Olga Barry Announced as New Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival

Olga Barry (Photo: Pat Moore)

Olga Barry Announced as New Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival

Currently Festival Producer, Barry will take up her new role in September.

Kilkenny Arts Festival has announced Olga Barry as its new Festival Director. She succeeds Eugene Downes who completes his five-year tenure with the festival this August – the 45th edition of the annual event.

Barry is currently Festival Producer with Kilkenny Arts Festival and has previously held positions with Crash Ensemble, the Festival of World Cultures and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

She was also Project Manager for the Ireland 2016/RTÉ Reflecting the Rising event during the centenary celebrations, Producer for New Music Dublin, and Project Manager for RTÉ for the inaugural Cruinniú na Cásca in 2017.

Commenting on Barry’s appointment, Kilkenny Arts Festival chairperson Emer Foley said:

The Board of the Festival is delighted to announce Olga Barry as the next Festival Director. The festival has developed enormously under the tenure of departing Director Eugene Downes, and has seen significant growth in the past number of years. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the very best in all his future endeavours. It is an exciting time for the festival and there are exciting opportunities as well as challenges ahead. We are very much looking forward to Olga, with her wealth of experience, leading the festival through the next phase of its development.

Eugene Downes added: ‘Olga has been central to the Festival’s success over the past five years. I’m thrilled to be handing over to such a gifted and respected arts leader.’ Olga Barry will take up the role in September.

Commenting on her appointment, Barry said: 

Kilkenny’s unique city-scape, its warmth and intimate scale, its stunning historic venues all create a very special festival environment for audiences and artists alike. I am thrilled and honoured to be asked to lead the Festival at this time.

The 45th Kilkenny Arts Festival will take place on 9–19 August. See our preview of the music line-up here and our review of last year’s festival here.

For more, visit www.kilkennyarts.ie.

Published on 4 July 2018

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