Advocacy Datasheet #6: Ireland: international engagement

We must recognise that artistic life is no longer limited by geographic boundaries. International travel and engagement is vital to the maintenance and advancement of our national creative vibrancy.

We have travel awards in place that need to be reviewed, clarified and broadened to ensure that artists who wish to engage with their international peers are facilitated in every manner possible.  Travel, study and research grants are central to making international travel and engagement available to this low-income sector. It has been an important that government support has been given to date ‘at arm’s length’. It is necessary for the maintenance of an independent and vibrant art sector that this continues. No meaningful consultation has taken place with the section about reform, and decisions are now being made that will affect us in the future.

In addition, it should be seen as an aspiration that all artists in Ireland are given immediate access to information technology and internet resources to allow them to participate from their home or studio.

Attention must also be given to providing artists with the skills, knowledge and support in the creation of a professional international profile.  Artists must be made aware of the international opportunities available to them, as well as the role of quality on-line and off-line presences.  Taking a lesson from other countries, the arts should have a presence during all international business promotions of Ireland abroad.  This must be balanced and represent all art forms equality to show Ireland not only as a place of strong traditions, but also as a country of forward looking cultural innovators.


  • Contact Culture Ireland for clarification on the current civil service review.
  • Make representations to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and to the Enterprise boards, stating that Ireland’s UNESCO commitment that places representatives of the arts sector transparently within their policy creation.
  • Make representations to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the creation of an arts sector ambassador who has the role of creating communication bridges between the arts sector and other government departments and agencies to ensure their awareness of the advantages of the arts sector.
  • Make representations to local enterprise boards to ask them to ensure that all representations of their catchment areas includes the vibrancy of local arts and to encourage them to put in place support mechanisms that allow their local artists to participate internationally.

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