Arts Council awards €10 million funding to artists and arts organisations

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red curtain stage
Photo by Gwen O on Unsplash

THE Arts Council has announced that it is offering funding of almost €10 million to 166 artists and arts organisations as part of its Arts Grant Funding (AGF) programme.

The grants are for Artists’ Support; Arts Participation; Circus; Dance; Festivals & Events; Film; Literature; Music; Opera; Spectacle; Theatre; Traditional Arts; Venues; Visual Arts and YPCE.

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The investment includes an additional €2.5 million compared to last year’s AGF programme, part of an effort to support artists and arts organisations through the Covid-19 crisis.

This has been made possible through extra investment from the government this year.  In total, 166 applications out of 194 were successful, including 42 that were not funded in 2019.

“This investment is a vote of confidence by the Arts Council in these artists and arts organisations,” said Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly. “Because of Covid-19, no one can predict accurately what performances, exhibitions or other art work will look like in 2021, but we know that artists and arts organisations will continue to create great work for the public, despite the current extreme challenges.

“These awards will create work opportunities for freelance artists and arts workers across all art forms, which is critical at this time of crisis.” she added.

The Arts Grant Funding scheme now in its third year, was introduced in 2018 as part of our 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work. The additional investment comes alongside a suite of other new and enhanced funding programmes designed to help the arts sector survive and adapt to the pandemic.

These include enhanced Projects awards, Bursary awards and Commissions across all art forms and areas of arts practice; a capacity-building scheme to support organisations adapt and develop new skills and expertise; a professional development scheme to support individuals to up skill and take on new training or professional development opportunities; and an Emergency Stabilisation Fund to support some arts organisations facing significant financial difficulties.

Successful applicants under Arts Grant Funding include:

Barnstorm Theatre in Kilkenny has a particular although not exclusive focus on commissioning and producing theatre for children and young people. The company tours nationally and occasionally internationally, primarily to schools audiences, and provides a year-round programme of projects and events that serve young people, schools and communities within Kilkenny.

The Cill Rialaig Project artists’ retreat in Balinskelligs County Kerry comprises a cluster of pre-famine cottages that have been restored to provide seven self-contained live/work spaces for artists. Residencies last 2-3 weeks and are provided free of charge. Places are offered through a mix of direct invitation and open submission. The retreat is part of the wider Cill Rialaig project which incorporates a gallery, shop, café, workshop and print studio.

Tulca, is a contemporary visual arts festival in Galway city. Progressing from its origins within the Galway Arts Centre, it set up as an independent limited company in 2004 to support its aim of extending the debate and provision for the visual arts community and audiences throughout the city and county.

Clonmel Junction Arts Festival was established in 2000 and since then it has developed a distinctive role in providing a quality arts programme for a large audience in South Tipperary. The festival is rooted in the town that it serves, , and sees itself as playing an important role in creating new and dynamic connections with the community.

Upstate is a community-engaged performing arts organisation working across all arts participation practice areas. Established in Drogheda in 1997, its programme is designed to facilitate local communities of place and interest to work in collaboration with professional artists to realise performances based on themes, ideas and issues of mutual interest.