Minister Ring announces €200,000 funding for major Yeats Festival

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring has today (Friday) officially launched A Season of Yeats – an exciting new tourism initiative for Sligo.
Minister announced that €200,000 has been allocated to the initiative via Fáilte Ireland over the next three years.
Minister Ring explained that A Season of Yeats aims to build on the strong connection that WB Yeats and the wider Yeats family have with Sligo.
“A Season of Yeats is a clever and innovative way to fill a gap in Sligo’s cultural calendar. It will build on Yeats Day by adding a further six weeks of Yeats-related activities, and will be extended further in future years.
“There will be a wide variety of events aimed at local people and visitors from Ireland and abroad, including walking tours, pop-up shops and poetry recitals. We hope it will be a unique experience for everyone, particularly those interested in the legacy and contribution of the Yeats family.
“If you enjoy culture, beautiful landscapes and friendly people, then Sligo should be firmly on your map this summer.”
The Season of Yeats is being led by Fáilte Ireland and local interest groups and tourism businesses to reinforce the poet’s strong association with Sligo and provide a high-quality programme of entertainment and literature.
Contact for Minister Ring: Caroline Ryan 086 8915570
Contact for Fáilte Ireland: 086 7966320
Further information
A Season of Yeats will begin on June 13th, (the anniversary of the poet’s birthday) and will continue over a six week period initially, growing to a longer season over the three year period. Events will be supported at community level, and Fáilte Ireland will engage with local businesses. Events like walking tours, pop-up shops and poetry recitals will bring Yeats and his works to life.
The programme will feature exhibitions of the work of Jack B and John Yeats at The Model Arts Centre, readings and performances of WB Yeats’s work at Hawk’s Well, Blue Raincoat Theatre and at Drumcliff; a series of talks and films surrounding the Yeats Family; and an integrated inclusive Yeats programme in Sligo which will see a series of quality events around music performances and further exhibitions. 
Fáilte Ireland in the North West will spearhead the project with all stakeholders, ensuring a quality programme of Yeats-themed events, appealing to a wide audience at home and abroad.
Fáilte Ireland is also developing a dedicated website,, which will contain information on all the events and activities. There will also be a strong social media presence on the website, on twitter, Facebook, and You Tube.
Fáilte Ireland’s Cultural Tourism Report (2008) highlighted the potential of cultural products to lure visitors from both home and abroad. Martina Bromley, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Operations in the North West explained how this translated locally:
“We, in Fáilte Ireland in the North West and local tourism interests in Sligo, came to the conclusion that the development and promotion of a unified Yeats theme would be key to creating a distinctive selling point for Sligo, alongside the landscape, crafts, literary, music and arts appeal.
“Sligo is Yeats country and, given that the Yeats family are now almost a Global brand, it’s absolutely imperative that we use this perfect local asset to market ourselves to tourists and visitors”.
The Yeats International Summer School, now in its 53rd year, has long been a champion of the Yeats legacy in the region and has maintained the academic integrity and quality of Yeats work on offer to an international audience. This integrity is key to the growth of the festival and A Season of Yeats is working closely with the society and its president to maximise the potential of Yeats in the most appropriate way.
Fáilte Ireland intends to build on the international appeal of the Nobel Prize winner, by delivering a strong Yeats themed programme of events, located in Sligo and targeted at overseas visitors. To this end, Fáilte Ireland has allocated €200,000 to be distributed over a three year period to deliver on an engaging programme around Yeats.
A Season of Yeats calendar will feature the following events:
Yeats Day: June 13th
Yeats Day is the first ever celebration of the poet’s birthday in his spiritual home of Sligo. It will be a dawn to dusk celebration of WB Yeats birthday featuring music, theatre, art and poetry and even a cake and candles. It is hoped this will become an annual celebration of Yeats’s life and work.
Under Bare Ben Bulben’s Head: 29th July – 10th August
A programme of music and spoken word performances focusing on Yeats’s Sligo connections. The centrepoint of the festival will be a series of interrelated programming around music, theatre and poetry with  animation and street entertainment that will fire the imagination of young and old and draw the local community of Sligo into the celebrations of the internationally renowned Poet.
53rd Yeats International Summer School: 29th July -10th August
The Yeats International Summer School was founded to honour and celebrate the enormous contribution of WB Yeats to Irish literature in the English language, in the city and county that inspired him and which he made famous in his poetry and prose. It seeks to bring together leading Yeats scholars from all over the world for an intense literary experience, where scholars and students mingle freely in a residential ‘mini-university’ for two full weeks.
’Students’ of all ages, levels of scholarship, races and backgrounds, meet as equals, and the programme caters for all, providing a rich mixture of lectures and seminars involving poetry and prose readings, drama, film and music.
Cairde Festival: 1st-8th July
The ‘Cairde Celebrates Yeats’ series of events will celebrate and focus on the deep interest and passion which Yeats had for all the arts. A poetry trail featuring poems of WB Yeats will be created throughout Sligo town. 

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