Owning the Space — Blue Teapot sets out five-year plan

Blue Teapot Theatre Company this week launched its strategic arts plan 2023–2027, entitled Owning The Space, which sets out the company’s vision for the next five years. The plan was launched at a party in the company’s theatre premises on Tuesday.

This is the company’s first arts strategy, built on three key priorities of production, progression, and provision, and is a response to the positive development of disability arts in Ireland over the last 20 years.

The company also celebrated recently becoming the owner of its premises on Munster Avenue, which it has occupied since 2008.

Speaking at the launch, Petal Pilley, CEO and artistic director of Blue Teapot, said the new five-year plan reflects a coming of age for the theatre company and the unique talent and contribution its artists make to Irish cultural life.

“With over 25 years performing on the main stages of Ireland, it is all about the artists who can engage and develop on their own terms through three distinct programme strands,” Ms Pilley added. “They own the space.

“Fortuitously, we also recently became the new owners of our theatre premises on Munster Avenue that we have inhabited since 2008. We are thrilled to have a permanent home in the heart of this very special neighbourhood in Galway city. It is time to celebrate.”

The strategy was created with the input of the company artists, staff, and board directors and was developed in consultation with arts advisor and cultural planning specialist Mary McAuliffe, who has more than 25 years’ experience working in the public and cultural sectors.

Blue Teapot has worked consistently to radically transform theatre practices by telling stories through the lens of disability, and paving the way for inclusive practices to become the norm. Particular focus is given to how the company is positioned today at local, national, and international levels.

“The board of Blue Teapot is delighted to be presenting such a visionary and progressive strategic arts plan,” chairperson Fiona Coffey said at the launch. “Delivering on its goals and objectives will nurture and progress the skills and talents of the company artists and help inform arts and disability policy in Ireland. We look forward to ambitious and exciting times ahead.”

Commenting on the building purchase, chairperson of Galway’s Westend Traders Association, Simon Heaslip, said: “Everyone in Galway’s Westend is ecstatic to hear the news that our beloved neighbours Blue Teapot now have a permanent home in our area. This very welcome news only adds to our reputation as the cultural quarter of the city.”

Owning The Space purposely aligns with the Government’s Culture 2025 policy and the Arts Council’s 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work. It informs the development and delivery of artistic programmes and shapes Blue Teapot’s role as an influencer in the longer-term for disability arts across Ireland.

The plan is available to view on Blue Teapot’s new website www.blueteapot.ie, which includes accessibility controls for those who are visually impaired.


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