Why a New Chamber
Ireland is identified internationally through our Arts, our Heritage and our Culture. These things that make us who we are, mark our place in the world. Our Culture is integral to our identity. A hundred years ago the Arts, theatre, music, literature, poetry and painting which was then developing in Ireland but drawing on the riches of Ireland’s cultural heritage, partnered political action in forging our Nation.
Today Ireland’s music, theatre, art, and writing and all aspects of Irish art and culture, are known in every country in the world. We are a small nation but we have a huge cultural influence internationally. We believe that our organisation can create an unparalleled opportunity for the Island of Ireland. Looking at some of Ireland’s greatest cultural successes such as U2, Riverdance, Guinness, Seamus Heaney, Jameson, Maeve Binchy, Neil Jordan, Roddy Doyle, Van Morrisson et al. They have and continue to create impressive employment and export revenues for Ireland.
Arts, Heritage and Culture are often seen as a cost to the Nation, whereas in fact they are our greatest assets. They please us, inspire us, make us distinct, make us proud, teach who we are, and who we once were. They are also potentially our greatest economic assets. For instance, in Europe, cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are worth 2.6% of the EU’s GDP and generate a turnover of more than €654 billion, much more than the €271 billion generated by the car manufacturing industry or the € 541 billion by ICT (source European Commission 05 July 2013). In China the cultural sector records €50.32 billion of value added, contributes to 2.45% of Chinese GDP, registering growth 6.4% higher than growth of the general economy. These figures, however relate only to the direct economic benefit of cultural activities, and don’t include for spin-out benefits. If we could develop this sector as a core economic sector we believe that this could have a huge positive impact on our economy.
The mission/vision of the Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture is to provide a forum and a network through which every individual or group, working in the fields of art, heritage and culture, can connect and cooperate. This Chamber aims to promote independence and a businesslike approach across the whole of the cultural sector and to promote the links between business and culture. We recognise that not enough is being done at both a national and local level to help individuals & organisations in Arts, Heritage & Culture commercialise their ideas and objectives. Ireland does not have an abundance of natural resources such as oil or gas. Effort is put in by State organisations (rightly) to develop inward investment in Ireland or assist high growth sectors such as IT and medical devices, yet look at the huge natural resource we have in our heritage and in our artistic, musical and literary tradition and think what we could do by harnessing this tradition. We have the framework of an organisation which is modelled on and endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce which we know can achieve this objective. We also believe passionately that Ireland is better placed than any other country to be an International Centre of Excellence for Culture and we would like to be the organisation that makes this happen.