New challenges as Fitzpatrick steps into the breach

first_imgNewsBreaking newsNew challenges as Fitzpatrick steps into the breachBy Rose Rushe – January 9, 2014 859 WhatsApp He is advising on new structures and process to see through the 2014 vision for Limerick’s designation. He also referenced the many projects in train already that he will shepherd on a pro-temp basis.“We are determined to make this project a success and I’ve been happy to share in this collaborative experience,” Dr Fitzpatrick said.Vice chair Tim O’Connor welcomed the helpful new relationship between “two public state institutions”“Many artists are very excited that we are going to play such a central role, and I’ve always been a great champion of the arts in Limerick”, Fitzpatrick continued. He underlined to their welcome support for “the work and endeavours of the board as well”.President of LIT colleges, Dr Maria HinfelaarHis experience and ability to lead are widely recognised as is an open, friendly manner throughout his career – in heading up Limerick City Gallery of Arts, in EVA International projects such as the Bienniel and in recent years, LSAD, one of the world’s top 50 in its field.“It’s not just a year long thing. I don’t see this as a singular project. We are leading the way to European City of Culture 2020″, he concluded at the press call.Questions outstandingFOR all the goodwill engendered by LIT’s advisory role in improved governance/ delivery to the board, there were few definitive responses to press on what lies ahead. Chairperson Pat Cox couched the new terms of reference: “We want to get it right rather than early”.Will the new artistic director will answer directly to the board?Mike Fitzpatrick: “The role [as interim head] as I see it is to have the best structures to put in place. I will get back to the board next week with a plan”.Are the appointments in train?Pat Cox: “In addition to dealing with the multiple sequential events of the past four days and the tsunami of press requests, the board has not got into those details yet. The board will meet on January 17, the first time we will have to reflect on Mike’s recommendations”.Will the new appointment be a dual role of artistic director and chief executive?Pat Cox: “One option is the dual role. My answer to that is an educated ‘don’t know’.There is talk of Limerick arts officer Sheila Deegan having an elevated role?Pat  Cox: “I don’t want to prematurely comment. We have not got into detail yet about the principals to the role. Mike Fitzpatrick will meet with the city council to look at roles, be they interim or not. We want to assure the artistic community in Limerick that what was promised will be done”Limerick arts officer Sheila Deegan, who did the spadework with Kieran Lehane, then director of services for CultureHow will the arts and culture sector board member be appointed?Pat Cox: “It is up to the grassroots to name another director, by selection or election, whatever process they wish. They can decide on someone from inside or outside Limerick. It is entirely at their own choice”.How soon will new appointments be in place?Pat Cox: “Mike Fitzpatrick is to scan the horizon.. discuss with us what needs to be done. This is to be as substantial as is necessary  – there is no timeline on that”. Previous articleThey might be giantsNext articleHome quarter final & contracts remain in balance Rose Rushehttp://www.limerickpost.ieCommercial Features and Arts Editor at Limerick Post by Rose RusheSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up ALONG with the appointment of LIT Limerick School of Art and Design head Michael Fitzpatrick to lead the City of Culture project on an interim basis, the board announced a broadening of membership to include local arts and political representatives.The decisions were made at an emergency board meeting held last Monday 6 night to accelerate staff appointments and programming.At a press conference on Tuesday, Chairman Pat Cox confirmed that three positions on the board had been set aside for directors from the arts and culture sector. There will be a director appointed on the advice of the pillar groups; one put forward by the chairpersons of the pillar groups, of which there are six, and a third place for Fitzpatrick on completion of his term as interim head.Following a meeting with city and county councils on Tuesday morning, new roles were announced for Mayor Kathleen Leddin and County Council Cathaoirleach Kevin Sheahan with respect to inclusion in City of Culture policy on the board.Tim O’Connor, outgoing chairman of The Gathering, has been appointed vice-chair.Left, vice chair Tim O’Connor with Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan and Finance Minister Michael NoonanOn the troubled issue of stalled funding, Pat Cox said “that the board is pleased to announce that later afternoon yesterday Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan and Conn Murray had signed off [on heads of agreement].. on a key step to the generous funding provided”.The beleaguered chairman extended his appreciation for the “overwhelming offers of support in this time of crisis in recent days and along with other offers of encouragement, we look forward to taking them up”.He made specific reference to looking to the business community’s response and “offers of sponsorship”.Cox expressed gratitude to LIT president Maria Hinfelaar and LSAD’s Mike Fitzpatrick for “stepping up to the mark” and their sense of “civic leadership”.He also thanked outgoing chief executive Patricia Ryan for her “selfless dedication to the project” and “the dignified way” that she responded, continuing to work with the project to ensure a smooth handover.The long run and ‘legacy’It emerged that LIT’s Drs Hinfelaar and Fitzpatrick had been working City of Culture from the outset, and initiated collaboration for the LSAD head’s secondment out of a sense of “ownership” to the project. 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