Home Limerick Culture Limerick 2020 is an opportunity we all should embrace

Limerick 2020 is an opportunity we all should embrace

8 min read
The Limerick European Capital of Culture 2020 bid team is entering the final stage of the first element of the bid process. I believe we have a huge opportunity not only to be successful in the bid process but to start a journey of re-imagining the role culture will play in the Limerick of tomorrow. 
In 2014 we saw a huge shift in how our cultural community interact with each other. The year started a conversation, deeper engagement, new friendships and a realisation that culture was a valued part of our city’s fabric. 
There will be cynics out there. That is understood. However, those who fully believe that culture is important will recognise the merit of the European Capital of Culture bid process. 
Culture Night showcased Limerick’s cultural energy. Pic: Alan Place
As we go about our daily lives we often lose sight of what is going on around us. Last Friday’s Culture Night proved the existence of audiences in Limerick. The recent Love Letters from Limerick project showcased the renaissance of a once dying art. Our galleries, our theatres, our museums, castles and other cultural institutions are seeing continued growth in visitor numbers. The programming by these cultural organisations is second to none. 
One of the taglines from 2014 was ‘Open Your Eyes to City of Culture’. This line is even more pertinent in the Limerick of today. Culture is not about flags on bridges, roundabouts or flyers landing on our doormats. Active citizenship and engagement is important. 
Love Letters from Limerick Captured the imagination 
Seeing the vast numbers of young families last Friday night enjoying our city and its many different cultural attributes was inspiring. Seeing many of the world’s best sign writers converge on our city over the past two weeks was inspiring. Watching the continued growth of the locally created Elemental Arts Festival was inspiring. I am looking forward to the Limerick Jazz Festival this weekend. I am enjoying the regular events being held as part of the Limerick City Gallery 30 Days Hath September celebrations. 
If we all open our eyes to Limerick as a cultural city we will never be disappointed. 
What is Limerick’s European Capital of Culture bid about?
Limerick is preparing to submit a bid book as part of a two
stage process. The first bid book will be submitted to the Department of Arts
Heritage and The Gaeltacht in October 2015 and a short-list will be prepared,
from which the winner will be selected in mid 2016.
For 30 years the European Union has designated one or
more cities as a European Capital of Culture. The European Capital of Culture
designation is for a period of one calendar year during which a city and/or a
region organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension,
promoting cultural diversity and common features of our European Heritage.
Ireland is eligible to host the European Capital of Culture in the year 2020.
The European Capital of Culture initiative is one of the
most prestigious and visible European cultural awards in the EU, and is awarded
on the strength of an exceptional programme of events to a city, that is both
local and European. It’s also awarded on the strength of co-operation shown
locally in the field of culture that helps promotes a lasting dialogue at European
Our bid for European Capital of Culture is about re-imagining
Limerick. The culture of a city does not have a beginning or an end. It is a
continuous elaboration, retrenchment, expansion and consolidation. Limerick and
its people are on a pathway of change, development, regeneration and
Limerick is connecting with its people and its
rich culture to imagine its future and is emerging from a quiet minute into a
new dawn.​ Join us on this wonderful journey. 
As Limerick bids for the designation for European Capital of
Culture 2020 it is recognised that the bidding process is all about widening
access and participation to culture, strengthening the capacity of our cultural
sector and raising our European and international profile as a result. 
Limerick is connecting with its people and its rich culture
to imagine its future and is emerging from a quiet minute into a new dawn.​

The Limerick 2020 bid team invite you to join them this
wonderful journey. You can follow the bid on Facebook, Twitter or by logging on to www.limerick2020.ie

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