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ETAI Encountering the Arts Ireland Launch

ETAI launched by both the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, on the 27th November, in the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, at 2.30 pm.

Ministers Jimmy Deenihan and Ruairí Quinn today marked an historic moment with the launch of ETAI (Encountering the Arts Ireland), which sees the coming together of many of the organisations and individuals, throughout the island of Ireland, who work to provide children and young people with quality arts and education experiences.

Speaking at the event Minister Deenihan said, “The promotion of Arts, particularly in an educational environment, has long been a passion of mine. Being a former teacher, I can say that I have first-hand knowledge of the importance in promotion of Arts, Music and Culture within the educational sphere. I believe that the collaboration of so many organisations under ETAI will be a landmark for a new era for the arts in education.”

Currently including more than thirty organisations and institutions, ETAI includes representatives from arts, education, culture and heritage (see attached list of members and websites), catering for the more than 800,000 children and young people currently in school in Ireland. This launch recognizes the need for collaboration, bringing together the existing wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise across the arts and education sectors.

During his speech Minister Ruairí Quinn said, “The arts have a key role to play in the education system, in providing for sensory, emotional, intellectual and creative enrichment and contributing to our children’s overall development. This alliance of over 30 organisations and institutions that we are launching today will be a powerful voice for the arts in education and we will be listening to that voice as we implement the Arts in Education Charter.”

The recently launched Arts in Education Charter (January 2013), acknowledges that arts-in- education does more than just give children and young people a creative outlet – it is an integral part of a vibrant and creative society, making a substantial contribution to innovation and the economy.

Ministers Quinn and Deenihan also acknowledged that “Arts provision for children and young people in and out of school is a challenge in our cultural landscape. This is recognised by practitioners, policy makers, educators and the public alike. However, this is a priority action area for our Departments. The Arts in Education Charter sets out a number of commitments, agreed by both Departments, so that arts education and arts-in-education complement each other.”

The launch included children and young people creating, performing and showcasing their own work across a variety of disciplines including a Monster Doodle with award winning illustrator Steve Simpson www.stevesimpson.com, performance poetry with Temper Mental Miss Elayneous (Elayne Harrington), www.facebook.com/Tempermentallyill, who performed a specially commissioned poem to mark the event; live animation of the introductory talk by Mica Warren www.micawarren.blogspot.ie, the choir from St. Brigids Girls National School Killester, and Music Generation’s traditional music ensemble from Mayo, Gealóga www.musicgeneration.ie

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