Announcing the Music Bursary recipients

Riverbank Arts Centre is delighted to announce the two recipients of Music Bursaries –  Kildare-based musicians Eimear Crehan and Freya Monks.

The primary objective of this new bursary scheme is to provide opportunities for professional musicians to develop their practice and/or to create and develop new work. The two bursaries awarded as part of this programme comprise a cash bursary (€5000) and additional support-in-kind provided by Riverbank Arts Centre (space, mentorship etc). 

Following an open call in April, 40 applications were received from Kildare-based musicians and music artists. The standard was exceptionally high and Riverbank Arts Centre worked with an independent panel of music professionals to assess the applications. . 

“It was the first time we have had an award of this nature and we were delighted with the response to the music bursary callout – offering direct support to music artists in the county is really vital at the moment” states Alex Rosiak, Acting Director of Riverbank Arts Centre “The quality of applications was exceptionally high and it is important to acknowledge the variety of genres, as well as the diversity of the artists’ musical paths and backgrounds”   

Kilcock-based singer-songwriter Eimer Crehan has been writing, releasing and performing her own music for the past 14 years. Her second album “Quiver” was due for release in October 2020 however due to the pandemic this has been delayed. She hopes to release it in 2021. Currently Eimear is working on her third album, “Humanity” and feels that the pandemic has been a real source of understanding about what it means to be creative and the importance of connection in the world.

‘The feeling is one of faith and belief in my music being restored. Eimear Crehan states, in response to receiving news of the bursary. ‘I feel like I have a real opportunity to make up for lost time since the pandemic, to create my best work yet and to have the support of the Riverbank Arts Centre  behind me is an incredible feeling. I will be releasing my second album Quiver and focusing on developing my third album, Humanity, with the help of this bursary.’

Freya Monks is a Kildare based vocalist, violinist and songwriter. She is the lead singer of synth pop band, FLECKS, who have gained international success, and have been greatly received by the Irish music scene. Freya has performed across Ireland and Europe, including performances with Lisa Hannigan  ‘This will be an amazing support to me as an artist during such uncertain times,’ Freya Monks says,  ‘and will provide me with the opportunity to continue my creative work and output’

While the venue doors remain closed, Riverbank Arts Centre has been active behind the scenes over the past 12 months,  presenting online arts events and in addition a very active schools arts programme. But the key focus has been supporting artists and developing new work. 

“Our plans at Riverbank Arts Centre for the first half of 2021 are heavily focused on supporting artists to develop work through commissions,  co-productions and residencies.” Alex Rosiak continues, “We are thrilled to be able to support innovative, creative musicians at this time and I would like to congratulate Eimear Creehan and Freya Monks – we look forward to working with them in the future.” 

Biographies of Bursary Recipients:
Eimear Crehan
Eimear Crehan is a songwriter, teacher and musician. She runs SpeakUp SingOut Music School in Kilcock, Co. Kildare and as well as being a community music facilitator, choral director and teacher, she has been writing, releasing and performing her own music for the past 14 years. Having led an award winning funk band for almost ten years, she then went on to write and release her first solo album ‘Scars’ in 2018. Her soulful style engages the audience and brings them on a journey of story telling with powerhouse vocals and deep connection. Eimear has been touring ‘Scars’ since its release and has been honoured to regularly tour with both Jack L and Mary Coughlan. Her second album “Quiver” was due for release in Oct 2020 however due to the pandemic this has been delayed. She hopes to release it in 2021. Currently Eimear is working on her third album, “Humanity” and feels that the pandemic has been a real source of understanding about what it means to be creative and the importance of connection in the world. The themes and ideas that are emerging in this new work really reflect that.

Freya Monks
Freya Monks is a Kildare based vocalist, violinist and songwriter. She is the lead of singer of synth pop band, FLECKS, who have gained international success, and have been greatly received by the Irish music scene. Freya has performed across Ireland and Europe, including performances with Lisa Hannigan. Freya’s voice has been described as ethereal, haunting with breathy atmospheric tones, which lends itself well across many genres and styles. Freya’s music and writing is heavily inspired by film, real and imagined stories, visual and performance art.  Freya is now working on her own music exploring new sounds and ideas.