The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has affirmed its commitment to ensuring fair access to the arts for all with the publication of two new documents – the Disability Action Plan and the Equality Action Plan.
The plans have been produced following wide spread consultation with arts and cultural organisations, individual artists and members of the public.
The documents set out a range of measures the Arts Council will take to encourage increased access and participation in the arts, as well as enhance the role the arts can play in creating a move towards a fairer and more inclusive society. These include the continuation of the Arts and OIder People’s Programme, to address issues of isolation and loneliness amongst people over the age of 55, and the Articulate Programme, which supports artists to work with young people to improve emotional, physical and social wellbeing.
The papers also outline a range of new measures including: a new lending programme to place artworks in schools; a Premium Payments Programme, to help arts organisations remove barriers to engagement by disabled people; and a commitment to enable greater participation by disabled people in policy-making groups, to better reflect the needs of underrepresented audiences and participants.
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
“The Arts Council welcomes and recognises the increasing diversity within our society and the important role arts and culture can play in expressing and celebrating this.
“The two plans published today outline some of the steps we need to take to foster a culture of inclusion across all areas of the arts and our ongoing commitment, using the arts as a vehicle for social development change, to promote positive attitudes towards marginalised groups, as we move towards a fairer, more inclusive and caring society.”
Damien Coyle, Chair, University of Atypical, added:
“University of Atypical recognises the importance of these two plans and commends the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in developing them; they should be seen as key drivers in the work undertaken by all arts organisations. Through the Disability Action Plan and the Equality Action Plans, we identify a synergy with the work we undertake through our Arts & Disability Equality Charter – a combined approach in creating frameworks for equality and inclusivity that can be embraced by all.”
To download a copy of the Disability Action Plan and the Equality Action Plan, go to: http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/arts-council-publishes-disability-and-equality-action-plan-2019-24