Last week, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland notified its annually funded clients of their grant offer for the 2018/19 financial year.
While it was disappointing that many in the sector have received reductions in funding, like our member and colleague Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, Dance Resource Base were pleased to have secured standstill funding recognising our commitment to supporting the dance sector in Northern Ireland.
However, given the likelihood of further reductions in public funding in the coming years, DRB is minded to explore the potential of creating a new sector support organisation with TheatreNI. This new entity would include the work of both existing companies.
DRB has successfully collaborated with TheatreNI on a number of occasions over the past few years. Together we have delivered joint projects and workshops from which many members have benefitted. DRB commits to entering any exploratory discussions with TheatreNI with the spirit of openness and possibility that has been at the core of all our collaborative projects to date. We will take this approach in order to ensure that our current platform of member services, facilities, support and advocacy for the dance sector in Northern Ireland are both retained, and may be expanded, within any new organisation moving forward.
We would like to reassure members and service users that any future changes will not affect the availability of our facilities for hire (including our Dance Studio) or of our support services during the current financial year.
We aim to closely consult with our members over the coming months about future developments and a member’s meeting will be held to discuss this development and further details will be announced shortly.
We will continue to work with others in the arts sector to advocate for increased public investment in the arts and in dance in Northern Ireland given their great value to our community.