Arts And Culture Arts And Culture

Thursday 25th & Friday 26th November 2010
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at
the University of Limerick.


In 1985 the first County Arts Officer was appointed to Clare County Council. This marked the beginning of a new relationship between the Arts Council and Local Authorities in promoting and developing the arts at local level. The national landscape of arts provision has been transformed in the intervening 25 years, and local authorities redefined as key arts and cultural development agencies at local level.

To mark this 25 year partnership, and under the auspices of our relationship with the County and City Managers Association, the  Arts Council and the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers are together organising a conference on local arts development. With guest national and international speakers, the conference will explore the role of the arts and culture in achieving local economic and social development objectives, and how we can unlock the potential of future integrated planning in these areas.

Our invited key note speaker Jon Hawkes, a cultural analyst and one of Australia’s leading commentators on cultural policy, wrote The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture’s Essential Role in Public Planning in 2001. In it he addresses the need for a cultural perspective in public planning and policy by proposing practical measures for integration. In order for public planning to be more effective, Hawkes argues that government must develop a framework that evaluates the cultural impacts of environmental, economic, and social decisions and plans currently being implemented in cities and communities. His four-pillar model recognizes that a community’s vitality and quality of life is closely related to the vitality and quality of its cultural engagement, expression, dialogue, and celebration. His model further demonstrates that the contribution of culture to building lively cities and communities where people want to live, work, and visit plays a major role in supporting social and economic health. What is now known as 'fourth pillar' thinking has been gaining substantial currency in policy and planning initiatives in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

We are delighted to present well-known journalist and broadcaster Olivia O'Leary as conference Chair. Olivia will lead three teams of panellists and our audience in a day of discussions focusing on three key themes:

  • Local Arts and Area Development –Intervention & Strategy
  • Local Arts and Cultural Planning - Infrastructure and Sustainability
  • Local Arts and the Creative Economy

This conference is aimed at key policy makers such as City and County Managers, senior local authority and enterprise officials as well as local public representatives and providers in the arts and cultural field.  Incorporating a live recording of RTE’s Sunday Miscellany, the conference will also offer an opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved over the past 25 years of local arts development.

5  x  5

As part of the 25:25 Local Arts Development Conference, 5 pieces of work were commissioned around the theme of local arts.  The first of these, a commemorative/ celebratory DVD from Samhain Films will be screened at the conference.  The other 4 new works will be presented by the artists during the course of the conference. Participating artists are : Rionach Ni Neill; Andrew Duggan; John Byrne and Laura Fitzgerald.





Venue Partners:

  • The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick

Proudly Supported By:

Contact: The Conference Office | Unit 9 Parklands House | Southern Cross | Bray | Co. Wicklow +353 1 2844761 or email