14 Henrietta Street | Award-winning Dublin Museum ShopBook Now
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How we work: Listening and Responding

Published 20 May 2024

14 Henrietta Street has three clear goals: retelling the story of the lives of the people who lived in the house; making connections by listening and talking with a wide range of people from visitors to former residents and their families; and uncovering history with ongoing research into the house and its occupants, learning from memories and the knowledge of others.

From the outset, through the restoration, conservation to the preparation and opening the museum to the public, 14 Henrietta Street was and continues to be, a model of participatory governance. Bringing together different areas of knowledge and expertise from former residents, historians, conservation architects, local community, cultural and heritage sector experts, artists, local authority representatives and other cross sectoral advisory panels to work together in the making of a museum.

But the story is never fully told, and it is important for us to continue listening. So we collect authentic, accurate and relevant stories through oral history gathering projects and historic research. We bring those stories into the living experience of people today through a range of cultural programming from personalised scripts for tours, specialist talks, publications and other creative projects through poetry, theatre, music and song. This continuous cycle of listening and responding allows us to create additional ways for people to connect with the story of the house whether they are visiting for the first time or coming back again to find out something new. It helps people develop their own deeper understanding of 300 years of Dublin life through the front door of one house at 14 Henrietta Street.

Placing the voice of people both past and present at the heart of our museum has been recognised through a number of International awards since 2018. Our model of participatory governance has been highlighted as an example of best practice by the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Most importantly it was the foundation of 14 Henrietta Street’s success at the European Museum of the Year Awards 2020 - the Silletto Prize. The Silletto Prize is awarded to a museum which has shown excellence in involving the local community in planning and developing museum and heritage projects to enhance the public quality of the museum.