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Cultural Café Chats

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Here in Dublin’s Culture Connects we’re fond of a cup of tea and no strangers to sharing one with the people of Dublin. Since 2015, we’ve shared a cuppa (and biscuit of course) with hundreds of community groups and individuals across the city. Our goal? To chat about what really matters to the people of Dublin and to see how we can make culture become a part of Dublin’s ordinary, everyday happenings. We believe culture is key to improving Dublin’s quality of life and that a tea and chat is just one way to get the ball rolling.

Dublin's Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Sandra Rodriguez and participants, Photo by Adrian Wojtas
Dublin’s Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Sandra Rodriguez and participants, Photo by Adrian Wojtas

And so, Friday 22 September saw some of our engagement team; Laura Larkin, Hannah Pinckheard and Sandra Rodriguez getting into the Culture Night swing of things with a Tea & Chats bonanza! The team opened the doors of our ‘Cultural Café’ to a wide range of people – young and old alike who were eager to share their thoughts with us over a hot brew. All set-up in the city centre for Culture Night, we had a few questions for the lovely people of Dublin, and we were thrilled to hear the responses!

So, what did we find out you ask?
One of the main things that makes people smile in Dublin is seeing other people coming together. Our participants talked about Street Parties, Street Fests, Family events, Barbeques, people bonding and exercising together. Other gems included hearing about other people winning the Lotto, and seeing young people thrive.

For most people who sat and shared a cuppa with us, family and friends are the most precious gift they have. There was also a desire to connect to their neighbours or to get to know people from different cultures that live in their area.

Participants also found it really positive that people come together to clean their area, and think it is a great way to make people feel part of something special while at the same time, contributing to benefiting the life of their community. People shared with us their wish to have communal spaces where they can meet, talk and enjoy their time together in a safe environment, a spot that doesn’t involve alcohol and is free from any danger.

Dublin's Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Friday 22nd September, Jonathan Gunning and Daniel Guinnane, Photo by Adrian Wojtas
Dublin’s Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Friday 22nd September, Jonathan Gunning and Daniel Guinnane, Photo by Adrian Wojtas

As for the tricky question ‘If you had to make a gift to your community, what would it be?’, responses included the feeling that they are involved and not left alone and education that is open and free to all.

Another comment included ‘to give back to my community what I got as a child – time’.

With over 400 people to listen to on the night, as you can see, there was a lot to take in! We were delighted to hear some of your responses and to let you know that we’re listening. These conversations will feed into our engagement programmes over the next few months, including ‘The National Neighbourhood’ where we want every neighbourhood to know and ‘own’ their city’s cultural resources. We aim to build projects around communities and their needs and to connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places.

Dublin's Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Community Board, Photo by Adrian Wojtas
Dublin’s Culture Connects, Cultural Cafe, Community Board, Photo by Adrian Wojtas

The conversation is still happening and we’d love to keep the chats going (you can’t beat a good cuppa). Want to speak with us? Why not have your community group host us for a ‘Tea & Chats’ session? Get in touch by emailing join-in@dublinscultureconnects.ie.
Ah go on, go on, go on…(sorry, we couldn’t resist).

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