To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her priorities for the arts under the new Programme for Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Niamh Smyth.

For PRIORITY answer on Wednesday, 1st June, 2016. Ref No:   13680/16     Lottery:   4


Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Heather Humphreys, T.D.) The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a very important commitment to work to progressively increase funding to the arts, including the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board, as the economy continues to improve. I can assure the Deputy that I will be engaging with my colleagues in Government and with the Oireachtas to seek to advance this commitment in the context of the forthcoming estimates and budgetary processes. Other priorities, in line with the Programme for a Partnership Government, include: – The publication of Culture 2025, Ireland’s first national cultural policy, which I intend to finalise shortly, and which will provide a framework for considering a range of important issues, including improving access to culture, breaking down barriers in areas of social exclusion and disadvantage, and how culture is enriched by greater cultural diversity;

  • The continued implementation of the Arts in Education Charter;
  • Encouraging local authorities to strengthen the role of arts and heritage officers by building stronger links with local development groups. This will also feed into my expanded brief covering regional development and rural affairs;
  • Opening the new capital grants scheme for applications to provide upgrades to existing regional arts and cultural centres around the country,
  • Boosting supports to regional museums and facilitating increased loans between our National Cultural Institutions and our network of regional museums;
  • Working with the Irish Film Board/Screen Ireland to ensure that Ireland is maximised as a location for international film production; and
  • Further encouraging strong, mutually beneficial links between the business community and arts organisations.These priorities represent an ambitious agenda and I look forward to working with all partners and across all parties of this House to develop and implement these initiatives.