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Dublin Central Area

Co Author:
Linda Devlin

 “An area of contrast and diversity”

In Dublin Central, with partners the National Concert Hall and the Abbey Theatre, The National Neighbourhood will be working with all kinds of people, focusing on the area along the Royal Canal from North Strand to Mountjoy Prison, as well as a satellite project around Dublin 7. From conversations with youth groups, educational institutions, residents’ associations, local artists and festivals, multicultural groups and community development projects, it’s clear the area is one of contrasts and diversity, which will be reflected in the projects. There is an appetite for exploring the space between music and theatre performance, perhaps spoken word, music and rap.

In Dublin Central, we will be working mainly with young people age 16-24 and women, focusing on the area along the Royal Canal from North Strand to Mountjoy Prison, and the area around Dublin 7.

It’s been an absolute joy working in this area over the last 10 weeks – both personally and professionally.  For our project group meeting in September we walked around the North Strand area – with the Lockkeeper’s cottage at Newcomen Bridge our starting point.  It’s amazing what comes to mind when you walk somewhere with the intent only to observe.  When the destination or timing is not important and you follow your senses instead.  Some of the things we observed on that walk seemed to be reflected back to us, in a symbolic way, through our many tea and chats with local groups.  We began to notice some binary threads emerging such as closed vs open, known vs unknown, confinement vs release, and powerful versus powerless.  These are just glimmers into the richness and diversity of life, experience and imagination at play in the central area.

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Participants at The National Neighbourhood 2016 in Abbey Theatre

We are now at a really exciting stage of the project where we’re starting to chat to artists, who will then be connecting with community groups to delve deeper and really start to explore what we can create together. As a mother I can say that for me the last couple of months have been like the first trimester of pregnancy – you start off a little scared but excited, and you learn a lot in a short space of time!  Now, it’s like we’re about to get the first proper scan when you can start to make out the shape of things to come and you suddenly feel connected to the wonder of life and its infinite potential. Soon our little central area budling will be really starting to kick!

By Linda Devlin, Project Manager, Central area

Dublin’s Culture Connects aims to connect Dubliners to their city through culture and conversation. We develop activities and events that bring communities together, and to life: all based on people’s stories, wishes and experiences. It’s all about making and taking part in culture.
One of our programmes is The National Neighbourhood. We want every neighbourhood to know and ‘own’ their city’s cultural resources, so we connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places – including our National Cultural Institutions – to make cultural events in their communities.

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