Fianna Fáil has launched a new policy document on the Arts, entitled “Arts for All“. The policy will seek to give the independence and space to the arts community to flourish without political interference. It also states that funding to the arts will be put on a sustainable footing with multi-annual funding and a commitment not to reduce the arts budget if the Party returns to Government.
Publishing the document, Spokesperson for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD stated, “There is huge potential for the development of the Arts sector as the economy recovers. Our Arts policy is called “Arts for All”. We believe that policies must be pursued at a local and national level, to ensure that all communities are afforded the opportunity to engage in arts projects and performances. If we secure increased community participation in the arts, we will see a corresponding increase in public and political support for the sector. This in turn will see audience numbers grow, and should ultimately make it more sustainable for artists to make a living from their passion.
“Our first commitment to the Arts is to ensure that political interference is kept to a minimum and to ensure that our National Cultural Institutions are not subjected to the abuse which was witnessed during the McNulty controversy last year. Our National Cultural Institutions, as custodians of our historical artifacts, art and culture on behalf of the citizens of Ireland must be treated with the respect they deserve in their governance, board membership appointments and funding. We commit to treating them with the respect they deserve and will endeavour to ensure that the funding they receive allows them to continue the excellent work they do.
“We also commit to ensure that the allocation of funding in the arts is done in a fair and accountable manner. While Limerick City of Culture has turned out to be a great success the way in which the decision was made to award Limerick the City of Cultural initiative should never happen again. Similarly, Arts Council funding must be awarded with the highest of integrity. To do otherwise would undermine public support and confidence in the allocation for the arts which could damage the whole sector.
“This document sets out an arts policy that recognises an already developed arts infrastructure at national and local level, and seeks to build on previous investment and expertise to clearly connect planning and funding of national and local arts”.
A copy of the document can be found at www.fiannafail.ie/arts