The Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, which has played such a vibrant role in the county since opening in the late 1990s, is among a group of theatres and centres around the country appealing for support as the country emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Before and during this pandemic, it is the arts that have kept us company, been an escape, a voice, a release, a hope,” they said in a statement this week.
“As the country emerges from the pandemic and businesses attempt to return to trading or pivot to alternative offerings in a physically limited new world, the arts and culture sector will be the very last to recover in any meaningful way.
“Venues, artists, arts workers and arts organisations need the support of the public now. We must keep the arts on the national agenda while we move towards Government formation and Programme for Government.
“We at Dunamaise Arts Centre are asking our customers and the general public for your support to help give the arts a voice with these 3 actions:
- Tell your TD how important the arts are to you.
- Are you an arts fan? We need your voice to help us survive! Add your voice to the campaign by sharing the #SAVETHEARTS video on social media.
- Tell your friends and family about how important the arts are to you and ask them to do points one and two above.
Michelle de Forge, Director of Dunamaise Arts Centre said: “We’re keeping seats warm and working in the wings and very much look forward to welcoming our customers back into Dunamaise to enjoy all the arts have to offer.
“We are working hard to make our venue safe in order to be able to do so and will take every measure to ensure the safety of our staff, artists and audiences”.
Dunamaise Arts Centre is currently closed but has a virtual programme of events online and is supporting two artist workshops for Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday 13 June.
Full details of all events can be seen on www.dunamaise.ie/at-home .
Theatres and Arts Centres across the country have come together to show support for the National Arts Recovery Plan published last week by the NCFA (National Campaign for the Arts) and the #savethearts campaign.
“How we will address the severe challenges posed by social distancing and huge losses in revenue will require close collaboration with our artists, arts workers and audiences as well as The Arts Council, Local Authorities and Government partners,” they added.
“With investment from the Government and Arts Council, as outlined in the National Arts Recovery Plan:
“We can put in place the vast measures required to reopen our theatres and arts centres as safe workplaces for staff teams, artists and arts workers and ultimately as safe places to visit for our audiences.
“We can develop and deliver alternative programmes to continue our engagement with artists, arts workers and audiences.
“We can introduce opportunities to work with artists in new ways, making our spaces available for creativity and development.
“The Covid-19 crisis has affected everyone. The financial impact is devastating. It is crucial that we protect our arts sector and ensure the years of investment, experience, and artist support infrastructure are not lost.”
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