Winter 2005

Community activists in all fields, including those who promote cultural facilities and activities, are the main guarantors of a vibrant social, charitable and cultural environment. The economic value of such service is incalculable and without which the State, as a provider, would be faced with enormous financial requirements.

It is important both as a reality and as a morale boost that official policies and agencies acknowledge this huge investment of talents and finance by community activists. This community investment is in the main the primary reason for many of the cultural achievements, which are now widespread throughout the country.

State bureaucracy in the area of funding must not dull the human spirit or individual creativity. We must avoid the ‘box’ mentality at all costs whereby if one ticks the wrong box on the application form one is out of the game!

Grants must reflect real and relevant vision combined with a track record and equal opportunity.

Cultural providers must be centre stage during the gestation period of Government policies; otherwise they will be in a permanent straight jacket struggling to free themselves from wordy constraints. There is no substitute for common sense or coalface experience and these are to be found in abundance at the heart of the community.