Free hugs and cuddles for all on Friday

HUGS and cuddles will be offered in abundance on Friday when local artists take to the streets with their arms outstretched in an effort to encourage the general public to support the arts and support the campaign for continued investment in the arts.

HUGS and cuddles will be offered in abundance on Friday when local artists take to the streets with their arms outstretched in an effort to encourage the general public to support the arts and support the campaign for continued investment in the arts.

“The arts make Ireland vibrant. That’s why they are vital. But local arts organisations know only too well that the budget decisions being made now are some of the toughest yet and that the next few years are not going to get any easier. That’s why they are calling for your help to put the case for continued investment in the arts throughout communities all over Ireland, simply and clearly,” said chairperson of the National Campaign for the Arts, Vincent Dempsey.

In the coming weeks the NCFA and its supporters will lobby Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Minister Phil Hogan directly, asking them to minimize the cuts and maximize their support of funding to the Arts Council and Local Authorities.

“At every level of society, from the zest of festivals that animate every corner of Ireland to the heft of our global winners in music, theatre and literature, the arts have remained a pillar of Irish society and a beacon of light through the darkest days of the crisis. The arts are a real focal point for communities while visitors, tourists and investors all appreciate Ireland’s cultural richness. In the year of The Gathering, sustained investment in the arts is more important than ever,” added Mr Dempsey. The work, success and contribution of our local arts to the local community would not be possible without funding from the Arts Council or the Local Authorities. The arts have already been cut by over 25% in recent years. Further cuts mean job losses within the arts sector in Ireland which directly employs 20,755 people.

There are more dark days to be endured and the NCFA is encouraging everyone to view the arts as an asset and not an overhead for our local community. Kilkenny people who enjoy the arts are invited to show their support for this event by joining representatives from Kilkenny Arts Festival, Barnstrom Theatre Company, Butler Gallery, Watergate Theatre, Young Irish Film Makers, the Kilkenny Arts Office, Devious, Barn Owl Players and many others at 12.50pm – 1.10pm on Friday (November 16) on The Parade. Local politicians will be in attendance and plenty of free hugs are guaranteed!