- 19 Jun 20
Without additional financial support, the arts sector could contract by up to 42% in 2020.
The Arts Council has endorsed a new report from a special Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group, who have identified ways in which the arts sector can cope with the pandemic and its effects on artists.
The Advisory Group report recommends that the new Government maintains current wage supports (PUP and TWSS) for artists, arts workers and organisations until they can return to full capacity.
The report was published today, and submitted its key recommendations to support arts organisations and arts workers to the Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan TD.
The Arts Council has committed to giving priority in additional funding to enhanced commissioning schemes and increased bursary and professional development schemes.
It has also pledged to work with the arts sector in order to address challenges of digital dissemination, adapting existing physical spaces, exploring new spaces, and restoring public confidence in attending live events.
The Arts Council today welcomes the publication of the Expert Advisory Group report on the response to the COVID-19 crisis for the arts in Ireland.
Read the full report at: https://t.co/CNY9Vm9446 pic.twitter.com/NXizLFN1V8
— Arts Council Ireland (@artscouncil_ie) June 19, 2020
The Advisory Group report also emphasises the need to ensure that fair remuneration for artists is reflected in all public policies, and encourages the Government to support the rights of artists in discussions of Article 13 of EU Copyright Directive.
The Government has been urged to review taxation practice as it relates to the arts including an examination of VAT, gifting and artists’ incomes, and provide capital funding schemes for arts buildings t adapt to social distancing requirements.
In response to the publication of 'Survive, Adapt, Return' report by the Advisory Group, the National Campaign for the Arts welcomed the news in a statement by Angela Dorgan - Chair of NCFA.
Acknowledging that there is a long road ahead to ensure the survival of the arts sector, the report "repersents a significant step" in laying out how artists and arts workers will be supported.
“Early on in the process it was clear that every member of the Advisory Group were in agreement that direct support to artists, arts workers and arts organisations be at the core of all measures in any stabilisation and recovery of the sector and it is wonderful to see that borne out in detail in the final report.”
The Arts Council is the main channel for government investment, growth and development of the arts in Ireland; it is vital that their response to and plan for the Covid-19 crisis be robust.
The Advisory Group also commissioned new EY research to display the negative and long-lasting effect of the Covid-19 crisis on the arts.
This research shows that without additional financial support, the arts sector could contract by up to 42% in 2020 compared to a 11% decline for the wider economy, and that the arts sector could take until 2025 to recover from the current crisis.
"This week’s announcement of additional funding for 2020 has given crucial reassurance to this vibrant sector," Arts Council Director, Maureen Kennelly said.
"With a stimulus package and a strategic approach, we believe the arts can not only survive but thrive, helping to lead the country in the recovery, and to restore our society’s morale and confidence".
"This additional funding will help the Arts Council protect jobs and livelihoods for individual artists and also assist key art organisations facing financial difficulty. We would like to thank the members of the group for their important work."
The members of the Expert Advisory Group include Lenny Abrahamson, Anne Clarke, Angela Dorgan (Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts), Prof. Sarah Glennie (Director, National College of Art and Design), Martin Hayes, Maureen Kennelly (Director of The Arts Council / An Chomhairle EalaÍon), Fintan O’Toole and Dr. Gabriel Scally (Visiting Professor in Public Health, University of Bristol).
The Advisory Group report includes appendices on the Arts and Health by Dr Gabriel Scally, and statements from artists and arts workers from every county in the State explaining the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Emer McGowan of DraÍocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown commented that the mixed economy model that the local, community-based organisation depended on is "in tatters".
"2020 will see us carry a large deficit, 10 staff are on the COVID payment, 13 part time staff are on temporary layoff. We are not just an arts centre, we are part of a community."