People's first encounters with the arts often occur at local level. Their experiences in this context can be truly significant, increasing the relevance, immediacy and intensity of arts engagement. Equally, many global forms, products and avenues of artistic expression have at their root a local origin. The Arts Council's main objectives in this area are to facilitate the authentic artistic expression of an area and to maximise opportunities for increased public access, participation and engagement in the arts. We pursue these objectives though partnership primarily.

The Arts Council understands its role in relation to local arts as one of support for the development of the arts at local and regional level. This is founded on the principle of developing the capacity of local actors and agencies to strategically plan and provide for the arts. In 2010 we are celebrating a twenty-five year relationship with local authorities, our key partners in developing the arts at local level. Much has been achieved in this respect with an Arts Service in each of the 34 principal local authorities in the country. Similarly, a long-term partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta on our Ealaín na Gaeltachta programme has resulted in a significant level of arts development in Gaeltacht areas.

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