The arts are off to a great start this year, with our ‘Places Matter’ conference in Dublin Castle on Thursday (12 January).
This is the first in a biennial series being held under the auspices of the Arts Council and Local Government agreement, A Framework for Collaboration. It is an important and timely opportunity to demonstrate the unified approach both we and our colleagues in local government are taking to supporting and developing the arts across Ireland.
The conference explores perspectives of how we value the arts, what can happen when we invest in the artist and the citizen, and, importantly, looks forward to ask are we culturally fit for the future?
Following the centenary year, when cultural expression and citizenship were critical to the national response and programming of the commemorations, the conference has placed the citizen and our creative potential at the heart of its focus.
My hope is that this new biennial series of conferences will offer an important national platform for discussion, learning, understanding and reflection, so that planning for the arts and cultural provision, on both a local and national level, is as informed and considered as possible.
I am happy to tell you that Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, will open the conference, while Dr Frances Ruane will chair. There will be contributions from a wide range of accomplished speakers, including Professors Geoffrey Crossick and John O’Hagan; Emmet Kirwin, Louise Lowe; Dr Emer Smyth; Diarmaid Lawlor; and Noeline Kavanagh.
The conference is booked out, but for those of you who couldn’t get a ticket all is not lost: We will be live-streaming on the day – check out our Facebook page for details!