The Arts Council of Ireland is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. We work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life.
The Arts Council supports and promotes children and young people’s engagement with the arts from birth to early adulthood. We use the term Young People, Children and Education (YPCE) to describe this area of work. YPCE focuses on the child or young person’s experience of the arts whether as a young artist, learner, participant, audience member, or a combination of these.We recognise that all children have a right to participate fully in the arts and cultural life, and the Arts Council strategy 2016-2025 places emphasis on planning and providing for children and young people.
We provide funding to a wide range of arts organisations and individual artists to design, develop and run artistic programmes with and for children and young people in and out of school: www.artscouncil.ie/Map2018. We also provide partnership funding to local authority arts offices around the country, many of which run arts in education programmes.
The Arts Council has commissioned research regarding arts and cultural participation among children and young people to inform policy and provision in this area. We have published a number of reports, guidelines, and other information in relation to arts in education – please see the publications section of the Arts Council website at www.artscouncil.ie/publications/
The Arts Council provides advice to the government in relation to the arts and has been a long-time advocate for the arts in education, spanning several decades. Seminal reports published by the Arts Council include The Place of the Arts in Irish Educationin 1979, and Points of Alignmentin 2008. The Arts Council has played a central role in progressing the implementation of the Arts in Education Charter (2013) including the development of www.artsineducation.ie.
The Arts Council has supported a number of pilot arts in education initiatives, which have since become mainstreamed and are now funded through the Department of Education and Skills. The Arts Council is currently leading the pilot for Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools, a partnership with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as part of the Creative Ireland Programme.