- 21 Oct 21
"As Minister, I want to send out a clear message to the sector that this damaging behaviour will not be tolerated," she says in response to the Irish Theatre Institute's new report, 'Speak Up: A Call For Change.' Photo: @DeptCulturelRL
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has announced new measures and additional funding today, in response to the recommendations of a major report commissioned by the Irish Theatre Institute (ITI).
The report, ‘Speak Up: A Call for Change’, outlines the results of a comprehensive survey conducted on workers throughout the arts sector in Ireland. It found that the majority of the 1,300 respondents had experienced (70%) and/or witnessed (53%) some form of harmful behaviours (bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, humiliation, victimisation, assault and sexual assault).
The report includes several recommendations that aim to bring about cultural and structural change to ensure dignity in the workplace.
Among the actions announced by Minister Martin is collaboration between the Department, the Arts Council and Screen Ireland on allocating public funding in line with the requirement to adhere to national guidelines and workplace safety processes.
Also included in the measures is the expansion of existing resources and services, that are provided free of charge to artists and arts workers. These include guidance on human resources, counselling, mediation and legal issues.
As well as the suite of actions, Minister Martin has announced additional funding of €200,000 to support the implementation of the report's recommendations.
“I welcome this report and support the recommendations," Minister Martin comments. "There are layers of disturbing elements that emerge from the survey. The majority of the instances reported took place in the workplace, perpetrators are reported to hold positions of authority and often have not faced consequences for their harmful actions.
“The survey makes it clear that the seven damaging behaviours of bullying, humiliation, harassment, sexual harassment, victimisation, sexual assault and assault occur right across the arts sector, including those in receipt of public funding. The arrangements I am putting in place in response to Speak Up: A Call for Change, are designed to end this scourge and provide safe working conditions for artists and arts workers. As Minister, I want to send out a clear message to the sector that this damaging behaviour will not be tolerated.
“I want to thank everyone who shared their lived experiences in response to this survey and to assure them that their voices have been heard.”
The full 'Speak Up: A Call For Change' report is available to read here.