A theatre manager in Belfast has questioned why the arts in Northern Ireland receives less funding than other parts of the UK.
The MAC chief executive Anne McReynolds was speaking ahead of a debate at the theatre later that involves members of the main political parties.
She said the arts benefit the economy.
"Our politicians understand the arts contribute to wider society in terms of economic renewal, cultural tourism and social regeneration," she said.
"The arts are an economic driver in Northern Ireland and yet we're languishing at the bottom of the levels of subsidy and investment compared to other parts of the UK."
A number of Northern Ireland arts organisations face funding cuts amid pressures on the Stormont budget.