Central Arts was founded by John & Ciara O Connell in 2014. It is based in Central Hall, a 60 seat theatre venue and is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation that bases it activities around community involvement and participation.
The two committed and experienced directors are supported by a team of active and enthusiastic volunteers with a wide variety of skills and specialisations.
Central Arts provides an incubation space whereby our colleagues in the arts, theatre, music, festivals and education can make work and find an audience.
We encourage and foster new and emerging talents and provide support services and expertise to assist in the arts.
An Incubation space
A Production Hub
A Music Venue
A Venue for visiting theatre companies
An Exhibition space
What Visitors Have Said About Us
The staff are always really helpful and the venue is so special.
I’ve always had a great night anytime I've been there. I love the location and atmosphere.
The best part is being able to enjoy a night out without the hefty cost. Nights in central arts are always so laid back with something for everyone. I love it :)
I love the welcoming atmosphere that greets me every time I go in. I have gone to events solo and not felt out of place.
Lovely intimate venue. Great character, relaxed vibe
Very reasonable prices and a good mixture of events.
I recently completed a 12-month scheme at Central Arts and I am still currently volunteering there. At Central Arts, I learned several new skills which I find to be very useful for future employment. I have worked front of house, liaised with company management regarding booking and schedules, staffing venue for theatre and music gigs, managing cash and tickets, photographic assisting with photo shoots, keeping inventory of equipment; worked at Artbeat, production for theatre
and events, cashing
up, reception, answering calls, administration, cleaning and event management. I also event managed the very successful ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ Halloween party, from the initial idea to planning the entire event with support. I thoroughly enjoy working here and being part of the team at Central Arts. I find it to be a place with a fun and friendly atmosphere. It is a very interesting and exciting place to work. I would highly recommend it to others as a great place to work.
I have been involved with the arts in Waterford since my family and I returned from the UK in 2001. I have performed in both Garter Lane and the Theatre Royal on many occasions. However...over the past two years my artistic home has been in Central Arts. What Ciara and John have done for the arts community in the city is remarkable in such a short period of time.
I have acted there, I've performed at every Open Mic and produced my own singer/songwriter evening last year jointly with John and Ciara. What they give you is a belief that you can create your art and they will support your endeavour. What a great asset Central Arts is to our city!
From March 1st 2016 to March 1st 2017 I was artist in residence at Central Arts, Waterford. Having performed my one woman show there in 2015 and becoming a regular the open mic nights, I got to know the space and the way they work, and I was inspired by the multi platform and interdisciplinary approach company directors Ciara and John O’Connell take with the space.
At a point when I was unsure of my future in theatre, John and Ciara invited me to become their first artist in residence. I relocated to Waterford for the position and dedicated myself to the development of a new play entitled Pulled. Being able to dedicate all my time to art work I quickly found myself performing comedy and performance art weekly, and running events monthly in Kilkenny and Waterford. Central Arts supported my workshops, and I ran short courses in drama and film, for both children and adults to great success. We also developed a short play with Shine Discovery and Wave Waterford, services for people with acquired brain injury, which again was received very well by participants and the partner organisations.
Pulled went through production and the reception to the show exceeded our expectations. We will now be touring for the second half of 2017 with Pulled, across the island of Ireland and also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The residency was a game changer in terms of my career in theatre. With the intensive time and help spent on my work by the team at Central Arts, I was able to develop a piece of work I otherwise would not have been able to do. The resources I had access to combined with the working atmosphere at Central Arts, created a rich environment that fed my work and enabled me to make my best work yet.
I want to tell you of my experience with while working at Central Arts. Upon staring my time there I was greeted with open arms and respect as well as a desire to have me exercise and reach my potential in all aspects of my role as a technician. My personal interest in visual art was encouraged, through sign writing projects and prop design and creation. As a Technician, I gained experience and skills in manual handling as well as a fundamental basic training and experience in painting and decorating and wood work. This was through general building and office maintenance and theatre work and preparations for multiple diverse shows from music concerts to plays of all scales and types. This lead me to having to interact with many different clients of Central Arts which has boosted my confidence in how to deal with others to achieve goals with the resources available to me.
As my scheme ended I have continued to volunteer at Central Arts as an exhibition curator/art technician. This has allowed me to gain valuable experience in working as a technician and in planning and executing a finished exhibition. I can honestly say without the help and encouragement of John and Ciara at Central arts I would not have the level of skills and confidence in myself I have today. They have made an environment that is creative and encouraging, it is a fantastic platform for anyone looking to gain experience in working in the creative arts.
Working for Central Arts over the last several months has been great for me as an volunteer and as a person. The things I have learned in my time there in an office standpoint has been invaluable, and working with the public and our customers has greatly helped me socially from a personal standpoint. I have furthermore been given the opportunity to work with the amazing staff that Central Arts possesses, making me feel a part of the family from the very start of working there to where now I call them my friends instead of colleagues.
Central Arts has introduced me to people I otherwise would never have known if it were not for my time there, people from all ages, races and backgrounds in life all brought together for the mutual love of the arts in Waterford City. It is all these things and more that has made me love working here.