The Arts Council, the government agency for developing the arts in Ireland, is holding a plenary meeting (of its Council members) in Limerick city today Monday 4 July concluding tomorrow 5 July. The meeting gives the Council an opportunity over two days to consider important policy work in emerging areas like the creative and cultural industries, alongside regular business. This evening, Monday, a reception co-hosted by the Arts Council and Limerick City Council - its key partner in providing for and developing the arts in the city - will take place at the local authority offices. Representatives from the arts and business communities have been invited to attend the reception.
Speaking today, Ms Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said: "Our work with local authorities around the country is very important. It is a partnership dedicated to the strategic development of the arts at local level. Regarding Limerick City Council, the partnership we share with them is absolutely critical to advancing the arts in the city. Limerick City Council was one of the first local authorities to employ an Arts Officer back in 1988, with the support of the Arts Council, and we have since endeavoured to ensure that we work together in a complementary fashion in providing for and developing the arts in the city. We also acknowledge our partnership with Limerick County Council and its impressive programme of work in local arts development."
Ms Pat Moylan, added: "The Arts Council was pleased to mark our broader 25 year partnership with local authorities last November at our Local Arts Development Conference in the University of Limerick. The Arts Council had occasion to work again recently with both Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council, and local organisation Doras Luimní in organising an Arts and Cultural Diversity event that took place here in the city in May."
Ms Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said: "The Arts Council is very aware of Limerick City Council's commitment to the arts through projects such as the Creative Limerick initiative, which has offered beneficial opportunities for the city’s creative graduates and commercial property owners as well as supporting a revitalised city centre; the purchase and capital refurbishment of the Belltable Arts Centre and the impressive extension to Limerick City Gallery of Art, which is due to open later this year. Equally important is the range of work which is happening at Limerick County level, offering exciting opportunities for citizens of all ages to participate in the arts. An example of this is the award-winning County Limerick Youth Choir who have performed classical and contemporary choral music at both national and international level to very great acclaim. This range of work and activity demonstrates the belief of the local authorities here in Limerick in the potential of the arts to revitalise the city and county and ultimately enhance the quality of life of its citizens."
Ms Cloake also added: "There is an immense amount of good work being done in the arts in Limerick, and we see a deep commitment to nurture and develop the arts. We in the Arts Council look forward to continuing our work in close partnership with the local authorities to realise that commitment."