Ó Muilleoir calls for challenge to British government on funding
Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has said arts groups play a vital role in building communities and called on parties to unite to challenge the British government for additional funding.
Speaking after visiting the ArtsCare group in South Belfast, Mr Ó Muilleoir said;
"I visited the remarkable ArtsCare group in South Belfast which faces funding cuts due to reduced funds available for the arts. This is as a direct result of the removal of £1.5bn in real terms from the Executive's budget since 2011.
"I applaud the work of ArtsCare. This unique charity works with the health and social care trusts, which employs 19 artists in residence, a team of ClownDoctors and many project artists who facilitate life-enhancing performances for people in health and social care.
“It is my view that arts organisations like ArtsCare provide a vital role in building up community and putting uplifting arts activities at the very heart of the lives of our people who are often suffering from the legacy of our past.
"The British Government needs to step up to the plate to accept its responsibility to contribute to the legacy costs of conflict.
“That necessarily must mean additional monies to groups which are promoting reconciliation, healing the wounds of the past, and building the peace - in that respect arts groups such as ArtsCare are to the very fore of such work."
"I believe that by uniting with one voice, those who drive forward the arts and events such as Culture Night can help make the case to London for additional funding for our vital arts sector.”