Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts & Heritage Niamh Smyth has described the Minister Heather Humphreys priorities for the Arts sector as vague, and lacking any concrete details. Deputy Smyth made the comments following Priority Questions in the Dáil last week.
Deputy Smyth commented, “Minister Humphreys priorities for Arts appear to be more aspirational than anything tangible. While confirming that the “Programme for a Partnership Government contains a very important commitment to work to progressively increase funding to the arts”, she was unable to put a figure on the amount that would be made available, nor was she able to give a definitive timeline as to when the long awaited Culture 2025 policy would be finalised and published.
“I am extremely concerned that the arts will fall down Minister Humphreys priority list given her much expanded brief, and her answers during Questions this week have done nothing to quell that fear.
“Minister Humphreys made many references to “boosting supports”, “strong, mutually beneficial links” and an “ambitious agenda” but she had no concrete figures or targets to support these statements.
“Fianna Fáil has a strong record of supporting arts and culture and we want to ensure that artists and the bodies that represent them receive the funding they need to allow the sector to grow. We want to make a stronger argument for arts, not push it off the agenda. As a proud member of the arts community I will be ensuring that arts is my number one priority and I will continue to argue for greater funding allocations, which will see the arts made more accessible through national, local and regional arts and cultural initiatives”.