I propose to take Questions Nos. 613, 621 and 626 together.
Under the Arts Act 2003, primary responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels throughout the country is devolved to the Arts Council. The Arts Council is the main channel of the State's current expenditure on the arts and will receive over €60 million in 2016.
The Arts Council’s ten-year strategy Making Great Art Work (2016-2025) set outs how it will lead the development of all aspects of the arts in Ireland over the next decade. Making Great Art Work places specific emphasis on the need to plan and provide for children and young people. The five high level values of the Strategy include a comment to excellence as well as respect for diversity of artistic practice, of public engagement, and of social and cultural traditions. The strategy also commits to working to achieve full implementation of the Arts in Education Charter.
The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to the publication of Culture 2025 as a priority and I intend to submit the draft policy to Government for consideration in the coming weeks. This first such policy will be a living document and will form the basis of an on-going dialogue with all who are interested in cultural policy. Both the new Arts Council Strategy and the evolving Culture 2025 policy provide platforms to deepen engagement across all the sectors referred to in the questions.