- 17 Jun 20
"It is heartening to have the voices of artists and arts workers heard by Government."
With the news that a €25 million package will be delivered to support the Arts and Culture sector on the road to recovery from the pandemic, arts organisations have praised the allocation of much-needed funds.
The funding will include bursaries and commissions to artists and arts organisations, as well as resources for museums and culture workers as they ready themselves for the reopening of society.
The Arts Council of Ireland will receive €20 million, bringing its total funding amount in 2020 to €100 million.
Key areas for the extra funding include saving key organisations from closure, expanded commissioning schemes for individual artists and arts organisations across all art forms and expanded bursary schemes for artists to develop their professional practice.
The arts support you through difficult times. Now we need you to support the arts. For ways you can take action see https://t.co/GqXVB7Ntey #SAVETHEARTS #RTESupportingtheArts pic.twitter.com/hwqvBqwYCl
— National Campaign for the Arts - Ireland (@Campaign4Arts) June 3, 2020
€5 million has been set aside to secure the future of key cultural and museum spaces and the production of high-quality digital art and online performances.
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan stated that she was "very aware of the challenges that artists have faced and also of the hugely important role that they have played in sustaining all of us in recent months."
"Many challenges lie ahead but the Government is determined to ensure that we have a vibrant arts and culture sector into the future," the Minister said.
In a blog post on the Arts Council of Ireland's website in response, Director Maureen Kennelly expressed her gratitude for the funding, marking it down as a "significant moment" for the organisation.
"This announcement will allow us to protect and sustain this brilliant community and to prepare for recovery. Over the last few months I’ve been overwhelmed by the dignity, dynamism and care that you have shown in your work. Your commitment to artists and to the public is palpable in all that you do."
"I am very proud to work alongside talented and committed colleagues in the Council and executive and to live in a society that truly understands the value of the arts," Kennelly added.
"Like ourselves, James Joyce believed passionately in the democratisation of the arts, so it is especially fitting to celebrate this landmark news today. Please bear with us and support us as we continue with our work."
According to Kennelly, Ernst and Young analysis shows that the recession in the arts sector could lead to a loss of up to 18% of jobs, costing the GDP a shocking €250 million.
➡️Breaking news: The Arts Council welcomes an additional €20 million support package for 2020. The announcement recognises the significant challenges facing the art sector arising from the COVID-19 emergency.https://t.co/ZzSore7yqB pic.twitter.com/D4nwUJ5y1r
— Arts Council Ireland (@artscouncil_ie) June 16, 2020
Later this week the Arts Council will publish the report of an Expert Advisory Group established last month to frame recommendations to assist the sector respond to the current crisis.
As well as the Chair and Director of the Arts Council, the other members of the group include Lenny Abrahamson, Anne Clarke, Angela Dorgan, Sarah Glennie, Martin Hayes, Fintan O'Toole, Dr Gabriel Scally.
In an optimistic reaction to the Minister's funding announcement, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) described today's announcement as "a solid and authentic response to the COVID-19 crisis which has ravaged the nation's artists, arts workers and arts organisations."
The NCFA had campaigned for a €20 million increase in funding to the Arts Council for this year.
"On Bloomsday June 16 2020, the National Campaign for the Arts very much welcomes the €25 million stabilisation investment in the Arts and Culture sector, as announced today by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Josepha Madigan," the NCFA said in a statement.
The statement was made by the NCFA Steering Committee: Angela Dorgan (Chairperson), Eoghan Carrick, Tom Creed, Aileen Galvin, Aideen Howard, Georgina Jackson, Cian O’Brien and Liv O’Donoghue.
"It is heartening to have the voices of artists and arts workers heard by Government, and we want to thank Minister Madigan and her Department for their constructive engagement with our 13 Point National Arts Recovery Plan," the committee added.
"This investment is a positive first step in recognising the value of our arts and culture community. We await the publication of the Arts Council Expert Advisory Group report for the detail on how this investment will directly reach the sector.
"We are revitalised and energised and look forward to continuing our fruitful engagement with Government, on behalf of the sector, in pursuing the remaining 12 points in our National Arts Recovery Plan."
The National Campaign for the Arts have arranged an online meeting tomorrow, June 18, to discuss the €25 million in funding, the draft Programme for Government, imminent Arts Council Expert Advisory Group report, and campaign next steps.
Sign up to the organisation's newsletter and information will be sent on how to attend the meeting.
Online meeting tomorrow at 4.30pm to discuss yesterday's €25m news, draft Programme for Government, imminent Arts Council Expert Advisory Group report, and campaign next steps. Sign up to our newsletter and we'll send info on how to attend in the morning. https://t.co/Sr8310SId9
— National Campaign for the Arts - Ireland (@Campaign4Arts) June 17, 2020