Value of arts underlined as new Arts Council members welcomed

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The value of the arts to the Island is being underlined by the chairman of the Isle of Man Arts Council.

Geoff Corkish MBE MLC was speaking as he welcomed newly appointed members of the body who will take up their seats on 1st October and praised the contribution of members whose terms of office end this month.

Mr Corkish said: 'The arts impact on so many areas of our lives.

'In terms of attracting people to live, work and invest in the Isle of Man, demonstrating we have a vibrant community, with lots to get involved in, is important.

'The wide variety of concerts, performances, exhibitions, festivals and the like means we have plenty to offer visitors, another sector we are growing.

'The arts assist our wellbeing as a form of recreation and entertainment. It shapes the sense of community and heritage that is so special to the Island.

'For many, of course, the arts also provide an enriching career.'

Mr Corkish said: 'The Arts Council provides funding, support and guidance to individuals and organisations. It seeks to inspire participation, creativity and excellence.

'The small number of volunteers who make up the Arts Council work tirelessly to boost the arts in the Island, ensuring a thriving, diverse and busy schedule of events and activities are supported.

'Their work undoubtedly enriches the Island.'

Such was the calibre of applicants that the volunteer body has increased in size from eight to nine members.

Filmmaker/musician Dave Armstrong, architect Phil Chadwick, singer/dancer Susan Tummon, animator/artist Juan Moore and educationalist Jo Pretty have been appointed to the Arts Council for a four-year term commencing 1st October.

Michael Lees and Adrienne Burnett retire after completing the maximum two terms of office, eight years. John Quirk and Alan Jackson are retiring after one term.

Mr Corkish said: 'Michael led Island of Culture 2014, which incorporated one-off and regular events and will leave a valuable legacy for the community.

'Adrienne was instrumental in introducing and extending the live streaming of live theatre productions, operas etc to the Island, giving more people the chance to see these top quality performances without travelling away.

'During their four years as members, the respective talents of John and Alan have also been enormously appreciated.

'All four retiring members will be missed but we are pleased we have such diversity and skills among our new members.'

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