The Arts Council of Northern Ireland welcomed deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness MP, MLA (Tuesday 22nd March) to its offices in Belfast today.
During his visit, the Minister took the opportunity to meet with staff and board members to discuss the organisation's work in a number of areas, including the Creative Industries, Re-imaging Communities Programme and plans for UK Derry City of Culture 2013.
Rosemary Kelly OBE, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, welcomed the deputy First Minister. She said: "The Minister's visit to the Arts Council is part of our ongoing advocacy work to ensure that arts and culture remain high on the political agenda.
"Over 5,000 people wrote to the Executive as part of the budget consultation, calling for a Fair Deal for the arts. The Minister's visit today, and the more favourable outcome secured as a result of the campaign, reinforces the message that ongoing investment in our arts and culture is integral to building Northern Ireland's future success."
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: "The Minister was very receptive and interested to hear more about some of our current areas of work, in particular the vital contribution the creative industries are making to employment and the economy.
"This visit has provided a welcome opportunity to highlight how the arts touch so many areas of our lives -economy, health, education, social inclusion. Forging closer links with our government partners is testimony to how the arts are helping to achieve wider departmental objectives."
For more information contact: Sarah Coburn, Media Relations Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, tel: 02890 385263 or email: email@example.com.