Public Invited to Shape Future Use of Limerick's Arts and Culture Hub

The arts community and the wider public are being invited to have their say on the future development and use of the building at 69 O'Connell Street.

Limerick City and County Council has initiated a public consultation process aimed at guiding the development of a new model of a centrally located multi-disciplinary Arts and Culture Hub at 69 O’Connell Street.

In September 2013, the theatre side of 69 O’Connell Street was re-opened through the Limerick Arts Encounter Programme, in partnership with the Arts Council, the Lime Tree Theatre and Limerick Arts Office. A very successful programme of activity took place and will continue thorough 2014 as part of Limerick, City of Culture.

Limerick City and County Council says the objective of the public consultation is "to identify the best approach in developing and sustaining a vibrant organisation which is a part of the cultural infrastructure of Limerick City and County".

As part of the process, the public are being asked to contribute ideas on the future potential of the building by completing a special questionnaire, which is available from 69 O'Connell Street and on www.limerickcity.ie from Monday, 24th March.

Commenting on the public consultation process, Louise Donlon of the Lime Tree Theatre said: "The Limerick Arts Encounter Programme has provided the arts sector in the city with new opportunities to present their work. It has been very successful with a high level of engagement by artists and audiences across the city. The public consultation is the final link of the jigsaw to ensure a plan for the future use of the building that everyone can contribute to."

According to Ms. Donlon: "The provision of this theatre space has been an important development in arts provision for audiences and artists in the city and county. Through an exciting and diverse programme, we have welcomed back audiences for theatre, film, music, literature and the visual arts to 69 O’Connell Street and other venues around the city."

Limerick Arts Officer, Sheila Deegan said that old buildings require new uses, not just physically but also philosophically.
“The way art and artists are funded has changed in recent years as has the way audiences engage with work. With this in mind we look forward to a new way of thinking around the future of 69 O'Connell Street,” she added.

Upcoming highlights at 69 O'Connell Street this quarter include the Limerick Film Festival (11-12 April), French Film Festival (2, 7 & 9 May), and After Sarah Miles (14 May), a new play written and directed by Michael Hilliard Mulcahy.

Following on the Limerick Arts Encounter Programme, the Lime Tree Theatre has also recently been awarded funding from the Arts Council to programme performing and visual arts from April 1st 2014 to March 31st 2015. This funding is contingent on the continued partnership between the Lime Tree Theatre and Limerick City Council.

The future use of 69 O'Connell Street will also be the subject of a World Café event being held at The Daghdha Space in John's Square. The World Café will be facilitated by Madeline Boughton and Veronica Coburn, both of whom have worked in a range of roles and organisations across the arts sector in Ireland over the last 25 years.

Last update:25/03/2014

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