Dance Ireland Board of Directors Announcement

At our recent Dance Ireland AGM, we welcomed Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain (co-opted), and Laura Macken Posavitz and Laura Murphy elected from the membership, to the board, alongside John Malone, Richard Johnson, Joseph O’Hanlon, Aoife Courtney, Richard Wakely and Maria Nilsson Waller.

At the same time we said farewell and thanks to Anne Maher and Michelle Cahill, who both retired. 
 
The board is mindful of its responsibilities to ensure that the correct skillsets are in place and has a recruitment process, whereby five places are filled through election from the membership and four places are filled through co-option. This 5/4 split allows for a representative board. At the same time the board reaffirms its commitment to ensuring it is a balanced board through maintaining gender, geographical spread and genre representation at all times.
 
At its last meeting the board unanimously elected John Malone to the position of Chairperson.
 
John, was first co-opted onto the board in autumn 2014. He is the sixth Chairperson in our 28-year history and first non-dance person to chair the organisation.  
 
John is a chartered management accountant, member of the Institute of Directors and a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He is a former director of Microsoft Ireland, Britvic Ireland and IPOS Investment PLC, and has also been involved with a range of non-profit organisations throughout his career.
 
Speaking on his appointment as Chairperson and future developments, John says: 

It is a great privilege to be involved with individuals, from a variety of professional and artistic backgrounds, who have such passion for the art of Dance. Our engagement and strategy process will protect this at its core. But it will also reach out to the wider dance and arts community and look to build a sustainable and meaningful future given the complexity of the challenges ahead. 

Dance Ireland Strategy

Building on the 2016 Engagement Process with members, stakeholders and the sector, the board is embarking on a strategic planning process;   
The development of a Strategy is a first for the organisation.   

Our aim is to develop a robust strategic plan for Dance Ireland that builds on our track record, respects our founding principles and responds to the many challenges facing dance artists today.
 
Maintaining the trust and confidence of all is key to a successful strategy outcome. We will post updates at key junctures in the process to reflect and share our journey

How we got here 
 
Our Engagement Process provided an opportunity for insightful dialogue and reflection. It was an important opportunity for us to re-ignite conversations with members, stakeholders and the sector, looking at a broad range of issues including how we operate, sustainability, needs, interests and relevance.
 
We initiated the Engagement Process, which comprised members’ meetings, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, desk research and online research survey, conducted on our behalf, by independent arts consultant Madeline Boughton, in order to listen and learn. All the information gathered will inform our strategy development process.
 
Overseeing the Engagement Process was the Working Group Anne Maher, Michelle Cahill, Aoife Courtney, Maria Nilsson Waller, Paul Johnson, Eve Lalor and Hazel Hodgins, who ensured that as many voices as possible were heard. 
 
The backbone of this process, was the online survey which was sent to 400 current and former members, from our 2012-2016 database. We recorded 64% participation rate. 
 
The purposes of the survey was to ascertain members’ views on services, supports and resources provided by us. The survey also provided an opportunity for artists to share their views on the challenges facing them and the sector, now and into the future.
 
We garnered a wide range of responses, highlighting the complexity and diversity of the dance ecology. And exposing many challenges facing dance practitioners working today, including the precarious nature of professional practice, increased competition, under resourced sector, low wages, and the piecemeal nature of project funding support, among many related career issues.
 
For further details, the Executive Summary and Survey Chapter .
 
While there were many positive responses, nevertheless there were critical responses and conflicting and competing demands about how best we should support professional practice.   
 
Prompted by a desire to remain responsive to the changing needs of the sector, we are committed to ensuring we continue to serve the best interests and needs of dance in Ireland.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes of our strategy deliberations, in due course,
Dance Ireland Board and Executive