The Party’s Assembly election candidates have welcomed an initiative by the organisation Visual Arts Ireland (VAI) to highlight the position of arts and culture during the election campaign and beyond.
Among the proposals made by VAI are:
- A Department for Culture to support the arts across all government departments
- A commitment to design and deliver the Programme for Government in consultation and with the support of the Arts sector.
- Increased spending on public art programmes
- Increased capital, project, and core funding to be made available
- Recognise that creativity and the Arts play a key role in education and learning
- Link the budgetary spend to the UK / Ireland average per head
Responding to the VAI proposals the Party’s candidates said, “We understand and support the contribution which art and culture can and do make to society”.
“We are also acutely aware of the relentless commodification of our society, the resultant debasing of many of our values and the persistent repetition of the erroneous argument that the arts are an add on in life and should therefore pay for and look after themselves. We don’t believe that this is overstating the case”
“The Workers Party has identified and been critical of the cuts to arts and culture projects across Northern Ireland and of the immediate and longer term impacts that will have”.
“We are supportive of the initiative taken by the Visual Arts Organisation in setting out a series of objectives and broadly welcome these as an important marker in the public debate about the role of arts and culture, the contribution they can make, the involvement they should have and the centrality they should enjoy”.
Party members plan to meet with VAI and a number of other arts and culture groups post-election to discuss the future role, influence and funding of the visual and performing arts in Northern Ireland.
Link to Visual Arts Ireland: http://visualartists.org.uk/