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The Future of Cross Border Cooperation in the Arts

29 January 2021

We call for tenders to carry out research and write a report

The ARINS project is commissioning a report entitled The Future of Cross Border Cooperation in the Arts which will investigate the interconnections between the arts sector in Ireland, North and South. Mapping cross border cooperation in public and industry bodies, this report will offer an assessment of the existing policy landscape and practice on the ground and make recommendations for future policy design. The final report will be presented to leaders of arts organisations, policymakers, researchers and representative bodies such as NCFA and Arts Matter NI.

The Royal Irish Academy has joined with the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Irish Studies to establish ARINS—Analysing and Researching Ireland, North & South. ARINS is a multi-year initiative that brings together experts from various disciplines to provide evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate relating to options for the future of Ireland, north and south.
Research questions range from constitutional and institutional issues, to options for economic, fiscal and social policy, to the accommodation of diverse cultures, identities and symbolism, to the impact of climate and contagion on cooperation across jurisdictions. This tender concerns the “Cultural and Educational” strand of this ambitious project and seeks to map cross-border cooperation in the arts sector with a view to future policy design. The purpose of the report is to provide a starting point for further research and policy development to enable greater cooperation between the arts sector in both jurisdictions. The report will be circulated to policymakers, leaders of arts organisations and relevant groups, as well as academic researchers. It will be made publicly available on the ARINS project website (

The arts sector is a vital component of culture in any country, providing spaces for discussion, debate, divergence, convergence and exchange. Theatre, music, and film have the power to bring people together in a collective experience for a moment, an evening, a lifetime even, while visual art and literature offer audiences an opportunity to reflect on ideas or experiences that differ from their own or challenge the status quo. Since the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement, trenchant borders of the mind have been challenged, eroded, and transcended through inter-community dialogue facilitated by a wide variety of arts initiatives. Artists and practitioners from all over the island have provided opportunities for audiences to critically engage with questions of identity, to move beyond political divisions, thereby promoting mutual understanding in an open and inclusive environment.

We invite tenders to carry out research and to write a report entitled The Future of Cross Border Cooperation in the Arts which will map existing cross border cooperation in the arts sector; perform a gaps analysis; and identify opportunities for future policy design. This will be done using both qualitative and quantitative research including a series of interviews, surveys, seminars and roundtable discussions. These events will be organised and run by the research consultant in collaboration with the ARINS Executive Committee.

The funding for the project has been secured from the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. The ARINS project has secured a fund of up to €25,000 ex VAT to deliver the project. In addition, ARINS will support the project by supporting the successful tender with expertise and the networks of the Royal Irish Academy and the ARINS will also fund the editing, graphic design and production costs of the published report, support the communications plan for the report, and other support as deemed appropriate.

Further details and how to tender can be found on the site under: RFT  183778. Deadline: 15 February.

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