From The Hobby Paul Keating
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The large task force that Culture Ireland amassed for the January artistic invasion has mostly come and gone, but not without planting seeds which will prove fruitful in the months and years ahead.
I firmly believe that the arts matter in fostering communications and dialogue down many a path that opens to wider opportunities and understanding, making it a wise investment. It’s one which I am thankful for as a traditional music writer because it allowed me to sample some of the finest talent that Ireland had to offer the weekend before last, some of whom were known to me already and others whose talent I experienced for the first time.
In times of economic stress there are always concerns in the wider arts community about government funding allocations and programs that play a vital part in making them available to their constituents.
With Ireland’s well-documented financial woes in the past two years those fears surfaced as people braced themselves for massive cutbacks or total shutdowns of important agencies like the Arts Council, Culture Ireland and even the Department for the