We were delighted with a great turn-out by arts workers and supporters in Sligo and Leitrim today for our National Day of Action at The Model for this year’s National Campaign for the Arts.
We invited local elected representatives to attend and we are very grateful to Dr Jimmy Devins, TD for coming to meet with over seventy people who attended the event.
Director / Curator at The Model Seamus Kealy, led the address, followed by contributions from artist Grace Weir, Eddie Lee of Sligo Jazz project and a supportive response from Dr Jimmy Devins, TD.
Thank-you all for showing your support.
Extracts from Seamus Kealy’s address are below:
“Sligo and Leitrim have the highest concentration of artists and arts workers per capita in the country. The evidence of this is in the unique cultural environment we have here in the West, an abundance of creative activity and a particular lifestyle that is envied not only in Ireland but around the world.
The arts are the core to a nation’s identity – and Irish indentity is notorious world-wide. It is not our bankers, bureaucrats or businessmen who capture the imagination of people in Africa, Australia or Arizona, it has been and continues to be Irish culture.
One can also make the case that the arts burgeon the economy. We know that for every euro invested in arts funding, several euros are generated in spin-off activities.
We may be angry and cynical today about the rationale behind recent political decision-making in Ireland, which has shown faith in capitalism right as capitalism has let the world down. we need to direct this anger into a message that supports the value of people and culture: cutting arts funding is hemorrhaging Irish culture and Ireland’s future.
For the arts are no simply paintings on walls, concerts, actors bellowing from the stage – the arts are a profound, indefinable array of everything that defines us. The arts are the fabric of a people.”