Sarah Dobbs has been an arts consultant for over twenty years. Of both Canadian and Irish citizenship, she has worked in Canada, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Uganda. Throughout her career, Sarah has focused on using the arts to communicate culture and increase understanding. She undertakes research and creates arts-infused programs that build capacity through collaborative processes promoting community development and social engagement.
Sarah's career began with a BA in art history from UBC, and running her own gallery. She has since been a cultural executive with Evergreen Cultural Centre Gallery, Burnaby Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Ireland. In Burnaby, Sarah brought arts programs to residents of long-term care facilities. She also worked with at-risk youth, providing opportunities to contribute to their community, and with children and youth with disabilities, encouraging them to see their abilities. In Ireland, Sarah designed and ran arts programs in hospitals and retirement communities.
After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Sarah was invited to run art-infused programs behind Tamil Tiger Lines in Sri Lanka, to help heal the Tamil community and promote positive intercultural communication. She subsequently taught, and undertook an MEd, at the University of Toronto, focusing on the role of women in community healing. Sarah conducted her MEd research in Kenya and Uganda, living in women-only villages in the Maasai Mara and Samburu, and working with victims of violence in the slums of Kibera.