Find Out Why This Irish City Is A Hit with Art Aficionados | Top Universities

Find Out Why This Irish City Is A Hit with Art Aficionados

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated July 20, 2018 Updated July 20, 2018

Sponsored by University College Cork

Move over Paris; Cork has the wind in its sails.

Cork is making waves as a cultural destination, as its university courses and festivals continue to attract talent from all over the world.

Alex Palmer, from Texas, moved to Cork to study and broaden his horizons.  

Alex says: “I came to the school of music and theater at University College Cork, both because of the opportunities it offered me and the fact it was a very diverse program, which I felt very in tune with. I also really wanted a cultural experience and I couldn’t think of somewhere more diverse compared to Texas.”

Alex isn’t alone in being attracted to study in Cork: Ireland’s second largest city, located on the south-west coast, is home to a burgeoning art and cultural scene. Wander along the city’s revamped waterfront or through its colorful city center and you’ll find art galleries, vintage boutiques and music venues at every corner.

One of these, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, is located at the university's main entrance and is particularly famed for its exploration of the visual arts. Condé Nast Traveller have described the gallery as "striking", saying: "The Glucksman art gallery hosts contemporary exhibitions and installations by national and international artists. The museum also focuses on educational pursuits, offering children’s art classes, curatorial tours and talks with artists, and has its own restaurant and cafe...the Glucksman Gallery is three floors of warm, dry entertainment.”

Every summer Cork is home to a number of festivals. Earlier this month, Cork Midsummer Festival drew in crowds from all over Ireland and beyond. As part of the festival, the local university amphitheatre was the stage of a day-long celebration of hip-hop.

The event drew in performances from the cream of rap, dance and musical talent and the Ireland’s Got Talent 2018 champion Billie Jeans, as well as a panel discussion on race and post-colonialism.

Griffith Rollefson, a lecturer in popular music at University College Cork (UCC), helped organize the event.

He says: “To make a long story short, when Union Black [a collective of hip hop dancers and circus artists] came to the Midsummer Festival, there was an opportunity to explain racial and postcolonial issues.

“So I called my contacts in the local hip-hop community and they made it out all the way from Dublin, Clare and Limerick.

“It was a chance to get hip hop artists on the same stage with lecturers. Hip-hop is a way to address issues that are most often not addressed in public discussions.”

A new partnership between Cork Opera House and University College Cork

Pictured: Mary Condon O’Connor, BA Theatre Studies UCC, Stage Management Intern, The Wizard of Oz and Rhiannon Connick, BA Theatre Studies UCC, Stage Management Intern, The Wizard of Oz. 

Building on its involvement with the Midsummer Festival, UCC announced this year that it will be working together with the city’s opera house to continue to grow as a cultural destination.

The exciting eight-year project will make it easier for students training at UCC to become arts managers, creative practitioners and professionals. Placements will be available for them in the areas of organizational management, marketing, production, business development and stage management at the opera house.

The scheme will also see the launch of a new master’s in arts and cultural management jointly-run with the opera house.

Starting in September 2019, the new master’s in arts and cultural management will be led by Dr Marie Kelly, who has worked at the Abbey Theater in Dublin for several years, and Eibhlín Gleeson, Chief Executive of the Cork Opera House.

Eibhlín Gleeson says: "The new internship programme will see UCC students engage directly with the business function and the artistic function of the opera house.

“This will really make a difference in terms of creative leaders of the future.

"This master’s will deliver a really broad perspective on the business side of arts management, how to successfully run an arts organization, how to successfully manage yourself as an individual artist and how to engage the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Interested? Find out more about international admissions to University College Cork here.

This article was originally published in July 2018 .

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