John’s Square Artists’ Apartments

Artists’ Apartments John’s Square: Limerick City and County Council

Specific challenge/problem

Work Area 1Limerick has a comprehensive arts infrastructure that includes theatres, exhibition spaces, studios and performance spaces, but did not have viable places for artists to live. The presence of companies of national importance, whose dedicated role is to initiate and produce work, is a significant factor in Limerick. To facilitate the continued presence of artists in the city, the Artists’ Apartments, John’s Square, were developed.

One issue that affects the ability of artists to settle in the city is the cost of accommodation. Artists and many individuals working in the arts are at the lower end of income levels. The scarcity of affordable housing has an immediate impact on the ability of artists and those who work in the arts to locate in Limerick City and its environs.

Strategy adopted

Eight city centre apartments, in the historic John’s Square (c.1750) were refurbished for the exclusive use of artists as a model of sustainable housing.

The main purpose is to:

  • Create conditions for affordable living spaces for individual artists.
  • Attract and keep artists living and working in Limerick City.

Attained achievements

John’s Square, A Living Cultural Quarter is now a re-invigorated area that is home to a cluster of cultural facilities, the Artists’ Apartments, Dance Limerick Studios and performance space, Limerick Printmakers and the nearby Limerick Artists’ Studios. The Living Cultural Quarter is an example of the vibrancy of culture and a sustainable approach to supporting individuals, organisations and development.

Now in their second year of operation the Artists’ Apartments are a successful support scheme. Six medium term apartments are licensed to cultural practitioners, through open call and are fully occupied. Two further apartments are for short term use to support visiting practitioners to arts organizations in the city and defray accommodation costs to arts to the organizations. This has been a key support for Limerick National City of Culture projects. Both schemes have a high level of demand.

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