Through a series of hugely successful projects and workshops, A Playful City has been collaborating with young people from SWAN Youth Service living in Dublin’s North East City to transform their community by constructing pop-up spaces for them to socialise, interact and play with their peers in an exciting project funded by HubSpot.
Culture Night 2023, taking place on September 22, is the perfect opportunity to showcase how A Playful City through its collaboration with local partners including SWAN Youth Service, HubSpot and Dublin City Council, and especially the local youth community who have activated public spaces in hugely positive ways that are often overlooked.
On Spencer Dock on Culture Night, the young entrepreneurs, artists and chefs will be serving up a night of fun and culture for all the community. Rosemary, basil and rocket lettuce, all grown in nearby Mud Island Community Garden, will be harvested and used to embellish the pizzas cooked up on site for Culture Night. Poems that have been composed in workshops with award-winning performers such as FeliSpeaks will be exhibited in the public arena and an illustrator will top the night off with live drawing throughout the night.
Through vision, imagination and mentorship from HubSpotters, and with funding from key partners, A Playful City, a locally-based not-for-profit is helping to activate public spaces for the common good and giving a much needed outlet to young people in the local community.
“Culture Night 2023 is such a fitting way for all the community in the North East Inner City to come together and celebrate the many constructive and creative ways they’ve worked to help improve public spaces in their local environment,” said Neasa Ni Bhriain, Creative Director of A Playful City.
“Public spaces are so important in unlocking the talent and imagination of our young people,” Ni Bhriain said, adding that it was important we celebrate and champion what’s been achieved in the past year.
One of the stars on Culture Night will be the specially designed Enterprise Mobile, which will be utilised by local young people in conjunction with A Playful City. The nifty mobile unit, designed with sustainability in mind and managed by the young people from the community, can be turned into a pop-up stall and used for a variety of events such as showcasing their entrepreneurial endeavours. As well as being central to Culture Night, it will be used by young people in the North East Inner City for many years to come.
Working closely with HubSpot, based on Spencer Dock, A Playful City has coordinated a series of “Mentor Moments” in which HubSpotters from around the globe have provided valuable insights and shared ideas with the young people in a collaborative and creative way.
“It’s been hugely rewarding to meet and collaborate with the young people from our community,” said Eimear Marrinan, VP of Culture and ESG at HubSpot. “They’ve been as eager to learn as we have been to share our knowledge around entrepreneurship and skill development. We are really looking forward to coming together and celebrating their talents with the community we work and live in on Culture Night.”
Commenting on the positive results that come from when young people are entrusted with public spaces, Eibhlín Harrington, a project leader from SWAN Youth Service, said, “So often we hear negative stories about young people and public spaces, when in fact, here in the North East Inner City, they have accomplished so much, provided they are entrusted with spaces in their neighbourhood, and that we all work together as a community to foster trust, respect, and creativity.
“There is an incredible amount of talent, drive and creativity amongst the young people in the NEIC and Culture Night on Spencer Dock is the ideal opportunity to showcase this to the community and reimagine what is possible in our public spaces,” she added.