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Minister approves Arts Council’s Strategy for the Arts

Monday 27th October 2014 at 2pm 0 Comments Acquisitions , Architecture , Arts & Disability , Arts & Health , Arts and Older People , Building Peace through the Arts: Re-Imaging Communities , Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Film & TV , Intercultural Arts , International Arts , Language Arts , Literature , Music & Opera , Public Art , Traditional Arts , Visual Arts , Voluntary Arts , Youth Arts

Maurice Orr, artist. Donal McCann photography. Image: Maurice Orr, artist. Donal McCann photography.

The Arts Council’s five-year strategy for the arts was published today following the recent approval and endorsement of the document by the Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure.

The strategy, Ambitions for the Arts, outlines the Council’s aspirations and vision for the future for the arts sector in Northern Ireland. It sets out a clear statement of priorities under three strategic themes that reflect the changing landscape for the arts and the need for strong public engagement. The themes are, championing the arts, promoting access, and building a sustainable sector.


Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister of Culture Arts and Leisure, welcomed the document and said that, despite difficult economic times, it is important that the value of the arts is recognised across all areas of government and society.

She said: “My department is committed to harnessing culture, arts and leisure to promote equality and tackle poverty and social exclusion and that is a theme which can be seen reflected in this strategy.

“It is important that the arts have the same status in the same way that others have in other departments and that each of us owns it and that when it comes to protecting front line public services that the arts are right up there with the rest.”

The new strategy has at its heart the aim of a universal right of access to and participation in the arts for everyone in our society. It encourages the arts sector to demonstrate how it provides inspirational arts activities, through valuable education and outreach work, to those for whom access to the arts has not been easy, and how we might work together to continue to do that in difficult times.

Arts Council Chairman Bob Collins paid tribute to the work of local artists and arts organisations and outlined his hope that priorities could still be realised, despite an anticipated reduction to the Northern Ireland arts budget.

He said: “The ambition and aspiration which is reflected in this strategy will be somewhat more challenging to realise because of the difficult circumstances in which we are likely to find ourselves. Yet that ambition and that aspiration will continue to be the guiding principles that we have, so that artists in Northern Ireland can continue to express themselves, deliver their quality arts to this community and ensure that everyone right across Northern Ireland will be able to find a way to enjoy and participate in the arts.

“Everybody has a cultural life. The opportunity to engage in or to enjoy the arts should be available to all because the potential to enjoy the arts and to develop, to whatever degree, a capacity for artistic expression, is present in all. Everybody contributes to the public support of the arts and everybody should be able to benefit from that investment.”

The Arts Council extends its sincere thanks to the sector for its participation in the consultation process. The five-year strategy is published as the annual Funding Programme for the Arts, is due to open on Tuesday 28th October. 



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