Archive for December, 2009

Gabriel Byrne Makes a Case for the Arts

December 14th, 2009

At a recent special event for Business to Arts supported by Mason Hayes+Curran, actor, Gabriel Byrne gave a talk to a small group of senior business people on why the arts and business should work together.

Declan Moylan, Chair of Mason Hayes & Curran and Peter Keegan, Country Executive of Bank of America Merrill Lynch talked also about the reasons that their organisations seek opportunities to support culture in Ireland.

L-R : Stuart McLaughlin – Business to Arts, Gabriel Byrne, Declan Moylan - Mason Hayes+Curran, Peter Keegan - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

L-R : Stuart McLaughlin – Business to Arts, Gabriel Byrne, Declan Moylan – Mason Hayes+Curran, Peter Keegan – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

After hearing their stories Gabriel Byrne gave an inspiring speech on the reasons why arts and culture was such a critical aspect to Irish society saying “When you look back at our cultural history, which we often take for granted, it can sometimes really be humbling and a source of wonderful pride to think of what we have actually contributed as a culture to the world from this small island”.

Gabriel went on to talk about the vital role that the corporate and philanthropic community will play in ensuring that we continue to build on this rich history at such a difficult juncture for all aspects of society in Ireland and, importantly, to dispel some of the myths around ways in which business and the arts can work together. He commented that “When money and art go together and that doesn’t mean that art has to be censored, that’s a fear I think that a lot of artists have, you cease to be insular because you move out into the world. And when you move out into the world of ideas, it benefits you artistically, economically, socially and spiritually. That is something that is a gigantic contribution that will pay off down the years. And to be part of that, to be part of being responsible for making the world move in that direction is a wonderful thing to be involved in. The generosity of these people to say, ‘ok, we’ll put money into this’ I guarantee it will pay off in years to come from the artists point of view and from the business point of view. Artists and corporations must sit down together and see what common ground we have, and see how we can mutually benefit each other. I think it is the way forward.”

A call to action for all of us invested in working towards a sustainable model of both public and private support of the arts, and an inspiring evening for those who joined us.

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