Here follows a statement and link from the National Campaign for Arts 07/03/2011:
“The Programme for Government released yesterday by Fine Gael and Labour has a small section on the arts. You can read the relevant extract here. On the positive side:
- There is a reference to ‘the Department’ so it seems the new government plans to retain the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport as it stands, although we won’t know this for sure until the cabinet is announced.
- The Labour Party’s idea of merging Culture Ireland into the Arts Council is not included, so it would appear this is not the new government’s policy. This is welcome news.
References to the arts and culture in the document are limited and somewhat disjointed. Specifically there is:
- No mention of funding for the Arts Council, Film Board, Culture Ireland or the National Cultural Institutions.
- In fact there is no mention of film at all. (We understand a new audiovisual strategy will be published by the Department shortly).
A new Minister presents us with an opportunity. There is ample scope for the campaign to make representations to the Minister and put flesh on the bones of the outline set out in the Programme for Government. Hopefully, in the elaboration of the programme into policy, it will become more dynamic and comprehensive.
With so many new TDs, a surprising number of whom have a connection with the arts, the campaign can make a very persuasive case. We are keen to do so.
However, even to run on a very modest basis, we need to raise €30,00 by the end of March. It seems like a huge amount and is a big ask in these difficult times. We’ve raised €8,500 to date. Some organisations have received a letter seeking a specific donation in the last few weeks. If you have not, you will receive a letter shortly. Individuals are encouraged to donate online.”