On 22 September, we marked the start of our 21st birthday season with a gathering of staff, artists and supporters past and present...and lots of cake!
With speeches from Catherine Byrne, Chair of the Board and Aideen Howard, Director, the focus was on celebrating the past 21 years and the vital commitment of the Irish state (via The Arts Council and Department of Education & Skills) to supporting the founding principles of Children's rights to Arts & Culture. We also looked to the future, marking the packed season of events between now and January and announcing projects to develop deeper connections with our local schools and work with children in Direct Provision.
Aideen also officially launched The Ark Opportunities Fund, our new fundraising initiative that aims to reach out to children, families and schools in our community by facilitating access and making them feel welcome at The Ark. The fund will diversify our audiences by working to address social inequalities and overcome the barriers that prevent attendance, particularly for those who feel like the arts are “not for them”.
Take a look at some pictures from the party:
Images of the gorgeous cakes created for our Birthday Cakes Exhibition - all themed around The Ark and our events in the first 21 years:
Listen to Catherine and Aideen's speeches here: