It’s Not Just About Money And Economics
It seemed like every paid up member of Kilkenny’s arts community was in attendance yesterday for the National Campaign For The Arts event yesterday afternoon.
Entitled It’s Not Just About Money And Economics it focused on the threats to our cultural heritage as we enter into a decade of centenary events that lead up to anniversary of the foundation of our state. NCFA committee member Fiach Mac Conghail and historian Diarmaid Ferriter were introduced by local NCFA member Vincent Dempsey.
They proceeded to talk at length about the treatment of commemorative times in Ireland in the past and what mistakes have been made in handling landmark anniversaries in our recent history. Both men also spoke passionately about the need for safeguarding our cultural institutions at a time when the government are looking to abolish certain key cultural organisations.
They also took a look at the role of today’s Irish artists in approaching the centenary celebrations and how they can interpret those milestone events in a way difference from their predecessors a hundred years ago. Ferriter questioned if the current generation will be able to come up with new dramatic interpretations of centenary events. Mac Conghail stated in response that today’s artists aren’t as engaged with the building (or rebuilding) or the state as they were 100 years ago. That’s the gauntlet laid down for sure.
The floor was opened up for comments and questions which both men answered for a further 20 minutes or so. All in all the event did a great job of highlighting the need to preserve our cultural heritage whilst also galvanising the arts community to fight their corner in the face of austerity.