Today the Arts Council announced that it is awarding 116 artists, arts organisations and projects some €6.8 million through Arts Grant Funding, a new scheme under the agency’s 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work.
The funding will go to artists and arts organisations in 20 counties across every region of Ireland, and for international work. (Antrim, Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.)
Welcoming the announcement Minister Josepha Madigan TD said: "I am delighted to announce this investment in our arts. Art enriches us personally, gives heart and expression to our community, leaves us more creative and imaginative, drives our economy with creativity and innovation. It makes Ireland attractive for tourism but most of all, the arts in Ireland brings us together -- and keeps us together. Art is the interpretation, interrogation and expression of our diverse identities.
My job as Minister is not to make art but to support art and to enable artists by sustaining momentum and investment. I know too, the essential, central role of the Arts Council in sustaining, encouraging and supporting the arts.
The state plays a role in supporting the arts. It is something to be proud of that we as a people honour our artists. It is to say that we are striving to make art intrinsic to the enjoyment of citizenship. The exciting funding programme announced here today will further that agenda this year and for many years to come".
Speaking today at the funding announcement Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council said; “The Arts Council is very pleased to make this announcement in recognition of some of the outstanding artistic talent who applied for funding under our new Arts Grants funding programme. The demand for funding under this programme was enormous and the quality of applications was superb. This new funding that we are announcing today is another solid step in supporting the growth of Irish arts and artists. Today 116 artists and arts organisations right across the country will receive funding of almost €7 million. This will support as rich a range of artistic work as great as you will find anywhere in the world.
“From theatre to Irish traditional arts, from jazz to classical music to local fiddle festivals, to visual arts and literature. The talent represented in these organisations is world class and their ambition and confidence is something that we should all be proud of.”
Sheila Pratschke added; “The Arts Council is doing much to support artists and we want to do so much more. We know that if we invest in artists now, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the trifecta; results for the arts, results for society and results for the economy. Helping government to deliver on its recently announced programme Global Ireland 2025 is a challenge that we relish. With the right investment, in the right places, fostering the right artists, we can fan the glowing embers of the artists who will fill our galleries, theatres and bookshelves into the future. These are the people who will increase our global footprint, who will entice our visitors and entertain our citizens. Most importantly, we can find the people who will define, re-invent, question, reflect, and codify who we are as a people and a state. What better challenge could we have?”
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