An Grianán Theatre this week announced Ciara Doherty, Clodagh McIvor and Ultan Pringle as the three young Donegal people who will join the NASC Network Young Curators programme for 2023/24. Marketing Manager of An Grianán Theatre, Daithi Ramsay, said that the theatre were delighted to have engaged three young people of such high calibre. “We had a phenomenal response to the call out for young curators this year, and the standard of the applicants was so high, and we believe that Ciara, Clodagh and Ultan will really enhance our programming for young people over the coming year. We’re already excited by the ideas that they’re coming up with.”
An Grianán Theatre and its partner venues in the Nasc Regional Venue Network have teamed up to present a national festival across eight regional theatres – from Letterkenny to Tralee, from Galway to Dun Laoghaire – in June 2024 that will be programmed by the team of young people selected through a nationwide open call.
Throughout the year, the Young Curators will have the opportunity to meet up with curators from the other venues across the NASC Network. They will each receive mentoring from industry professionals in marketing, touring and venue management and will learn about negotiating deals, how to approach artists and companies, and how to manage budgets. They are also this week visiting the Galway International Arts Festival to experience excellent arts programming in the flesh. In Spring 2024, the Young Curators will work towards programming events for a week-long festival which will take place between 3rd and 8th of June 2024.
Meet our young curators
Ultan Pringle is an actor and writer from Donegal. He is a graduate with first class honours of Drama & Theatre Studies and Classical Civilisations from Trinity College Dublin. He is a founding member of LemonSoap Productions with who he has written and acted in various productions including Marmalade Row with An Grianán Theatre and The New Theatre, It Is Good We Are Dreaming and Piglet at The New Theatre and currently Fruit debuting weekly on all podcasting platforms. He was an Activate Residency 2021 Bursary recipient at The Backstage Theatre Longford to develop a new musical with his collaborator HK Ní Shioradáin called The Faggot Manifesto which explores modern queer Dublin. He is currently developing for release a theatrical audio piece called Pistachio to star both himself and three time Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Piper Laurie.
Ciara Doherty is a recent North West Regional College graduate from Derry. She studied music production and is passionate about creating opportunities and connections for artists based in the North-West through multimedia events. Ultimately, she hopes to help to break the stigma for young people pursuing the arts and provide support for those wishing to enter the creative industries. In her spare time, she seeks out new music and attends any and all gigs she can find, from punk, to folk, to drag and burlesque shows.
Clodagh McIvor is a third-year Event Management student at ATU Galway-Mayo and is currently a young curator with the Earagail Arts Festival. Coming from a local family grounded in the arts, and especially in street theatre and community work, Clodagh grew up with exposure to different forms of arts and diverse cultural backgrounds. This has given her a conscious understanding of discrimination, prejudice, and racism, and a particular interest in creating events that are inclusive to everyone. She sees the NASC Network Young Curators scheme as an opportunity to push her knowledge to the next level in her developing career in events management and public relations.
About the Young Curators Programme
The Young Curators Programme, based on a project originally conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre, Longford in 2020, is targeted at young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who want to gain experience in working in the arts, especially those interested in venue and festival management and programming. The curators were selected on the basis that they were from, live in or have a strong connection to Donegal and its communities; had a passion for the arts and for attending performance; enjoyed working with a small team; liked organising events and making things happen; and being able to make the commitment to the programme if selected.
The project is about programming and producing creative work in the performing and visual arts – selecting shows that they may have seen for An Grianán Theatre’s programme of events or making a show in collaboration with the young curators in other venues. Curating will include managing the event from the first conversation with the artists to the day of the performance, making sure everything runs smoothly on the day. In this, the young programmers will be supported by the team here at An Grianán Theatre, the young curators at the other participating venues, and the professionals hired to support the programme including project co-ordinator Maisie Lee.
The Nasc Network
Established in 2006, the Nasc Network is a partnership of eight venues who work together to present touring projects and share marketing and other areas of expertise. The Nasc Network Venues are An Grianán Theatre (Letterkenny), Backstage (Longford), Dunamaise (Port Laoise), Glór (Ennis), Lime Tree Theatre (Limerick), The Pavilion (Dun Laoghaire), Siamsa Tíre (Tralee) and Town Hall Theatre.
The Young Curators Programme is based on a project originally conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre, Longford in 2020.