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'We need to get away from Celtic Tiger thinking' – Arts Council

The arts has “untapped potential”, supports almost 21,000 jobs in Ireland and has the potential to create more, the Arts Council has said.

THE ARTS SECTOR has untapped potential that the government is not taking advantage of because of its “narrow view” of economic stimulus packages, the Arts Council has said.

The Chairman of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, said the State needs to get away from “the Celtic Tiger thinking” which suggested the only stimulus jobs that can be created are in construction. Investing reserves in an imaginative way could reap “sustainable dividend” for Ireland, she said.

“Sometimes there is too traditional a view that what creates jobs quickly are construction projects only. This is narrow thinking. The arts has untapped potential, already supports almost 21,000 jobs and contributes significantly to the economy,” Moylan said at the Arts Council briefing on the arts sector today.

‘Ireland needs to be known for things other than tax and bad banks’

Moylan said arts sector jobs could create an unmatched dividend for Ireland in terms of global reputation:

In a global environment where Ireland needs to be known for things other than tax and bad banks, the arts give Ireland a glow and a competitive edge. The arts play a role in developing a flexible, creative and innovative workforce and are playing a part in the recovery with spin off industries like gaming which depends so much on creativity and artistic content.

The Exchequer granted aid totalling €59.865 million to the Arts Council this year and €63.24 million in grant in aid in 2012. Orlaith Mc Bride, Director of the Council, said that the measure of  ”endurance, courage and creativity of Irish arts organisations and artists is that despite the ever decreasing funding, the Council received almost 3,500 applications for its various award programmes”.

“This level of application shows the untapped potential of the sector if more funding was available. The risk of continuing cuts and limited investment funds is that great ideas are lost and access to great art is reduced. The arts have the potential to be central to a creative sector that could generate major economic activity and employment,” she said.

Read: 400 events promoting Irish arts organised across Europe for Ireland’s EU Presidency
Read: 24 breathtaking photos taken by Irish camera club members
Read: Sky Arts Ignition to invest €230,000 in an Irish arts organisation

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