Executive Director of the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny, Ireland has written a thought-provoking piece which explores the role of artists and entertainers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WATERFORD, IRELAND / ACCESSWIRE / September 15, 2021 /An article has been published by a noted online periodical that focuses on matters of health and wellbeing which was written by Joanna Cunningham, Executive Director of the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny, Ireland. The article addresses the overlooked value of artists and entertainers in general and will give particular focus to how this cohort is getting us through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early in the article, Joanna celebrates transportation workers, grocery store clerks, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists without whom the world could not survive the pandemic. She goes on to explore whether enough notice has been given to the artists and entertainers whom we have replied heavily upon during the long lockdown periods, "Essential workers are the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic - we thank and celebrate them. I wonder though if enough attention has been paid to the invisible heroes who are ever-present in our lives? They are hanging on our walls, stacked in our bookcases, projected from our televisions, singing from our speakers and, for a while at least, were transmitting into our homes from closed, audience-less theatres," she writes, going on to spell out her central point explicitly, "Visual artists, comedians, actors, dancers, writers, directors, and musicians give us a perspective on life, and in doing so, help us to understand it better."
Further along in the piece, Joanna Cunningham writes about how people, like her, running theatres needed to respond to the crisis during this extended timeframe where large, indoor gatherings were strictly prohibited, "This dark period has allowed us to evolve our partnerships with many professional artists," she explains, citing Watergate collaborators Monkeyshine Theatre Company, Philip Cullen, Cindy Cummings, and Christine Scarry as examples. "Their prescience is typical of many artists. They are driven to make work which is stimulated by what they intuit, what they draw from the zeitgeist and find urgently needs to be explored and communicated."
By means of concluding the article, Joanna issues a heartfelt message of thanks to the artists and entertainers she has worked with during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and artists and entertainers in general worldwide. "The Watergate is proud to have a role in the support of these artists. We hope that one of the silver linings of the pandemic is the opportunity it has given us to slow down and remember the role of the artist in documenting day-to-day life from a unique perspective. We are grateful to them for this and think of them as essential workers."
Anyone curious to learn more about the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny, Ireland is encouraged to visit their official website.
About Joanna Cunningham:
Originally from Kildare and now living in Waterford, Ireland, Joanna Cunningham is the Executive Director of the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny, Ireland. She attended University College Cork, earning a Bachelor of Music before graduating with an MA in Music, with a special concentration on its social psychology and therapeutic potential, from the University of Limerick.
Joanna has worked at the Watergate Theatre since January of 2018. She ran the Music Programme at Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, and before that she held the position of Deputy Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust at Waterford University Hospital. Joanna organized and oversaw a community and educational arts programme in Ballyfermot, Dublin for the first eight years of her professional career.
Joanna Cunningham and the Watergate Theatre ensures that Kilkenny City and County are in line with an Ireland which believes that each citizen's life should be enriched by arts and culture. Within this mission the Watergate aims to create opportunities for the local urban and rural communities to engage in high quality arts experiences while working with artists to create these opportunities.
At the Watergate Joanna Cunningham aims to support the development of the arts locally and to build partnerships through which it can work alongside members of Kilkenny's professional artistic communities to increase the depth of engagement by all community sectors with a strategic focus on children, young people, and those from diverse cultural backgrounds. They also seek to provide a programme of performing arts which is accessible to people of all abilities as well as cultural, social, and economic backgrounds.
Source: Watergate Theatre
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