President tickled pink by colourful arts scene
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins wasn't long doing what he promised to do -- promote the value of the arts in Irish communities. Yesterday he was extolling the virtues of a project in Rialto in Dublin's south inner city.
"What your community has managed to achieve through the embracing and use of the arts is the right of a community to set out and pursue its own cultural identity," he told the Fatima Groups United (FGU) project at the F2 Neighbourhood Centre.
President Higgins was speaking at the launch of its five-year plan aimed at developing a broad strategy for the development of the arts in the inner city -- through the teaming up of the FGU, Dublin City Council and the National College of Art and Design.
The goal of the plan is to establish Ireland's first Community Arts Academy to attract and control future funding with a specific eye on EU coffers.
"You have identified the benefits of taking the arts out of the theatres, galleries, concert halls, studios and other separate spaces and bringing them also right into the heart of your society," said the President.
His insights may have been lost on some of the young audience, but it was clear Higgins has every intention of promoting the cultural world.
He was invited on a tour of the F2 Centre where children take part in art, music and other workshops.