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Dear ,

In this our final newsletter of 2014 we look forward to what we can achieve, with your help, in 2015 and review some highlights of our work this year.  We also welcome some new people on board and bid farewell and thanks to others.

2015: our priorities

We have a clear set of priorities for 2015. Namely:

  • to meet and engage with key individuals including the Minister and those within her department, the Arts Council and other decision makers and influencers who will have a role in the development of a national cultural policy.  We want to make sure that the policy is cogent, informed and appropriately ambitious.
  • to advocate for an investment in research so we can build an evidence base for the arts and move beyond the inappropriate and one dimensional economic metrics that have defined us to date
  • to advance the idea of a Republic of Culture and the value of the arts through a nationwide campaign that will explore what a Republic of Culture means: what would it look like and feel like if culture was truly at the heart of who we are as a nation

2015: meeting the Arts Council

We have also secured a meeting with the Arts Council in January. Orlaith McBride, Martin Drury, Toby Dennett and Monica Corcoran will meet us to discuss the Colloquia report and explore how we can further our research agenda for evidence based policy.

2015: new members

We’re delighted to report that we have a number of new Steering and Working group members who will be supporting us in 2015.  Madeline Boughton, former Head of Programmes with Culture Ireland, has joined the Steering Group.  Kate O’Sullivan from Project Arts Centre has also joined the Campaigns Working Group.  We bid farewell to Gerry Godley and Niamh O’Donnell, who we hugely thank for their contribution to the work of the NCFA.

If you are interested in helping out at a national or local level, please let us know.  We’ve bold ambitions for our Republic of Culture campaign.

2014: highlights of activity

It’s probably fair to say that for a volunteer-led campaign, with a small cohort of workers, we punch well above our weight.  We’ve had some significant achievements this year, namely:

  • We commissioned a national poll by RedC to determine public support for local arts spending as part of our local elections campaign;
  • We conducted a comprehensive email letter writing campaign for the local and European elections to draw attention to the importance of the local arts spending and EU culture programmes and policy;
  • We published the Colloquia on Research report making 9 recommendations: 6 proposals for local and national research projects and 3 large-scale national studies;
  • We attended Seanad and Joint Committee debates on the arts;
  • We participated or contributed to national and international conferences and debates on the value of the arts;
  • We provided consistent commentary on the arts and related issues and saw a surge of interest this year in our social media content.

€2 million more for the arts

We welcome the news that the Minister will make an additional €2 million available through the Arts Council for arts activities in support of the 2016 programme.  What a shame we have to have a special event to realise extra funding for the arts.  When will the arts, alive and at work in our society, be recognized in their own right for everyone’s sake, and afforded appropriate ‘core’ funding?

€2 per month

As you know, we get things done on the slimmest of shoestrings and achieve so much through the generosity, goodwill and dedication of a lot of people.  But, there comes a time when good old-fashioned money is required. Not much.  But enough so we can keep going…

So ... if you want the NCFA to keep going on your behalf in 2015, please donate what you can today. How about €2 per month? Or €24 a year.  Ah go on… it’s Christmas after all! Donate here

With every best wish for a Happy Christmas and a bright New Year.

Valerie Connor