July 8th is fast approaching and preparations for Kinsale Arts Weekend are ‘full steam ahead’. Last week saw the launch of the festival poster and the festival theme ‘the year earth changed’. All that is ‘front of house,’ but behind the scenes, a huge amount of work is going on to develop and deliver an exciting arts programme. It has been a very challenging year for everyone and no less demanding for our group of hardworking, selfless volunteers. We are delighted to have new members on the team. We are particularly lucky to have those highly-talented young residents of Kinsale who are at home because of Covid lockdown – every cloud has a silver lining.

Local man, Jack Norman graduated from UCC with a Masters in Management and Marketing and has worked with the festival team to develop the marketing strategy and build digital communications to reach wider audiences. “It’s been a fantastic experience that really helps to build my CV,” says Jack. Another Kinsale native Zoe Greenway, recently returned from London with her masters in cinematography, has teamed up with Jack to create exciting and high-quality visual content for the festival website. Sean O’Reilly is a University of Limerick business undergraduate who is getting a ‘cradle to grave’ understanding of what is involved in bringing an event to life. “The books just don’t match up to the real experience,” says Sean, who has done everything from attending meetings about setting strategy to getting hands-on experience in the merchandising principles of poster placement.

Of course it’s not all about the new talent. Kinsale Arts Weekend has always enjoyed the support of local volunteers – too many individuals and businesses to mention. Much-loved entertainer, Sharon Crosbie who has been involved in a variety of roles ranging from fundraising to coordinating events probably captures it best when she says “the beauty of Kinsale Arts Weekend is its inclusivity.”
“Anyone in the community can get involved – from the kids in the local school exhibiting their art to seeing flourishing new talent. I even got my husband Paul involved and we enjoyed it so much last year that we are helping again this year.”

The programme will be online and distributed in print in the next few days. Take a peek and get involved. We would love your help. All ages and experiences welcome. Just like Kinsale, the festival will be “back stronger” with the help of a great volunteering community. Please contact kinsaleartsweekend@gmail.com to see how you can play a part.