Many thanks also to the Arts Council for their continued support of ISACS work.

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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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