In Focus – 2017

Places Matter: What happens when we invest in the arts?

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This inaugural national conference was the first in a planned biennial series being held under the auspices of the new Arts Council / Local Government agreement A Framework for Collaboration (PDF, 1.5MB). The conference addressed the societal benefits from state expenditure on the arts and explored the role of the arts in building cohesive and sustainable communities. Following the centenary year, when cultural expression and citizenship were critical to the national response and programming of the commemorations, the conference placed our cultural future at the heart of its focus.

The conference included key note presentations on cultural value from Prof Geoffrey Crossick and Prof John O’Hagan and contributions from Dr Emer Smyth, Head of Social Research at the ESRI, Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO and Diarmaid Lawlor, Head of Urbanism, at Architecture and Design, Scotland. The conference was chaired by Dr Frances Ruane, an Irish academic economist and former director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin, Ireland 2006−2015. Case studies that demonstrate what happens when we invest in the arts provided an inspirational feature of the conference and Emmet Kirwan, actor, writer and social observer contributed in his own inimitable style, with a performance that went viral on social media.

Conference papers

Presentations from the day are now available to download from http://www.artscouncil.ie/Places-Matter/. Audio recordings of the presentations are also available to allow you to listen back to presentations and discussions of the day. Clicking on the audio link will bring you to the Arts Council Soundcloud site.

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