The National Campaign for the Arts was officially launched yesterday, and was supported by many famous artists, such as singer Mary Black, actress Sara Bolger, comedian Risteard Cooper, singer/songwriter Damian Dempsey, singer Lisa Hannigan, actress and novelist Amy Huberman, writer and director Neil Jordan, and composer Bill Whelan.
During a week in which the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is kicking off its fifty-first year and an expected half million people around the country will enjoy Culture Night, the Campaign aims to put the importance of the arts centre stage. It calls for the retention of Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide and the Irish Film Board, both of which face closure following the recent recommendations of the McCarthy Report. It also calls for the maintenance of existing levels of arts funding for the Arts Council as well as full representation at senior cabinet level.
The National Campaign for the Arts was established as the first ever umbrella organisation for the diverse arts' sectors in Ireland and provides a voice for the country’s artists and arts organisations. It petitions to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and welcomes an open debate on the arts as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. Its membership has a national reach that includes major festivals, venues, producers and representative organisations in visual arts, theatre, film, dance, music, literature, architecture and collaborative arts.