Limerick City and County Council have just been awarded €73,000 by the Arts Council to deliver a unique and ambitious intergenerational project called Bingo Wings.
The project, run by Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, will see aerial and circus artists working with both younger and older people towards the creation of new performances based on the themes of bingo across Limerick, Kerry and Donegal communities.
The Arts Council confirmed the award as part of their ‘Invitation to Collaboration’ scheme aimed at Local Authorities, which promotes unique collaborations through working better together and promoting access to and engagement with the arts.
Speaking at the launch in the Irish Aerial Creation Centre, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “Through strategies, partnerships and projects, we are committed to prioritising the continuous improvement and access to and engagement to creative activities.”
“This has led to our Bingo Wings Project, which recognises the need for support for artists and their professional development, the engagement of citizens to make excellent work in collaboration; for reflection on process ensuring public monies are invested effectively,” Cllr Collins added.
“Culture and Arts are crucial elements in any society. In Limerick, we were up until recently slow to shout about it. Slow to highlight the fantastic work we were doing but luckily that is changing or the better.”
The project will be evaluated through University of Limerick and led by Jennifer de Brun, Performing Arts Coordinator at UL, with the intention of developing a symposium on the outcomes.
Director of the Arts Council, Orlaith McBride said: “I’m confident this funding will help foster a unique and exciting collaboration between younger and older people alongside Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre. The role of UL in supporting a symposium in 2019 on the topic will be of national interest.”
Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council Sheila Deegan added: “This award demonstrates collaboration in action between artists and communities, local authorities and national partners which focus on testing new ground for public engagement and the arts in original and exciting way.
“The Bingo Wings project is a collaboration and a way of co-commissioning a work of scale and ambition between three dynamic Arts Offices, Limerick, Kerry and Donegal who all have a longstanding interest in models of best practice around commissioning, public engagement and arts participation.”
“The Bingo Wings idea belongs to Chantal McCormick, the Creative Director of Fidget Feet, whose grandfather was a local postman in Donegal where she grew up and he was also the local bingo caller. She recalls spending many evenings with him in the Bingo Hall and wants to honour the intergenerational connection between young people and older people and celebrate that human connection through this wonderful project.”