Thursday 18 February marked a very significant day in the Arts Council’s 30-year partnership with local authorities when together we announced A Framework for Collaboration, a new agreement between the Arts Council and the County and City Management Association.
Our 30-year partnership with local government has been an excellent model of public service bodies working effectively together, and, with the launch of this new ten-year agreement, that partnership is set to continue and grow. Each of the city and county councils in the country operates an Arts Service, which responds to local arts development needs and connects in with national policy through a relationship with the Arts Council. Local government in Ireland has undergone a considerable reform and modernisation process in the past decade, and arts and culture have become firmly embedded within that process.
This agreement enables us to develop a more streamlined and consistent approach to funding the arts, based on the key principles of arts development, public engagement and spatial planning. It will also allow us to set targeted outcomes where we will be able to measure the impact of this relationship and see increased levels of public engagement and participation.
The Arts Council is deeply committed to this agreement with it firmly rooted in our new strategy Making Great Art Work where our partnership with local government is embedded throughout, across all its actions and objectives.
Over the past few years we have focused on making our partnership with local government much more strategic and mutually beneficial. We view our local government partners as the most significant other funder and developer of the arts in Ireland. We want to now focus our efforts on ensuring the future direction of the arts is shaped by the kinds of thinking, planning and management behaviours which, both unilaterally and in partnership, will serve us best in addressing our common concerns, as articulated in this new agreement.