Invited to speak at the #wakingthefeminists: One More Thing event at the Abbey Theatre on Monday 14 November, our Artistic Director Cian O’Brien delivered the following speech:
I’m glad to be here again and to be speaking at another #wakingthefeminists event.
As the leader of an organisation, the movement has had an interesting, complicated impact on me and on the organisation I am representing on this stage today.
I deeply believe in the core values that #wakingthefeminists has communicated and I am committed to advocating for change; at the same time I recognise the challenges and complexities involved.
There is a sense, and I know I am not alone in feeling this, that the leaders of institutions have been asked to speak today, not only because we can and should be instrumental in the change process, but also because we’re being called on to be accountable for our positions.
It is important that the reasons we, as institutions, stand here are not tokenistic.
Project is a unique organisation; in that we have less of an issue with gender balance than others when you take all the art-forms we present into account, but that does not mean we can rest on our laurels.
As we move into 2017 and beyond, as Project enters its sixth decade, the one thing that will be central to our work will be to ensure that our programme embraces equality and diversity in all its forms – for the organisation, the artists we support and the audiences who come to see the work.
The Board and I have committed to this on paper in our new artistic strategy and I look forward to sharing it with the wider community in the coming months.