Arts & the Economy Debate
By Caroline Brady
The burning topic of the Arts and the Economy, the Irish Pen debate exploring the role and vital contribution of the Irish arts to the national economy, had rebellious attendees out in their droves on April 15th 2010 at the United Arts Club.
A panel of experts, Aidan Burke, Operations Director with the Arts Council, Claire Doody, Project Manager for the Cultural Odyssey Project, set up by Dermot Desmond following the Irish Economic Forum in Farmleigh, Gerry Godley, Director of the Improvised Jazz Company, broadcaster and spokesperson for the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA), Declan Kiberd, literary critic and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin, Arthur Lappin, Film and Television Producer, In America, My Left Foot, The Field and Some Mother’s Son and a packed audience discussed the topic.
The debate was attended by journalists, directors, writers, civil servants and students. Arguments mooted were whether the Arts should be an agent for change and whether the time for lobbying is over and direct action required.
Voices filled the packed room until well after 10.30 pm when everyone then adjourned to the bar to continue deliberations on the value of the arts to Ireland’s economic and social recovery.