The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has cut core funding for Culture Northern Ireland, the leading arts and cultural website, resulting in a forced closure of the site and its social networks from April 2015.
A campaign to save the resource has been launched with supporters being encouraged to lobby the Arts Council and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure using a form on the Culture NI website.
The Culture NI site has 400,000+ visitors each year and 40,000 weekly subscribers and is a proven driver of arts attendance, delivering ticket sales and new audiences.
David Lewis, Director of Culture NI, said:
‘Culture NI promotes arts in all their forms across Northern Ireland with a focus on connecting local audiences with arts activities in their areas.
‘Culture NI is the one place where all strands of Northern Ireland’s arts and culture come together. This devastating cut means the arts sector will lose a significant resource which benefits hundreds of arts organisations and artists each year. Arts activities will be less visible, less events will be attended and less arts products purchased.
‘For 10 years, Culture NI has been a flagship arts platform, showcasing all that is good about Northern Ireland’s arts. With the increasing importance of digital marketing, the decision to cut the website is short-sighted and will simply limit further the public’s access to event information.’