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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 21, 2008 @ 10:52 am

    Who should chair the Arts Council?

    Fiona McCann

    Today’s editorial (read it here) points to the lengthy delay in appointing a new chair for the Arts Council to replace Olive Braiden, former director of the Rape Crisis Centre, who held the post for five years. “The Minister has had plenty of time to consider the vacancies and seek replacements.” Any suggestions to assist him in making this decision? Any takers?

    • The Minister should get to this promptly. Why does everything have to take so long in this Country? Other than taking the medical cards from OAPs. That was seen to very quickly

    • Suzy Byrne says:

      Comment left on my blog suggests Bill Cullen is in the running for the post. I’ll leave that with you Fiona!

    • James says:

      Someone who has lived and worked through tough times for Irish art and fought hard for people…

      Des Geraghty?
      Theo Dorgan?
      David Norris?

    • paul m says:

      Having put numerous applications into the arts council/film board myself it would be good to get someone who knew how to start to remove a lot of the redtape and top heavy administrated departments that the people for whom the arts council is there find utterly frustrating and costly.

      Bill Cullen might be a good option as a man who clearly doesnt suffer fools lightly and prefers to cut to the chase, however someone with a clear understanding of the value of the arts and ability to fight to retain and increase its funding would also be a worthy chairperson.

      some things they should bear in mind is to revamp the applications process – i cannot fathom why in this day and age we cant send in pdf’s to departments instead of costly postage, often in triplicate to adjucation panels. And possibly consider moving the department from its costly location on merrion square to a more modest office space to reflect a commitment to giving more to the arts and less to administration overheads.

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Ann – it’s amazing what can be done quickly when there’s a political expedient involved.

      Suzy – heard the Bill Cullen rumours, although I saw in Artscape this week that he was more or less ruling it out. . .

      James – some great suggestions there. Would you ever have a word with the Minister?

      Paul M – how much easier it would be if applications didn’t have to printed out in hard copy. It certainly adds to the labour and costs of making them, which doesn’t help struggling artists, though I suspect it weeds out the uncommitted fairly lively.

    • m says:

      I’m not sure that a slimmed down application is in an artist’s interests. Supporting materials can really help make a case for a grant or bursary. Without it is nearly impossible to get a sense of a project from just a written proposal.

      As far council members and chairperson It needs to be someone who can lobby effectively and who understands the sector.
      - Des Geraghty would be good
      - What about Sean Love or Roddy Doyle?
      - John Kelly?
      - Barbara Dawson?

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