The Ranelagh Arts Festival has, over the years, set out to engage the community of Ranelagh, and its environs in a series of events and activities that cater for all ages. We seek to engage and stimulate all manner of artistic tastes as only a small, voluntary village committee can do. We endeavour to create an old style village arts festival, with an atmosphere that is laid back and easy going, brings the performers and their audiences close together, and provides a pleasant welcoming environment for visitors. While seeming like a monumentous task, visitors to the festival over the years have commended us on the 'Ranelagh Arts Festival Experience' as a whole. This year we intend to continue that tradition.
This year we again concentrate on our core events; walks and talks, lectures on local history and our co-operation with the local schools, the very essence of our 'raison d'être'. A very special event will occur in Sandford Park School, preceding our annual Poetry Speakeasy, when three books about Ranelagh will be launched - R.M.D.S 21, The Living Streets, An Anthology of The Ranelagh Arts Festival and Ranelagh in Pictures - which will make Ranelagh the centre of the Irish publishing world on Friday 25th September, for an hour at least! I cannot think of any similar sized village that has had 3 books launched simultaneously. If any reader can inform me otherwise a prize will await them on the occasion. This is another first for the Ranelagh Arts Festival of which we are inordinately proud.
We must thank those sponsors who have stood by us once again, along with our new and very welcome ones. When shopping, dining or drinking in the area we urge all of our supporters to look for the 'Friends of Ranelagh Arts Festival' sticker that will be on display by those generous businesses who share our appreciation of the Arts and community and are prepared to offer support despite these economically troubling times.
Special thanks must go to Dublin City Council and our friends in the South East Area Office without whose support it is very unlikely that the Ranelagh Arts Festival could take place. Shelbourne Development have graciously given us our new HQ at 26 Ranelagh, which has proved to be such an exciting development for all involved in the Ranelagh Arts Festival and encourages us to pursue our dream of a permanent home for the Arts in Ranelagh.
Finally I ask all the people of the area to come out and support the Festival, pray for good weather for the weekend's events, and extend a cordial Ranelagh welcome to all our visitors and performers. I hope you will agree that this year's Festival will be a pleasant and memorable experience for all concerned!