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Dear ,

The last few days have been challenging for those of us who value the arts.  We have seen one of our most highly regarded cultural institutions used as a pawn in a political process.  Moreover, we have seen just how little this government respects and values the arts.

We want transparency and good governance

One of the key goals of the NCFA is to achieve transparency in arts funding and in departmental decision-making in particular.  We demand the development and use of published criteria and call for good governance in the arts.

In 2011 we fought hard on the matter of board independence and the institutional autonomy of national cultural boards in defiance of the proposed amalgamation.

The appointment of McNulty to the IMMA board flew in the face of any transparency at all regarding arts decision-making and of good governance.  It was both exploitative and disrespectful of the arts. 

We want to protect autonomy and independence

Yesterday, as John McNulty withdrew his candidacy, the arts agenda moved on.  The general scheme of the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill was up for pre-legislative scrutiny by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht.  We believe it includes a number of significant changes from previous NCI legislation which could affect the NCH's autonomy and independence.  We'll be keeping an eye on this.

How can you help

In light of the above we are asking our members and supporters to do three things:

  1. to row in behind stated government policy, as reiterated by Tánaiste Joan Burton, to ensure all board appointments are advertised and come about via the Commission for Public Service Appointments.
  2. to call for the withdrawal of the proposed National Concert Hall legislation affecting governance because it will pave the way for the dramatically reduced independence of all our National Cultural Institutions.
  3. to write to Minister Heather Humphreys and demand that she stand up for the arts and protect the arts budget. The Department's Arts, Culture and Film allocation was cut by 8% last year, with the Arts Council's budget allocation decimated by cuts of more than a third (34%) since 2008.

Find your TD

If you are not sure who your local TD is, click here to find out.

Act now

Please act now.  If we don't value the arts and demand the respect they deserve, we have only ourselves to blame when the arts and our artists are once again overlooked or exploited for political gain.

Help us to help you

As you can see, the spirit and purpose of the NCFA remains strong and clear.  However, our financial resources are very low.  Donate whatever you can today to help us work on your behalf to ensure the arts for tomorrow.

With thanks,

Valerie Connor