‘Folk Radio’ Announced as First Gaining Ground Commission, Co. Clare

Clare County Council Arts Office has announced one of the first commissions selected for the programme Gaining Ground.

‘Folk Radio’, curated by Anne Mullee, with artist Tom Flanagan and curatorial advisor, Deirdre O’Mahony. Folk Radio is a concept for a new artists-led, on-line radio station and digital sound archive, based at X-PO in Kilnaboy, a village in the heart of the Burren community in Co. Clare. Led by artist Tom Flanagan this community-based project will seek to engage the wider and existing communities active in and around X-PO, a former post office. Folk Radio will aim to make a series of radio programmes, exploring the meaning of ‘the rural’, in the context of a community that is made up of both local and newcomers to the area. Folk Radio relates to a long tradition of radio in empowering local communities with the tools to interrogate cultures and opinions of people and their traditions. It also relates to X-PO’s own history, as its late Postmaster, John Martin “Mattie” Rynne, was a keen shortwave and citizen broadcasting enthusiast.

“Encompassing the objectives of ‘Gaining Ground’, the radio station will provide a platform for interested locals / artists and XPO volunteers to develop innovative radio broadcasts under the projects conceptual framework, with the potential to explore new forms of expression which challenge and explore our understanding and engagement with the medium” Tom Flanagan.

The programme will culminate in a live broadcast, inviting local artists, community groups, politicians and policy makers to a series of talks and a discussion forum on the potential of Radio and creative practices, and the challenges of rural life in North Clare.

Gaining Ground is a major new Public Art programme for County Clare, curated by Sally O’Leary, Asprey Arts, in collaboration with Clare County Council Arts Office. The project has been developed using funds allocated from the pooled resources of the Per Cent For Art Scheme, and has been designed to take place over the next 2 years, culminating in an International Rural Arts Symposium in 2020. As part of the programme, projects will be selected to take place in North and West Clare and Shannon Town. There will also be a programme titled Reflections, which will be integral to the whole project and will involve research, evaluation and critical writing, which will be reflected at the Symposium in 2020.

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