2 Dec 2012

126 needs your help to lobby Galway City Council

We know you love 126 and we need your help to lobby Galway City Council to come through with our funding for 2012. 126 have not yet received our 2012 rental support  funding from Galway City Council and we cannot get a clear figure as to what we can expect from them. We owe €4,500 in rent and on 20 December that will be €5750. We need to mobilise our previous board members and membership to make as much noise as possible. Galway City Council closes for Christmas on 16 December.

We've sent the letter below to all Galway City Councillors, local TD's and President Higgins. 126 needs you to lobby the local representatives to put pressure on to get us our money for this year and make sure we don't get cut next year as well.

Feel free to modify the letter, improve it and add your own experiences with 126. The email addresses are as follows:

Local Galway City Councillors
Tom Costello     tcostello@cllr.galwaycity.ie,
 Michael J Crowe <mjcrowe@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Frank Fahey <ffahy@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Nuala Nolan     nnolan@cllr.galwaycity.ie,
 Declan McDonnell <declanpmcdonnell@eircom.net>,
 Terry O Flaherty <toflaherty@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Billy Cameron <bcameron@eircom.net>,
 Colette Connolly <colconnolly@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Ollie Crowe <ocrowe@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Catherine Connolly <cconnolly@cllr.galwaycity.ie>,
 Peter Keane <pkeane@pmkeane.ie>,
 Donal Lyons <donallyons@eircom.net>,
 Níal McNelis <mcnelis@votelabour.ie>,

National Representatives: TD's
Noel Grealish TD (Ind) noel.grealish@oireachtas.ie
Séan Kyne TD (FG) sean.kyne@oireachtas.ie
Derek Nolan TD (LAB) derek.nolan@oireachtas.ie
Brian Walsh TD (FG) brian.walsh@oireachtas.ie
Éamon Ó Cuív TD (FF) eamon.ocuiv@oireachtas.ie

President Higgins

Many thanks! And hope to see you at our fundraiser, RENT EVENT, in De Burgo's this Friday 7th December

The 126 Board



We feel it is necessary to bring to your attention the very serious issues facing 126 Gallery. 126 gallery is a critically celebrated artist-run exhibition space in Galway city that promotes challenging and experimental art that would not be seen in commercial galleries or conventional institutions.  Since its founding in 2005, 126 provides a place where artists can meet, talk and exhibit along with their local and international peers and influences. 126 is critically acclaimed because of its policy to programme new work and engage with art graduates. It is also important to remember that there is no municipal visual arts gallery in Galway City. 126 is the only place that fulfils this role.

126 relies on public funding to cover its costs. In 2012, The Arts Council provided €10,000 for programming and Galway City Council were asked for €15,000 rental support. Until now, Galway City Council has provided full rental support. This rental support is now under threat. The 2012 funding from Galway City Council has not come though yet. I urge you to lobby Thomas Connell (Director of Services, Economic Planning, HR, Corporate Services and Community & Culture
thomas.connell@galwaycity.ie ) to protect the level of rental support to maintain the future of 126 in Galway City. We cannot use Arts Council money to pay the rent, it is solely for programming purposes. We are aware of the difficulties in public financing but 126 plays a hugely important role in the visual arts in Galway. 126 represents outstanding value for money. Any reduction on the local funding would seriously threaten the existence of 126.

By providing €15,000 in rental support, Galway City Council benefits from the full-time work of 8 committed unpaid artists that programme and manage a critically acclaimed exhibition space. Board members give up to two years of their unpaid time to manage the gallery. Galway City benefits from a visual arts programme in 126 that leads the critical discourse on the west coast of Ireland. 126 won the Mayor's award in 2009 and 2010 in recognition for our outstanding commitment to community and voluntary activity and the impact we have made on the quality of community life in Galway City.
126 runs a year-round programme of exhibitions and talks. Since 2007, there have been 101 exhibitions and talks at 126 Gallery, all documented on our blog http://126gallery.blogspot.ie/
126 have hosted exhibitions by international artists; have exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy. We have partnered with NCAD, The Glucksman and artist-led spaces in Ireland. Our previous board members have exhibited in Dublin Contemporary 2011, San Francisco Bay Area and the Good Children Gallery, New Orleans among others. 126 have collaborated with Gregory Sholette, New York based Art Critic; have brought international artists to Galway including Swiss Artist Rainer Ganahl and Dutch based artist
 Parminderjit Singh Bhangoo among many others.

126 is run on a day-to day basis by a board of volunteers. The board of 126 is comprised of volunteers who are motivated by a passion for the arts and an intense interest in the cultural development of Galway and Ireland. The Board directly represents the membership, which is an expression of the most committed artists in the greater Galway area; it is on the basis of this relationship that the success and longevity of 126 is based.

We've met with Patricia Philbin in Galway City Council and are concerned as to our financial position and the level of support from City Hall. We would like you to lobby Thomas Connell on our behalf to deliver our 2012 funding and maintain our funding for next year.

Best wishes
The 126 Board