Northern Ireland's arts scene gets a boost

23 October 2002, United Kingdom

Northern Ireland's Arts Minister, Michael McGimpsey, has recently announced the allocation of a further £335,000 for the arts in Northern Ireland, to be channelled through individual initiatives of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Making the announcement, the Minister said that the funds would help to support strategic objectives shared by the Department and by the Arts Council. 'These include encouraging creativity, developing an appreciation for our rich cultural diversity and promoting our arts both at home and abroad,' he said. The extra funds will contribute to projects such as establishing a crafts development unit, consolidating the work undertaken by the Arts Council to promote creativity in education through its Early Years grants scheme and supporting showcase events which present a positive image of Northern Ireland on the international stage. 'Northern Ireland does not have an abundance of rich natural resources but it has something even more precious – its people. For such a small country, we have, over the years, produced world class performers in many different fields and the exponents of the arts have been no exception,' McGimpsey added. The initiatives to be supported include:
  • The establishment of an independent crafts development unit.
  • The production of a public art handbook.
  • The consolidation of the Early Years scheme.
  • Support for showcase events which will promote local arts internationally.
  • Research on the impact and contribution of the arts on Northern Ireland's economic, social and cultural life.
  • A joint project by the Arts Council and the Community Relations Council to promote, through the arts, understanding, respect and tolerance in society.