Solas Nua, the DC-based contemporary Irish arts organization, has appointed Miranda Driscoll its interim executive director. Having served for five years as director/CEO of Sirius Arts Centre in County Cork, Ireland, she now assumes management of the 15-year-old U.S. nonprofit during a challenging time for all arts groups.
“I am delighted to be taking up this position here in Washington DC,” Driscoll said. “Solas Nua is a wonderful organization that is undergoing some exciting new changes, and I look forward to working with the team and board for the next 12 months in realizing the mission — to present the best of contemporary Irish art to American audiences.”
Solas Nua, which has been run by an all-volunteer board of directors since 2012, is a recipient of the DC Mayor’s Art Award for Innovation in the Arts, has garnered international recognition for their programming, and has earned multiple Helen Hayes Awards and nominations for their outstanding theater productions. Most recently praised in DC Metro Theater Arts for its “refreshingly original, boundary-pushing comedy” entitled 👨🏿💻😷👨🏼💻 (aka “The Emoji Play”), Solas Nua runs an annual Irish film festival and Irish Popcorn!, a free monthly series of films, occasional play readings and music performances, weekly literary events and a poetry group. Its visual arts exhibits bring Irish artists’ work to prestigious Washington-area venues.
Driscoll will oversee creation and execution of Solas Nua’s multi-disciplinary artistic programming in close collaboration with its award-winning artistic programmers. She will manage the implementation of strategy, branding, marketing and outreach of Solas Nua and oversee its day-to-day functions, including operational and financial management.
At Sirius Arts Centre, Driscoll served as senior arts manager, multidisciplinary cultural producer, venue programmer, curator, and team leader. She developed a strong track record in fundraising, finance, innovative event production, creative partnerships and international, national and community-based initiatives, and is esteemed in the Irish arts community.
She was co-founder and co-director from 2007 to 2014 of The Joinery, one of Dublin’s leading independent/DIY art spaces for emerging artists. With an emphasis on performance and creativity as an everyday lived experience, through high quality, collaborative processes and ambitious programming, The Joinery linked community, creativity, artists and audiences.
Driscoll also was a lecturer in Photography and Professional Practice at The Institute of Art, Design and Technology from 2010 to 2013. She holds a Master of Arts degree in the Contemporary World from National College of Art and Design in Dublin and a Bachelor’s degree in photography from University College, Falmouth, Cornwall in the United Kingdom.
“We are thrilled that Miranda is joining Solas Nua,” said Paddy Meskell, co-chair of the board of directors. “This appointment is a critical step for Solas Nua in building long-term sustainability and moving towards our vision of being a leading contemporary Irish arts organization in the United States which explores a changing and diverse Ireland by commissioning, producing and presenting thought-provoking and vibrant work in all the arts. Solas Nua’s board warmly welcomes Miranda and the Solas Nua community is very excited about working closely with her.”