The Butler Gallery will receive funding under the latest announcement
Artists and arts organisations in Kilkenny will receive over €1million as Irish society recovers from the pandemic, the Arts Council said today.
Kilkenny organisations to benefit include The Butler Gallery (€356,400), KCAT (€70,000), Kilkenny Arts Festival (€452,727), The Watergate Theatre (€97,000) and Young Irish Film Makers (€77,710).
With its exchequer grant increased to €130 million, the government agency for funding and developing the arts said that while the sector was suffering disproportionately in the health crisis, hundreds of artists and practitioners were planning and already making great art for the public to experience in the months ahead.
Announcing its key Strategic Funding round, the Council said it would invest €46.1 million in 105 key arts organisations across the country, among them Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick, Macnas in Galway, Cork Midsummer Festival, Waterford’s Spraoi and Teaċ Daṁsa in Kerry.
A further €7.8 million will fund 43 arts centres in every region of the country,
The Council said that in addition in the weeks ahead, it would award around €10.7 million to arts organisations through its Arts Grant Funding programme; €2 million in smaller festivals in almost every county from its Festivals Investment Scheme; and a range of other supports for arts organisations struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. For individual artists there will be some €10.5 million in bursaries; €5.6 million through a new Agility Award; as well increased funding for commissions and projects.
Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly said: “Increased public investment is enabling us to support ambitious plans throughout the country and to ensure that the core infrastructure of the arts landscape survives the most challenging period ever faced. Ireland’s key organisations are demonstrating impressive levels of imagination and adaptability in their planning and we are confident that these funding decisions will support them to build back better and to reach the widest possible audience.”
The Council said it remained committed to prioritising the two policies it highlighted in 2020. These are Paying the Artist, designed to ensure fair remuneration for artists, and Equality, Human Rights and Diversity, which aims to make the arts sector fairer and more reflective of all of Irish society.
“Both of these important policies have been integrated with our funding programmes, and everyone receiving investment from the Arts Council must agree to play their part to embed these policies in their activity’, said Maureen Kennelly.
Arts Council Chair Prof. Kevin Rafter said: “Our goal in this extremely challenging year is not just for the arts to survive the pandemic but for the creativity and work of our artists and arts organisations to be at the heart of the revival and the renewal of our society. We believe the new level of annual funding for the Arts Council from the Government of €130 million puts us in a position to do that.”
The Arts Council confirmed that its highly successful ‘Creative Schools’ programme would continue to run in 2021-22, with the number of schools participating increased to more than 250 and funding of €3 million.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, welcomed the announcement, saying that the Arts Council's €130 million investment in 2021 will have a hugely positive impact and the funding is key to helping the arts survive and thrive in 2021.
“The pandemic has shown us just how important the arts are to all our lives. The unprecedented funding this year provided to the Council -- which I secured in Budget 2021 -- will help sustain artists and organisations severely impacted by the pandemic,” Minister Martin said. “The funds will not only go to those arts organisations and individual artists, but small festivals, creative schools and to a variety of applicants across the country.”
In their applications for Arts Centres and Strategic Funding, organisations said they would together sustain more than 35,000 jobs, and forecast the creation of 250,000 events or art objects with 24 million ‘engagements’ – when a member of the public experiences the work.
The Arts Council said the Strategic Funding grants would allow key organisations to stay afloat during the remaining months of the pandemic, adapt to the changing landscape, and renew their work for the future.
With continuing uncertainty around when audiences would be able to return to performances and exhibitions in person, flexibility and agility in pivoting to digital alternatives emerged as a strong theme in the programmes being proposed by the country’s key arts organisations.
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