QUARTER BLOCK PARTY – OUR STORY
Quarter Block Party is a three day music and arts festival on North and South Main Street, Cork City, taking place on the first weekend of February. 2018 will host the fourth edition of the festival.
Over the last 3 years, the festival has grown a dedicated audience and hosted over 150 performances in bars and venues as well as non-traditional spaces; charity shops, off-licences, churches and public parks. Quarter Block Party is a unique event aiming to present art in unusual locations and celebrate the street and city’s unique character. By working in close collaboration with traders and residents in the area and inviting the most exciting independent artists locally, nationally and internationally, we aim to open up the street through an exciting weekend of art & culture.
Quarter Block Party’s vision lies in a long-term strategy of investment; in developing audiences and participants, to create and nurture the artists, culture and heritage. Making North & South Main Street the platform, the stage, the canvas – for the presentation of exciting, groundbreaking work in Cork.
QUARTER POP UP ARTS CENTRE
Quarter was a pop-up arts resource centre which functioned as a new space for young artists and young people interested in the arts. Quarter hosted 16 events over the three months attended by over 450 people and engaged with over 70 artists from Cork and beyond through performances, film screenings, talks, workshops and by providing free access to co-working and rehearsal space for the development of new projects and initiatives.
Artists Quarter hosted included Brendan Canty, Dick Walsh, Grant Hart, Shookrah, Coderdojo, Irene O’Mara, Maedhbh Haicead, Martin Sharry, Ruairi Francis O’Brien, Brid O’Donovan and others.
Quarter, a three month pop-up arts resource centre, was created to address some of the obstacles that we (and other young artists) encountered which made working in a professional capacity and thus producing artistic work to a professional standard impossible. Without a dedicated working space we found that while it is possible to work, the quality necessary to be professional is close to impossible to achieve. This means that the work developed by young people remains amateur in ambition and has very little or no chance to get financially supported. We also felt that the ambition also suffers due to the restricted mobility of young people and that the work produced seldom relates to European trends and becomes comfortable, uninteresting and localised again making it difficult to be financially supported and provide employment.
So we decided to create the infrastructure we needed instead of leaving or giving up. We came up with Quarter an open, inclusive and multi-disciplinary space where creative ideas can be tried out, worked on. A place where risks can be taken and things can fail because we believe those things are necessary so innovation can happen.
Quarter was there to make things happen, to challenge, to support, to encourage collaboration, to provide a window to a wider context and to inspire new creative ventures.
QUARTER AT TRISKEL ARTS CENTRE
Quarter was a series multidisciplinary arts events, which took place every three months in Corcadorca’s Theatre Development Centre in Triskel Arts Centre (and expanded in to Gulpd Cafe & Plugd records). The key goal of the events was to create a focal point for the artists of the city to meet, develop and engage with each others work in an open and inclusive environment. Running parallel to the events was the Future Producers Programme, a nine-month mentored producing training for three young emerging producers.
The main objectives of the project were to create an European context for the work produced or presented in Cork, introduce young artists and producers to the community, place a strong emphasis on mentorship and allow space for experimentation – as we identified these as the keys towards securing paid employment for young artists within the arts industry. Over the course of the project we produced four mini festivals, a day long symposium, two weekend producing and marketing workshops, as well as providing mentorship, hands on support and valuable experience to three young producers over the course of nine months. Quarter engaged with over 120 artists locally and nationally establishing it as a highly anticipated and exciting arts event in Cork. But don’t just take our word for it…. here are some testimonials from regular attendees:
“I know I always come away from Quarter feeling motivated to create work and to find ways to work with others and I think that’s something a lot of artists get from it. For audience members who might not be actively creative, I think it’s still a really interesting and entertaining weekend and Quarter always succeeds in staging things many people would not normally see.”
“For people who are not in college we don’t have that structure anymore where you are in a room of people that are critiquing other peoples work. To be in that environment helps you view things in a new way and then think about them differently.”