The NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS (NCFA) will meet the Taoiseach Brian Cowen as part of the Campaign’s National Day of Action, on Friday 17 September 2010. On this day arts workers from all art forms in constituencies throughout the country are meeting with their local TDs to underline the NCFA’s primary message that cutting further funding and jobs in the arts and culture sectors will severely effect the country’s overall drive towards economic recovery and future development.
The meeting with An Taoiseach was requested by the Laois-Offaly arts constituency group which aims to discuss with him both local issues and the key demands of the NCFA. In the run-up to the 2011 budget the National Campaign for the Arts is calling for the maintenance of existing levels of arts funding to all agencies for the arts including The Arts Council, the Irish Film Board and Culture Ireland, the assurance that local authority arts funding will be protected and that significant new funding be made available to the arts and cultural sector, helping tobuild on its cultural tourism potential, through the creation of a dedicated cultural tourism fund.
Tania Banotti, Chief Executive of Theatre Forumand one of the main members on the NCFA steering committee, said, “We’re delighted that as part of the many meetings we’re confirming with our local representatives throughout the country that An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has agreed to meet with us. It’s imperative that the leader of our country understands the dire situation facing both the thousands who work in the arts industries and so the industries themselves. Strategic decision-making on arts funding and strengthened partnership between government and the cultural sectors is a necessity if Ireland is to move forward and out of its recession in these coming years.”
Other meetings around the country already confirmed either in the run-up or on the National Day of Action itself include –
In addition to the constituency-wide meetings with TDs, a variety of arts ‘happenings’ and events are being organised across the country to reinforce the relevance of arts and culture to the nation’s overall economic and social well-being. A full calander of all meetings and events will be available on the National Campaign for the Arts website prior in the week leading leading up to the National Day of Action.