North Kildare resident leading the way for 40th anniversary of Carlow Arts Festival

Festival director slams lack of Government support for professional artists who are on the breadline

North Kildare resident leading the way for 40th anniversary of Carlow Arts Festival

Jo Mangan and husband Tom Swift

A North Kildare resident is leading the way for  upcoming Carlow Arts Festival 40th anniversary.

Jo Mangan, who lives in Maynooth, with her husband, Tom Swift, playwright, and their two dogs Eva and Gloster, is passionate about the arts. The Carlow Arts Festival Director  slams the lack of Government support in assisting struggling artists to make a living.

She said: "The income of an average artist is €13,000 per year. Many artists around the country can be in danger of homelessness and are on the breadline."

All artists at the Carlow Arts Festival are paid for their work. 

Celebrating 40 years in existence, this weekend will celebrate 1979, with the muppet show and Back to the Future.

The festival will celebrate with a host of events taking place in Festival HQ at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s and VISUAL, as well as at local landmarks from Tuesday, June 4 until Sunday, June 9.

Ms Mangan's passion for all things creative is very evident in the festival's line up of events. Carlow Arts Festival continue their work to ensure the arts are for everyone with over 80% of the events free to attend alongside a ‘Pick Your Price’ scheme for select events.

Organisation for this festival begins 18 months or more in advance, says Ms Mangan. 

Ms Mangan said:“It’s such a whirlwind each year as we pull together the programme, and bring the final pieces of the jigsaw together. And here we are in the 40th anniversary year of the festival with a range and depth of programming that I think surpasses all past iterations.  Outdoor, Street-art and Spectacle as well as Family friendly work continues to be a significant focus for us, and we are particularly proud that 80% of our programme is entirely free."

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