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Monday 14th October 2002 at 1pm 0 Comments

Arts Minister, Michael McGimpsey MLA, today announced the allocation of a further £335,000 for the arts in Northern Ireland.

Making the announcement, the Minister said: "When originally allocating the resources available to me for the current financial year, I reserved some funds for the arts to target strategic objectives which are shared by my Department and by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

"These included encouraging creativity, developing an appreciation of our rich cultural diversity and promoting our arts both at home and abroad. I consider it very important to use our scarce resources to support particular initiatives which are best placed to help us to achieve these objectives and the funding I am now in a position to allocate will take us along that road."

Mr McGimpsey explained that this money would contribute to projects such as establishing a crafts development unit, consolidating the work undertaken by the Arts Council to promote creativity in education through its Early Years grants scheme and supporting showcase events which present a positive image of Northern Ireland on the international stage.

The Minister added: "Northern Ireland does not have an abundance of rich natural resources but it has something even more precious – its people. For such a small country, we have, over the years, produced world class performers in many different fields and the exponents of the arts have been no exception.

"The arts, in all their forms, have a significant contribution to make, not only to the Northern Ireland economy, but also to the quality of life throughout the whole community. We must therefore do all we can to uncover and nurture this talent and enable it to fulfil its potential."

This funding will be channelled to the individual initiatives through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The initiatives to be supported include:

  • The establishment of an independent crafts development unit.
  • The production of a public art handbook.
  • The consolidation of the Early Years scheme.
  • Support for showcase events which will promote arts internationally.
  • Research on the impact and contribution of the arts on our economic, social and cultural life.
  • A joint project by the Arts Council and the Community Relations Council to promote, through the arts, understanding, respect and tolerance in our society.


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