Cork-based artist first to take part in new initiative launched by government

Cork-based artist first to take part in new initiative launched by government
ECHO FEATURE Kimberly Reyes and her mum Georgeann Reyes.

A Cork-based woman is set to be the first to take part in an initiative launched by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which sees artists giving live presentations to ensure the arts continue to be enjoyed online during the current crisis.

Kimberly Reyes, originally from Queens in New York, currently lives in Cork as a Fulbright scholar studying Irish literature and Film at University College Cork.

She was recently informed that the US Fulbright program has been suspended and she doesn’t know if she will graduate.

After giving up her apartment in San Francisco to come to Ireland, the student who currently lives with other international students in shared accommodation, has no option but to stay here as returning to the States to live with her parents would put them at risk.

To lift her spirits during the current crisis, she started dancing with her mother 3,000 miles away in Queens, joining thousands of others around the world for D-Nice’s Homeschool virtual dance parties on Instagram Live.

Now, she is taking it to the next step and is set to perform live as part of the Department’s ‘Ireland Performs’ scheme announced by Minister Josepha Madigan on Friday last.

The Ireland Performs scheme aims to support professional artists by enabling the live presentation of their work on an online platform.

The scheme will see funding of €100,000 being made available on a match funded basis by Facebook Ireland and Culture Ireland.

Ms Reyes is due to perform this Monday April 13th at 3.30pm and her performance will be streamed live on Facebook and other social media platforms using the hashtag #IrelandPerforms.

Her performance will be shared widely across Culture Ireland, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, First Music Contact and Poetry Ireland’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Culture Ireland has thanked everyone who has expressed an interest in participating in the scheme and said that applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

In a statement, Culture Ireland said: “We are delighted with the large positive response from artists and are working to assess them as quickly as possible. Applicants are being contacted on a rolling basis and all will hear from us as soon as decisions are made.

“While the scheme is open to all, special consideration will be given to artists whose work was scheduled for public presentation internationally or in Ireland and has been cancelled owing to the crisis."

Application forms are available at this link https://www.cultureireland.ie/downloads-public/Application_Form.pdf And should be sent to showcases@cultureireland.gov.ie.

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