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Arts Council to meet three people who signed letter about bullying and harrassment in sector next week

Nearly 200 people signed an open letter to the Arts Council and the Department of Culture recently.

Image: Shutterstock/Kasin

THE ARTS COUNCIL has planned to meet three signatories of a letter regarding equality in the arts sector on 6 March.

The Arts Council of Ireland will be meeting with some of those who signed an open letter sent to the council and the Department of Culture alleging sexual harrassment, bullying and discrimination in the arts sector. 

A spokesperson for the Arts Council said the meeting was requested by those who signed the open letter.

“The purpose, from the Arts Council’s perspective, is to hear the concerns of the signatories and to clarify the role and work of the Arts Council. It is hoped the meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss areas of mutual interest and concern,” the spokesperson said. 

“The Arts Council occasionally receives complaints in relation to funded organisations and individuals; these are dealt with on a case by case basis by the Arts Council. It would be inappropriate to comment on any individual organisation or artist in the public domain.”

192 people signed an open letter to the Arts Council and the Department of Culture regarding alleged sexual harrassment, bullying and discrimination in the arts sector, the Irish Times reported yesterday.

The signatories said Arts Council funding should be withdrawn from organisations where harrassment is not addressed, the paper reported. 

The Arts Council in its conditions of funding says it expects recipients to avoid “any form of discriminatory practice”.

The council expects funded organisations to comply with all employment laws and seek to protect workers from all forms of bullying and harrassment. 

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said it “welcomes” the meeting between the Arts Council and those who signed the letter. 

“Everyone working in the arts sector is entitled to work in an atmosphere in which respect, dignity, fairness and equality are the norm,” the department said in a statement. 

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