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Wednesday 1st December 1999 at 12pm 0 Comments


The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon is to carry out a major review of the performing arts infrastructure in Ireland in close co-operation with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The review, which will be led by Phelim Donlon, former Drama Officer and Acting Development Director and one of the Arts Council’s longest serving officers, will take two years. The first exercise of its kind, the review is expected to make a major contribution to both Arts Councils’ policy-making in areas such as venue provision for the performing arts and decisions in the future about appropriate supports for touring music, theatre, opera and dance throughout the island of Ireland.

The review will have three distinct elements:

  1. The preparation of a benchmark relational database of information about performance and rehearsal venues for the performing arts in Ireland, capable of being regularly updated so as to provide accurate topical information to both Arts Councils.
  2. The development of an integrated system of financial planning, to help the Arts Councils to provide appropriate funding and other supports to enhance the programming capability of venue managers on the one hand, and optimise the touring efficiency of dance, theatre, music and opera production companies on the other.
  3. The provision of advice to both Councils in support of better long-term capital planning for the arts in the future.

"We are delighted to announce this new initiative which we believe will result in the creation of a system regulating standards in performing arts venues in terms of theatre, opera, dance and music, and which will strengthen considerably the fabric of the arts at local level" said Arts Council Chairman, Brian Farrell.

"The arts in Ireland are enjoying a period of unprecedented growth and development. It is crucial that we find ways of ensuring that there is an adequate infrastructure to helps sustain and foster that growth," Mr Farrell said.

"We need to improve our level of knowledge about the state of venues throughout Ireland," said Brian Walker, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. "Touring has become an increasingly island-wide activity and it is important that we have equal information about all the venues that receive touring artists from all parts of the country."


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