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News | 12 August 2020

Our 2019 year in review

Our 2019 year in review
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In 2019, we at Dublin City Council Culture Company were proud to work with more than 6,500 Dubliners from across the city to create more than 150 cultural projects.

The year also saw 14 Henrietta Street shortlisted for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award.

These and other highlights are outlined in our annual report, which was launched at 14 Henrietta Street on August 11th 2020.

Our 2019

Rendered as a jigsaw, our annual review is playfully illustrated by artist Aoife Dooley and inspired by the things we heard in our conversations with the people of Dublin through our Tea & Chats programme.

Aoife has perfectly captured the essence of our work, and the cultural vibrancy of the capital and its people ... Iseult Byrne, CEO, Dublin City Council Culture Company

Commenting, chair of the Dublin City Council Arts, Culture and Recreation Strategic Policy Committee and Culture Company board member, Councillor Cat O'Driscoll said: "In two years, Dublin City Council Culture Company has made a visible and lasting impact on the capital’s cultural landscape, through its extensive and wide-ranging outreach programme, and through the management of cultural buildings across the city, including 14 Henrietta Street and Richmond Barracks. Last year, alongside its work with local communities, the Culture Company worked with 46 artists and developed 360 partnerships with cultural organisations. We should not understate the importance of an organisation that works in such engaging and impactful ways to ensure Dublin’s citizens are able to access the city’s rich and varied cultural offering.”

Reflecting on 2019 at the launch of the annual review, our Chief Executive, Iseult Byrne, said: “We believe that culture is at the heart of human development and quality of life, and cultural experiences and participation have been shown to have a positive impact on health and wellbeing, social relationships, belonging, community cohesion and pride of place. When people feel connected to their communities they feel safer and stronger, and are healthier."

We are proud of what we’ve achieved, which demonstrates the real impact the Culture Company is having on people across the city Iseult Byrne, CEO Dublin City Council Culture Company

Iseult continued:“Our work always starts by listening. Through our Tea & Chats initiative, an​d our other conversation-based programmes, we have year-round conversations with people across Dublin about their thoughts and ideas on the city and culture, and how they should be represented in the city. By facilitating this dialogue, we ensure that local communities and individuals enjoy cultural experiences that are meaningful to them. It offers them an opportunity to create and participate in projects that are about them, for them and reflect them."

Culture and COVID-19

Since the emergence of COVID-19, we adapted quickly and migrated our in-person programmes such as Tea & Chats, Culture Club and The National Neighbourhood to a virtual setting via Zoom, allowing us to keep building on the achievements of the last year and continue connecting communities with culture. We also set up a Culture Connects phone line for anyone who wanted to talk one-on-one about anything culture-related, and for people looking for ways to get involved in cultural activities.

Looking ahead

There are also a number of exciting projects coming to fruition to which we are looking forward ... Iseult Byrne, CEO Dublin City Council Culture Company

"These include: the development of our programmes at Richmond Barracks, informed by the desires and interests of people in the area; our partnership with Sculpture Dublin, which will see the development of a new sculpture for Kildonan Park in Finglas, co-created by members of the community; the ongoing development of Kilmainham Mills as a new visitor attraction for the city, including a local oral history project; and our soon to be announced Historian-in-Residence for Children, who will be based at Richmond Barracks and who will develop programmes to enrich access to history for children.”

Iseult concluded: “On behalf of the wider team at Dublin City Council Culture Company, I would like to thank all those who have participated in our initiatives to date. Although it will be in a changed manner and against a different backdrop than 2019, we are looking forward to listening to, and working with more communities and individuals this year, and collaborating further with cultural organisations and cultural experts to create opportunities for cultural participation and create connections across the city.”

For more information about our work in 2019, take a look at our Annual Review.

Photo credits:
  • Main image: Front row L - R: Ann Kinsella, Aoife Dooley, Iseult Byrne, Michael Kinsella. Back row L - R: Tommy Coombes, Tracey Bardon, Sophie Hennessy, Nathan Walsh. Photo: Julien Behal.
  • Second image: Aoife Dooley, artist. Photo: Julien Behal.
  • Third image: Aoife Dooley and Iseult Byrne with the 2019 annual review jigsaw.
  • Fourth image: L - R, Tracey Bardon, Aoife Dooley, Tommy Coombes, Ann Kinsella