Síle Penkert Executive Director of Garter Lane Arts Centre on O’Connell Street Waterford and member of Waterford Cultural Quarter Steering Group
What is your background and what value do you see in having a cultural anchor in the WCQ?
I have a thoroughly immersed background in theatre, making, managing and producing, and I also tread the boards on many occasions having veered completely to one side but in a related field, into the street theatre realms (you might have seen me flying above your heads on a few occasions), and into directing and working with large scale pieces. So many of us working in the arts have to be well versed in many areas, building up a comprehensive set of skills applicable to many differing work situations, the direct translation of that is I am qualified to teach, and spent many years working in an educational arts context (which I loved and am still passionate about). A cultural anchor in the WCQ, is valuable and “essential” as a means of (quoting myself here) “continued access”. It is vitally important that we understand our roles here as being that of custodians of precious cultural commodities that must be safeguarded for future generations to harness, develop within, and ultimately make creative works and processes for the benefit of the many.
What’s your favourite thing about WCQ?
There is a vibrancy in this area on a Friday about 3-5pm, its lovely to see so many diverse nationalities merging on the streets as we all ready ourselves for the coming weekend, which will involve food, relaxation, entertainment, recreation, regardless of what cultural background you stem from, and there is a sense over all here that something is “changing”, that’s exciting.