Today is a once-in-a-decade moment for us at the Arts Council as we publish our new strategy, Making Great Art Work. It sets out our plan for leading the development of the arts in Ireland over the next 10 years, prioritises the artist and public engagement, and looks to develop the conditions, infrastructure and environment to enable artists to make great work and to encourage people to access and appreciate that work.
We intend, over the next decade and through this strategy, that the centrality of the arts to Irish life will have been strengthened -- by our advocacy, by our support of artists throughout their careers, by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, by the impact of the arts on the creative economy, and by the depth and breadth of people’s engagement with the arts.
Change and renewal are at the heart of the strategy. We still face difficulties arising from the recent financial and economic crisis, but we must plan the development of the arts for the next ten years, and we see exciting possibilities for the arts in that decade.
The 10-year strategy will be implemented through three-year planning cycles, including funding agreements with arts organisations. To support its publication, and to inform the preparation of the first three-year implementation plan (2017-2019), we will host a series of meetings and workshops with stakeholders as well as invite responses through an online forum. Scheduled for October and November, details of this engagement process will be announced in the coming weeks.
As I mentioned in the last Newsletter, as the 10-year strategy has just been published, organisations are not being asked to reflect the new strategy in their applications for support under the three main grant programmes for the period April – December 2016. Formal assessment of all applications will be made using the customary criteria and guidelines and informed by Developing the Arts: Arts Council Strategic Statement (2013)