Strategy for Cultural Diversity and the Arts

A strategy for cultural diversity and the arts was launched in September 2010.

In Partnership for the Arts: Arts Council Goals (2006 – 2010), the Arts Council named ‘diversity’ as a core value that would shape its work over the lifetime of the strategy. In this context, ‘diversity’ included diversity of arts practice; the range of ways in which artists make work; the range of ways in which people experience the arts; and the increasing cultural diversity of our society.

In addressing this last aspect of diversity, the Arts Council and the Office of the Minister for Integration*/ National Action Plan against Racism (NPAR) entered into partnership in 2007 in order to carry out a significant research project Cultural Diversity and the Arts. The purpose of this research was to inform the development of a policy and action plan through which the Arts Council would support culturally diverse practice into the future.

The Arts Council engaged Create - the national development agency for collaborative arts - to manage the extensive research and consultation phases which combined national and international desk research, consultation, analysis, and delivery of a report and recommendations. The research process took place throughout 2008 and the final report was submitted to the Arts Council in 2009.

The Arts Council is also taking three strategic initiatives in order to support the arts sector to increase its competence and build its capacity for culturally diverse work. These include:

- The publication of a pamphlet entitled Cultural Diversity and the Arts – Language and Meanings, as a resource for the arts sector and diverse publics, and to inform and enrich public discourse about culturally diverse interaction, collaboration and experimentation in the arts, based on shared understandings of relevant terms.
    - The introduction of a specific cultural diversity strand to the Local Partnership Scheme in order to foster intercultural capacity at local and national level through strategic collaboration among local authorities and with arts and non-arts organisations.
      - The piloting of a cultural diversity audit on selected Arts Council schemes including the Artist in the Community Scheme; Deis Scheme; Small Festivals Scheme; Young Ensembles Scheme and the Local Partnership Scheme.

      *NOTE: The Office of the Minister for Integration is now the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration

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