The hugely popular Public Access Arts in Edenderry has closed.
A statement this week put the closure of the voluntarily run arts project on JKL Street down to a lack of support from key stakeholders in the local community.
It’s unknown yet whether the well-attended children’s festival Hullabaloo! will have a presence in the town this year as a result.
In its almost two year lifetime, Public Access Arts engaged both artists and audiences alike. As an educational resource it was used by 14 local national schools and two secondary schools.
Welcoming those aged four to 98, the project was a new development for Edenderry in the Offaly arts office’s county programme. As well as being a catalyst for the Hullabaloo! festival, it also led to Offaly Youth Theatre being set up in Edenderry.
In addition it brought exhibitions, exhibitors and visitors to the town, playing a part in Culture Night, Bealtaine and National Music Day. This year it was the only project in Offaly to be listed as part of National Drawing Day by the National Gallery of Ireland.
Though recently used as a key image in a ‘Doing Business in Edenderry’ brochure, those behind the project say a lack of local support mean it can’t continue.
“Some financial support from the arts office and a small one off grant from the former Edenderry Town Council was not enough to continue to run and develop the project, and other support from key stakeholders in the local community was required,” Offaly arts officer and one of Public Access Art’s eight directors Sinead O’Reilly said.
“Unfortunately, this was not forthcoming as much as they had hoped, even with a proven track record and recognition as a key project in the county. Therefore, it is with great regret that they bring the project to a close.”
In a statement the eight directors of Public Access Arts took the opportunity to thank everyone who took part and supported the project.
“What we achieved together was significant, courageous and spirited and the creative links and friendships made will continue,” they said.