This agreement, "A Framework for Collaboration", will enable the Arts Council and Local Authorities to develop a more streamlined and consistent approach to funding the arts based on key principles of arts development, public engagement and spatial planning. It will also allow the Arts Council and Local Authorities to set targeted outcomes where it will be able to measure the impact of this relationship and see increased levels of public engagement and participation.
The Arts Council/ Local Government partnership over the years has been an excellent model of public service partnership and is set to continue and deepen with the launch of this ten year agreement. Local government in Ireland has undergone a considerable reform and modernisation process in the past decade and arts and culture have become firmly embedded within that process.
Speaking about A Framework for Collaboration, Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said: “This new agreement with Local Authorities will help boost cultural democracy by further enlivening local communities with better access to the arts. The Arts Council is deeply committed to this agreement and that is reflected in our new strategy Making Great Art Work where our partnership with local government is embedded throughout. Over the past few years we have focused on making our partnership with local government much more strategic and mutually beneficial. We view our local government partners as the most significant developer of the arts locally in Ireland. We want to now focus our efforts to ensure the future direction of the arts is shaped by the kinds of thinking, planning and management behaviours which will serve us all best.”
Pat Gallagher, Chairman of the County and City Management Association, and Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council said, “Today, we warmly welcome the launch of this new agreement, A Framework for Collaboration, which will help us to work together with the arts sector in a more strategic way. Local Government in Ireland places a high value on development in the arts – we see it as a core component of creating vibrant and sustainable communities all over the country. We look forward to this new agreement, under which we will plan, engage and measure our activity in a more structured way together with our partners in the Arts Council.”