Gort, Co. Galway, highlighted in short film
Sponsors and venue operators get limelight in literary festival video for Gort's literary festival, March 26th and 27th
It was a simple thing to do. But now the video promoting the third 'Forge at Gort' literature festival has jumped around the world. The video shows Gort and some of the venues for the festival, each of them 'labelled' with names of participants.
"Gort has been generous to us," says Fred Johnston, Director of the Western Writers' Centre. But we've also had 'Friends' of the Centre joining up from the US. It's very encouraging."
The festival is sponsored by Minihan's Supervalu, Gort, Galway County Council, Drew Logan (USA), The Arts Council and Poetry Ireland, as well as Knute Skinner, Edna Kiel, Noel Monahan, Pat O'Callaghan and others. This, says Johnston, is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the real reason for the Western Writers' Centre's existence, the promotion of writing at every level. We have storytelling, poetry, novel writing, workshops, performance poetry: we squeeze into a couple of days as much as a week might accomodate. We're very happy this year to have Rab Fulton, storyteller, with us too. The festival is a credit to the people of Gort."
"Last year when we were crippled by the Arts Council's removal of our Programming Grant, poets and writers came together and said we'll have a festival in spite of it and we did, and great musicians joined them, and local support too. I was overwhelmed by what happened, the sheer generosity of spirit, the great support it showed for the Centre and the festival, and this came directly from writers and other artists. Art and music happened because of the artists, which is the way it's always been. It was as if there was a voice declaring 'No, this negativity simply isn't on any more.'
"Back in Galway city, we've had to contend with the apathy of the Galway City Council, in spite of our being around for eight years, and Councillors who promised support on the doorsteps then disappeared into silence and refusals to answer e-mails or letters," said Johnston. "In spite of all of this nonsense, we've produced event after event and now we have a fine line-up for Gort." In past years, the Centre was also the target of anonymous e-mails and pseudonymous correspondence sent to the Arts Council in Dublin.
Nonetheless the 'Forge At Gort' festival is set to progress by leaps and bounds, thanks to the generosity and open-spiritedness of the people of the town of Gort, Co. Galway. "We must especially thank the staff of Gort Library, who have been terrific."