What is an APG?  

An APG, All-Party Groups, provides a forum by which MLAs and outside organisations and individuals can meet to discuss shared interests in a particular cause or subject. The difference between an APG and APPG, is that an APG is relevant to Stormont and the Northern Ireland Assembly. To see more about what APG’s are and what the current APGs are Visit the Northern Ireland Assembly page on All Party Groups.  

What is an APPG?  

An APPG, All-Party Parliamentary Groups, are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities. The difference between an APPG and APG is that an APPG is UK wide and aims to incorporate the needs at both a national and local level. To read more about APPGs visit The UK Parliament Website or to find out more about the APPG for Theatre, visit UK Theatre’s APPG on Theatre page.  

The Cross Party Group 

Prior to the formalisation of the APG, a Cross Party Group, led by Clare Bailey (Green Party), was set up to provide a forum to facilitate cross party discussion and co-operation relating to the Arts, and to demonstrate the value to our economy and society by raising the visibility of the Arts in the Assembly. Theatre and Dance NI were secretariat, providing organisational, staff, time and strategic support. The Cross Party Group led to the creation of the current All Party Group on the Arts.

Arts All-Party Group

Chairperson: Mike Nesbitt (Ulster Unionist Party; Strangford)

Vice-Chairperson: Kate Nicholl (Alliance Party; South Belfast)

Secretary:  Danny Donnelly (Alliance Party; East Antrim)

Treasurer:  Matthew O’Toole (Social Democratic and Labour Party; South Belfast)  


  • Kellie Armstrong (Alliance Party; Strangford)  
  • Paula Bradshaw (Alliance Party; South Belfast)
  • Mark Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party; Foyle)  
  • Sorcha Eastwood (Alliance Party; Lagan Valley)
  • Diane Forsythe (Democratic Ulster Party; South Down)
  • Ms Carál Ní Chuilín (Sinn Féin; North Belfast)
  • Claire Sugden (Independent; East Londonderry)

For the full name and information on the All Party Group on the Arts, visit the Arts APG page on the Northern Ireland Assembly website. 

APG on the Arts: Meetings