Sunday, September 13, 2020

From left: Elaina Ryan (CEO Children’s Books Ireland), Melatu-Uche Okorie, (Arts Council board member) and Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly.

CHILDREN in two of Waterford’s Direct Provision centres will receive gifts of new books by Irish authors as the Arts Council seeks to engage as many people as possible in Culture Night, which takes place this Friday, September 18.

Encouraging parents to participate with their children, the Arts Council has teamed up with Children’s Books Ireland to publish a special guide which deals with 100 of the best Irish books for children. The ‘Books Make Things Better Reading Guide’ with an illustrated cover by Oliver Jeffers, will be distributed free of charge through bookshops and libraries and can also be downloaded online.

Said Arts Council Director Maureen Kenneally: “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.

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

Given that much of Culture Night would be virtual this year due to Covid-19, over 1,000 real books would nonetheless be delivered to families around the country to “promote the joy of opening and reading a book”.

Maureen Kenneally added: “Ireland boasts a wealth of artistic talent that, this year more than ever, we must promote and support. Our goals for Culture Night in 2020 are that it represents the vitality of art across diverse communities, that it acknowledges the value that art brings to all our lives, and its essential role in promoting well-being within society.”

To download the reading guides, visit:

www.artscouncil.ie/uploadedFiles/wwwartscouncilie/Content/Publications/Culture_Night/BMTB Reading Guide_Web_Final.pdf  or https://childrensbooksireland.ie/reading-guides/

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