DCCCC - Culture Club MoLI Tour 26-11-21-7 © Dan Butler

Exploring new models for cultural participation in Dublin

Dublin City Council Culture Company is delighted to represent Dublin as part of the ACCESS Culture For All network, a partnership of eight European capital cities which supports integrated sustainable urban development.

Experimenting with new ways of accessing culture

One phase of the ACCESS Culture For All network is the creation of “Small Scale Actions” which can be described as small projects or tester initiatives which give the opportunity to experiment with ideas and explore new ways to engage with culture.

In Dublin, a local advisory group was formed to create a longer term integrated action plan, and to consult on these smaller scale projects. Embracing the citizen-led approach that is at the heart of the Culture Company, the group began by asking important questions that the pandemic had raised about culture and inclusion.

Several questions arose: How can we evolve so we offer more choices to people to do more cultural things? How do we listen to the stories people share with us to allow greater access to culture? How do we share these personal testimonies and insights on the city to influence policy and create a stronger cultural infrastructure? How do we reach the ‘hidden’ culture that exists within our city?

An overarching question of “How can we build and deepen the impact of what people tell us and integrate it into policy and strategies for culture in the City?” also emerged strongly.

Alongside posing these important questions, the group also identified the challenge of connecting with a rarely mentioned ‘hard to reach’ community – people in full-time employment, aged between 19-54 and who chose to engage in culture under their own terms.

You can discover more about the ACCESS Culture For All network in Dublin here.

 New hybrid cultural models

In 2020, the Culture Company rapidly adapted to bring much of its activities online. They discovered that they could build in flexibility on scheduling and times of  events, and this small shift allowed for greater connection with this new audience.

They began to incorporate the conversations and questions posed by the local advisory group within the organisation’s programmes and projects. While ongoing restrictions have meant that opportunities for in-person activities in Dublin have been limited, the Culture Company continue to navigate this new hybrid environment and harness it to intentionally enhance cultural participation.

Planned Small Scale Actions for Spring 2022 include developing spontaneous opportunities to engage with culture (both online and in local neighbourhoods). One such project is the planned development of two separate outdoor interactive cultural experiences – one for families and young children and one with an emphasis on connecting different generations. It is hoped that bringing people of different ages together in new and unusual ways will ignite new conversations. The Culture Company will use learnings from these engagement activities to inform the design of future cultural opportunities.

The measures of success will be a replicable model and ‘how to’ toolkit for other communities to recreate. The Culture Company are looking forward to submitting the integrated action plan in December, and continuing to enhance access to culture alongside our seven partner cities.

Find out more about Dublin City Council Culture Company and its work at www.dublincitycouncilculturecompany.ie

© Dan Butler Photography 





This website uses cookies to collect anonymized analytics data.