The Arts Council today announced a new policy and strategy for Cultural Diversity and the Arts, and launched a pamphlet, Cultural Diversity and the Arts: Language and Meanings.
The policy will inform the work of the Arts Council over the coming years and it is hoped that the pamphlet will be a resource to support the sector in developing its thinking and practice in this area.
The new policy is underpinned by the research report Cultural Diversity and the Arts (2009), which was commissioned by the Arts Council in partnership with the Minister for Equality, Integration and Human Rights under the Government’s National Action Plan against Racism. The research was co-ordinated by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.
Diversity has been named as a core value in the work of the Arts Council since 2006. The Council has developed the policy in recognition that cultural diversity enriches the arts sector in Ireland and will contribute to the ongoing invigoration of arts practices and artform development. The intrinsic value of an intercultural approach towards arts provision in Ireland is recognised by the Council, as is the fact that Irish society is made up of different strands and identities, which are constantly changing.
Speaking at the launch Mary White T.D., Minister of State for Equality, Integration, and Human Rights said: "the arts have the capacity to enrich the lives of everyone in the country, regardless of age, gender, race or nationality. I strongly believe that intercultural awareness, understanding and interaction can be promoted and positively influenced through the arts – whether it is through creation, participation or appreciation. This Arts Strategy and Pamphlet are excellent examples of the recognition and response by organisations to the changing landscape in which we now live and operate."
Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council said: “The Arts Council hopes that these publications will inspire and help those working in the arts to engage further with practitioners and public from diverse cultural backgrounds. More and better work of this kind will extend the range and enrich the quality of arts practice across the country.”