The Nationwide Conversation on Ireland’s First Ever National Cultural Policy

Minister Humphreys kick starts the nationwide conversation on Ireland’s first ever national cultural policy

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, wants to kick start a nationwide conversation on the development of Ireland’s first ever national cultural policy. Minister Humphreys was speaking after she published a Discussion Document and launched a consultation process which will inform the development of Culture 2025, a national policy which will set high level aims for the arts and culture sector over the next decade.

A series of regional meetings will be held over the next two months to facilitate debate and discussion amongst stakeholders and interested parties in the arts and cultural sector. A one day symposium will be held in Dublin Castle in early October, to close the consultation process. It is envisaged the final policy will be published in early 2016.

Minister Humphreys states:

“If we want to protect and promote our unique and varied culture, and encourage new cultural forms to flourish, we need to aim high. Culture 2025 will be Ireland’s first ever national cultural policy. It will set out high level aims for the next decade, and reflect the important role that culture plays in our lives.

“I hope Culture 2025 can help create a platform for bringing together the numerous local, regional and national cultural entities, so they can share best practise and look at new ways of working together. As a high level document, the policy will set a framework for future strategies and plans in specific areas. It will be underpinned by the principle of upholding and supporting artistic freedom.

“The policy will also examine what challenges and opportunities are presented for culture in the digital age, and how the arts and culture can help to combat disadvantage. Ultimately, the development of our first ever cultural policy should be seen as an opportunity to increase participation in the arts across all strands of society. The policy will also look at how culture can help to build a more inclusive society.

“My Department facilitated a colloquium of cultural stakeholders at the end of May, which informed the development of this Discussion Document. Now, we are embarking on a nationwide consultation process to spark discussion and debate on how we should shape Ireland’s first national cultural policy. I want this policy to be led by those involved in the sector, those who are passionate about the arts, and I am encouraging members of the public to make their views known.

“Through this discussion document we are posing a series of questions about how resources should be prioritised, how artists and creative workers should be supported, how access to culture can be improved in disadvantaged areas, and many other issues. This is the first time that everyone will have an opportunity to make their views known about why our culture is so important and what we want to achieve over the next decade.”

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