Policy and five year strategy for Cultural Diversity and the Arts

Where
Ireland
When
2012
Key objectives of the measure:

In partnership with the Minister for Equality, Integration and Human Rights/ National Action Plan against Racism (NPAR), the Arts Council commissioned a research and consultation process into the area of Cultural Diversity and the Arts as a means of informing Arts Council policy and strategy in this area. The research process was co-ordinated by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts and a final report Cultural Diversity and the Arts was submitted at the end of 2009. The Arts Council considered the findings of the report in 2010 and met with the researchers to further probe issues that arose in the course of the consultation process. Following a series of discussions, the Arts Council drew up and agreed a policy and five year strategy for Cultural Diversity and the Arts and this was launched in September 2010 (http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/areas-of-work/actions/arts-and-cultural-diversity.aspx).

The Arts Council’s policy and strategy document identifies four key principles that underpin its approach to cultural diversity and the arts. These include:

  • a belief that cultural diversity enriches the arts sector in Ireland and will contribute to the ongoing invigoration of arts practices and artform development
  • a recognition of the value of an intercultural approach towards arts provision in Ireland, promoting inclusion and interaction between individuals and groups from different cultures
  • a recognition that Irish society is made up of different strands and identities, which are constantly changing
  • a recognition that the process of interaction between cultures involves change for all involved, and that this may involve the reconfiguring of what is known or assumed about artforms and arts practices, the people who make art and the ways in which they are supported.

The five year strategy focuses on three overlapping areas, which reflect the Arts Council’s intention to build capacity internally as well as in the wider arts sector. These include a series of initiatives related to:

  • Structures and operations
  • Resources and supports
  • Partnerships

Since then, the Arts Council has taken a series of actions towards the implementation of the strategy. It has:

  • made available the policy and the full research report on the Arts Council website (Oct ’10)
  • launched and disseminated a pamphlet entitled Cultural Diversity and the Arts – Language and Meanings, which is intended as a resource to inform and enrich public discourse about culturally diverse interaction, collaboration and experimentation in the arts based on shared understandings of relevant terms; this is also available on the Arts Council website (Oct ’10)
  • introduced a two-year cultural diversity strand to the Local Partnership Scheme in order to foster intercultural capacity at local and national level through strategic collaboration among local authorities and with arts and non-arts organisations (first award made in July 2010 - Ongoing) and augmented by an annual information and networking event (piloted in May 2011)
  • initiated a cultural diversity audit on five selected Arts Council schemes on a pilot basis (2010 – 2012), with a view to informing a further review of all grants and awards (2012 – 2014); the schemes participating in the pilot audit include: the Artist in the Community Scheme; Deis Scheme; Small Festivals Scheme; Young Ensembles Scheme and the Local Partnership Scheme (Ongoing)
  • worked in partnership with other members of the CNCI ECO group to plan and deliver a national seminar on Social Inclusion and Cultural Diversity in Ireland’s Cultural Spaces, (Nov ’10) followed by a regional event in Kilkenny (Nov '11)
  • developed and advertised a brief for a Cultural Diversity Adviser to assist in the implementation of other aspects of the strategy (May 2012)
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Multi-domain