Support Our Artists: Ursula McGinn

Support Our Artists: Ursula McGinn

The Civic is giving grants to people across the cultural sector who have lost work due to the Covid-19 crisis – you can make a donation to the Artist Emergency Relief Fund here. 

Meet theatre maker, Ursula McGinn

I am a freelance Dublin based theatre-maker working across a variety of disciplines. I work as a facilitator and associate artist with Run of the Mill, an organistation led by Aisling Byrne, committed to supporting people with intellectual disabilities to access theatre arts. I am also the Co-Artistic Director of Bombinate Theatre, an award-winning company creating plays and workshops for young people and their families. 

Bombinate Theatre have created the plays Half Light and Susie and the Story Shredder, two shows for children which have premiered in Dublin and then toured around Ireland. This April was set to be the premiere of our third play Goodnight Egg, which has been postponed in light of current COVID-19 restrictions. 

As with many people working around Ireland, all of my work has come to a standstill as a result of closures due to Covid-19. As a freelance artist, I am used to having a couple of quiet weeks, before jumping head first into a new project, however our current situation is full of an uncertainty I have never experienced before. All of my work from March to the end of August has been cancelled, including master-classes, play development, youth theatre projects and a production in Edinburgh Fringe. 

Our industry, like many other sectors is precarious at the best of times; we have no safety net. Staying positive about the opportunities moving forward is a little difficult right now. It is so heart warming to see organisations and venues like the Civic being so supportive at a time like this, all of the people who have donated are really making a difference and helping people pay their rent or bills.

I heard on the radio recently that in Turkey there is a tradition of the older generation sending baskets down to the street and asking their neighbours to pick up groceries for them and pass them back up. This tradition has developed during this pandemic to residents leaving baskets of food out with messages along the lines of “If you need to take food from this, do, but if you can afford to leave some food do that”. I feel like that’s what the Civic Emergency Fund is doing, giving the opportunity to those who can take to take without an expectation of productivity; and those who can give to give, with the hope that by getting through this we will all be able to give back some time in the future. 

Find out more about the Artist Emergency Relief Fund here.