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Stormont arts support under the spotlight at The Mac

27th March 2022
As the Assembly election campaign gathers pace, the MAC is putting the spotlight on how Stormont supports the arts in a Question Time event next Thursday which will feature all the main political parties. The event will be chaired by former journalist and screenwriter Declan Lawn and will include representatives from the Alliance Party, UUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the DUP. 

Áine McVerry from the MAC explained why arts funding should be an election issue. 

"Over the last two years the arts and culture sector here has suffered enormously from the sudden closure in March 2020 through the public health restrictions which followed to the slow, safe and carefully managed reopening. Many individuals and arts organisations have been hanging by a thread during this period. 

"But it is important to keep in mind that prior to Covid, the arts in Northern Ireland were systematically de funded throughout the period of devolution. Government investment in the Arts here has fallen by 30% in cash terms over the last decade, from £14.1m to £9.5m. Northern Ireland has the lowest levels of per capita Government spending on the Arts when compared with the other UK regions and the Republic of Ireland, and the disparity of funding continues to grow.

"We are determined to make the Arts an election issue. In this pre-election period, we are pleased that the political parties have agreed to put their case for the arts and take questions from those who work in the sector as well as those who value the arts in Northern Ireland as customers, visitors and participants.”

Admission to the MAC QT event is free but booking is essential at https://themaclive.com/event/mac-qt-do-the-arts-matter-to-stormont. To submit a question in advance email tickets@themaclive.com with the subject line "MAC QT Question Submission” including your name and relevant details.

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