Sara Keating: Arts in Ireland in danger of losing a generation of audiences

At risk of losing ‘a generation of audiences’, it’s vital that we make provision for the important role of culture in children’s and young adults’ lives

2023 National Youth Theatre's production of Like We Were Born To Move on the Peacock Stage at the Abbey Theatre. Picture: Ros Kavanagh

Last month, the Arts Council published findings that revealed changes in audience behaviour since the pandemic. Its research found that the biggest fall-off at Arts Council-funded events was among people aged 16-24.

The organisation’s director, Maureen Kennelly, warned that Ireland is “at risk of losing a generation of audiences”. Cultural engagement and a love of the arts, she said, is a habit. During the Covid lockdowns, young people lost the opportunity to develop it. Our ...