Dráiocht Arts Centre
The Dublin Arts Report (1992), commented on the lack of cultural facilities for a community the size of Blanchardstown, the report records ”Blanchardstown in one of the three locations identified by the Arts Council for the development of purpose-built Art Centres. The decision to situate the Arts Centre in the proposed Town Centre was prompted by an approach from the developers to the Arts Council in 1984. When planning permission was obtained in 1986, Dublin County Council made it a condition that the first phase of the Town Centre would include an Arts Centre’.
Shortly after the Dublin Arts report was published Green Properties PLC approached the Dublin 15 Community Council, who were the parent body of the greater Blanchardstown Art Centre Committee (G.B.A.C.C). The developer requested the community, through the (G.B.A.C.C.), prepare as a matter of priority, a proposal for funding and long-term management of an arts centre. The (G.B.A.C.C.), with the financial support of Fingal County Council and the Arts Council, then commissioned Local Development Services (L.D.S.) to prepare an action plan for the establishment of an arts centre in the Town Centre.
Dráiocht is the result of many years of planning and endeavors by a small group of dedicated individuals made up of local residents and staff from Fingal County Council. Their combined vision was to create Irelands largest ever purpose built Arts Centre.
Since opening in May 2001, Dráiocht has become central the expanding cultural life of Dublin 15 and its immediate hinterlands. With approximately 40% of Blanchard town’s population under the age of 15, it was vital that children, young people and families would form a major part of Dráiocht’s audience base.
The multi-purpose venue is used for a broad range of activities, including drama (both professional and community), dance, contemporary visual arts and crafts, multi-media arts activities, classical and traditional music, a programme of activities for families and children, artists in residence schemes, community outreach and education projects, and much more.
Among the many groups who use the facilities and services of the centre are local arts groups, drama clubs, schools, community groups, theatre goers and those interested in the arts, the general public and, of course, local, national and international artists and performers.
The space comprises two theatre spaces. The first is a flexible space, with one of the largest stages in Ireland, which can accommodate 286 people seated or 500 people standing. The second theatre space is a 96-seat studio theatre. Dráiocht also boasts two gallery spaces and a self-contained artist’s studio. The space is completed with extensive backstage facilities, a bar/refreshment area and a rehearsal/meeting room. Dráiocht is staffed by 10 full time professionals including the following posts: Director, General Manager, Marketing, Press and P.R., Front of House Manager, Finance Officer, Technical Stage Manager. Fingal County Council is the majority funder of Dráiocht, with additional funding from the Arts Council of Ireland.