The cultural division of the Department of Foreign Affairs works primarily through Irish embassies abroad and in co-operation with government departments, state bodies and individuals. It promotes international educational exchanges, supports Irish studies in Universities abroad and works with the Fulbright Commission to develop high-level academic exchanges with the USA. It developed the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, organised the “International Joyce” exhibition in 2004, and was involved in the Beckett Centenary Festival in 2006.
Culture Ireland’s purpose is to ensure that diverse contemporary Irish cultural practice is understood and valued internationally, to build relationships that aerate Irish cultural practice through exposure to international debates, and to advise the Minister and government on international cultural issues and relations. The British Council, the Goethe Institute and the Alliance Francaise have long been involved in supporting cultural activity in Ireland. In 2014, the British Council enabled inter alia visiting productions in association with the Dublin Dance Festival. The Alliance Francaise runs an annual film festival in Dublin while the Goethe Institute presents an ongoing programme of exhibitions, films and concerts.
Funding cuts have made a significant impact on the provision of international arts, visible in a decrease in international exhibitions in the National Gallery, for instance. Also Irish participation in international arts encounters has diminished. Cultural agreements / Memorandums of Understanding have been signed between Ireland and a number of other countries. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht participates at EU (under Article 151) and Council of Europe levels on matters related to culture, including film and TV production.