Project Manager Laura Larkin has worked with communities in the North Central area of Dublin – Fairview, Clontarf, Coolock, Raheny and Donaghmede – Dublin’s Culture Connects’ The National Neighbourhood since December 2017. She reflects on her experiences and observations so far.
The cultural journey for North Central over the last six months is now coming to a gentle close. We have walked, talked, sung, created, drawn, danced, explored and healed together. Local spaces have been made to feel safer and the environment better respected, new friends have been made, positive mental and physical health has been promoted and important issues have been given a voice and a platform. The groups involved in these projects have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences, they have created some beautiful connections, memories and experiences made to last with the help of our dedicated artists and cultural institutions and I feel lucky to have had a hand in any of this.
The well respected, blooming willow zen garden in Fairview Park is a physical symbol and representation of the trust and positivity that has been honed during the process. To honor and end the projects from this journey, on Tuesday 29th May and for 3 months after, we are showing three short videos by Arcade Film in Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane, capturing the magic of each project, this event will be called “Fieldwork”. These films can also be seen from mid June in the National Library of Ireland.
The participants are proud of what has been learned and achieved during their involvement in The National Neighbourhood Project and would like to share this special journey with the public. I hope that these projects and the skills and learnings that have come from them can be passed down from generation to generation and from neighbour to neighbour, inspiring others to see their local world in these same hopeful and joyful ways…
Laura Larkin, 2018
With ‘The National Neighbourhood’, we want every neighbourhood to know and ‘own’ their city’s cultural resources, so we build cultural projects in community settings. We connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places to deepen their understanding of each other and themselves.
The National Neighbourhood spans the Dublin City Council region, and brings together Dublin City Council’s Library and Archives, the area offices, the city arts office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, in partnership with National Cultural Insitutions: the Abbey Theatre, the National Museum of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Concert Hall, the Chester Beatty, the National Archives and IMMA.0