2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges
Arts for Community Growth and Development
Japanese NGO and Local Government Representatives Visit Ireland
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern, T.D., has announced that Ireland is participating with five other EU countries (France, Finland, Germany, Italy and the UK) in a project marking the "2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges”. The "Arts for Community Growth and Development" project, which is being funded by the participating EU states and the European Commission, is being jointly organised with the City of Yokohama and the Yokohama Arts Foundation. .
Warmly welcoming the project, the Minister said:
“The project is aimed at examining the role which culture and the arts can play in urban/regional revitalisation by encouraging exchange between arts non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local governments in the EU and Japan.”
Noting that Japan is a priority country under the Government's Asia Strategy, the Minister said
“We hope this experience will lead to longer term ties in this area and possibly also lead to further links between Ireland and Japan.”
During June, three groups of Japanese arts NGO representatives and local government officials will be visiting Europe to study examples of urban/regional revitalization through culture and arts in the six countries participating in the project.
The first exchange visit takes place to Italy and Ireland and runs from 9 to 18 June. The Irish leg of the visit takes place this week. The programme for the visit to Ireland has been coordinated by the Cultural Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, in liaison with the Irish Embassy in Tokyo.
The other two European visits are to the UK/France and Finland/Germany. In Ireland, the Japanese visitors will visit two examples of where the arts have successfully contributed to urban regeneration and community growth and development - the Temple Bar area of Dublin and the Model Arts and Niland Gallery in Sligo. The group will also have the opportunity to see other redevelopment areas in Dublin and will also meet with officials of Dublin City Council and Sligo County Council.
In November, NGOs and local government-related parties from the participating EU countries will pay a return visit to Japan to look at Japanese examples. They will also attend a symposium to be held in Yokohama on the theme of regional development through the arts. There will be a final wrap-round cultural event, also in Yokohama.
14 June, 2005
2005 has been designated as EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges. A number of activities, of which the current project is one, will take place during the year. The project responds to a growing interest in Japan and the EU in the role of arts in promoting community growth and aims to promote mutual exchange between arts NGOs in the EU and Japan with the objective of longer term links.
Three local Governments and three NGOs in Japan are participating in the Irish component of the project - Osaka Prefectural Government; City of Kobe; and City of Yokohama; remo (record, expression and medium organization) [Osaka]; The Conference on Art and Art Projects (C.A.P.) [Kobe]; and ST Spot Yokohama [Yokohama].
The other visits to the EU are as follows: UK/France - 14~23 June; Finland/Germany -
General information on the 2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges can be found at http://jpn.cec.eu.int/2005/.