NCFA announces step down of National Steering Committee who led during pandemic and the appointment of a new Chair and Committee

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“We are not a complete society unless we protect those who reflect life back at us, the artists, arts workers and arts organisations of this country.”

Angela Dorgan, Chair of NCFA, 2018 – 2022

National Campaign for the Arts Ireland have today announced the step down of the national Steering Committee who led NCFA and represented the arts sector through the Covid-19 pandemic, and the appointment of a new Chair and National Steering Committee to continue to advocate for artists, arts workers, and arts organisations in Ireland.

Chair Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact; Aideen Howard, Director at The Ark; Aileen Galvin, MD of Sync & Swim; Cian O’Brien, Artistic Director of Project Arts Centre; Eoghan Carrick, Theatre and Opera Director; Dr Georgina Jackson, Director of the Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art; Liv O’Donoghue, Actor & Dancer and Tom Creed, Theatre and Opera Director, have all stepped down from the NCFA following many years of voluntary service to Ireland’s arts community. Olga Barry, Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival, will continue with NCFA for the next number of months.

Former NCFA Chair Angela Dorgan said of the announcement: I would like to sincerely thank the sector, the politicians and the civil servants who came with us on the journey to improve conditions for our artists and arts workers over the last number of years. I’d also like to thank the Irish public for recognising how important our arts sector is to our daily lives. I would especially like to thank my fellow voluntary committee members who all worked tirelessly both before and through the two years of the pandemic on behalf of the sector. It was an honour to lead such a dedicated team and I hope the change we were able to help effect is sustainable. We are not a complete society unless we protect those who reflect life back at us, the artists, arts workers, and arts organisations of this country.”

Speaking of the outgoing National Steering Committee, new Chair of NCFA, First Fortnight CEO Maria Fleming said: “ I would like to congratulate the outgoing members of the NCFA National Steering Committee on the magnificent work they achieved in the past number of years. The sector owes them a debt of gratitude. We have been shadowing the committee for several months to ensure we can sustain and build on this work moving forward. We look forward to working with Minister Catherine Martin and her Department, as well as the Arts Council and the sector, to make sure artists voices continue to be heard and supported by Government.” 

During their tenure, the NCFA National Steering Committee, with the hard work and generous support of regional committees across Ireland, led in negotiating and advocating for increased and sustained funding of the arts, fostering greater public understanding of the arts in everyday life through the #SaveTheArts campaign, and embedding the value of the work of artists, arts workers, and arts organisations for individuals and communities across Ireland. Their dedication ensured that both existing and new crises in the arts sector were recognised and began to be properly addressed by Government. Increased funding was achieved for the Arts Council, as well as the historic implementation of Ireland’s Basic Income for Artists pilot scheme by Minister Catherine Martin and the team at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports, and Media, which had long been proposed by NCFA.

The work of the NCFA National Steering Committee led by Dorgan, was recognised by the sector, through two services to the arts awards in 2022: an Irish Times Theatre Award and an Irish Writer’s Guild Award.

NCFA is delighted to announce the new National Steering Committee will be led by First Fortnight CEO Maria Fleming as Chair, who is joined by Emilie Conway, Artist & Founder of DADA Disabled Artists, Disabled Academics; Actress Aoibheann McCann; Public Affairs Consultant Annette Nugent; Artist, Designer and Director Peter Power; Theatre and Dance producer Carla Rogers and Director and Writer Maeve Stone. Olga Barry, Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival, who joined NCFA in 2021, will remain on the National Steering Committee for several months.

Help the NCFA continue to advocate for the arts in Ireland.