Programming Policy

The Ark is a professional multi disciplinary cultural centre for children aged 2-12. We produce, curate and commission work for this specific audience with leading Irish and international artists across disciplines including theatre, music, literature, visual art, film, dance, science and cross-disciplinary programmes. Our programmes of performances, exhibitions, talks, training and workshops run year round.

As a multi-disciplinary venue our programming slate changes constantly throughout year and provides for all ages in our remit and all abilities. Our programming objective is to constantly drive and create new and fresh work and approaches across art forms and therefore we develop our work through new programming themes and concepts each year.

Artistic Programming Proposals

The Ark has a full-time programming and creative producing team. Thus the majority of our work is commissioned as well as initiated, devised, curated and developed in-house.

However, we will consider unsolicited high quality artistic programming proposals for imaginative and original work made specifically for children aged 2 -12 and proposals for innovative CPD for teachers and arts practitioners. Proposals must be child-centred and meet professional artistic standards of excellence. 

As a guideline, your proposal should:

  • be innovative, high quality and challenging
  • be fresh and original in artistic content and concept (we are interested in new work or new ideas and approaches.)
  • actively engage children and/or teachers/families in the art form
  • be inclusive and increase access to and participation in arts and culture
  • be well articulated and feasible
  • integrate time for self-reflection and evaluation
  • be deliverable at The Ark within the capacity of our facilities – see here for information on the building (Performance proposals in particular should note the dimensions of our theatre space.)
  • have the capacity to integrate into our programming themes
  • embrace diversity
  • have a feasible time-line (last minute proposals are not generally acceptable as The Ark plans across long time-frames)

Please note that consideration of proposals is not a guarantee of any kind. All work presented at The Ark is curated and developed by the Director and our programming team. Therefore please be aware that all artists potentially involved in a programme must be seen in action by a member of our team prior to any engagement to ensure quality.

Having read all of our guidelines above, if you have an artistic proposal that you think is suitable for The Ark and would like us to consider it, please contact the appropriate member of the programming team (see The Ark's staff list) based on your proposal’s particular art form:
Theatre programmer: For theatre, dance & literature
Music Programmer: For music of all genres
Visual Arts Coordinator: For visual art, film, photography & crafts
Director of The Ark: For art-science, cross-disciplinary, digital technology and any other proposals that do not fit other categories above

Due to the demands of programming year round it can take us a period of time to respond. We will aim to acknowledge receipt of your proposal within one month. If we are interested in taking the proposal further we will get back to you.

Partnership proposals:

The Ark works regularly in partnership with other organisations to co-produce, co-programme and co-commission work.

Please note for partnership proposals it is our preference to be part of partnership projects from the earliest stages of development. Proposals should also largely fit the criteria for artists given above.

Also, please bear in mind that The Ark plans across long lead-in periods so we cannot always respond to proposals on short time frames.

If you are an organisation who wishes to propose a partnership we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact the appropriate member of our programming team.

Child Protection:

We uphold National Guidelines in terms of best practise in relation to child protection. All artists and partners’ personnel involved in an Ark programme will be Garda Vetted and will need to provide paperwork as recommended by best practise guidelines. For further information please see our child protection policy here.

Artist Development Opportunities

From time to time we announce calls for artist development opportunities across different genres. If you are interested in this please check our Opportunities web page for further information. Please note, due to the high capacity usage of the facilities for The Ark’s year-round programme, space available for this purpose is very limited.

Hiring The Ark

The Ark can be hired for use by external organisations from time to time, subject to availability. Due to the high capacity usage of the facilities space available for this purpose is limited.

Our hire rates are dependent on the length of the hire, time of event, day of the event and space/equipment required. Enquires should be directed to Mark Rooney (

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