Arts and culture is "not a novelty or nicety but an intrinsic part of Galway life" and "is worth millions to Galway’s economy", according to one TD, who is demanding the establishment of an arts capital fund for the city.
Labour's Galway West TD Derek Nolan has said the arts and culture sphere in Galway "must benefit from the economic recovery taking place", and particularly in light of the city's shortlisting for the 2020 European Capital of Culture status. "That the business community agreed to pay higher rates to support the bid is a testament to that positive support," he said.
Dep Nolan is now calling for an arts capital fund, similar to the sports capital funds, to allow local arts and cultural groups to develop facilities and public arts spaces open to all; the development of a comprehensive and inclusive cultural policy that views arts and culture as "intrinsic" to Galway life; and reform, through a commitment to increased funding, of the Department of Arts and Culture, to expand its key role to encompass areas like health, education, community, and innovation.
"We must maintain and develop Galway’s unique cultural offering," said Dep Nolan. "Arts and cultural is worth millions to Galway’s economy. Support is widespread as has been seen by the amazing positivity of the Capital of Culture bid and the public reaction to it. In order for the arts and culture to play a longer term role in a better Galway society, that energy must be harnessed through a broader understanding of arts and culture, and a funding commitment that recognises quality of life and the human experience, alongside economic outputs."