Participants at the Arts Council’s Young Ensembles Scheme networking day talk about the role of the arts in their lives. Video: Wonderfulife Productions.
The Arts Council supports and promotes children and young people’s engagement with the arts from birth to early adulthood.
YPCE encompasses all art form areas, and centres on the child or young person’s experience of the arts whether as a young artist, learner, participant, audience member, or a combination of these.
The Arts Council’s ten-year strategy Making Great Art Work (2016-2025) places specific emphasis on the need to plan and provide for children and young people. The actions in this area are as follows:
- We will advocate for the centrality of the arts in formal education at all levels and for the provision of quality vocational training in the arts
- We will work with the Departments of Arts and of Education to achieve full implementation of the Arts in Education Charter
- We will invest in artists, arts organisations and key programmes dedicated to developing high quality work in arts-in-education and youth arts, and we will support the provision of excellent arts experiences for young people in the public domain
- We will make provision for children and young people a key focus of our relationship with local government
- We will incorporate our commitment to young people into the mainstream of our decision-making and, where appropriate, into our funding agreements with arts organisations.
The Arts Council is mindful that its strategy sits within a broader policy context concerning children and young people’s participation in cultural life and the arts. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Ireland in 1992, asserts children’s right to participate in cultural life and the arts. Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the national policy framework for children and young people (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2014) promotes cross-agency collaboration for the benefit of young people. The framework recognises the arts as an area that contributes to young people’s well being and states that the government commits to enabling greater access to arts and culture for all children and young people (1.14 Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, p. 58).
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG) made a joint commitment to promote and integrate the arts in education with the launch of the Arts in Education Charter (Dec 2012). The Director of the Arts Council sits on the Charter Implementation Group. Making Great Art Work reaffirms the Arts Council’s commitments to work in partnership with these Departments to implement the Arts in Education Charter.