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Camden Quay Community Arts Centre


35 Princes Street, Cork - T12 XNX3

Camden Quay Community Arts Centre

We believe that it is strongly in our interest as a community and a society to nurture and grow the community arts as a means of harnessing creativity for social good. A vibrant, accessible, well-managed community arts centre validates creative activity as a critical element of personal and community development. Creative activity gives people a voice, creates a safe space for expression, supports emerging talent in a hothouse of creativity, and encourages individuals to explore and maximise their artistic potential.​ We provide low cost facilities and create networking opportunities for artists and performers of every genre, in the early days of their careers, to increase their chances of achieving critical and commercial success, while at the same time creating a bond with the wider community by creating opportunities for people to explore their own artistic interests.


Our Mission

Camden Quay Community Arts Centre provides a unique and valuable resource for the creative and cultural community of Cork for the purpose of nurturing and empowering emerging talent; and offering space, resources and technical assistance for experimentation and inclusion in the arts.

We aim to:

·    -  actively encourage creative interaction and participation for people who may not normally access arts and cultural opportunities through other venues in the city;

·   -    promote social inclusion, freedom of expression and multicultural diversity;

·    -   encourage artists to make the most of available opportunities to develop: creatively, personally and professionally;

·     -  engage with our community to sustain the organisation by volunteering their skills, creativity and time to assist with all of the tasks necessary to keep the building and the enterprise running;

·     -  foster a supportive and harmonious community of artists who can share technical, administrative and professional development expertise and resources with each other;

·     -  welcome volunteers and suggestions for new creative initiatives and opportunities from and for the community.

where your money goes

100% of the money we receive in donations is kept for the sole purpose of developing The Arts Village. None of the money raised will be used for running costs, which we will be able to cover from a series of fundraising events until we open. After that we will become self-financing through our box office receipts and the accessible rent we receive for the use of the facilities we provide.

We will not waste resources duplicating services and facilities that are already available in the city at an affordable cost. We cannot predict with confidence what specific services and facilities we will provide, but previous experience causes us to anticipate that we will be providing all of the following at low cost:

A theatre / performance space that emerging theatre groups and travelling musicians can rent to put on their shows at reduced financial exposure;

Rehearsal spaces, recording studios and gig spaces for bands;

Forty artist studios;

Large and small workshop / event / meeting spaces;

A film studio and art house cinema for short film makers and lovers of film;

Large and small art exhibition spaces;

Dark room for camera enthusiasts;

Dance studio;

Online radio station;

Library for theatre props and costumes.


The evolution of The Arts Village has been guided by the experience of managing earlier versions of the idea. In 2003 our former Artistic Director Bertrand Perennes opened the Studio with No Name at 107 Shandon Street in Cork. He and a group of other artists shared the costs and the upkeep tasks. Other artists joined and they outgrew the space, so in 2007 the group moved to the much larger Reliance Building on Andersons Quay. 

By 2009, having become too large even for that space, the group opened Camden Palace Hotel Community Arts Centre. This 34,000 square foot complex had been derelict for some years and required a Herculean effort by volunteer tradespeople and others working for months to bring it to a standard where it could be used as an arts centre, where the owner was content to allow its use at nominal rent.

In this complex something quite special happened. Here the awareness grew that there is a double value in growing an audience in the local community through showcasing the works of emerging artists. On the one hand, the community of Cork was treated to a varied programme of events that were affordably priced. This ensured a steady income for the centre, plus a genuine audience for the performer / actor / artist. On the other, the individual artists thrived in the collective setting where they could rely on fellow creatives across different genres for support and encouragement while they found their individual voice. The centre thrived artistically and commercially, allowing the board to employ its own staff.

In 2017 the owner had to transfer the property to the National Assets Management Agency who sold it for redevelopment, so we had to leave after eight very successful years. We moved to a much smaller building on John Redmond Street where we continued for another year, until that too was taken back by its owners.

Our search for a replacement premises was interrupted by the pandemic, but it allowed us time to reflect, and we resolved to take matters into our own hands by fundraising to buy our own permanent base to continue our work. Our model of management depends on having a large complex, hence our commitment to opening a 4,000 square metre space, which we will call The Arts Village, symbolising the strong community ties that are part of our philosophy.

To ensure its financial success and community engagement, it needs to be in the city centre where we estimate it will cost Six Million Euro to deliver the joint event space and creative hub. However once the centre is opened, it will survive indefinitely as a self-financing centre for Community Arts.