FolkWorld #63 07/2017
© Jonny Baxter (UCD University Relations) / Clifden Arts Festival

Ireland’s Best-Kept Secret

Clifden Arts Festival
Cherish the Ladies
Stockton’s Wing
Cathy Jordan, Jarlath Henderson & Mick Daly
The Voice Squad Church of Ireland
Artist Video

Cathy Jordan

Artist Video Cathy Jordan @ FW:
FW#3, #3, #19, #19, #26, #26,
#35, #39, #42, #43, #44, #48,
#49, #51 #52, #52, #59, #60


Artist Video Kíla @ FolkWorld:
FW#19, #26, #26, #30, #33,
#34, #41, #42, #44, #47,
#56, #57, #59, #63

Celebrating 40 Years of bringing the Arts to Clifden.

Ireland’s oldest community arts festival has handed over 40 years worth of print and digital material to University College Dublin for preservation. The Clifden Arts Festival archive includes thousands of original photographs, video and audio recordings, posters, correspondence and minute books. It will continue to be updated to provide a record of the festival’s development and its national and international impact.

The Clifden Arts Festival was founded by Brendan Flynn and colleagues from Clifden Community School to incorporate creativity and performance into the school curriculum. Described by Man Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro as “Ireland’s best-kept secret”, the festival has grown from a local event to one that attracts an international audience. Those who have performed at the festival include poet Seamus Heaney, musician Christy Moore and writer Paula Meehan.

Bernhard Sanders, a retired German sound engineer and photographer, has been documenting the festival since the 1990s. He attended for the first time 28 years ago. “I was totally impressed by the marvellous mix of different kinds of arts,” Sanders told RTÉ Drivetime. “I had to come back next year. For me it was the border from summer to winter.”

UCD will keep the archive in its Cultural Heritage Collection. The collection is home to many of Ireland’s historical manuscripts, recordings, and works of art as part of UCD’s effort to record and preserve the country’s cultural legacy. The UCD Digital Library holds the “Data Seal of Approval”, an accreditation recognised by the European Commission, which ensures that a sustainable infrastructure is provided for these cultural heritage collections.

UCD Library embraces the new demands of digital media and digital technologies, and provides national leadership in capturing and preserving digital expressions of our culture and our heritage. UCD Library is dedicated to preserving the Clifden Archives, and making them available for future generations. The technical expertise of UCD Library staff helps to ensure that these materials are conserved and made available for teaching and research both at home and abroad, as well as increasing public engagement and creating new opportunities for artists.

Reproduced by courtesy of Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations. View original article here. @

Stocktons Wing
Artist Video

Full Programme online Friday 28th July.

Photo Credits: (1) Clifden Arts Festival, (2) Kíla, (4) Stocktons Wing (unknown/website); (3) Cathy Jordan (by The Mollis).

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