Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Please don't close the Exchange (an open letter to Ray Yeates, Dublin City Arts Officer)

Hello Ray,

I tried to call you at the Arts office, but I was told that you're on holidays this week. I hope that you see my letter before it is too late.

I understand that you have told Exchange Dublin that they need to close their doors by Friday due to 'Anti-social behaviour'. I assume you're already familiar with the petition on change.org to reverse this decision.

I just wanted to personally add my voice to this. I am not directly involved with the Exchange. However, I have visited there several times; for arts exhibits, story evenings, hand-craft sales, and other things. A few times my husband, son, and I, have stopped in while passing and there is always something interesting on. And even when I haven't been able to visit myself, I have been glad to know that this island of art and culture existed in our city. 

According to John Tierney, Dublin City Manager, in a press release in 2011, your role as Dublin City Arts Officer means that you are 'responsible for the continued development of the arts in the city of Dublin'. Even if this alleged anti-social behaviour exists, and can be traced back to the existence of the Exchange, I cannot see how closing it fits with that purview.

For the sake of arts in Dublin, please reconsider.

Regards,
Sorcha



Slightly edited from email version sent to ray.yeates@dublincity.ie