23 May 2011: Chairman of Arts Council to meet IDA and Enterprise Ireland to focus on jobs

The Chairman of the Arts Council, Ms Pat Moylan, has written to the Chairmen of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the Western Development Commission, Shannon Development and Údarás na Gaeltachta to suggest a series of meetings to focus on increasing employment by tapping into Ireland’s high achievements in creativity and innovation.

Speaking today Ms Moylan said that Ireland needs to brand itself for its creativity and innovation and use this as its new calling card. "Our arts and creativity are central to what it is to be Irish and essential to the wellbeing of the nation. I am confident that the Queen’s visit, that of President Obama and Farmleigh 2 will help transmit a positive global message which ensures that we are better known as one of the most creative and innovative countries in the world, than as a place of bad banking" Ms Moylan said.  

"The CEOs of leading multinationals such as Google, Microsoft and Intel say the culture of creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ is a significant part of what makes Ireland attractive to their operations. The arts can be a driver of jobs and investment for Ireland - they can help attract and maintain high-tech investment and jobs.  We already have real international credibility and an established track record in the sphere of arts and culture.  We need to tap into that and see how we can use our unique legislation, such as the tax treatment for artists, and initiatives, such as the creation of Aosdána, to send a signal to the world that Ireland is a hub of creative and innovative thinking."

"The series of meetings I am proposing will bring together some of the State’s development agencies to see how we can all work together to maintain and increase employment for our young people.  The Arts Council is working to help attract investment and jobs. For example, we can offer an ‘arts audit’ of any part of the country to strengthen any investment pitch.  By developing good relationships between the arts and industry, we can hopefully animate many empty buildings with some high innovation industries, such as those in the gaming and entertainment sectors."

"The arts are a very significant net contributor to the economy, creating thousands of jobs and generating considerable revenue - far more than they receive.  The arts represent one of the most productive and innovative sectors in our economy and the success of our artists abroad generates invaluable publicity for Ireland as a tourist destination. Every time one of our writers, actors, directors or musicians makes the headlines it attracts more tourists and safeguards more jobs in the hospitality sector all over Ireland."

Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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