Firkin Crane Appoints New Executive Artistic Director – Laurie Uprichard to take up position in September 2021

Firkin Crane announces Laurie Uprichard as New Executive Artistic Director


Firkin Crane Appoints New Executive Artistic Director

Laurie Uprichard to take up position in September 2021

The board of directors of Firkin Crane CLG is delighted to announce the appointment of Laurie Uprichard as Executive Artistic Director. She will take up this new position in September.

Laurie is a distinguished dance leader, curator and artistic director working professionally for over four decades. With a keen curatorial eye, combined with strong managerial skills, her involvement in all aspects of dance spans working in a number of public cultural institutions, including Danspace Project (NYC), Dublin Dance Festival and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans as well as producing and presenting a range of established dance and performing arts companies and independent artists in Ireland, Europe and the USA. 

Yvonne Coughlan, Chairperson of Firkin Crane says:
“We are delighted to be making this announcement today. Laurie is a highly distinguished and experienced leader in the dance world, and we are fully confident that she will make a superb Executive Artistic Director. Under her stewardship, all at Firkin Crane look forward to a creative and dynamic future for the organisation. Firkin Crane has long been known as the home for dance in Cork and we believe that Laurie will strengthen the organisation’s place in the dance sector locally, nationally and internationally.’’

Laurie Uprichard says:
“I am thrilled to be taking up this very exciting opportunity of working with the board, communities and staff of Firkin Crane to build a strong, creative and inspiring future for dance in Cork and throughout Ireland. At a time when the arts will play such an important role in our evolving and re-opening society, Firkin Crane can be a significant resource and venue organisation that can nurture dance in Cork with a global focus, centring on the needs of artists, to increase their visibility and nurture a growing professional practice.  I am very much looking forward to my time as Executive Artistic Director of Firkin Crane.”

This appointment represents a fundamental change in Firkin Crane’s management and operational structure, and comes at a pivotal moment as we embark on a restructuring, rebranding and programme review process.

About Firkin Crane CLG

For over three-decades, Firkin Crane, the home of dance in Cork, has been a place where dance artists, dance audiences and dance enthusiasts can make, see and join in dance of all kinds.

Firkin Crane is a unique resource in Ireland with a stage wholetime dedicated to the presentation of dance. In addition, there are smaller performance and exhibition spaces and four studios, all housed in a distinctive heritage building, located in historic Shandon on the northside of the city.

With these facilities, Firkin Crane provides an inclusive space for work to be developed and enjoyed through a year-round programme of residencies, professional development opportunities, studio rentals, evening & weekend community programmes and regular dance performances.

This work is currently delivered by a dedicated team supported by a cohort of casual staff and service delivery partners.

Following an internal review and public consultation period, the board of directors have refreshed the organisation’s purpose, vision and mission statements to reflect new priorities in forming a new direction for Firkin Crane.

Our vision is for dance to be one of the most vital, exciting and sustainable artforms in Cork and Munster.

Our mission is to promote and creatively engage in advancing dance as an artform.

About Laurie Uprichard

Laurie Uprichard was Director & Curator of Performing Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans from 2016-2020. She has also worked with Stephen Petronio Company, Tere O’Connor Dance, and Quaternaire, a production and tour management agency based in Paris. She curated the Travelogues Series at Abrons Arts Center in 2015-16, and worked with The Joyce Theater in New York.

Laurie served as Director of the Dublin Dance Festival from 2007-2011, overseeing its transition to an annual event.

From 1992-2007, she was Executive Director of Danspace Project in New York City, a period of significant growth for this venue based in the historic St. Mark’s Church. She worked with Urban Bush Women from 1991-96 and, from 1984-1991, was associated with Dance Theater Workshop.

Laurie holds an M.B.A. from The American University and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture in 2001

Opportunity to meet Laurie Uprichard, Executive Artistic Director

Friday 6th August 2pm:

We are delighted to introduce Laurie in person, online before she takes up the reins in September. Laurie will join us as part of our monthly forum for a short informal ‘meet & greet’ session. This is an opportunity to say hello and extend a warm welcome.

To attend: please register here

Please note the August monthly forum begins at 12.30pm and we will meet Laurie at 2pm as part of that forum.

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For further information:   

Andrea Stapleton, Dance Administrator,







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