New Director of the Arts Council

Maureen Kennelly

New Director of the Arts Council

Maureen Kennelly to take up her new role in May.

Maureen Kennelly has been appointed as the new director of the Arts Council. She succeeds Orlaith McBride who has been director since 2011. Kennelly is currently director of Poetry Ireland.

Originally from Ballylongford in Co. Kerry, Kennelly has worked in the arts for two decades, with organisations such as Kilkenny Arts Festival, Fishamble Theatre Company, Druid Theatre Company, Mermaid Arts Centre and the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

She is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee of Culture Ireland and formerly a member of the Governing Body of University College Cork. In her role at Poetry Ireland since 2013 she realised the organisation’s ambition of establishing the Poetry Ireland Centre at Parnell Square in Dublin.

Commenting on the appointment, Chair of the Arts Council Professor Kevin Rafter said:

I am thrilled to welcome Maureen to the Arts Council. She brings huge experience to the role of Director as well as a passion for the arts and the work of artists. She is an experienced leader in the arts sector. Her commitment and energy will benefit the Arts Council and the wider arts sector. I look forward to working with Maureen to ensure more people engage with the arts and that the role of the artist in society is strengthened. I would also like to thank the outgoing Director Orlaith McBride for her dedication to the Arts Council. Her time as Director has been marked by many key achievements of which she can be very proud.

Maureen Kennelly said it was ‘an immense honour to be given the opportunity to take up the role as Director of the Arts Council.’

I am very excited about playing a vital part in the next exciting phase for the national development agency for the arts. I especially welcome the opportunity to lead progression around the Arts Council’s recent policies on Equality, Human Rights and Diversity and on payment for artists.

I know the arts sector is populated by talented, imaginative, hard-working, dedicated and generous individuals and by well managed and well governed organisations. I look forward to bringing energy, imagination, motivation and clear direction in leading the Arts Council, as well as working with the dedicated staff and the Board led by Prof. Kevin Rafter.

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Published on 6 March 2020

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