The other day I had a chat with my dad about how art is not really appreciated in this country. We both agreed that we are taught so much about the written word in school and art is definitely left to the few. There is not the appreciation for the arts that you find in other cultures, and when you look at how our artists are valued, that makes sense. The following day, the government launched Creative Ireland. I found myself smiling at the synchronicity of the two things. Taking aside the fact that they took the name from an agency that has been in existence since 1999, the programme has been largely welcomed.
The video below outlines the initiative.
I think, as you watch the video, you will agree there are some that are 100% bought into this and see the value and others that are, maybe, just going along with their boss!
Ireland is currently, embarrassingly, at the bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on arts and culture. This won’t come as a surprise to those working in the arts but it is a shocking place to be when you consider the extent of the talent on our little island.
I truly believe that engaging children with art from a young age is a critical thing for their development. There is report after report telling us how music, dance and art can go such a long way towards becoming a fully rounded adult.
Enda states “we are putting culture and creativity at the heart of public policy.” This has to be the first time culture has been seen as a part of economic policy at the top levels of government. I really hope those that can move this forward in a positive way, are given the chance. We need to be really careful with this opportunity, but boy, is it exciting to think of all benefit from this.
As Lenny Abrahamson recently said, “we need ambition for the arts, and the resources to back it up.” Let’s see that Creative Ireland 2017-2022 does just that. Imagine all those little kids given the resources and space to fly their kites – magical!