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The future of cross-border cooperation in the Arts

12 September 2022

We are delighted to announce that the ARINS project has published The Audience Agency report entitled 'The future of cross-border cooperation in the Arts'.

The report investigated the interconnections between the arts sector in Ireland, north and south. Mapping cross-border cooperation in public and industry bodies it offers an assessment of the existing landscape in terms of policy and practice and makes recommendations for future policy design.

The Audience Agency works internationally with partners in both academia and the cultural sector, and has extensive experience working in Ireland, north and south. The team has experience working with public and industry bodies, including the Arts Councils in both Belfast and Dublin. Their expertise includes both asset and digital mapping, policy analysis and design and communication with wide-ranging groups of stakeholders.

The research team for the project was led by Dr Steven Hadley, academic and consultant, and includes Sophia Woodley, Head of Innovation and Policy Research, Jonathan Goodacre, Senior Consultant International, Richard Turpin, Chief Research Officer, Oliver Mantell, Director of Policy Research, Anne Torreggiani, CEO and Penny Mills, Chief Consulting Officer with support from Professor Justin O’Connor and Matti Allam.

 Read or download report

 Read or download executive summary


ARINS—Analysing and Researching Ireland, North and South is a joint project led by the Royal Irish Academy and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs. It is a multi-year initiative that brings together experts from various disciplines to provide evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate relating to options for the future of Ireland, north and south in a post-Brexit context. Read ARINS research


Anne Torreggiani, CEO of The Audience Agency says:

'We are delighted that the report is now published and available to all. It's a first in taking a deep dive into cross-border cooperation in the arts. The report maps policy and practice and offers deliverable recommendations for future planning and further research. We are grateful for the active support and engagement of colleagues across the arts and cultural sector who found time to speak to our research team and provide important insights. We are enthusiastic advocates for greater collaboration and look forward to this strong evidence inspiring and supporting future cooperation across the island of Ireland.'


Dr Steven Hadley, Research Fellow at NUI Galway and leader of the research team says:

'As this important research and policy document states, there is significant potential for growth and development in the arts sector across the island of Ireland. Cross-border cooperation provides benefits across artistic, audience and economic areas. The recommendations in this report map out how this rich potential can be developed'


Ruth Hegarty, Managing Editor of the Royal Irish Academy says:

'This research by The Audience Agency has given the ARINS project a series of recommendations for policy change and research that would improve cooperation in the arts on this island. The ARINS project invites people to get in touch with suggestions for how these recommendations can be implemented'


This report contributes to the 'Cultural and Educational' strand of ARINS. Led by Dr Catherine Wilsdon, Notre Dame, and Ruth Hegarty, Royal Irish Academy, the work of The Audience Agency was overseen by an advisory committee which includes Valerie Bistany, The Irish Writers Centre, Professor Diane Urquhart, Queen’s University Belfast and Colin Murphy, playwright and journalist.


The Audience Agency mapped existing cross-border cooperation in the arts sector, from a policy perspective and on the ground practice; performed a gaps analysis; and identified opportunities for future policy design. This was done using both qualitative and quantitative research including a series of interviews, surveys, seminars and roundtable discussions. These events were organised and run by The Audience Agency in collaboration with the ARINS Executive Committee.

Part funding for the project has been secured from the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. If you have an interest in this project, please contact

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