Children in homeless hubs and Direct Provision to be gifted a thousand books

ireland
Children In Homeless Hubs And Direct Provision To Be Gifted A Thousand Books Children In Homeless Hubs And Direct Provision To Be Gifted A Thousand Books
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Sarah Mooney
Hundreds of children living in accommodation for homeless families, Direct Provision centres and Deis schools across Ireland are set to receive a gift package of new books by leading Irish authors.

The gift comes as part of an Arts Council initiative to ensure that as many people as possible can experience Culture Night this Friday, September 18th.

More than 1,000 books will be delivered to families around the country to “promote the joy of opening and reading a book”.

“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,” Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly said.

“That’s why we have invested in broadening and diversifying audiences and participation in Culture Night.”

All parents are being encouraged to participate with their children, as the Arts Council has partnered with Children’s Books Ireland to publish a special guide to 100 of the best Irish books for children.

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The Books Make Things Better reading guide, with a specially commissioned illustrated cover by Northern Irish artist Oliver Jeffers, will be distributed free of charge through bookshops and libraries or can be downloaded on the Internet.

Culture Night

It comes as Culture Night, the annual all-island public event celebrating culture and the arts, is set to go mostly virtual this year due to the ongoing restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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,” Ms Kennelly said.

“Ireland boasts a wealth of artistic talent that, this year more than ever, we must promote and support.”

As part of the event, online audiences will be invited to learn about some of the Arts Council Collection’s newest works of art “showcasing the diversity of practices in visual artists in Ireland today”.

Other projects highlighted around the country will include “The Welcoming Project” by dance artist Catherine Young, who has been collaborating with residents in Direct Provision centres in Kerry since 2015.

Songs of protest will be sung at Pearse Museum by artists with disabilities in a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Alternative Entertainments, while film portraits of five women by the Outlandish Theatre Company, described as “fighters for gender equality and social justice” in Ireland, which will be projected in Dublin.

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