What is your career background?
I joined the council as Arts Officer in August 2020. Before that I worked for over 20 years in the arts and cultural sectors. My most recent role before joining the council was National Director of Youth Theatre Ireland.
What attracted me to the role was that it brought together all of my skills and interests. They were looking for real-world experience in arts and culture management as well as knowledge of working with communities and arts organisations – all areas I have built up a lot of experience in.
What does your role involve?
My primary role is in supporting and developing the arts in the city. A lot of what I do is liaising between the sector and the council. A typical day can involve dealing with grant applications, stakeholder management, internal engagement with various departments of the council, meeting with external arts organisations or artists, managing our Creative Ireland programme, working on policy and strategy. We also interface with local councillors and respond to queries from them and prepare documentation for the council’s arts committee.
Event and project management is a big part of what we do too – there are a number of big cultural events such as St. Patrick's Festival and Glow Christmas Festival and these are delivered by my section on behalf of the City.
I find it exciting and complex and challenging. There is a lot to balance, but what’s great is that there is no one week the same as another.
What are the most rewarding things about working for a local authority?
The variety is brilliant. So much of the job is still new to me. I find it rewarding because we deliver on projects that have very visible public output.
In terms of the bigger picture, the idea that you can have a positive influence on the arts sector and wider community is exciting. There is opportunity as well as responsibility and most importantly there is the potential to deliver positive change.
Why should someone consider a career with a local authority?
It is a rare opportunity to work in a large organisation but in a role that is very public orientated and with public service objectives in mind. If you are the kind of person who has ideas about how things could be done differently or better, or if you get satisfaction from helping people, I think it would be a good job for you.
There is also a very diverse group of people you get to work with – people come into the local authority from all kinds of pathways. There are people who have been here for years and know all areas of council and how it works as well as those like myself who brings a fresh perspective.