The Arts Council has recently awarded funding to two innovative projects led by South Dublin County Council. The funding is made available under the Arts Council's Local Partnership Scheme.
This Scheme is designed to encourage and support partnerships and new collaborations between local authorities, arts organisations and other relevant groups. The Scheme has a cultural diversity strand which aims to promote the development of intercultural capacity in the arts across local authorities.
The first of the projects to receive funding is a research project. It will involve an audit of immigrant and culturally diverse professional artists and cultural practitioners living in Dublin City and South Dublin County. It will aim to assess the needs, barriers and challenges faced in building artistic careers in Ireland. The project partners include the two local authorities, Tallaght Community Arts and the city-based New Communities Partnership.
Welcoming this research project, Arts Council Chairman, Pat Moylan said:"The Arts Council launched its new policy and strategy on Cultural Diversity and the Arts last year and we are delighted to see the early fruits of that initiative with the undertaking of this important piece of research. The Arts Council is concerned that all artists have equal access to the range of opportunities we offer and the findings of this research could usefully inform future strategy and practice in this area. We are particularly pleased to see the involvement of the Social Inclusion Units of both local authorities in this initiative."
South Dublin County Council’s County Manager, Joe Horan said: "Art knows no boundaries and this research project is aimed at identifying and realising the potential of artists regardless of nationality, race or background as it links two major local authorities with community-based organisations.
"This approach will accelerate the integration process as well as expanding the range and number of artists and enriching the culture of the community as a whole. This initiative will further underpin the work of South Dublin County Council’s Social Inclusion Unit and Arts Office and we are very pleased to have been awarded this funding to allow us to progress our work with the new communities through the arts."
The second project to receive Arts Council funding involves the development of an interactive arts events listings and map website for young audiences and creators. This promotional project is informed by research with 13 - 25 year olds, who expressed the need for new ways of learning about arts opportunities, including training and other resources. Project partners South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, the National Youth Council of Ireland and Choice Cuts will work together to address a shared priority of youth audience development.
Commenting on this new project, Arts Council Chairman, Pat Moylan said: "In its strategy Developing the Arts in Ireland the Arts Council has prioritised arts audiences and access. We commend the ambition of this project, which aims to link arts organisations' events, training and other opportunities to young people across the Greater Dublin area. The dynamic use of new media and technology will provide an excellent template for other arts providers nationally to develop."
Arts Council Director, Mary Cloake concluded: "In its strategy the Arts Council undertakes to incentivise shared services, especially when directed at marketing and promotion. The Local Partnership Scheme encourages such interagency collaboration and the partnerships outlined in both of these projects are examples of best practice in this area."