The Arts Council, the agency for leading the development of the arts in Ireland, has today announced its investment approach for 2016 which will see it invest €60.1m, bringing the arts to people and communities across Ireland.
The annual investment strategy will support the Arts Council as it introduces its new 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work, which sets out its plan for leading the arts in Ireland over the next decade. The strategy prioritises the artist and public engagement, and looks to develop the conditions, infrastructure and environment to enable artists and organisations to make great work and to encourage people to access and participate in that work. To support the new strategy the main elements of the Councils investment in 2016 are:
- €32 million to 195 arts organisations
- €1.4m in Touring which will see performances tour to every county in Ireland, both north and south
- €180k in a new Emerging Artists Bursary Scheme
- €1.72m in regular funding to Local Authorities as well as an additional €350k to establish a new strategic Local Authority Partnership Scheme
- Ealaín na Gaeltachta, the Arts Councils partnership with Udarás na Gaeltachta received an increase on previous years to €316k
- Over €5.2m was awarded to venues in every county throughout the country
- Over €2.6m was awarded to Festivals
- Over €2.24m was awarded to literature organisations and initiatives with an increase to €232k specifically to support bursaries for writers
- €4m was awarded in the visual arts with €500k specifically for artists bursaries
- €6m was awarded to Theatre with an unprecedented €1.2m specifically to support new projects in theatre
- An additional €1m to support multi-disciplinary projects for artists and organisations to be announced in the spring
The investment strategy ensures that people in every part of the country will continue to experience the best of the arts over the next 12 months. For 2016, the Arts Council chose to specifically focus increases to independent artists through bursaries and projects. Organisations in literature, music, dance, visual arts, theatre, street art, circus, spectacle, opera, film, architecture and the traditional arts as well as through special areas of arts practice such as arts participation and young people, children and arts education received either standstill or increased funding.
Amongst the grants offered were €762,000 to Druid Theatre Company; €1,420,00 to Wexford Festival Opera; €497,000 for Galway Arts Festival; €390,000 for Kilkenny Arts Festival; €135,000 for Town Hall Theatre Galway; €157,000 for Hawkswell Theatre; €145,000 for Wexford Arts Centre; €361,000 for Royal Hibernian Academy; €865,000 for Irish Chamber Orchestra; €215,000 for National Association for Youth Drama; €230,000 for Barnstorm Theatre Company and €205,000 to Coisceim Dance Theatre.
Separately, the Arts Council has committed €5.8 million to the Abbey theatre for 2016, as part of a three-year funding agreement.
Arts Council Chair Sheila Pratschke said: “The Arts Council has a new strategy focused on the artist and public engagement – our grant from Government in 2016 will enable us to begin to deliver on this strategy, investing public resources strategically to ensure more high quality art for the people of Ireland”.
Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride said: “These grant decisions will sustain and support artists as well as key arts organisations, venues and festivals in Ireland in 2016. Our renewed partnership with Local Authorities has also been prioritised through the establishment of a new partnership scheme. I am confident that the work these organisations and individuals are already planning will inspire and engage communities’ right across the country, and capture the imagination of the public throughout the year”
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