Hundreds of children who are based in family hubs, Direct Provision centres and Deis schools across Ireland are to receive a gift package of new books by leading Irish authors as part of an Arts Council initiative to ensure that as many people as possible can experience Culture Night this Friday, 18th September.
‘This is the first year that the Arts Council has taken on the stewardship of Culture Night, and it’s a year of extraordinary challenges, not least for artists and the entire arts sector,’ said Arts Council Director, Maureen Kennelly.
‘We believe passionately that the arts are for every single person in Ireland, and that is at the heart of the Equality, Human Rights and Diversity policy we launched last year. That’s why we have invested in broadening and diversifying audiences and participation in Culture Night.’
Because of the ongoing Covid-19 public health restrictions much of Culture Night will be virtual this year, however more than 1,000 real books would still be delivered around the country to promote the joy of reading.
Encouraging all parents to participate with their children, the council has also partnered with Children’s Books Ireland to publish a special guide to 100 of the best Irish books for children.
The Books Make Things Better reading guide, with a specially commissioned illustrated cover by Oliver Jeffers, will be distributed free of charge through bookshops and libraries, or can be downloaded on the Internet.
The Culture Night ‘trailblazers’ this year, represent the diversity of contemporary Irish artists, Fehdah, Mark Smith, Michael Gallen, Matthew Gardiner, myself [Úna-Minh Kavanagh] and international trailblazer Maeve Higgins.