Culture Ireland to continue with virtual events after Covid

New strategy pledges plan to ensure inclusion of artists from underrepresented sectors

A new strategy to promote Irish culture internationally will see enhanced supports for online events even as the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

In its strategy for 2022-2025, published on Wednesday, Culture Ireland said recent changes in the global arts world brought about by the pandemic "impacted massively" on the nature of international engagement by artists.

“At this time the importance of connecting and sharing experiences with each other became more apparent than ever,” it said.

“It has increased the need for Culture Ireland to be flexible and able to adapt swiftly to evolving international circumstances.

“In 2020, for the first time, Culture Ireland supported digital presentations. We aim to enhance our support for virtual engagement in the future, while recognising that the unique first-hand physical experience of the arts cannot be replicated.”

Culture Ireland promotes Irish arts worldwide. Its remit is to create and support opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues.

Minister for Culture Catherine Martin said the pandemic "shook many of our norms and especially rocked plans for international engagement by artists".

“Culture Ireland rapidly adapted to support artists to present virtually and its new strategy allows for regular review to ensure that it responsive to changing circumstances,” she added.

The new strategy also includes fostering partnerships and putting equality, diversity and inclusivity and environmental sustainability “at the centre” of its decision-making process.

It said it would develop a plan to ensure the inclusion of artists from underrepresented sectors of society, including new communities, as well as develop a policy in relation to Irish artists not resident in Ireland.

Furthermore, the strategy includes a plan to publicise funding programmes to “maximise awareness” among emerging artists across all sectors of society, and to pursue increased number of artists presenting in the Irish language.

The group also outlined plans to devise and implement a communications and promotional plan to gain wide audience reach, as well as to engage with artists and presenting partners to maximise the promotion of events.