We believe in every child’s right to discover and love art in a society where creativity and culture are valued and enrich our lives.
Our Mission is to spark childhood imagination by making and sharing great art for, by and about children, bringing joy and creating a cultural engagement that lasts a lifetime.
Our Founding Principles
The Ark’s vision, mission and values are inspired by Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child  which was ratified by Ireland in 1992.
- State Parties recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
- State Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
Our values are what we stand for. They guide and motivate our attitudes, behaviours and decision-making as we put children at the heart of everything we do. They can be shared and expressed by children, artists and staff alike.
- Doing our best: We seek to do our best every day. With a positive attitude and commitment to excellence we encourage all those who engage with us to be at their best too.
- Being friendly and welcoming: Everyone is welcome at The Ark and we love sharing what we do and how we do it. We treat everyone the way we’d like to be treated ourselves – with respect and consideration.
- Having fun: We enjoy our work and take it seriously too! We love creating opportunities for children, collaborators and colleagues to have fun.
- Being brave: We are always open to trying out new ideas and to being adventurous and brave in how we make art. We stand for and speak up for children while also encouraging them to express themselves.
- Always learning: We are constantly curious and always alert to change. We create opportunities to learn for ourselves and from each other. We appreciate what we learn by experience – and by mistakes. We share our learning with others.
About The Ark
Established in 1995, The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. We create opportunities for children, along with their families and friends or with their school, to discover and love art. We commission, produce and present work for, by and about children, from the ages of two to twelve years old. We do so in our architecturally award-winning home in the heart of Dublin’s Temple Bar, leased through a long-term cultural use agreement with Temple Bar Cultural Trust. We also work off-site and on tour in Ireland and abroad. Through our work with leading Irish and international artists children can enjoy performances in our unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions or participate in creative workshops. We also curate specific professional development opportunities for teachers and artists.
We work in partnership with others as artistic collaborators and regularly share our resources and knowledge with artists, educators and all those interested in child-centred arts practice. We also work with other like-minded organisations to advance children’s rights to art and culture as part of their learning and development.