LAOIS County Council arts officer Muireann Ní Chonnaill this week unveiled the draft Laois Arts Plan from 2013 to 2016. Even though there was no budget mentioned in the plan, Muireann and the work her staff in the arts office have done throughout the past few years was met with much praise by councillors.
Muireann firstly noted four words on the front of the plan which she said embody the arts office’s outlook - consolidate, value, partner and protect. She told councillors present that this, the fourth arts plan, was devised during difficult times and during a marked increase in the population in Laois.
She discussed the wide range of areas covered by Laois arts including the many partnerships the arts office has with groups around the county. She also told the group about the programmes the arts office has for young people, “who are so important in the programmes that we deliver”.
She mentioned the many facilites that are now available for the arts in Laois, including the newly established Arthouse in Stradbally which is home to resident artists; the county’s flagship arts centre the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, and the apartment and studio in Mountrath which is available for artists.
“Artists are core to the arts service and it is important to continue creating opportunities for them. This is about the positive consolidation and nurturing of programmes and strategies”, enthused Muireann.