Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship Ireland – Year 1 Thoughts From Fiona Garvan, Development Executive, Dublin Theatre Festival

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Dublin Theatre Festival is Europe’s longest running theatre festival. Our mission is to contribute to the vibrant social and cultural life of Dublin. We showcase the best of Irish theatre, bringing world-class international theatre to Dublin whilst supporting artists. Dublin Theatre Festival 2019 will take place from September 26–October 13 2019.

Our annual programme includes theatre, music, dance, opera and visual arts. In 2019 we will present new work by emerging theatre-makers, classic drama by celebrated artists, theatre for children and young people, free artist talks, critical events, public discussions and artist development programmes. We welcome approximately 45,000 Irish and international audiences to hundreds of performances, over 18 days. Half our audience returns every year and we continue to welcome new audiences.

One year into the Fundraising Fellowship, our fundraising activities are focused on implementing a long term fundraising strategy, growing new business and patron networks while maintaining strong connections with existing supporters.

The seminars and mentoring sessions from the Business to Arts team and guests provide assistance with planning and communicating our fundraising objectives in line with our ambitions for the future of the Festival. We have worked to streamline our support and sponsorship opportunities in these key areas: developing and diversify new audiences for theatre; accessibility; artist development and premiering large-scale international work.

To grow our networks, maintain connections and communicate our ambitions and those of the wider sector, we have introduced a series of events with business and arts leaders in conversation. The first of these events, Investing in Culture. Investing in Ireland, took place this month with Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA in conversation with Tony Award winning director and co-founder of Druid Theatre Company, Garry Hynes, hosted by Accenture.

DTF is part of a large-scale European cooperation project, BeSpectACTive, involving audiences in the creative and organisational processes, engaging younger audiences through participation and targeted programming.

We are seeking a corporate partner to support our Open House programme which facilitates access to theatre to community organisations and individuals, who may not otherwise be in a position to participate.

This year we will launch DTF Futures, a fundraising initiative, created to support the next generation of contemporary Irish theatre artists. Through this initiative, we will be able to present daring work to Dublin audiences, improve the ways in which artists are supported by our organisation and the industry, and the way they are valued in society, nurture, celebrate and sustain talent in the performing arts and help theatre-makers – on and off stage – achieve their full creative potential.

Gala Night 2019 – we are currently on sale with tables for our 2019 Gala in October and will announce details in the coming weeks. Gala Benefit Night brings festival artists and members of the business and arts communities together for an evening of entertainment. Previously, we have honoured Cillian Murphy (2018), Fergus and Rosaleen Linehan (2017) and Sinéad Cusack (2016).

2019’s full programme will be announced in July. If you would like to learn more about how you can partner with Dublin Theatre Festival please contact me at or 01 6730621

Fundraising Fellowship,Dublin is a partnership between Business to Arts and Dublin City Council Culture Company. 

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