Sinn Féin Spokespersons on Culture, Arts and Heritage Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Senator Fintan Warfield this morning published the Sinn Féin manifesto for Culture, Arts and Heritage. Deputy Ó Snodaigh and Senator Warfield were speaking outside the Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar ahead of hustings hosted by the National Campaign for the Arts.
The policy paper calls for the introduction of a designated ‘night venue’ classification in planning and licensing laws in support of a nighttime economy, and reiterates Sinn Féin’s commitment to reforming the insurance industry in support of small business, and the community and voluntary sectors. It also sets out the party’s plans to increase funding to the Heritage Council.
Senator Warfield said:
“Our manifesto supports artists and communities through a wide range of measures across five connected areas, namely: raising incomes; creative spaces; participation and young artists; nightlife; heritage and Moore Street.
“Sinn Féin understand the tough and precarious realities facing artists, including housing, health, the cost of living and the low pay status quo. In Government, Sinn Féin will deliver for ordinary, working people – including workers in the creative industries.
“Sinn Féin propose to raise artists’ incomes through a local living wage initiative administered by Local Authorities and to increase Arts Council funding, while supporting an increase in funding for the redevelopment of existing properties for community and creative purposes.
“We want to increase participation, address affordability and fill spare capacity in the arts through the roll out of a national, digital cultural currency, while supporting younger artists through the implementation of a dedicated youth arts strategy.
“The first step in a thriving cultural economy is to make a creative career sustainable, and addressing poor wages across the sector will be Sinn Féin’s priority. We all lose out when artists can no longer produce their work, or when there is creative flight from Ireland. Our culture becomes less diverse, and risks becoming the preserve of a privileged few.”
Deputy Ó Snodaigh added;
“Sinn Féin want to break the economic barriers and increase access to arts, culture and heritage, particularly while there is spare capacity and empty seats in many classes, centres, theatres and other cultural institutions. Sinn Féin will make it a priority to bring together people who cannot afford to participate, with professionals and organisations who want to engage wider and new audiences, but who can’t discount their costs.
“We want to continue the work on nightlife that Sinn Féin representatives have prioritised in the Joint Oireachtas Committee and implement lasting change in Government, and create a vibrant and robust nighttime economy in our cities.
“Sinn Féin will also declare the 1916 terrace, yards and laneways of Moore Street a National Monument and end the disgraceful failure of this Government to protect this historic site.”