The Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is delighted to confirm that Thoor Ballylee has received a new grant under the Creative Ireland programme, “the most significant investment in regional arts and cultural centres in a decade”.
€22,000 has been allocated for the refurbishment of two rooms at Thoor Ballylee and the creation of a new Artist Space.
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys made the announcement as part of the Creative Ireland programme, with funding provided under her Department’s Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018.
The aim of the artist space is to make a contemporary contribution to the spirit and tradition of Yeats, his mentor Lady Augusta Gregory, and their nurturing of the poets, artists, actors, musicians and designers of their era.
The space will offer opportunities for visiting artists and scholars to work, and to run workshops, master classes and summer camps for apprentice writers, designers, musicians, and schoolchildren.
It is also hoped that the artist space will attract artists and scholars to the Tower from around the world to perform and share their work as well as promote international collaboration in the run up to Galway 2020 and beyond.
Contestants at the Thoor Ballylee Poetry Slam, 2016
Fidelma Healy Eames, Chair of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, remarked: “I wish to note the thanks and delight of the Board of Directors of Yeats Thoor Ballylee Development Ltd to Minister Humphreys and the Government for their support for our development plan and vision for Yeats’s ancestral home at Thoor Ballylee. Well done to all of the hard working volunteer members of the society. The €22k is most welcome and will contribute greatly to an enhanced visitor experience at Thoor.”
Last year, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society unveiled a beautiful new exhibition which attracted more than 3,000 visitors to the tower over the summer months. Refurbishing two rooms at the Tower will bring the visitor closer to the poet’s life and work. With the new funding injection it is planned to further develop the visitor experience and celebrate Yeats’s Galway home.
Speaking at the announcement Minister Humphreys said: “Creative Ireland aims to promote individual, community and national wellbeing through cultural activity. This €9 million announcement is the most significant investment in regional arts and cultural centres in a decade. The largest funding awards – of €1 million each – are going to Wexford Arts Centre and the Riverbank Arts Centre in Kildare.”
Thoor Ballylee, both Yeats’s tower and the Exhibition is open to visitors from May 1st 2017.