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Ireland’s association of writers, Irish PEN, has announced a forthcoming debate on ‘The Arts and the Economy’, which takes place at the United Arts Club, Upper Fitzwilliam Street in Dublin, on Thursday 15 April 2010. There is a small piece on it in the Irish Times, which you can read here.
Among the panellists are Aidan Burke, Operations Director with the Arts Council; Gerry Godley, Director of the Improvised Jazz Company, broadcaster and spokesperson for the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA); Claire Doody, Project Manager of Cultural Odyssey, which was set up by businessman Dermot Desmond following the Irish Economic Forum in Farmleigh last year; Arthur Lappin, Film and Television Producer (In America, My Left Foot, The Field and Some Mother's Son; and Declan Kiberd, literary critic and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD. Ticket prices for the debate are €3 for Irish PEN members, €5 for non-members, but booking is essential as places are limited. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 087 966 0770.
Full Press release available below.j PEN Debate Press Release
WASN’T IT STRIKING that when Mary Hanafin was appointed as the new Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, the reaction suggested that she had contracted a nasty disease? Callers and texters flooded the drivetime radio shows with angry comments about the ill-treatment of the poor woman.
An interesting document on the value of the arts, "Cultural Capital in the UK: A Manifesto for the Future," has recently been published in the UK by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
You can read the full document here.
There was also an article on the same topic published in the Guardian this week, which you can read here.
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS (NCFA) has welcomed the decision of Taoiseach Brian Cowen to retain a full-time ministerial position for arts in his Cabinet reshuffle, announced today. The NCFA claims it is committed to working with newly appointed Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mary Hanafin TD, to ensure that the arts remain a vital part of Ireland’s economic and social landscape and wishes her well as she takes on her new role in Cabinet.
Sources in the Dáil had suggested earlier this month that the resignation of Minister Martin Cullen due to health reasons, could lead to the breaking up of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, with the three key areas of responsibility subsumed into other departments.
Speaking on behalf of NCFA, Gerry Godley said "We are relieved that the department's portfolio has been retained in its entirety, which indicates a genuine political appreciation of the pivotal role of the arts in Ireland's long term prospects, a point made by An Taoiseach when he stated that culture will contribute to ‘the vital task of economic renewal’. Furthermore, we're delighted that it will be under the stewardship of as able and dedicated a parliamentarian as Mary Hanafin. Her track record in previous portfolios adds further weight to the growing consensus that the arts are an important agent of the knowledge economy, on which we are all aware our future collective well being is dependent.”
In his speech today the Taoiseach said: "The revised Programme for Government sets out the priority objectives to be pursued over the period ahead. It contains a clear agenda for change and delivery across all Departments, including those which are not affected by the re-configuration which I am announcing today. All have their role to play. In this regard, I want to refer specifically to the important role to be played by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport not only in the vital area of tourism policy and performance, but in realising the full potential of our strong performance and reputation in the area of arts and culture, and ensuring that the creative industries play their full part in the vital task of economic renewal. The Tourism and hospitality industry employs over 200,000 people and brings in over €6 billion in revenue to this country every year. We want to significantly grow this business."