Seasons greetings from CCA!
From the CCA Derry~Londonderry Staff and Board, we send a huge thank you to everyone who has supported CCA and been a part of making CCA's programmes happen in 2021. Whilst it has been another deeply challenging year, we are reflecting on the positives we have experienced too. Our highpoint of the year was being shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021, the largest museum prize in the world! You can watch a short film narrated by Michael Bradley about why we were shortlisted here:
Over the course of the year, we have presented four exhibitions (Tricks of the Trade, URGENCIES (2021), Irish Modernisms and Tilt [at Windmills]) with work by 23 artists across nine different venues, and hosted five small scale shows in the CCA Project Space that is visible from our windows on Artillery Street (OlfactoStroll, nothing (but windows)), and I WAS NEVER LOST and DreamBean's show by the two recipients of the CCA Graduate Award.
Our online platforms and new website have come out strong this year, with 24 social media takeovers including 20 in our CCA Introducing programme. Three week-long digital residencies by four artists (Creating Dangerously, Holy Blood and The Indoor Tree) have been shared throughout the year on our new website constructed by myth. We could not have produced our exhibitions and online activity without the work of our artists and help of technicians, videographers, photographers and designers. Thanks to 60 freelancers together with our staff team of four, we made Round Table podcasts, schools packs, summer family workshops, writing and design workshops and more. Our Public Programmes in 2021 has included making and distributing materials packs and instructions to six different schools around Derry City and Strabane District Council. The CCA Youth Collective shifted online and continued to support younger people living in lockdown with workshops and activities. The CCA Research Associates – past and present – continued to meet online and get involved in the gallery's programme, and we look forward to supporting the new cohort beginning in 2022. Our CCA Supports events expanded online to provide crit groups, surgeries, mentoring, and tax return guidance for artists working isolation. We continually updated our COVID-19 emergency support information page for artists to refer to in navigating lockdown.
Our new window texts were born out of our Should artists write? workshop with Meadhbh McNutt, as invited 10 writers from the workshops and 10 artists/illustrators/designers to create this new series. We partnered with 20 organisations over the course of the year to make our events happen and get the word out about CCA Derry~Londonderry. We also used our platform of being a shortlisted Art Fund Museum of the Year institution to raise awareness of the situation of funding in the arts in Northern Ireland and the disproportionately high levels of mental health issues affecting people working in the arts by advocating for our sector on BBC 4's Front Row and interviews in The Guardian, The Times, The Art Newspaper and more. We also cheered on Array Collective's historic win at the Turner Prize 2021; we couldn't be more proud!
We can't wait to see you in the new year for our upcoming solo show by Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh opening on 14 January 2022 at CCA, and online we are releasing an audio artwork by CCA Research Associate Chinasa Vivian Ezhugha on Spotify and all good podcast providers.
After another difficult year, to every artist, visitor, freelancer, educator, funder, donor, follower, volunteer, supporter – stay safe and we wish you well however you are spending the holidays.