Rafter has confirmed that he will step down as Chair of the Arts Council after
chairing his final meeting of the Council on 14 December.
spend the first-half of 2024 as a Fulbright Professor at Boston College in the
United States while on research leave from his full-time position at Dublin
"It has been a huge privilege to have served as Chair of the Arts Council
during what has been a time of tremendous development and advancement but also
unprecedented crisis for the arts sector in Ireland. I leave the position with
considerable pride in seeing the achievements of artists, arts workers and arts
organisations all over the country. I would like to thank everyone who has
supported me during my term as Chair."
appointment as Chair in June 2019, the Arts Council’s annual budget increased
by 79% from €75m to €134m. Much of his term as Chair was devoted to working
with Council colleagues and staff to help steer the arts sector through the
initiatives since 2019, the Council agreed and finalised plans to establish a
new all-island dance company, and commenced work on a major artist workspace
development in partnership with Dublin Port as well as publishing new policies
on architecture, dance, music, digital arts and the Paying the Artist document,
which has established new criteria for ensuring artists are paid fairly for
Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts
leadership has guided the Arts Council through the crisis of Covid and into a
period of growth and significant accomplishment. During his term,
ground-breaking initiatives have been introduced that support the development
of artists’ practice and audiences’ experience. The arts landscape now
enjoys a historic level of support and his insightful advocacy for the sector
has been a signature part of his work. His commitment to inclusivity,
innovation and accessibility has set a standard for excellence that we will
continue to develop. On behalf of all the staff, I extend my heartfelt
thanks to Kevin for his exceptional leadership and support during particularly
challenging and changing times."
informed the Department of Arts of his plans on 18 October last. The position
of Chair, and other Council member vacancies, will be advertised shortly via
the stateboards.ie portal.
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