ACNI Invest in City of Culture

New works by the likes of Colin Bateman and Willie Doherty benefit from £1m Arts Council investment

The latest details of the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013 programme have been revealed, as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland announces an investment of £1million in 18 new arts projects.

The funding will be used to support local arts organisations to present world-class standard work to international audiences, and will include new theatre productions, live music showcases, dance performances and visual arts exhibitions.

While culture lovers will have to wait until the end of the month for full UK City of Culture 2013 programme, the ACNI have released details of three of the 18 events it will help to bring to the city next year.

Highlights include the largest ever exhibition of works by the city’s own twice Turner Prize-nominated artist Willie Doherty, Northern Ireland’s first international contemporary dance festival, and a punk musical, written by the acclaimed author Colin Bateman, featuring the songs of seminal Derry-based band The Undertones.

Bob Collins, Chairman of the ACNI, said today’s announcement is just a taste of what we can expect from next year’s cultural festivities. 'As the first ever UK City of Culture, expectations are high for Derry~Londonderry to deliver an outstanding programme in 2013. Today’s announcement confirms that there will be much to look forward to.

'The Arts Council’s £1million investment will be used to support local arts organisations to deliver new projects worthy of international attention. The arts are helping to transform our image and show the world what we already know, that we have some of the best artists right here in Northern Ireland. City of Culture 2013 is an opportunity to celebrate that and showcase their work to global audiences.'

Martin Bradley, chair of Culture Company 2013, commented: 'This latest investment is great news for the city and for next year’s much anticipated cultural programme. The three top class events that have been announced today give an indication of the Arts Council’s commitment to our celebrations in 2013.

'To invest a sum of £1million in City of Culture shows the faith that the Arts Council has in Culture Company’s ability to deliver the fantastic full programme of events that we are looking forward to announcing on October 25.'

Colin Bateman is currently in the early stages of developing his script for Teenage Kicks. The punk musical, set in the city during 1970s, will be produced by the Millennium Forum in association with the Nerve Centre and features songs by The Undertones.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Bateman said: 'Even those too young to remember The Undertones first time around will be familiar with their music. As a band they captured the mood of a generation and their amazing energy immediately comes back to life when you hear their songs today.

'They have become synonymous with Northern Ireland and Teenage Kicks will use their distinctive sounds as the starting point to tell a story of the punk generation.'

The UK City of Culture 2013 programme will begin in January, with events happening throughout the year across Derry~Londonderry.