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Galway Arts Centre's building at 47 Dominick Street was built in the 1840s as a residence for the Persse Family. The most famous member of the family was Lady Augusta Gregory, of Coole Park, playwright, Abbey Theatre founder and patron of the Irish Literary revival. On her frequent visits to Galway she used to stay in this building with her sister.

The building came into the possession of Galway Corporation in the 1940s and housed civic offices and the Council Chamber until 1988. Since 1988, the building has operated as an Arts Centre.

Galway Arts Centre consists of two galleries which house exhibitions of local, national and international acclaim. The organisation runs various classes and workshops in the arts and performance, an extensive outreach programme, has darkroom facilities for hire, and embraces Galway Youth Theatre and Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Galway Arts centre also manages Nuns Island Studio, a few minutes walk from Dominick Street. This is a restored church building which is equipped to present live performances and visual arts installations as well as providing rehearsal space for Galway Youth Theatre.

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