Sites of Significance


Sites of Significance:

Sites of Significance is an action research dance project taking place in County Cavan and the Fermanagh Omagh District.  Many public policies stop at the Irish border, arts work and engagement does not. Recognising that place and locality has a strong relationship to the opportunities for creative engagement and work that is available to arts workers, this research project responds to the unique ecology of this border area.


The project mixes dance practice and qualitative research methods to gain understanding of the pathways to engagement and work in dance that dance artists and facilitators who live and / or work within our territorial border area experience. Exploring experiences from across a range of dance activity, including education, community, amateur, social, and festival-based contexts, Sites of Significance has facilitated sharing about the meaning, value, and regional needs for dance among dancers and dance facilitators in the Cavan Fermanagh Border area. The objectives of the work to include identifying those active in this space; gain an understanding of the pathways of participation for dance that exists in the Cavan Fermanagh Border region; address a gap existing in the wider Shared Island research context regarding the connectivity between artists in rural borderland regions.


This work is carried through audit and research. A Gathering event took place in May 2023 bringing together practitioners to explore the objectives of the project and in particular to tease out the less visible pathways to dance and connections between people and places that occur in rural border areas. The Gathering was documented to capture the learning and sharing and a short film will be created to evidence the findings and support the research report.  The findings will be shared in late 2023. It is anticipated that the work will lead to greater understanding of potential capacity-building actions for access to dance training, education, employment opportunities on the island within rural / border region contexts, improved networking, and enhanced skills among the team.



Partners in this project include Cavan County Council Arts Office, Fermanagh-Omagh District Council and social science and dance researchers, Victoria Durrer (UCD) and Aoife McGrath (QUB). It is supported through the Creative Cavan Project with Shared Island support. This project builds on the collective learning gained from the IRC / Shared Island supported research project, Building Capacity for the Cultural Industries: Towards a Shared-Island Approach, led by researchers Durrer and McGrath as well as international and island of Ireland research from academia and the arts sector.



This project is supported by Cavan County Council through the Creative Cavan budget and the Shared Island with support from the Public Art Budget.



Date and time:

20 Jul 2023 - 14 Sep 2023


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