Derry’s cultural credentials are proving to be a hit in the Big Apple.
No less a media giant than “The Wall Street Journal” is the latest publication to fall in love with the City of Culture 2013.
A recent review in the prestigious US ‘paper - which is published in New York City - hailed the “new lightness” that now pervades Derry.
The article praises the city for throwing off the shackles of its past and “harnessing the healing power of art”.
Journalist Richard Holledge writes that Derry has been transformed from a city once “engulfed” by sectarian violence to one now “enjoying attention of a very different kind”.
His article refers to some of the highlights of the culture year celebrations including the forthcoming All Ireland Fleadh and the recent visits of the Royal Ballet and the London Symphony Orchestra.
“Though tensions still smoulder”, he writes, “there is a new lightness about the place.”
For example, the historic City Walls, says Holledge, “instead of being a handy height for hurling bricks at soldiers, now offers views across the Sperrins and down to the pleasing geometry of the Renaissance-style streets with their Georgian houses.”
Quoted in the “Wall Street Journal” feature are a number of local cultural “heads” who reveal what the 2013 celebrations mean to them.
Mickey Bradley, of The Undertones, says Derry now has “culture with a capital C” and secured the 2013 title “because we had the idea that culture can help to heal”.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company, remarks that much of the 2013 budget will be spent on projects that will leave a legacy.
Derry-born film producer Andrew Eaton says being City of Culture “means things can only get better” while Maoliosa Boyle, of the Void Gallery, says that, while culture is not a “solver of problems”, the fact that the 2013 Turner Prize is coming to Derry is a “great vote of confidence.”
Frank Cottrell Boyce, the man behind the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and the much-anticipated ‘Return of Colmcille” pageant, says he hopes his Derry event will “help Derry feel good about itself.”
The ‘Wall Street Journal’ is the largest newspaper in the USA with a circulation of 2.1 million copies.