Dance Ireland Five Year Strategy Launched

Minister Paschal Donohue TD, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform with Dance Ireland Chair, John Malone.This past Friday, we were delighted to launch our five year development strategy, MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER which you can read here. We were very pleased to welcome our special guest, Minister Paschal Donohue TD, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform (image left) who was welcomed by our Chair, John Malone (image right). Before meeting with dance artists, the Minister spoke passionately and eloquently about the work we do and the contribution we make to the community. 

No gathering in DanceHouse would be complete without dance! On Friday evening, all were treated to a special performance Leonie McDonagh prepared with dancers Deirdre Griffin and Neil Hainsworth - which truly brought the strategy to life! 

The development of this strategy is timely, and for us marks a significant moment in our development. It grew out of the Engagement, Research and Consultation processes we undertook with you and our community over the past year.  Our strategy articulates our bold ambition, values and priorities over the next five years. It provides a roadmap for how we wish to grow our work and continue to enable all dance artists to be the best they can be.

For us the process to develop a strategy was as important as the outcomes. It involved an extensive programme of consultation with our board, executive and stakeholders. It brought us back to a close engagement with our members. It facilitated honest dialogue and robust discussion. It supported recognition of what we have achieved whilst also acknowledging the challenges posed by our growth and development as an organisation, now balancing the demands and opportunities of a building with the needs of our members and the wider dance sector. The process has reminded us of what matters most.  

The overarching objective of the strategy development process was to develop a robust five-year strategy (2018 – 2023) that asserts the purpose, ambition and focus of Dance Ireland, strengthens our position as the leading resource and advocacy body for dance in Ireland and ensures the organisation’s sustainable and vibrant future.

Our process involved an wide-ranging programme of consultation and discovery including, in-depth interviews with key national and international stakeholders (18 interviews), board and executive interviews and workshops, ‘Have Your Say’ online survey with 129 respondents (members and non-members), desk research and literature review.

The strategy development process was also greatly informed by findings from our Engagement Process (2016) facilitated by Susan Coughlan, and enhanced by the Dance Ireland Research Project (2017) undertaken by Madeline Boughton. We acknowledge, with thanks, the support and expert guidance of strategy consultant Janice McAdam in this process and the direction provided by the Strategy Steering Group led by John Malone (Chairperson), with Paul Johnson (Chief Executive), Richard Johnson, Dr. Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain and Maria Nilsson Waller.

Thank you to our members, partners, funders, colleagues and friends who joined us to celebrate this new chapter for Dance Ireland and dance in Ireland.

Images: Lucy Dawson