Anna Lo MLA said “I am very pleased that the Assembly will have the chance to make a clear statement that our arts sector must not suffer underfunding any more.
“Having a strong arts sphere is a sign of a vibrant and confident society. We need to be sending out this message to the world. We need to show people that Northern Ireland is booming and is a place that they simply must visit.
“The Arts sector therefore is extremely important for local tourism and for the economy. More funding will mean bigger and better events that more people want to see.
“These knock-on effects of a strong arts sector must never be underestimated. More funding for this area will not only help boost tourism, it will restore the confidence of people in Northern Ireland. It also encourages better community cohesion and gives people the opportunity to take part, in or experience activities, that they might not have been able to access were it not for local arts projects.
“The very least that the arts in Northern Ireland deserve is to be funded to the same level as this sector gets is in other parts of the UK. I hope that the debate on Tuesday will put enough pressure on the Minister to secure a commitment to extra funding.”
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “This is make or break time for many of our artists and arts organizations. A relatively modest slice of the overall public funding cake will make a dramatic difference to the arts. I welcome Anna Lo’s motion and believe that it is time that art is placed at the heart of our social, economic and creative lives.”