The Ark was delighted to host its very first fundraising luncheon on Friday 29 September at The Westbury Hotel. A sold-out event, we welcomed 160 people ranging from cultural and political figures, sports stars, television personalities, businesses and supporters and friends of The Ark. We also welcomed some new faces that we look forward to seeing at The Ark in the future.
We were thrilled to be able to share The Ark’s work with our guests and to have the opportunity to highlight the need for increased access to art for disadvantaged primary schools in Dublin. The proceeds from ticket sales and the prize draw went to the Ark Access for Schools programme which enables classes from disadvantaged primary schools in Dublin to attend The Ark four times a year for free. The Ark champions every child’s right to enjoy excellent cultural experiences so we are happy to announce that five new schools will join the programme this year thanks to the generous support of the luncheon.
The event MC was Risteard Cooper (Après Match) who entertained our guests with his stories of how the arts influenced him as a child and enabled him to follow his dreams to become an actor. Director Aideen Howard and board member Gerry Smyth thanked all of our guests and supporters and spoke about the importance of The Ark Access for Schools programme and the difference it makes in building relationships with disadvantaged schools close to us. This ensures that all children, regardless of their circumstance, can enjoy the work of The Ark.
Ark Artist in Residence Shaun Dunne spoke about his work leading The Ark Children’s Council and also about growing up in Dublin’s inner city and how his exposure to the arts as a child has contributed to his success as an artist. Shaun introduced the trailer for our Christmas show, Tracks in the Snow, to give our guests an idea of the type of shows that schools participating in the Ark Access for Schools programme will get to see this year.
We would like to thank everyone who donated prizes for the prize draw and items for the goodie bags: Abbey Theatre, David Marshall, Boodles, Jenny Murphy, Colin O’Daly, Bank of Ireland, Gerry Smyth, The Westbury Hotel, Fallon & Byrne, Dylan Bradshaw, One4All, Pearl, Butlers Chocolates, Temple Bar Company, The Harbour Mill, Kildare Village, Titanic Experience, Arthur Cox, The Morrison, Urban Plant Life, Thames & Hudson and various bands and musicians that have played at The Ark.
Thames & Hudson
If you couldn’t make it to the luncheon but would still like to contribute, donations to The Ark Opportunities Fund go towards our community and outreach work including the Ark Access for Schools programme.
You can see some of the photographs from the day below: