Welcome to our very first Meet the Team blog post – we are so excited to get to know our colleagues better and also share it with you!
First up is Kate Chandler. Kate is our Engagement Coordinator who has been working with us since autumn last year…
Tell us a little about your role with Dublin City Council Culture Company and the kind of things that you do
I work on different engagement projects for Dublin City Council Culture Company. Last year I ran Heart of the Village workshops, where I went out to community groups across the city and wrote a sentence with them about what made their area special. This year I am working on the new schools programme for 14 Henrietta Street, and the Your Tenement Memories oral history project. We have been going to cultural venues all around Dublin and inviting people to come and chat to us about their memories of living in Dublin’s tenements.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Getting to meet so many different people, and seeing how much is happening in the city – scratch the surface and you’ll be amazed how much is going on.
Tell us about a memorable moment from your time working for Dublin City Council Culture Company
The Musical Tour at 14 Henrietta Street just before Christmas last year – I was blown away by the tour guides’ musical talent. They could be professional singers! Music keeps cropping up in the Your Tenement Memories project – my favourite moments are when someone who has come to share their stories starts bursting into song… it happens quite a lot!
What is your favourite / most inspiring programme or project at Dublin City Council Culture Company and why?
Your Tenement Memories (I’m only a little biased!). I was delighted by the warm response to this project. Not only are we learning so much more about tenement life in Dublin, but people have loved having the opportunity to share their stories. There have been some hilarious and emotional moments and we have met some great characters.
Who was one of the most inspirational persons you have met in your work with Dublin City Council Culture Company or Dublin’s Culture Connects?
Can I pick more than one? Everyone who has told their stories at the Your Tenement Memories events. I’ve met some amazing people, and feel very privileged that they chose to share their memories with us.
Why do you like working in the area of culture, heritage or the arts?
The people and the places. The people in the cultural and heritage sector are so creative and imaginative. Their passion for what they do seeps into everything and makes anything feel possible. I love working in special places dripping with stories, whether that’s a building, a street, or a city.
What does culture mean to you?
When I think of culture I picture something alive and colourful, something that brings people together. But also those lovely moments to yourself enjoying a hobby or admiring a view or some street art. I think those moments generate a really special, specific feeling.
What are your favourite cultural venues and events?
Glastonbury in Somerset, England (the town, not the festival!). The whole place is a crazy new-agey cultural experience and the people are wonderful. I also love wandering around Dublin’s streets and alleys and discovering different angles of the city. In terms of events, I love a good folk gig. I recently went to see Stick in the Wheel at the Cobblestone in Smithfield, a great place.
What are your hobbies?
Hiking, writing, yoga, stained glass making, being outdoors in any shape or form
What is your favourite book?
Again, it’s so hard to pick just one! I guess if I had to choose it would be Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. Elmet by Fiona Mozley, Addlands by Tom Bullough and All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison are all cracking, folky reads with a sharp social conscience. Milkman by Anna Burns and The Stopping Places by Damian Le Bas also blew me away. Do I have to stop now? OK…
Tell us about your pet / -s if you have any
I have a golden Cocker Spaniel called Ruaidhrí who has the spirit of a puppy in a middle aged body. He is the happiest person I’ve ever met and a complete ray of sunshine.
What are your favourite cities and / or countries and why?
I grew up in a tiny village in South West England, so I’ve always been a country girl, but Dublin really got under my skin. I love this city, its spirit and its people. There’s always something going on, and craic to be had.