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Linda Geraghty steps down after 10 years as Venue Director

After more than 10 years at the helm at Riverbank Arts Centre, Linda Geraghty is moving on from her role as Venue Director. The board and team at Riverbank Arts Centre would like to pay tribute to Linda’s leadership of the arts organisation over the last decade, an era in which Riverbank has become central to the arts in Kildare and beyond, and in particular has established itself as a leading producer, programmer and presenter of arts for young audiences.

‘Riverbank Arts Centre is a welcoming, friendly, accessible space to bring arts and culture to the centre of civic life and community in Newbridge and environs. We aim to germinate and generate a future audience for the arts in Newbridge and the wider county, by supporting lifelong participants and advocates for the arts.’ Linda Geraghty (from Riverbank Arts Centre Mission Statement, 2020)

This vision for Riverbank Arts Centre, shared by the board and team, is one that will continue over the next decade and beyond and has informed the transformative plans for the pending redevelopment of the building, which will embed this vision in our physical infrastructure in many exciting and innovative ways.

Alex Rosiak will continue in the dual role of Acting Venue Director/Programme Manager until January 2022. The recruitment process for a new Venue Director will begin shortly.

“It was a great pleasure working with Linda all these years and I will very much miss her commitment, enthusiasm and her continuous support. We came to Riverbank at the same time and we worked closely and supported each other throughout the years. Linda’s vision for the centre was really ambitious and exciting and it was an honour to be part of her team. Her legacy is that of inspiration, warmth, open-mindedness and passion, combined with a distinct clarity of vision which I hope we will continue to fulfil as a team.” Alex Rosiak

Linda will be greatly missed by the board, her colleagues and also so many of the artists, arts organisations and networks that we work with. Here are a handful of comments from artists that Riverbank Arts Centre has worked closely with during Linda’s time as venue director:

Theatre Lovett mobile library tour as part of their residency at Riverbank Arts Centre in 2011. Photo Brian Cregan.

​​“For Linda, other people are her constellations. She encourages others to shine. She draws others together into each other’s orbit.  She thinks about others; her audience, her performers, her artists, her collaborators, her team, her family. She will continue to exude her calm, caring, understated magnetism. Thank you Linda. You are a star.” Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett, Joint Artistic Directors, Theatre Lovett. 

Peter Donnelly creates a mural in the Riverbank Arts Centre’s Children’s Gallery commissioned by Riverbank Arts Centre in 2014

“Linda has an amazing forward thinking outlook when it comes to hosting art at Riverbank. She was instrumental in bringing both my Illustrators Ireland group exhibitions ‘The Illustrated Beatles’ and ‘The Art of Superstition’ to a much wider audience and was one of the first gallery curators in Ireland to recognise the potential of the artform in a gallery setting. I will be sad to see her move on but am equally excited to see what she will do next! Thank you so much Linda.” Peter Donnelly, children’s author and artist.

Sing Me to The Sea – an immersive multi-sensory adventure for children and young people with complex needs performed in hydropools –  one of many shows by Anna Newell Theatre Adventures presented by Riverbank Arts Centre in the venue and offsite locations

“Linda is an absolute diamond and a tireless champion of artists and work for young audiences. One of the people who made my relocation a joy and a wonderful new adventure, by bringing Riverbank on board right at the beginning of  The Network of  Extraordinary Audiences  ” Anna Newell  

Young participants from the Curragh Family Resource Centre taking part in Song of the Pollardstown Fen, a series of poetry and illustration workshop led by Nell Regan and Grainne Bath Enright, hosted by Riverbank Arts Centre as part of Laureate Na nÓg programme in 2019. Photo Ger Holland

“Linda has been a champion of children’s reading for many years. Her love of children’s literature has brought numerous imaginative projects to children and young people through Riverbank, including powerful site-specific work through poetry and illustration in Pollardstown Fen, a lending library for children living in Direct Provision in the community, exhibitions, author and illustrator events and regular visits from the Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinic. Her vision and creativity has a positive impact on so many children, and we wish her all the best with whatever lies in store for her future.”  Elaina Ryan, CEO  Children’s Books Ireland/ Leabhair Pháistí Eireann

And finally, a few words from Linda herself: 

“Riverbank Arts Centre has evolved in so many ways over the past twelve years. It is a vibrant, busy and welcoming place which serves a valuable purpose for artists, audiences and community.  It has carved a strong reputation as a place which presents, develops and nurtures high quality arts experiences for young audiences.  I am proud to have played a role alongside the team, board, stakeholders, artists and crucially, our audiences in the journey of Riverbank Arts Centre over the past years.” Linda Geraghty, October 2021. 

And some memories…!