As Artistic Advisor, Festival Programmer or Producer, Cian Smyth has delivered artworks, cultural events and programmes reaching an audience of millions.
Through programmes like the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, The Space and 14-18 Now he has advised, commissioned or produced new work by artists including Suzanne Lacy, dreamthinkspeak, Circa, Jeremy Deller, Duckie, Hans Peter Kuhn, Deborah Warner, Fiona Shaw and Oscar Munoz. He has worked in partnership with organisations including the BBC, National Theatre, Artichoke, John Peel Archive, London International Festival of Theatre, Sadler's Wells, Akram Khan Company, Sage Gateshead, Open Data Institute and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
His early career began in bookselling at the beloved Dublin bookstore Hodges Figgis, the highlight of which was being a buyer for its Arts Department. He soon pursued a career in the film industry working at film festivals throughout Ireland, Europe and Australia, and for seven years with the UK Film Council, Northern Ireland Screen and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.
He was previously a board member of Belfast Film Festival where he founded the Maysles Brothers International Documentary Competition, now in its 15th year. He is currently Chairperson of Outburst Arts, an arts organisation that empowers queer communities to deliver provocative programmes of art in Belfast, Sao Paolo, Montevideo, Kingston and Mexico. He is also a board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.