On Thursday 8th December An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD was joined by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, for the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach.
Creative Ireland is the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year, all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which aims to improve access to cultural and creative activity in every county across the country.
As described by the Departments of Arts:
“Creative Ireland will prioritise children’s access to art, music, drama and coding; enhance the provision of culture and creativity in every community; further develop Ireland as a global hub for film and TV production; empower and support our artists; drive investment in our cultural institutions; and further enhance our global reputation abroad. From 2018, an annual County of Culture will also be held each year. “
Key initiatives to be delivered in 2017 include:
- The publication of a five year ‘Creative Children’ plan which will enable every child to access tuition in music, drama, art and coding
- Each Local Authority will appoint a Culture Team to drive local needs and will publish a Culture Plan for their own county
- A new annual cultural day, ‘Cruinniú na Cásca’ to be held nationwide on Easter Monday each year, replicating the very successful Reflecting the Rising event, which was held in Dublin this year
- The Departments of Arts and Social Protection will devise a mechanism to assist self-employed artists who have applied for Jobseekers Allowance. This would be a pilot scheme.
- A planned investment programme for Ireland’s cultural and heritage infrastructure, including our national cultural institutions
- An industry wide, long term plan to develop Ireland as a global hub for film, TV drama and animation
The National Campaign for the Arts says Creative Ireland’s “stated ambition of putting arts, culture and creativity at the heart of Government decision-making for the first time has the potential – if delivered – to realise a sea change for the cultural sector but also for the well-being of Irish society as a whole.”
According to the plan, the Departments of Arts and Social Protection will devise a pilot scheme to assist self-employed artists who have applied for Jobseekers Allowance. Visual Artists Ireland welcome the changes to social protection and have committed to liaise with the Department of Arts on the experiences of individual artists seeking Jobseekers Allowance in the role out of this aspect of the programme. VAI encourages artists to contact our Help Desk so we can pass on your feedback to the Department (01 6729488, firstname.lastname@example.org).