After a phenomenal series of activities across the city as part of The National Neighbourhood in 2016 and early 2017, Dublin’s Culture Connects is delighted to confirm all the partners are back at the table developing new projects and The National Neighbourhood will evolve, re-imagine and continue. The core value of Dublin’s Culture Connects is the public and cultural community working together to develop projects based on shared ideas. As the conversations from last year continue today, we look forward to keeping the spirit of community, collaboration and participation alive in 2017.
Our colleagues at the National Cultural Institutions and the Culture section of Dublin City Council (City Arts office, Libraries & Archive Services, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane) and the Area Offices are partnering with us for a new series of projects. We will develop five separate projects based on the five Neighbourhood areas as follows:
• Central Area partnering with The Abbey Theatre, The National Concert Hall
• South East Area partnering with The National Gallery of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland
• North Central Area partnering with The National Library of Ireland, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
• North West Area partnering with The National Museum of Ireland
• South Central Area partnering with The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Chester Beatty Library
We are developing new stories from hundreds of voices and conversations across Dublin to knit together the new projects. Community engagement activities include Tea & Chats, where we visit and listen to citizen groups within their community; Culture Club, which sees us meeting groups at cultural places and talking about cultural impact; and through artist-led engagement in our numerous Engage the City projects.
Since Dublin’s Culture Connects was launched as an initiative in September 2016, over 1,000 citizens aged 5-85 have participated and designed eight cultural projects that included over 300 cultural workshops and events. Over 3,000 people attended 10 events at our partner organisations as audience members, and more than 90 group visits took place at the institutions. Over 10,000 people engaged with our incredible online outcomes and more than 8,000 people shared their stories with us – all of which has been brought together and will help us develop more cultural programmes in the coming months.
The engagement developed and the connections made have been great news for Dublin City Council and for the eight Institutions who have worked with numerous new groups. This important Local Authority partnership was also begun ahead of the launch of the cross-Government initiative, Creative Ireland, which has set as a core Pillar the empowerment of Local Authorities to enable creativity in every community.
Ongoing legacy continues with activities still taking place over the Summer from our first projects, with a new film and book on ALIGHT! about to be launched, the Around the Table photographic exhibition is touring libraries, and Dermot Bolger’s Monologues from Press Play being published later in the Summer. The Culture Club has now been firmly established and citizens are invited to join tours and events at the Institutions over the Summer months and lots more ways of joining in and connecting exist.
Author: Iseult Byrne, Project Director, Dublin’s Culture Connects