BEHIND THE SCENES
For our next blog post, we’re going behind the scenes to meet the team involved in organising Culture Date with Dublin 8!
Grace McEvoy is the Project Manager for Culture Date with Dublin 8. Grace has extensive experience in organising and developing cultural events and activities and was a co-founding member of the arts organisation, BLOCK T. She feels like a local herself having studied and lived in the area for over a decade, and shares her story and her involvement in the initiative below…
I’ve been advocating for the arts and developing cultural initiatives and projects ever since my involvement with BLOCK T. I graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2010 with a joint honours degree in Fine Art and Art History. I am passionate about the role that arts and culture plays in our society and I am excited to see an initiative like this being driven by the leading cultural and historical institutions in Dublin 8. The area itself has amazing social history and even after working, studying and living in the area for so long it’s been a pleasure to personally discover so many significant hidden treasures that have been right under my nose this whole time.
I always knew Dublin 8 was an important part of the city but I was surprised at the sheer scale of the area when I began working on this project. Dublin 8 is the oldest part of Dublin and it covers such a significant ground all the way from Christ Church Cathedral through to the Liberties, Inchicore, Kilmainham and even spans across the other side of the river to include the Phoenix Park, which has been a lifeline to me over the past number of years.
Because this is the first year of the project we decided to focus on one particular area of Dublin 8 and Kilmainham and Inchicore seemed to be the perfect start. We wanted to draw people’s attention towards this part of the town – it’s only a brief walk from the city centre and holds a wealth of cultural and historical offerings, stories and experiences.
For me personally, I am drawn to the areas with profound connections to the leaders of the 1916 Rising which was sparked by the Celtic Revival – a cultural renaissance. I think the vision they demonstrated so clearly is a huge inspiration for our society to continue to reflect on in this day and age. Their declaration of independence for our nation was the first ever in the world that stated for both men and women to be seen as equals. They saw culture and the arts as a strength belonging to the people, an integral part of life and a driving force of the heart.
It’s been long said that Ireland is a nation of storytellers, poets and artists, I think Culture Date with Dublin 8 will inspire people to reflect on where they have come from and what is lying on their doorstep waiting to be discovered.
Here's a few of my favourite photo's I've taken in the Phoenix Park over the past number of years, it captures only a fragment of the beauty to be discovered in this park.