Mermaid Arts Centre thriving as 21st birthday approaches

Mermaid Arts Centre.

Myles BuchananWicklow People

THE Mermaid Arts Centre celebrates its 21st anniversary this year and Artistic Director Julie Kelleher provided an update on plans at last Monday’s meeting of Wicklow County Council.

Established in Bray in 2002, Mermaid Arts Centre has been a celebratory stage for artists locally and nationally. Their work connects artists and communities across County Wicklow in exchanging artistic experiences that spark curiosity, delight and debate, while fostering pride, pleasure and well-being.

They gather artists and audiences together to create, participate in and enjoy unforgettable artistic experiences either in our home venue in Bray or elsewhere in County Wicklow.

They also provide an artist-led creative hub and artistic resource for artists and companies, working in both professional and amateur contexts.

The work of artists is sustained through employment opportunities, advocacy and practical supports for their creative development.

To celebrate the 21st anniversary, the Mermaid has a number of special events lined up for the 2023 programme.

Julie explained that the Mermaid Arts Centre had a total income of €1,371,626 for 2023, with Wicklow County Council providing €352,000 (22 per cent), the Arts Council providing €300,000 (22 per cent) and the remaining €719,626 (52 per cent) coming from earned box office, rental and franchise income.

As regards to the Mermaid’s reach county-wide, 19 per cent of Wicklow households bought tickets at Mermaid between 2017 to 2020, representing 9,564 unique households out of 49,211.