A positive duty to maximise the availability of resources for the full realisation of cultural rights involves constant monitoring and oversight of how public money on art and heritage is spent, what it is spent on, how it is raised and whom it benefits. 

Participatory Arts Trend Paper 2013 Read [+] 

Action for Change

From Cultural Rights to the Agency of Communities

Thanks to Jeffrey Gormly whose documentation from his work on Dec 21 is illustrated on our home page in January.  This helped us greatly to initiate Rebirth Day, an idea of artist Michelanglo Pistolettoa. It works as a voluntary symbolic action that is short, simple and fun on Dec 21 (shortest day of the year).

Our Voice, Our Rights

A large group from civil society contributed to 'Our Voice, Our Rights': A Parallel Report in response to Ireland’s Third Report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It was submitted by FLAC to the UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights.  We have made 2 recommendations:

1. The Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Arts Council, and other National Cultural Institutions would promote equality and social inclusion in cultural life through direct engagement with disadvantaged communities and through realising their potential as consumers and producers of arts and culture.

2. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht would adopt a cultural rights framework in the forthcoming national Cultural Policy and the Arts Council would do likewise in their forthcoming Strategic Plan through having regard to equality and human rights in the preparation of these documents.

Our Voices, Our Rights Website Here [+]

Cultural Rigths Stack Here [+]

The Agency of Community Culture

Promoting Cultural Rights

We have engaged with the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, the Arts Council, the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers about ways in which the new public sector duty can be implemented by cultural institutions. We reengage with the Department of Arts in a meeting in February.  We will deliver workshops for the public sector with the intention of exchanging ideas and exploring possibilities for cooperation in relation to the new equality and rights framework.  Any group interested in hosting these workshops please contact us.  Read  [+]

Tulsa - Child and Family Agency - New Website

Support for Blue Drum comes from the Child and Family Agency, which was established on the 1st January 2014. It is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. TUSLA has now produced its first performance framework for the Agency. Read [+]

Social Inclusion Forum 2014

1st April, 2014, Croke Park, Dublin.

The City (Re)Searches: Experiences of Publicness took part in the showcase of social inclusion projects during the national forum. Minister Joan Burton spoke about the need to balance priorities of public value and public trust. The meeting provided a practical opportunity for engagement between officials from Government Departments, Community and Voluntary Organisations and people experiencing povertyREAD [+]

Also, here is a submission to the Northern Ireland Assembly invited from the Arts Council (NI).

Northern Ireland Arts Council

New way of working in family support

The Meitheal Model is a key driver of the development of an area-based approach to prevention, partnership and family support through local area pathways as part of the National Service Delivery Framework of the Child and Family Agency. Meitheal is an old Irish term that describes how neighbours would come together to assist in the saving of crops or other tasks. In this context Meitheal is a National Practice Model to ensure that the needs and strengths of children and their families are effectively identified and understood and responded to in a timely way so that children and families get the help and support needed to improve children’s outcomes and realise their rights. Read [+]

Community Culture Strategy

The report of the Dail Eireann Committee on Arts and Disadvantage will be published soon.  Blue Drum is currently working with groups in Limerick, Cork and Dublin as well as an inter departmental working group to prepare the Strategy. For us, access and participation by poor children, families and communities is our priority.  Our approach fits well with recommendations from EU and UNESCO studies. 

Read EU Report [+]

Read UNESCO Report [+]

Read Strategy Aim and Objectives [+]


Limerick and Cork Exchanges


Two parallel exchanges take place in Cork and Limerick about community arts on September 12 and 13 respectively.  The Cork exchange is organised by Ballyphehane / Togher CDP and the Limerick exchange will be part of a Creative Communities meeting. The potential of community arts to stimulate creativity in disadvantaged communities, to engage these communities with the arts, and to enable resilience and affirmation of identity within these communities is largely unrecognised and unsupported.

Utilising the Arts to Combat Disadvantage

The Report from the Committee is due for publication before the summer 2014.  We submitted our submission which asked what has the State done for cultural iInclusion and has it worked.Read[+]

Also, recent data from Public Policy allowed us to put together a national picture of Local Authority Arts Programme spending. This information is based on the 2014 Estimates. 


Here are the transcripts from various witness statements made during March and April 2012 to the Dail Committee.

Department Heads Statements

Dublin City Council, Common Ground (Inchicore), and Axis (Ballymun)

Cork City Council, City of Cork VEC, Cork Academy of Music, Graffiti Theatre Company

Arts Council & National Campaign For the Arts

Western Care, Mayo County Council, Offaly County Council, Anam Beo, Tacú Family Resource Centre

Limerick City Council, Louth County Council, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Upstate Theatre Company

Earlier in February there was a discussion with City of Dublin VEC about music education in disadvantaged areas. It had been unsuccessful in its application to the Music Generation programme.

Arts and Music Education in Disadvantaged Areas: Discussion


What is community art?

Produced in 2010 by DCTV

Utilising the Arts to Combat Disadvantage among the young, the old and socially disadvantaged and to encourage greater integration and social inclusion with local communities.

Read[+]  Full DÁIL ÉIREANN. Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht

Read[+] Short briefing prepared by us.

Our Voice, Our Rights
A Parallel Report In Response to Ireland’s Third Report under
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Join us for the official Irish launch on Wednesday 19 November at 11am  in the Oak Room of the Mansion House. 50 local and national organisations working on the ground around Ireland have their say about rights in Ireland today.

Ireland will be examined under the Covenant on  Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in June 2015, and the UN Committee will be drawing up its List of Issues for this examination in early December


For disadvantaged individuals and groups are able to access and enjoy their cultural rights through targeted inclusion measures.

7th May 2014, Science Gallery, The Naughton Institute, Trinity College, Dublin 2

The Advocacy Initiative in association with Claiming Our Future and Blue Drum will hold a seminar about the role of arts in campaigns. .  Read [+]

Department of Arts

Statement of Strategy

Submission November 2014

Imagine if local services were delivered from the point of view of local citizens. That becomes a mute point when you think 80% of funding for the Arts is allocated to around 230 arts organisations.  Blue Drum took part in focus group meetings with the Arts Council and will make a submission. 

Read  [+]

Arts Council Review

April 2014

Imagine if local services were delivered from the point of view of local citizens. That becomes a mute point when you think 80% of funding for the Arts is allocated to around 230 arts organisations.  Blue Drum took part in focus group meetings with the Arts Council and will make a submission. 

Read  [+]

Our work involves a lot of conversations and assemblies. So we find this helpful.


The Seven Helpers

1. Be Present

Start well. Start slowly. Check everyone in.


2. Have a good question

A good question is aligned with the need and purpose of the meeting.


3. Use a talking piece

A talking piece an object that passes from hand to hand.

4. Harvest

Never meet unless you plan to harvest your learnings.

-Create an artefact.

-Have a feedback loop.

-Be aware of the unexpected..

-Co-created is co-owned.

5. Make a wise decision

If your meeting needs to come to a decision, make it a wise one.

6. Act.

Once you have decided what to do, act.


7. Stay together

Relationships create sustainability.

Source: Chris Corrigan

from the Art of Hosting Practitioner's Community