As you may know, we are working on the final draft of the first Making Great Art Work three-year plan (2017-2019), which will be published in July. During April and May, we held 15 round-table discussions to support the development of this plan, with colleagues from within and beyond the arts sector. The strategic priority areas that were the focus of these dialogues were the artist, public engagement and developing capacity.
We were delighted to hear from a wide range of participants, including artists, academics, arts officers, entrepreneurs, young people, those working in arts organisations, state agencies, amateur arts, NGOs, and the creative industries. Many thanks to all who gave their time and contributed their best thinking.
Following feedback during the strategy forum meetings and the direct dialogue round table discussions on the express wish for the Arts Council to continue such engagement opportunities, we are committed to continuing on-going conversations with the arts and other sectors over the coming years.
Also this month, we are very excited about The Making Great Art Work Open Call, which will see an investment of close to €1 million by the Arts Council in major, once-off projects in one or a combination of art forms. We have received 133 applications, many of which are very ambitious in scale, with total demand reaching nearly €17 million.
We have an international jury in place, and clearly it faces difficult decisions when it meets to consider the applications later this month. Arts Council Chair Sheila Pratschke will chair the jury, and she will be joined by Fergus Linehan, Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Carsten Dufner, Head of Music and Production at MDR German Public Broadcaster in Leipzig, Emily Butler, a curator who is currently Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery London, and Council members Ciarán Walsh and Mark O’Regan.