The Arts Council today announced an initiative which gives an opportunity for the arts and enterprise to work together. Féach - furthering enterprise, arts, culture and heritage - took place in the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan.
The idea behind Féach is to form a network to help local enterprises, arts organisations and their communities manage businesses through the recession. International research shows that countries that excel at culture increase their capacity to generate creative industries, thus boosting the economy. It is estimated that up to 30,000 people are employed directly or indirectly by the arts sector while the total direct employment in the wider creative industry in the Republic is more than 60,000.
It is in the area of employment where the arts can be a driver for Ireland. In the current climate where there are significant employment losses taking place in key sectors such as construction, retailing, manufacturing and other services, the arts can be a player now and a big player of the future. As we shift to a more knowledge based, services-oriented economic platform, Ireland is well placed to lead the world in innovation.
Speaking at the event, Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said "The arts are important employers and economic drivers in Ireland. The arts do not operate in isolation from the rest of the economy and society. It is a highly competitive sector, with good productivity. We know this well at the Arts Council where we see a very high demand on resources every year. We also know that organisations are able to augment their Arts Council grant-aid by generating other revenues.
Ms. Cloake continued: The total economic impact of Arts Council supported organisations and individuals is around €250 million. One of the most important economic aspects of the arts in Ireland is the number of jobs that it supports in the economy and in local communities."