On Thursday morning in the Projects Art Centre the NCFA Ireland @Campaign4Arts held a well attended meeting at which Brian Sheehan of the Yes Equality Campaign and Hannah Bird of the Whatnext4arts campaign from London both spoke. In the case of Brian Sheehan it was the stratagems that were used over many years of altering Irish people’s perceptions of LGBT people since decriminalisation in 1991 and in particular what were the messages used in the Yes equality campaign. He explained the reasons for those messages and the reasons why other messages were not used. In the case of Hannah it was how in the United Kingdom since 2012 they have been building a movement across the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) to get the message to local communities and to politicians and other policy makers that the arts matter. She explained some of the successes but also importantly in some instances what has not worked. The event was recorded and can be seen here!
Tom Creed told the meeting in the Question and Answers session at the end there is now a group functioning in all but 6 of the electoral constituencies. What is needed is for people to get involved so that the importance of the arts becomes a given in all parts of Irish society but most importantly permeates the thinking and actions of policy makers.
What Next clearly wishes to make this current determination amongst certain members of the arts community spread far and wide. Anyone interested should watch the video, go to the website or the twitter page for NCFA Ireland @Campaign4Arts