Artists, musicians, writers, members of cultural and creative community organisations, and government agencies North and South will come together in Mandela Hall in Belfast to discuss shared challenges and opportunities facing the arts and cultural sector across the island.
Arts and Culture on a Shared Island is the twelfth event in the Shared Island Dialogue series, which aims to foster constructive and inclusive civic dialogue with all communities and traditions on a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. and Northern Ireland Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey MLA will address the event, which is the first Dialogue held in Belfast and with participation by the Ministers with responsibility for Arts and Culture, North and South.
Speaking ahead of the Dialogue, Minister Martin said, “Arts and Culture – in all forms and traditions – has played a major role in peacebuilding over the last 25 years. So many artists are gifted with a unique capacity to convey different experiences, emotions and perspectives, and shape how we see, hear and relate to each other.”
“I am deeply conscious that the sector has faced extremely difficult times over the past two years as the pandemic brought the cultural sector to a standstill overnight, and it remains a significant disrupter to the industry, North and South. Out of adversity comes great strength, and there are new and exciting opportunities to collaborate, exchange and interact across the island of Ireland. This Dialogue will hear from arts and culture pioneers and practitioners, North and South, on how best we take up these exciting opportunities for our shared island in the years ahead.”
Northern Ireland Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey MLA, said, “I am pleased to see the city of Belfast hosting the ongoing conversation exploring ways to support, encourage and build the arts and culture sectors across the island. This is about forging partnerships, developing investment opportunities and enhancing creative networks.”
“There is really interesting and creative work taking place in collaborative projects across literature, language, dance and film involving a wide range of organisations including museums and archives, and we have an important space here to learn and share, to see if our collaborative links can be developed further. Our arts and culture sector is a rich resource for everyone. My Department is committed to supporting initiatives which help it to grow and flourish.”
A panel discussion on Challenges and Opportunities on a Shared Island will hear from artists and arts organisations looking at the North/South and East/West cooperation and collaboration, and hear institutional perspectives on challenges and opportunities in supporting and promoting artists and arts organisations.
A second panel discussion on Building Cultural and Creative Communities will focus on sharing good practice and learning in building cultural and creative communities, with particular attention from a community and voluntary sector point of view.