Since March 2020, Northern Ireland has been battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Lives have been altered in many ways – losing loved ones, enduring illness, losing livelihoods and a fundamental loss of social connection and cohesion due to the necessary restrictions on our daily lives. Culture is essential to help NI heal from those losses – but we cannot play our part in that healing if we are not here to do so.
Culture is essential for the positive recovery of NI which is why we must act together now to protect the cultural economy. Through culture we can make the most of the opportunity to learn from our experiences during 2020 and truly build back better, towards a society that is fairer, more inclusive and places its citizens’ health and wellbeing at the top of the agenda.
The critically important role that the ecology of artists and freelance, creatives, organisations and venues can play in delivering the social and economic recovery of NI has been acknowledged by Ministers, MLAs and NI MPs. To support the realisation of social and economic renewal and recovery, the Arts Collaboration Network has 5 key requests for the First and Deputy First Ministers, the NI Executive and Department for Communities to ensure the sector can make its contribution in 2021 and beyond.