Irish Examiner View: Support for artists vital

Culture Night celebrations
Irish Examiner View: Support for artists vital

Ambassador and local Playwright Cónal Creedon and Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh launching this year’s 60+ virtual, physical and hybrid events, connecting the people of Cork city through Culture. Picture: Darragh Kane

It is a tribute to the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of Irish artists that Culture Night will return for its 15th year tonight, with hundreds of online and safe offline events programmed all around the country.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the culture show will still go on. And what a show it promises to be with a dizzying array of performances – from dance, theatre and live-streamed orchestra to poetry trails and online rap – taking place from 4pm today.

This year, perhaps more than any other, Culture Night provides us with the opportunity to take stock of the importance of art and culture in our daily lives. 

It entertains, informs, provokes, challenges and makes sense of the world around us. It got us through the months of lockdown and will continue to help us navigate our new reality, even if those who provide it are under increasing pressure.

The sector, with its 55,000-plus artists, is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Cultural venues and events were among the first to be closed or cancelled and, as social distancing and restrictions remain in place, performances, festivals and concerts will be the last to return.

The Government package of €25m to the arts sector earlier this year was welcome but, as the National Campaign for the Arts has said in its pre-Budget submission, it must also create a robust future road map for investment in arts and culture if they are to survive.

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