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As the newly appointed Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, I would like to thank you for your generous support of the Campaign over the last few years. The NCFA has worked hard to get cultural policy and the arts firmly on the political agenda. We believe the work carried out at national, regional and local level by all of us has provided the Arts with much needed profile and some small protection funding wise.
Unfortunately the funding threat to the arts continues. Funding is now lower than 2005 levels, down over 5% this year alone and we know there is at least one more austerity budget to come. It is more important than ever that we are united in focus and equipped to protect our sector. We must all work hard to make sure the arts survive, thrive and make their essential contribution to contemporary Irish life and to our society. To do that I am asking for your continued support and help.
We want to build on the campaign’s momentum and profile to strengthen the argument for the arts beyond simple economics. This year’s campaign will focus on communicating the core importance of the arts for everyone alongside highlighting the low levels of investment in Ireland in relation to other EU countries. We will endeavour to put arts and culture on the political agenda across key government departments, to affect how the arts work within our wider society and to protect principles of access in the arts in relation to Education, Health, Local Government, Tourism and more. It is also our intention to keep the arts at the forefront of political and media debate to remind the government and the public of the vital role the arts play in our everyday lives. The importance of continually communicating this message cannot be overstated.
We’re asking you to contibute what you can to help the NCFA in its fight this year. As a voluntary group, we work hard, but cannot achieve all we would wish to due to all our other commitments. We need to ask for your help to allow us to hire a part-time coordinator for the lead up to Budget 2016 as well as the 2016 elections to help improve our ability to campaign effectively.
Your contribution will ensure we have a strong voice with which to lobby at every level locally, regionally, and nationally for the arts - our arts. Please go to http://www.ncfa.ie or send a cheque or EFT payment to the address below, to make your donation. Today.
Thank you in advance and for your support to date.
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National Campaign for the Arts
c/o Theatre Forum
43/44 Temple Bar
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Account name: National Campaign for the Arts
Bank name & branch: AIB, Capel Street
Account number: 37788076
Sort Code: 93-11-01
IBAN: IE55AIBK 9311 0137 7880 76
Alfred and Clementine Beit loved Ireland. They loved Ireland so much that they left us their treasure, Russborough House and one of the most priceless art collections in the world. It was their dying wish that the collection be ‘preserved for the future enjoyment of the Irish people’. An incredibly generous and visionary gesture from An English Business man and his Irish wife. Can we honestly consider selling it? Are we destined forever to ‘fumble in the greasy till’?
Irish Art needs patronage, our national galleries have had no acquisition funds since 2010. As the Irish Government and the Irish people successfully re-build our economy, it might be wise to cast an eye to the Irish soul. The Beit collection is ours. It was gifted to us. It is staggering in its beauty and its brilliance. It belongs to our children.
The National Campaign for the Arts believes that the Irish people are more than an economy. The Irish people are far deeper and have far deeper needs. The Irish people won’t throw tuppence on the grave of Alfred and Clementine Beit because the Irish people know and value beauty.
That National Compaign for the Arts believe it is time to rebuild. To lift our heads and let in the light. Art brings light. Art is a gift and it is not for sale.
Press release – Wednesday 17 June
National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) calls on the Government to intervene to save the Beit Paintings for the Irish people
Alfred and Clementine Beit loved Ireland. They loved Ireland so much that they left us their treasure, Russborough House and one of the most priceless art collections in the world. It was their dying wish that the collection be ‘preserved for the future enjoyment of the Irish people’: an incredibly generous and visionary gesture from an English businessman and his Irish wife. Can we honestly consider selling it? Are we destined forever to 'fumble in the greasy till'?
Irish arts need patronage: never moreso than now, when our national galleries have been without acquisition funds since to build collections since 2010. As the Irish Government and the Irish people successfully re-build our economy, it might be wise to cast an eye to the Irish soul. The Beit collection is ours. It was gifted to us. It is staggering in its beauty and its brilliance. It belongs to our children.
The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) is calling on the Government, and particularly the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, to increase its efforts to halt the sale of the Beit Paintings and keep them in Ireland.
In addition to two already sold, another seven paintings due to be auctioned on July 9, including two by Old Master Peter Paul Rubens, which were left in trust for the benefit of the Irish people by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit. The NCFA is calling on the Minister to work with the Beit Foundation to withdraw these works from auction, to keep the remaining Beit Collection intact, and to explore alternative means to fund Russborough House and Estate.
The NCFA believes this is another example of the lack of a cultural vision and policy within Government and a complete lack of political will to safeguard culture and the arts for all citizens of this state.
The best way to protect Ireland’s cultural heritage is for this government to re-invest properly in our arts and culture, said NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan. Successive drastic funding cuts since 2008 have seen the arts sector decimated. Arts sector investment is half what it was in 2008, and one of the lowest in Europe. The heritage sector is cripplingly underfunded.
The NCFA is reiterating its call for a restoration of a viable level of public funding for arts in Budget 2016. We need to keep our cultural heritage safe, and invest in our artistic future.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS
Established in 2009 as a response to the McCarthy Report, The National Campaign for the Arts is a nationwide, volunteer-led, grass roots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. It seeks to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.
The NCFA’s ambitious but inclusive proposition is to work with the Government and the sector to ensure Ireland is a “Republic of Culture” in 2016 and beyond: to recognise the centrality of the arts to the future, as well as the history, of our nation, and to achieve an appropriate and functional level of state investment in the arts and culture.
For further information, visit http://www.ncfa.ie.
For media information, contact: email@example.com