At the end of 2021 we asked our CEO, Iseult Byrne, to reflect on the year full of culture and connection, and a few challenges too.
Creativity, community, and an award
At the end of a busy year, I am glad to reflect on some highlights from 2021. From all that we worked on together, there is lots to remember and celebrate as we look forward to 2022.
We were awarded the Silletto Prize at the European Museum of the Year Awards. This was an especially meaningful award for us, as it recognises the hard work, dedication and passion which went into making the museum, 14 Henrietta Street, and sharing it with audiences through its stories.
We created new publications written by historians Dr Melanie Hayes, Dr Tim Murtagh and Donal Fallon, uncovering the lives of the people who lived at 14 Henrietta Street, each focusing on a significant chapter in the history and evolution of the house.
We were excited to announce our third Creative Residency, the Creative Residency in Sports & Wellbeing, a partnership with the Dublin City Sports & Wellbeing Partnership and has paired five artists with sports clubs across the city. We’re looking forward to seeing what artistic adventures and works will arise from this.
These Creative Residency programmes continue to produce exciting experiences and opportunities which we will continue to develop and grow into 2022 and beyond.
We saw the unveiling of an incredible artwork by the Irish artist Jesse Jones, as a result of the very first Creative Residency, the Creative Residency @ King’s Inns.
The Historian-in-Residence for Children, with our partners at Dublin City Libraries, has also been extended into 2022 due to its success in engaging children with historical exploration of their city.
Connecting at Richmond Barracks and online
We launched a Biodiversity Worksheet in Richmond Barracks, which was a culmination of work by some local children who took part in a course with our Eco Gardener in Residence.
In December, we were delighted to host the first ever Richmond Barracks Christmas Craft Fair. Thank you to all the local artists, writers, makers, and performers who took part, and for so many of you who came to do your Christmas shopping and support local businesses.
We hope to plan more community events like this in the new year so we can continue to welcome you to this historic building. In the meantime, you can see what we already have planned at Richmond Barracks by taking a look at the What’s On page.
The culture of your city
The National Neighbourhood and Culture Club programmes continued online, with in person events when it was safe to do so. Together with our many partners, artists who work with us, and participants, we explored and experienced new cultural adventures together.
Our work at the Culture Company starts with listening to what matters to the people who call Dublin home. We put a call out for those interested in joining our new advisory group, and welcomed a new group of people to assist us with our work. We are so grateful for their insights, time, and support.
Elsewhere, the Engagement Team were busy meeting and connecting with people all over the city through Tea & Chats, many of whom began their own cultural explorations. Read more about Tea & Chats in 2021.
2021 also marked the first year of the Dublin City Cultural Audit and Map project being live. As well as enhancing and growing the map, we also saw the data being put to use in some interesting projects and being explored by cultural policy makers. You can read more about the first year of the Dublin City Cultural Audit and Map here.
Growing our team
We welcomed new members to the team as tour guides, cultural producers, front of house coordinators, and lots more besides. We worked with artists, commissioned speakers, ran events and tours, hosted workshops, supported audiences, made projects happen, created partnerships, and virtually hosted and attended conferences and events all over the world. All the while, we were grateful we could keep meeting, talking, learning, and sharing with all those we worked with this year.
I would like to thank the Board of Directors of Dublin City Council Culture Company for their continued support through this period. The Board has worked tirelessly to support myself and the team in our continued work and ongoing plans.
The Board of Directors are Siobhán Bourke (Film Producer and Founder Irish Theatre Institute), Tim Carey (Author and Electoral Commission Establishment), Tom Dunne (Group Financial Controller International and Projects, Rehab Group) Councillor Vincent Jackson (Independent Councillor for Ballyfermot-Drimnagh), Councillor Cat O'Driscoll (Social Democrat Councillor & Chair of Culture Strategic Policy Committee), Richard Shakespeare (Assistant Chief Executive, Dublin City Council) and Brendan Teeling (Deputy City Librarian, Dublin City Libraries).
To all of the team of the Culture Company, my deepest thanks for another very successful year of work. We continue to deliver to such a high level so that people can take a journey to culture with us in various (and many) ways, and we know they appreciate it very much, as do I. We all share such passion for this work and it shines. I am very proud of how the team worked together to ensure that access to culture - so vital in connecting us to our communities - was still possible amidst the difficult circumstances this year presented. So thank you to the team for all their efforts to continue to adjust, succeed and deliver and to our many partners, and all of the participants we collaborated with this year.
To our audiences, participants, creators and makers, thank you to all of you who are connecting, engaging, creating and exploring with us. As the year comes to a close we would like to say that we appreciate your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in 2022.
CEO - Dublin City Council Culture Company