Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 21, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate






Truthdig Bazaar
Beyond the Revolution

Beyond the Revolution

By William H. Goetzmann
$23.10

more items

 
Arts and Culture

Ireland’s Troubled Embrace With the Arts

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Feb 1, 2014

    The Abbey Theatre in the capital of Dublin is Ireland's national theater. bjaglin (CC BY 2.0)

The infrastructure built to support the arts during the economic boom has been pinched by the subsequent crisis for five long years. Gerry Godley, director of Improvised Music Company, acquaints outsiders with the official stumbling and staggering with a comment in The Irish Times.

Godley writes:

In its infancy, 2014 brings compelling evidence of how deep the rot is. Sadly for the Government, there can be no reset button for a [blunder] on the scale that unfolded in Limerick last month: €6 million is quite a tariff when viewed against the relentless deterioration in funding and influence of pivotal agencies such as the Arts Council and Culture Ireland, the bitter harvest of which we are now beginning to truly reap.

How did this happen? When I first became active in the arts, in the mid 1990s, there was a construction boom of sorts. What we were building was sectoral capacity: limited companies, with strong boards, reporting structures, expertise and people. The armature of a cultural sector built to last, the outcome of a long consultative process, distilled into ambitious policy documents. Not everyone agreed, not all of it got delivered, but all acknowledged that the process that drove it was robust and comprehensive.

Now we are taking that edifice down, one stealthy budget at a time, and arts policy is the love that dare not speak its name. Our sector lacks direction and leadership, flapping in the headwinds of an existential crisis. There is a cognitive dissonance between the cultural pieties and the reality. At every opportunity we proclaim the arts’ potency as an agent of change. We assert the artist’s right to speak truth to power. Our politicians intone the names of the artistic dead and the societal change they forged.

But two years out from a certain commemoration, it’s hard to identify a constituency as politically captured, as timorous, as the funded arts sector, either those supported through the Arts Council or those further up the food chain, such as the national cultural institutions.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook