The Arts Council’s strategic review is now underway and the steering group chaired by Terence O’Rourke, has already turned its attention to how dialogue with the arts sector and the wider public can best assist its deliberations and final report.
To this end, we will seeking a wide range of views, to harness the experience and intelligence of the sector, and to hear fresh ideas and approaches. The dialogue will be focused, with key issues or questions identified, and we will be inviting groups and individuals to meet us or to make a submission. In April, we intend to hold larger gatherings in different regions of the country; we hope to have practical details for these meetings in the next edition of the newsletter, and I would encourage as many artists and arts organisations as possible to participate. Those who cannot will still be able to make a written submission through our website.
Working together in partnership, is a principle the Arts Council is committed to with a range of arts and non arts agencies. A recent expression of this is a new partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) to support North South Touring enabling individuals, companies and venues to work together in both jurisdictions to allow excellent work to be seen on the whole island. We have agreed with our colleagues in ACNI to make it easier to extend tours across the border. This means that applications from the North and the South can include dates in either jurisdiction and if the application is successful, we will support all legs of the tour.
Since its introduction in 2010, the Touring and Dissemination Scheme has been based on the principle of collaboration between those who produce and those who present work to audiences. So we hope that the two Arts Councils working together on this will help foster stronger ties between artists and organisations in the two jurisdictions.
So whether in reinvigorating our strategic focus as a national agency or touring across this island, there is a determination that the arts and artists are an indelible part of the fabric and footprint of Ireland.