04 September 2008: Arts Council and Dublin City University to work together on Audience Project

The Arts Council is pleased to announce details of a partnership with Dublin City University which will help drive the Council’s goal of increasing the public’s engagement with the arts throughout the country.

Una Carmody, Chief Executive Officer of the Helix theatre, on the campus of Dublin City University, will be seconded to the Arts Council to lead its Audience Project as director. The project, a core element of Partnership for the Arts, is designed to extend and enhance people’s experience of the arts.

Una Carmody has, since 2005, been Chief Executive Officer of the Helix, overseeing a review of operations and programme which has resulted in an average attendance of 69% of overall capacity across the three venues in the last 18 months and audience expansion and development across the wide variety of arts and entertainment output at the venue. Ms Carmody has previously occupied a variety of senior positions in the arts.

The Director of the Arts Council, Mary Cloake, said she was delighted with this innovative partnership with Dublin City University.

"The Arts Council is very happy to have the opportunity to engage someone of the calibre of Una Carmody. She will lead what will be the Council’s most significant programme of work over the next three years. In a climate of constrained public spending it is essential that organisations pay greater attention to audiences and look at ways of broadening their audience base." Ms Cloake said.

The President of Dublin City University, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, said: "We at DCU welcome this initiative, and we are delighted that Una Carmody will play such a pivotal role in this key Arts Council project. We welcome the links that this project will create between the University and the Council and are confident that we can further build on these into the future. Una's replacement as CEO of the Helix for the period of her secondment will be announced shortly."

Una Carmody said "I am keenly interested in the challenges for arts organisations and audiences which the Audience Project seeks to address, structurally and in terms of audience development.  The first step will be to develop a framework for the project which addresses some of the issues facing both the Arts Council and its clients and I look forward to getting my teeth into it".

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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