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Creative Ireland Kerry- Creative Projects in Communities 2020

The Arts/Creative Ireland Kerry Office at Kerry County Council are seeking quotations from creative professionals, communities and organisations to develop projects in each Municipal District in 2020.

Following on from the success of the 2019 Creative Ireland Kerry Municipal District Projects, Creative Ireland Kerry is delighted to announce further opportunities in 2020. Creative Ireland funding programme is now open for creative practitioners and citizens across Kerry to support creativity in the community.

The initiative is seeking creatives and communities to engage with the themes of environmental sustainability, innovation and creative industry and the projects must have a creative element and offer opportunities for participation and engagement by communities, audiences and the wider community.  A budget of €8,000 has been assigned to each of the Municipal Districts of Tralee, Listowel, Killarney, South Kerry and Castleisland/ Chorca Dhuibhne.

Quotations are being sought from via the website

The closing date for receipt of quotations is 1.00pm Monday 13th July 2020.

Creative professionals from any creative discipline are invited to quote. This includes cultural project managers, arts festivals and organisations, parade organisers, community-based organisations and artists working in any artform (architecture, traditional arts, visual arts, music, theatre, film, dance, literature, circus, opera) and/or professionals from across the creative industries such as graphic & product designers, animation studios, craft makers and designers, publishers, as well as TV & film production and animation specialists. Quotations are welcome also from festivals and arts organisations with a proven track record either based in the county or who are willing to work on a project in the county.

Applicants must have experience of creative programming and an ability to engage audiences and participants so that many communities can get involved.”, stated Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer/Creative Ireland Kerry Co-ordinator.

Interest from collaborative teams who are willing to work across sectors such as arts, heritage and design are also welcome to submit a quotation to realise a project. Local impact is key, and projects are being sought that will use creative processes and experiences to achieve intensive collaboration at local level. Multiple villages, towns and townlands across each specific MD may be included or projects can be concentrated in one area within a Municipal District. Projects must be delivered in 2020. This is an exciting opportunity and Creative Ireland Kerry look forward to seeing some very creative results in the year ahead.

Other Voices ‘Courage’ Returns

After an overwhelmingly positive response to Other Voices ‘Courage’ worldwide – with over 1.15 million views total –  it will return with a brand new series on the 23rd of June. Series two of the live streamed concerts will feature an all star lineup of artists performing in a selection of iconic cultural and heritage locations around the country. 

The first episode of the second series will feature performances from acclaimed alternative folk musician James Vincent McMorrow, who is just about to release his fifth album and choice prize nominated singer songwriter Maija Sofia. They will be joining us from the beautiful location of Killruddery House and Gardens in Bray Co. Wicklow. 

On Thursday 25th of June winners of the 2020 RTÉ Choice Prize LANKUM will perform live from Kilkenny Castle.  

Further performances will be streamed from Glenveagh National Park, The Crawford Gallery in Cork City along with the Guildhall in Derry, the Guinness Storehouse and Swords Castle in Fingal.  

Once again performances will take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights and will be made available worldwide, free of charge, due to the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, RTÉ and IMRO. Courage series one is currently being shown on RTÉ 2 Thursdays at 23:30. 

Speaking of the project Minister Madigan said: “Building on the phenomenal success of the original Courage programme with a reach of over 2.7m, I am delighted to support this new initiative of live streamed performances from some of our best known heritage sites.  The outpouring of wellbeing created by the first series of performances will no doubt be carried through Courage 2 and reminds us that culture lifts us up beyond circumstance and challenges and is vital to the core of our collective humanity.” 

IMRO Chief Executive Victor Finn said: “In times of crisis we often turn to music creators and artists for their unique ability to interpret and reflect on the world in which we live. Music is a collective experience which can overcome physical distance and is the perfect antidote to the growing sense of alienation and isolation we have all felt in recent times – even more so, now we are being asked to actively practise social distancing.  The Other Voices ‘Courage’ series brings some of our finest Irish music creators to the world stage from a number of unique locations around Ireland in what we hope will be inspiring and unforgettable performances.”  

Other Voices founder and director Philip King said: “We are delighted to present this second season of Other Voices Courage as part of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is about bringing people together through music, and recognising the essential and powerful contribution that artists continue to make to our lives. We are inspired by the response here in Ireland and globally to the first season of Other Voices Courage, and our artists and crews have helped to bring beauty, solace, strength and a sense of belonging to people at this time of national and global crisis – is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has played a leading and imaginative role in making it possible for our artists and crews to work together to create and present Other Voices Courage.


Over the last decade, Dublin-born McMorrow has established himself as a multi-faceted songwriter with a vast spectrum of styles. He sings, produces, plays everything, and has a network of collaborators that stretches around the world. He’s crafted a home for himself in the worlds of hip-hop and textured r&b, even worked on Drake’s 2016 album, Views. It’s fair to say his early days of being pigeon-holed as an ‘indie folk singer-songwriter’ are long dead. He’s remained resolutely independent this whole time, self-financing his artistic ambition. But for his new record, Grapefruit Season, he felt it was time to push things up a level.  McMorrow’s internal journey of the last ten years underpins the lyrics of the album. “I have more responsibilities, people and expectations around me than ever, and the world is constantly telling me to change and grow as a person,” he explains. “But I don’t feel any more responsible or capable than I did when I was 18 years old. The record is about embracing the idea that it’s okay to not have things figured out. It’s about embracing the chaos and belligerence of life, rather than bending or changing yourself to suit what society expects of you,” he says.


Maija Sofia Makela is a musician and writer from rural Co. Galway. Her uniquely striking debut album ‘Bathtime’, a collection of songs exploring the female experience throughout art, history and folklore was released in November 2019 through Trapped Animal Records to unanimous praise across Irish and UK media. It was nominated for the prestigious RTE Choice Award Irish Album of the Year and was described in the Sunday Times as “quietly breathtaking […] the arrival of a unique new voice.” 


Lankum have an alchemical ability to combine traditional folk roots with contemporary undercurrents to forge music that is dark, mysterious and transcendental.Comprising brothers Ian Lynch (uillean pipes, tin whistle, vocals), Daragh Lynch (vocals, guitar) alongside Cormac Mac Diarmada (fiddle) and Radie Peat (harmonium, accordion, vocals), Lankum channel a diverse set of influences and histories to create a beautifully rare thing: a songbook from and for the people.Their third full length album The Livelong Day, which was released on Rough Trade Records at the end of 2019 won the band the coveted RTÉ Choice Prize. The album blends alternative folk and psychedelia to cement their reputation as one of the most talked about groups to emerge from Ireland in decades. Born of years criss-crossing Dublin’s folk and experimental scenes, their previous two albums Cold Old Fire (2013, recorded under former name Lynched) and Rough Trade debut Between The Earth and Sky (2017) breathed new life into ancient/modern rituals with urban punk fervour, rural psycho-geography and, underpinning it all, the eternal drone of the uilleann pipes.

Investing in Europe’s next generation by investing in culture

As the EU has started discussing the proposed recovery plan, 94 organisations from across Europe’s cultural and creative sectors are uniting their voices to alert EU leaders : our sector needs strong and systemic support measures to recover from this crisis.

As it is now well understood, the cultural and creative world is one of the first and hardest hit by the crisis.

According to the Commission’s own estimates, some parts of our sector – which accounts for €509bn in value added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs – are expected to lose up to 80% of their turnover in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

We have a higher than average percentage of self-employed workers, freelancers, micro-businesses and youth employment, which makes us particularly vulnerable in times of crisis.

As the European economy is slowly restarting, it is far from business as usual. Cultural actors are gradually resuming their activities, but all have to implement strict safety rules which means they won’t be operating at full capacity for the foreseeable future and are therefore facing challenging economic decisions. From individual creators and creative workers all the way to big production and media companies, the whole value chain is impacted.

And yet the recovery package announced by the Commission on 27 May does not reflect the reality of the cultural and creative sector, despite the encouraging messages by the Commission and the strong position taken by the European Parliament. The proposal on the table falls way short of our sector’s expectations:

Despite being identified as one of 14 of the hardest hit ecosystems, there is neither a sector specific instrument for culture, nor a clear indication on whether or how we can benefit from different instruments. The section on REACT-EU in the Commission’s Communication refers to culture, but there is no guarantee that we will receive appropriate support.

As for Creative Europe, the EU’s only programme specifically dedicated to the cultural and creative sector, the Commission’s announcement is a missed opportunity and a real disappointment. Along with the budget dedicated to education and youth, the budget dedicated to culture is the only one to decrease compared to the Commission’s own 2018 proposal, and it is a far cry from the European parliament’ .. Quite ironic for a recovery plan named “Next Generation EU”.

To bring the EU’s support for our sector to a level that is commensurate with its contribution to the EU’s economy and its citizens’ wellbeing, we call on Member States and the European Parliament:

• To push for a substantial increase of the Creative Europe budget. We fully support the European Parliament’s proposal for a budget of €2.8bn.

• To guarantee that the entire sector can benefit appropriately from the recovery plan’s various instruments.

Let’s invest in culture to show the EU’s #NextGeneration that we really care about their future!

  1. AEPO ARTIS – Association of European Performers’ Organisations
  2. AER – Association of European Radios
  3. Animation Europe
  4. BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels
  5. CALLIAS Foundation
  6. CEDC – European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
  7. CEM – Centre Européen de Musique
  8. CEPI – European Audiovisual Production
  9. CEPIC – Centre of the Picture Industry
  10. CICAE – International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas
  11. CIRCOSTRADA – European Network for Circus & Street Arts
  12. De Concert!
  13. EAS – European Association for Music in Schools
  14. ECSA – European Composer and Songwriter Alliance
  15. EDN – European Dancehouse Network
  16. EFA – European Festivals Association
  17. EFFORTS – The European Federation of Fortified Sites
  18. EFJ – The European Federation of Journalists
  19. EFNYO – European Federation of National Youth Orchestras
  20. EFP – European Film Promotion
  21. EGDF – European Games Developer Federation
  22. EHTTA – European Historic Thermal Towns Association
  23. EIBF – European and International Booksellers Federation
  24. EJN – Europe Jazz Network
  25. ELIA – Globally Connected European Network of Higher Arts Education
  26. EMC – European Music Council
  27. EMCY – European Union of Music Competitions for Youth
  28. EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange
  29. EMMA – European Magazine Media Association
  30. EMMA – European Music Managers Alliance
  31. EMU – The European Music School Union
  32. ENCATC – European network on cultural management and cultural policy
  33. ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centres
  34. ENPA – European Newspaper Publishers Association
  35. EOFed – European Orchestra Federation
  36. EPC – European Publishers Council
  37. ERIH – The European Route of Industrial Heritage
  38. ESNS – Eurosonic Noorderslag
  39. ETC – European Theatre Convention
  40. Eurocinema
  41. Europa Distribution – The European Network of Independent Film Publishers and Distributors
  42. Europa International – the network of European sales agents
  43. Europavox : music online media & festivals
  44. ECA – European Choral Association – Europa Cantat
  45. EVA – European Visual Artists
  46. EWC – European Writers’ Council
  47. FEDEC – European Federation for Professional Circus Schools
  48. FERA – Federation of European Film Directors
  49. FEP – Federation of European Publishers
  50. FIA – International Federation of Actors
  51. FIAD – The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations
  52. FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations
  53. FIM – International Federation of Musicians
  54. FSE – Federation of Screenwriters in Europe
  55. GESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers
  56. GIGMIT
  57. IAMIC – International Association of Music Information Centres
  58. IAML – International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres, member of EMC
  59. IAO – International Artist Organisation of Music
  60. ICMP – The Global Voice of Music Publishing
  61. IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts
  62. IFJ – International Federation of Journalists
  63. IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
  64. IFRRO – International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations
  65. IGCAT – International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism
  66. IMMF – International Music Managers Forum
  67. IMPALA – The Independent Music Companies Association
  68. IMPF – The Independent Music Publishers International Forum
  69. IMZ – IMZ International Music + Media Centre
  70. In-Situ – European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space
  71. INES – Innovation Network of European Showcases
  72. ISCM – International Society for Contemporary Music on behalf of the
  73. ISFE – The Interactive Software Federation of Europe
  74. IVF – International Video Federation
  75. Live DMA – European network for live music venues & festivals
  76. Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent
  77. KEA European Affairs
  78. MCA – Michael Culture Association
  79. NAMM – National Association of Music Merchants
  80. NEMO – The Network of European Museum Organisations
  81. News Media Europe
  82. On the Move
  83. Pearle* – Live Performance Europe
  84. REMA – European Early Music Network
  85. Res Artis – Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies
  86. SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors
  87. SEEHN – South East European Heritage Network
  88. SHAPE – Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe
  89. Sistema Europe – The Sistema Europe Association
  90. Tenso Network Europe
  91. UNI MEI – UNI global union – media, entertainment & arts
  92. UNIC – International Union of Cinemas
  93. We Are Europe
  94. Yourope – The European Festival Association

IMRO Radio Awards 2020 Goes Virtual

The IMRO Radio Awards are full steam ahead for 2020. In place of the usual Gala dinner in Kilkenny, the awards will be now held as a live video/virtual event stream allowing the industry to join in from home or in smaller station groups. Full details of the event will follow in the coming weeks. Entries for #IMRO20 opened today with a closing date of 5pm Thursday 23rd July 2020.

The awards go ahead, all be it in a different format for 2020, with the continued involvement of IMRO as title sponsor. During this particularly testing time for the radio sector, IMRO has continued to show support to stations across the country in addition to its commitment to this key event in the media calendar.  The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) also remains as a valued secondary sponsor.

Some key changes to the Awards were also announced today.

  • Gay Byrne Award for Newcomer of the Year. Following the passing of Ireland’s greatest radio broadcaster we are excited that the Byrne family has allowed the Radio Awards Committee to name the Newcomer award in his honour.
  • Radio stations will be entitled to submit the same number of entries in 2020 free of charge as they did in 2019.  There will be a reduced cost for any additional entries.
  • In an exciting development, we are introducing a new category Podcast of The Year open to radio stations for online only productions. 

Speaking today, Chair of the IMRO Radio Awards committee, Chris Doyle said “There is amazing content being produced on radio now and prior to the Covid-19 crisis which fully deserves to be recognised. Without the support of IMRO, who have shown a great commitment to radio as an industry, we may not have been able to go ahead this year. We thank them for being our allies.

As an industry this has been a challenging time but we have shown that radio is clearly an essential service, going the extra mile to be informing, entertaining and the best lockdown company our listeners could ask for. The uncertainty around gatherings continues which has made planning an awards ceremony difficult therefore we have decided to make this year’s Gala an online event.”

Full details of the awards are on the website at

The Ivors Academy opens submissions for The Ivors Composer Awards 2020

The Ivors Academy has opened entries for The Ivors Composer Awards. Entries are open until 9 July and the winners will be announced on 1 December 2020.

The Ivors Composer Awards sees the presentation of Ivor Novello Awards to recognise creative excellence in classical, jazz, and sound arts. Recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956, an Ivor Novello Award represents peer recognition with categories judged by those within the UK music creator community. The Ivors Academy presents awards twice a year to honour and celebrate exceptional songwriting and composing.

Gary Carpenter, Chair of The Ivors Composer Awards Committee, said “In these challenging and unsettling times it is more important than ever to celebrate the ingenuity, craft and creativity of composers and songwriters working across classical, jazz and sound arts. An Ivor Novello Award is a unique recognition of the talent and achievements of music creators by their fellow composers and songwriters. And The Ivors Composer Awards are an iconic way for us, as a community, to cherish, nurture and promote the creativity of our peers.”

Anyone can enter a work, including the composer. There is a £10 administration fee per entry, which is waived if the composer is a member of The Ivors Academy. Submissions are made through the Academy’s Entry Website where you can also see the full rules:

Following an annual review of the Composer Awards’ categories, a number of changes have been made to broaden the categories whilst ensuring large scale commissions, which are so important to composers, receive profile.

To be eligible composers must be UK born or be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and the work must have received its UK premiere performance, either live or broadcast during the 12 months prior to 31 March 2020.

Small Chamber
Large Chamber
Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble
Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble
Choral Chamber Orchestral
Large Orchestral
Stage Works
Sound Art
Community and Participation

Thursday, 9 July 2020, Entry deadline Tuesday,
27 October 2020, Nominations announced
Tuesday, 1 December 2020, The Ivors Composer Awards, British Museum, London

For more information visit or follow @IvorsAcademy #theivorscomposerawards

Details for Ireland Music Week 2020 Announced

Ireland Music Week is delighted to announce that it will be going ahead with the international facing showcase and conference in October 2020. The showcase and conference will take place online across four days in October, with the music showcases taking place over three nights – Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th. The festival is calling now on Irish artists to apply to play.

Log onto and click on the “APPLY TO PLAY” button – applications will be through the artists’ Breaking Tunes profile. Closing date for applications is 3rd July.

As with so many other events, in these COVID19 times, IMW has adapted the event to suit current restrictions. In order to give 2020 applicants and showcasing artists the best possible opportunity to reach international music industry professionals, IMW are taking the festival, including the showcases, online. With a stellar production company on board to film the artists, there will be gigs taking place in various virtual rooms with plenty of opportunity for fan interaction. Each act will perform three songs and will get to keep and use the recording for themselves down the line.

Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact explains:

Ireland Music Week is an essential event in an artists’ development and profile of the music industry in Ireland. It has been a challenge to maintain it in the calendar for 2020, but we feel we have come up with an innovative and exciting alternative to the real event. The main aim is to allow both industry and fans here and abroad to witness the next crop of Irish talent. The showcases and robust and busy conference schedule we are working towards online will maintain IMW’s essential presence as a key international facing showcase event.”

50 acts will have the chance to play and take part in this internationally-recognised event showcasing Ireland’s best emerging talent.

For artists of all levels, the online conference at the festival will give them a chance to learn and develop their craft and create new opportunities with agents, labels, bookers, music supervisors and services from all over the world.

The online conference will continue to include dedicated B2B elements to facilitate the needs of the newly formed AIM Ireland, along with panels, workshops and one to one meetings for the artists with international professionals.

First Music Contact, who run Ireland Music Week work with Irish acts from the very beginning. This annual showcase is an opportunity to offer Irish acts some vital exposure provided by the stellar mix of influential Irish and international delegates. FMC also run Music From Ireland, the Irish music export office.

Artist applications now open via

Tickets onsale now via

Some of last year’s big successes to progress from the festival include Alex Gough, Sinead O’ Brien, Æ Mak, Kitt Phillippa, Ailbhe Reddy, MELTS, April, Jyellowl, Autre Monde, Somebody’s Child, Junior Brother, ELM, Tebi Rex and more.

2019 round up

Since its inception in 2003, the festival has showcased many of Ireland’s best-known acts including Fontaines DC, David Keenan, Maria Kelly, Pillow Queens, A.Smyth, THUMPER,  Soulé, Daithí,whenyoung, Bitch Falcon, Jafaris, Chasing Abbey, Saint Sister, Wyvern Lingo, Jealous of the Birds, Fangclub, Touts, The Academic, Choice Music Prize winners Rusangano Family, Villagers, 2013’s breakthrough act Hozier, along with Girl Band, Jape, The Coronas, Talos, Le Boom, Loah, Soak, Ham Sandwich, All Tvvins and many more.

|| Ireland Music Week is supported by The Arts Council and Culture Ireland ||

Twitter: @irlmusicweek | Instagram: @irelandmusicweek | Facebook: @irelandmusicweek

Discovering The Soundtrack To Ireland’s Future

IYMAs Launch Tunes From Me Gaff as part of Dublin City Arts Office Cruinniú na nÓg

Youth Work Irelands Irish Youth Music Awards (IYMAs) is very excited to launch a project called Tunes From Me Gaff as part of Dublin City Arts Office Cruinniú na nÓg programe of events for Creative Ireland on June 13th.

This project is open to musicians aged between 12 and 18 based in one of Dublin City Council’s catchment areas with an original song. See map here.

The IYMAs is looking to put a spot light on up and coming musician by asking them to record a performance video of their original track on their phone in their gaff and fill in this form to be in with a chance to be part of the project –

Each act selected will get a voucher towards musical equipment and their performance video will be showcased as part of Cruinniú na nÓg on June 13th with their social media channels tagged to help them gain a new audience.

Deadline for submissions – Close of business Monday June 8th

CISAC announces new Vice Presidents Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Arturo Márquez

Internationally-acclaimed South African singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been elected as Vice President of CISAC. Also elected as Vice President at CISAC’s General Assembly on May 28th is Arturo Márquez, one of Mexico’s leading composers.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 27 years, becoming known as the “Princess of Africa”. Having shared the stage with creators including Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Bono, Queen, Miriam Makeba and Youssou N’Dour, Yvonne Chaka Chaka has also performed for Queen Elizabeth II, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and a host of other world leaders.

She has become a champion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. Nelson Mandela chose her as the first ambassador for his children’s fund. She has also established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation.

CISAC’s Vice Presidents are also joined by the most prominent Mexican composer and director of the second half of the 20th century, Arturo Márquez. The recipient of numerous awards and scholarships from the government of France and Mexico as well as the Fulbright Scholarship from the United States, Arturo Márquez studied at the National Conservatory of Mexico, National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico, California Institute of the Arts, and with Jacques Castérède in France. Often incorporating Latin American themes, his works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra Mexico, YOSA Philharmonic, Pan American Symphony, l’Orchestre de Paris, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Symphonique de Lyon.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Arturo Márquez are outstanding, inspirational creators, and I’m delighted CISAC will be able to benefit from their energy and authority in campaigning for creators worldwide. They join us as Vice Presidents at a critical moment for CISAC’s work, with millions of creators facing loss of their livelihoods and the challenge of rebuilding their careers. We are looking forward greatly to our collaboration and their support.”

Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Arturo Márquez join world-renowned Chinese director, writer and producer Jia Zhang-ke and Spanish International Neo-Expressionist visual artist Miquel Barceló as the four Vice Presidents of the Confederation.

Björn Ulvaeus elected as the next President of CISAC

Björn Ulvaeus has been appointed President of CISAC, the global confederation of authors’ societies and the largest network of creators worldwide. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are one of the most successful songwriting duos of all time.

Ulvaeus, co-founder of ABBA and prolific writer of over 150 hit songs and shows, has created music that has inspired the world and spanned the globe. He is also a vocal campaigner for the rights of creators. He brings a deep understanding of the creative industries and the systems that help authors get fair payment for their works.

As CISAC President, which has a three-year term, Björn will support the confederation’s work to secure stronger rights, more royalties, better systems, and improved conditions for creators across five repertoires – music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature.

CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – represents more than 230 authors societies in over 120 countries. Through this community, CISAC supports the global network of collective management of rights. The CISAC community ensures the livelihood of more than four million creators and is responsible for collecting €9.6 billion of licensing income and royalties worldwide.

Commenting on the new role, Björn said: “I have made a great living as a songwriter and an artist, and I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a lot of success. Now, as President of CISAC, I am happy to have a different kind of opportunity, to try and help the next generation of creators in their working lives. CISAC has a unique international authority, and I believe passionately in its mission to secure better, fairer terms for creators. I am also interested in how the technologies we use can work better, earning creators fairer rewards for their work and more royalties. I am therefore very excited about the opportunities ahead and looking forward to our collaboration”.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “Björn Ulvaeus has moved us, inspired us and lit up our lives with his songs and creations. I am absolutely thrilled that he has decided to take on the role of CISAC President, to support us in our mission to serve creators internationally. Björn has an extraordinary track record – as a creator himself, as a champion for creators’ rights, and as an expert in the systems which ensure creators are fairly paid. These qualities will be invaluable to CISAC’s work and we look forward immensely to collaborating with him”.

Björn Ulvaeus was elected President by CISAC’s General Assembly, which took place in a virtual meeting yesterday. He succeeds French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, who held the
CISAC Presidency role for seven years.

CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies. With 232 member societies in 120 countries, CISAC represents over four million creators from all geographic regions and artistic repertoires including music, audiovisual, drama, literature, and visual arts. CISAC protects the rights and represents the interests of creators worldwide. Founded in 1926, it is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organisation with headquarters in France and regional offices in Africa, Latin America (Chile), Asia-Pacific (China) and Europe (Hungary).

Photo Credit: TT News Agency, Zap PR.

Launching Minding Creative Minds (MCM)

In a first of its kind for Ireland’s creative sector, Minding Creative Minds (MCM), a free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector, delivered by Spectrum Life, was launched this week.

The initial phase of Minding Creative Minds, a free 24/7 Wellbeing and support programme goes live for musicians, songwriters, artist managers and event production crew.  MCM is a Mental Wellbeing Support Programme and includes access to the following wellbeing services:

  •       24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)
  •       Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
  •       Telephone Counselling 
  •       Secure Video Counselling
  •       Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor                           

In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds looks at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
  • Legal assistance for a range of issues
  • Financial assistance and consumer advice
  • Career guidance and life coaching
  • Support for non-Irish nationals and their families
  • Mediation for conflict resolution

Originally it was intended to launch the Minding Creative Minds 24/7 Mental Wellbeing programme later this summer.  However, in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic the launch date was brought forward to June 2nd as the current pandemic is having a devastating impact on the music sector. Live work has been decimated and as a result income for many independent artists and their crews has stopped without notice. This programme is open to musicians, songwriters, artist managers & event production crew in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Approximately 20,000 people in the music sector in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) are eligible to access these services.

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is the brainchild of David Reid who is the Co-founder & organiser of the RTE Choice Music Prize and has been a board member and project manager with First Fortnight a charity which challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action since 2010. David also holds an MA in Psychotherapy.

Speaking of the launch, David said, ”We are delighted to launch this critical support programme that will give musicians, songwriters, artist managers & event production crew the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations we can now provide a credible support structure for this sector. We look forward to extending this programme within the Irish music Industry and to enable this service to be available to the entire Irish Creative Community in due course.”

Minding Creative Minds is Funded by:

  • First Fortnight (Lead Partner)
  • IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation)
  • IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association)
  • RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers)
  • Universal Music Ireland
  • The BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland)
  • The RTE Choice Music Prize

The Minding Creative Minds programme partner is Spectrum Life. Spectrum Life has a network of 480 counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists and also provides EAP services for companies like Vodafone, Amazon, and Laya Healthcare.

Last year First Fortnight conducted a comprehensive survey (1391 respondents) amongst the music & creative community in relation to mental health and the responses were stark and align with worldwide research. 91% of respondents said that they had experienced anxiety/depression/mental ill health and 95% said that there was a need for a dedicated mental wellbeing support programme for members of the Irish Music & Creative Community.

“As musicians and writers, we have always been susceptible to the stresses and strains that are part and parcel of the challenging environment that we call the music industry, but never before have we faced the level of uncertainty that is now before us.  Creative people, by our nature, have a particular set of pressures that are specific to our work and our nature. This comprehensive programme is specifically designed to cater for these issues.  I have no doubt that this initiative will save lives.” –  Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson.

“If ever there was a right time to offer support to people affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic that time is now. We at the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) are helping to fund this great Mental Health initiative ‘Minding Creative Minds’ and we hope it will assist people in the music Industry to deal with the issues of mental wellbeing.” Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA.

“Musicians and members of the creative sector, with their particular professional pressures and community standing, are likely to be experiencing both good and bad days – there may be moments of clarity alongside moments when it all feels too much. ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is here to provide you with the support you need at the time you need it. Launching on June 2nd, ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is an independent, confidential, complimentary mental health support that is accessible to members of the music sector and their dependants across Ireland, at any time of the day or night. We hope that knowing this support is here for you gives you some solace on both the good and bad days which may lie ahead.” Emelina Ellis, Clinical Lead Spectrum Life.

An advisory panel assembled to help make this programme a reality includes the following industry specialists; Ken Allen, Manager of James Vincent McMorrow & IRMA Board Member, Lynne Best, Board Member Oh Yeah  Music Centre, Belfast, Bressie, Artist & Co-Founder A Lust for Life,  Louize Carroll, Artist & Occupational Psychologist, Emma Matthews, Board Member First Fortnight, Alan McEvoy, Music & Entertainment Accountant, Eleanor McEvoy, Artist / Chairperson of IMRO, Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist, Emma Olohan, Fundraising & Sponsorship Executive, Willie Ryan, Music & Media Lawyer Aoife Ruth, Psychotherapist, Educator & Researcher, Gary Sheehan, Head of Programming NCH, Ann Marie Shields, Head of Careers, Industry & Events BIMM College, Jack Williamson, Founder & CEO Music And You.

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) was launched on RTÉ 2FM this week with a series of promos and interviews about Minding Creative Minds due to run across the channel in the coming weeks.  Dan Healy, Station Head at 2FM said: “2FM is the ideal platform to get this important message to the many musicians and young industry professionals who need to know about it. We’re proud to be able to get involved.

‘Minding Creative Minds’ offers the following wellbeing services to Irish Musicians, Songwriters, Artist Managers & Event Production Crew:

·        24/7 Dedicated Phone Line:    

Access to experienced team of trained counsellors and psychotherapists who can offer short-term intervention and advice covering practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress.                                                                       

(When a caller contacts ‘Minding Creative Minds’ they will immediately be speaking to an accredited counsellor or psychotherapist who will become the caller’s Case Manager)

24/7 Helpline number:  Phone 1800 814 244 (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)

International Number – 00353 1 518 0277

·        Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions):

This includes face to face counselling video or telephone counselling. Important to note video and telephone counselling are only available at the moment due to current public health restrictions. If an individual is referred on for video counselling by their case manager, they will be provided with a link to access live video conferencing with their counsellor (separate to the ‘Minding Creative Minds’ wellbeing portal)

·        Advanced Counselling / Psychology Services:

If an individual presents with a Mental Health difficulty that is not suitable for short term intervention the Case Manager can discuss with the user the most appropriate care pathway to support their presenting issue, this may entail more long term treatment or GP referral.

·        Extensive web portal & App / Live online Chat feature

The ‘Minding Creative Minds’ Platform & App enables a live chat function with a counsellor 365 days per year (7am – 10pm daily) and offers users convenient, confidential access to helpful videos, podcasts and blogs on topics around mental health, reducing stress, mindfulness, sleep, nutrition and more.

Other Services:

Looking at the whole individual in the complete context of their minds, the ‘Minding Creative Minds’ programme includes access to a number of additional services to help users overcome various practical issues they may face:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress.
  • Legal Assistance – Consultation with Irish solicitors including those specialised in family law matters, property conveyancing, criminal law.
  • Financial Assistance and Consumer Assistance – Consultation with qualified Financial Advisors who can offer advice on household budgeting, borrowing/debt management, retirement planning, saving and investment advice.
  • Career Guidance and Life Coaching – Access a panel of career coach specialists in career guidance.
  • Support for non-Irish nationals and their families – helping to make the transition into the Irish system as smooth as possible.
  • Mediation Services – Help with disputes in the workplace, or issues related to family business, defective goods and services, building and construction.

For further details visit:

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