Exit 15 emerged as part of a longer process of inquiry, begun in 2016, into the artistic, cultural and creative interests of people living and working in Ballyogan by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office and Voluntary Arts Ireland.
An award from Arts Council Ireland’s Invitation to Collaboration Scheme made it possible to establish Exit 15 in 2017. Exit 15 is an arts-based action-research project which seeks to build Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office’s capacity for responding to the creative aspirations of local people. The process is led by activities aimed at building a better understanding of the creative and artistic needs and interests of people living and working in the area.
The project began with a series of programmed events. These included 3 artists-in-residence schemes; Michael Fortune , Mark Storor and Michael McLoughlin whom all spent several months getting to meet and make art with the locals and with other local interest based projects Crafty Hands, Creative Adventures, and services in the area. The community fully embraced each of these projects and demonstrated an openness and willingness to make things happen.
Engagement is at the heart of all Exit 15 programmes with emphasis on how to design cultural programmes that are responsive to and involve input from local people from the very start. As a result, Exit 15 has also involved the engagement of a researcher, Dr. Victoria Durrer, Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Queen’s University Belfast. Dr. Durrer has been engaging with artists as well as local people living and working in Ballyogan to capture individuals’ experiences of Ballyogan, its creative and artistic life and the activities of the project itself. For more information on our learning to date check out our research.