The Arts Council is the national agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland.
Under Section 24 (2) of the Arts Act, the Council is independent in its funding decisions and its core functions are set out under the Arts Act 2003 and are listed as follows:
- stimulate public interest in the arts
- promote knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts;
- assist in improving standards in the arts;
- advise the Minister and other public bodies on the arts.
In September 2015, the Arts Council published its ten-year strategy, Making Great Art Work , in which it sets out how it will lead the development of the arts in Ireland over the decade. The strategy has five priority areas: The Artist; Public Engagement; Investment Strategy; Spatial and Demographic Planning and Developing Capacity
Making Great Art Work is being implemented through a series of three three-year plans starting in 2017. The first of these, the Three-Year Plan 2017–2019 describes the investment strategies, projects and programmers that the Council prioritises during 2017–2019 and sets out the achievements and milestones over this period. I understand that the second three-year plan (2020- 2022) is in the course of preparation and should be published in due course.
Central to the ten year strategy and the three year plan are aims and objectives to ensure the future growth and sustainability of the arts sector. My Department is also working with the Arts Council to ensure that capital investment in arts infrastructure is strategic and sustainable.