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Case Study MA Arts Management and Creative Producing
MA in Arts Management and Creative Producing
Name: Laura Duff (MA Graduate)
Programme: MA in Arts Management and Creative Producing
Background and Context:
Tús Nua Productions was formed as part of our postgraduate training in Arts Management and Creative Producing at the Department of Theatre at the School of Film, Music and Theatre, UCC in the Autumn 2019. As a group of student producers in the first weeks of working together, we quickly formed a bond and identified our shared interests in new beginnings, collaborations and inter-disciplinary arts. As our year together progressed we developed our vision for the Half Moon Festival based on these interests and our individual areas of expertise in music, theatre, dance, visual arts and literature. In mounting a new and once-off festival, as part of our end of term course work, we wanted to celebrate difference and different perspectives, to share our experiences of art and creativity, to offer our audiences the opportunity to celebrate the fun and joyous moments that art offers, and to provide an antidote to the detached living of the present day. Our festival was due to be launched at The Kino on March 26th with events taking place in various venues in April including The Green Room (Cork Opera House) and The Kino. We thank all of our teachers and mentors for their guidance and support over the academic year in bringing our project to life, and most particularly in the course of reimagining Half Moon Festival for online output in the light of the restrictions brought about by Covid-19.
In its reimagined format, Half Moon Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts festival, premiered online from Friday June 26th to Sunday June 28th 2020. The Festival took its name from Cork’s Half Moon Street, a thoroughfare that provides access from Cork’s City Centre and Lavitt’s Quay to the cultural quarter housing both the Crawford Gallery and the Cork Opera House. Inspired by this creative energy and the way in which Half Moon Street acts as a bridge between everyday life and the cultural spaces that are central to Cork, the Half Moon Festival sought to celebrate different perspectives, to embrace connection and creativity, and to platform collaborative work between artists.
Arts managers and producers act as a bridge between artists and their audiences. They must be experts in the arts landscape and the relationship between this landscape and wider society. In this way, arts managers and producers facilitate social engagement and enable the creative spirit through meaningful interactions with the arts. In producing Half Moon Festival as part of this inaugural year of UCC’s MA program in Arts Management and Creative Producing, we hope to illuminate the excitement and comfort that comes from our togetherness, and we invite everyone to connect and share with each other at this crucial moment in time; a time when physical interaction does not define our sense of connection to community in as much as our commitment to keeping the energy of exchange alive. In doing this we recognise the development of the cohort’s graduate attributes and values as these meet with the core values of our MA programme. In mounting this once-off festival, we make our debut as socially engaged and responsible producers and as the first cohort of this new MA program under the banner of Tús Nua (new beginnings), we represent and action independent and creative thinking processes that are at the core of working in the Arts industry.
As a group of producers, we feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sustain our commitment to our artists and to move our diverse programme of arts events online. Through the development of this ambitious artistic programme across the academic year (see www.halfmoonfest.com) and in the sudden shift to online platforms due to Covid-19 we feel we have met the challenge of learning on our feet and have also learned about the value of digital fluency at a time where we must remain physically apart.
How has your MA programme developed your graduate attributes and values?
In terms of how the MA and, in particular, the formation of Tús Nua and the Half Moon Festival, have developed your UCC graduate attributes and values, would you be able to write a line or two on each of the below:
Creators, Evaluators and Communicators of Knowledge:
Through this MA, we have developed skills and knowledge that we will action in our emergence into the industry. We have learned from our mentors and industry professionals throughout the year the strength of this connection and communication as our experience progresses.
Independent and Creative Thinkers:
The Arts industry and Independent and Creative Thinking go hand in hand. We are grateful to develop these practises in a university setting, while simultaneously producing Half Moon Festival as our programme of work.
Through the course of this MA, we have learned first hand how the values of producers and arts managers can have a positive impact on the world around them. Our engagement with social issues has always been supported and we have learned to appreciate the power in channelling these issues into our work.
Effective Global Citizens who recognise and challenge inequality:
Our programme includes an event entitled “Direct Provision: Experiences in Art”. This work reflects on the socially engaged art work of the Change the Beat! Project at The Glucksman and Leaving Limbo and Pitching Up by Maurice O’Brien to look critically at the experience of migrants and asylum seekers in Ireland, and how art can provide a basis for questioning and reviewing these experiences.
We have honed our digital fluency in the development of our website and social media platforms. This proved to be of optimal importance in the sudden shift to online presence in light of Covid 19.
Since the start of Tús Nua, and the imagining of what we wanted Half Moon Festival to be, we have kept our ambition, vision and mission to a high standard in the programming, design, and output of our programme.
We seek to show compassion towards each other, our artists and the people we engage with. We believe we have a duty to use our compassion to connect with people from all walks of life and to enjoy the shared experiences the arts provide.
We respect the artists and team of Half Moon Festival, our mentors and staff of the MA, in their resilience, facilitation and support provided in the mounting of this work.
In keeping our ability to support artists in the production of Half Moon Festival to the fore of our thinking in the reimagining of our programme, in light of Covid 19.
Among Tús Nua, our team, our mentors, and artists, we have remained resilient in platforming and producing work during such an unnerving time for the Arts industry in particular.