Kilkenny County Council’s Arts Office has won a Public Sector Magazine Award for Excellence in Cultural Provision.
The Arts Office has countless responsibilities and functions including developing, co-ordinating, motivating, inspiring and empowering artistic activity throughout the city and county. They promote the arts as a worthwhile activity for all, providing advice and support for groups and individuals, working to further strengthen Kilkenny’s position as a centre of excellence for the arts and ensure a successful and prosperous arts environment within the region. At the core of their work is the artist. Artists are by their very nature, inventive, versatile, flexible and innovative. They engage in diverse activities often collaborating with others, constantly learning and researching. They contribute enormously to all of our lives; culturally, socially and economically. Accordingly across the Arts Office’s programme, Mary Butler, Arts Officer and Niamh Brophy, Arts Administrator continue to develop and support projects that focus on the development of the practitioner and their work; that engage and employ artists and support staff and offer professional and practice development initiatives across all art forms.
The role is one that makes things possible; builds capacity and increases civic participation. Culture and innovation play a crucial role in helping regions attract investment. However the value of culture should not be expressed only with statistics. As Mary Butler, Arts Officer, says ‘Audience numbers alone can give us a poor picture of how culture improves our lives and enriches us. The arts ensure that it is always possible to tell it a different way…’