Artists, writers and actors from across Northern Ireland were due to take their fight for better funding for the arts to the steps of Stormont today.
The Keep Our Arts Alive rally, expected to attract hundreds of supporters to Carson's Statue, marks the latest move in a campaign launched last month aimed at putting pressure on the Executive to improve public spending on the arts, following what many in the industry describe as a disappointing allocation in the recent draft budget.
Roisín McDonough (right), Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: "If the allocation is not increased this will have devastating consequences for the arts sector. Our artists and core organisations will face a bleak future, and pressing developmental work will not be undertaken."
" The people of Northern Ireland deserve the same cultural entitlement as their neighbours on these islands and I am asking everyone who understands the rewards to be found from investment in the arts to make their feelings clear during the public consultation process. The Northern Ireland Assembly must rethink its budget allocation."