People right across the country will experience the arts in new and exciting ways in 2018, the Arts Council said today.
Outlining its plan to invest €68.4 million over the course of the year, the agency for developing the arts said the focus of this year’s investment would be on creating opportunities for the public to experience large-scale work, as well as work of real artistic ambition, by supporting organisations through its two new funding programmes.
“2018 is going to be an excellent year for everyone in Ireland who enjoys the arts, said Arts Council Director, Orlaith McBride. “Whether you love theatre or opera or music or dance or literature or visual arts, whether you are young or old and no matter where you live, you will experience great work that will lift your spirit.”
The Council said more than half of its total grant from Government would be invested through its new Strategic Funding programme, for established organisations operating at the highest level across all the areas of the arts. This includes funding for the first time at this level for several organisations.
In addition, there will be increased funding for particular work by artists, emerging companies and organisations through the new Arts Grants Funding programme
Individual artists will be supported through a range of schemes such as bursaries and the Next Generation award, the Council said, with funding too for the dozens of unique festivals that take place in communities across Ireland from January to December.
“This is the first year of our new funding framework, which by its rigour and strategic focus we believe will help shape and develop the arts in Ireland for many years to come,” said Ms McBride. “We are already very encouraged by the response from artists and arts organisations, and when we look at the breadth and scale of the work being funded we know with confidence that people right across Ireland will experience the best of the arts in 2018.”
Key areas of investment and highlights:
- New national opera company bringing Irish productions from the great operatic repertoire, with overall investment in opera of €4.7 million
- Special focus on arts programmes for children and young people, including central role for Arts Council in Government’s new Scoileanna Ildánaca/Creative Schools initiative in 150 schools and a special investment of €600,000
- Multi-annual grants for some organisations, to allow better planning for 2019 and 2020
- Development arts funding for all 31 local authorities and Ealaín na Gaeltachta, and investment of some €2.4 million
- Investment in arts centres around the country to be maintained, with investment of €5.5 million
- Abbey Theatre supported in its ambitious new plans with tours around Ireland with €7 million for 2018.
- Aosdána sustained and cnuas maintained to honour and support our established artists, with investment of €2.7 million
- Several organisations previously funded through non-recurring programmes now offered grants under Strategic Funding
For 2018, the Arts Council offered €28.4 million through its Strategic Funding programme to 156 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.
Amongst the grants offered to organisations were:
€286,000 to West Cork Music; €537,000 to Galway International Arts Festival; €232,000 to Arts & Disability Ireland; €241,000 to eva International; €671,000 to the Irish Traditional Music Archive; €450,310 to the Dublin Dance Festival; €565,000 to The Ark; €538,000 to Music Network; €80,000 to Louth Contemporary Music; €10,000 to Mill Theatre; €850,000 to the Irish Film Institute; and €40,000 to Helium Children’s Arts and Health.
A significant number of organisations supported through Strategic Funding have included touring of their work to different parts of the country. The Arts Council’s policy of encouraging touring will be further underpinned by an additional investment of €1 million in touring during 2018.
Through its new Arts Grant Funding programme, the Council has also set aside some €1.6 million to support more organisations and artists making work directly for the public. The Council said it would be accepting applications to this programme from March 2018, and would hold workshops to assist organisations intending to apply. Details will be available on the Arts Council website and through its Newsletter early in the New Year.
Some €5.5 million has been set aside for supporting individual artists in 2018, through bursaries, travel and training grants, commissions and through Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists, where qualifying members are entitled to an annual ‘cnuas’ bursary of €17,180. The overall sum does not include grants to Individual artists through project funding, Open Call, and the new Arts Grant Funding programme.
The Arts Council has committed €4.7 million to opera in 2018. This will see the creation of a new opera company bringing Irish productions from the great operatic repertoire, touring across the country, continued funding for Wexford Festival Opera, and further support through projects, commissions, bursaries and other schemes.
In 2018, the Arts Council will continue to focus on the arts in the lives of young people and children, and will play a central role in ‘Creative Youth’ pillar of the Government’s ‘Creative Ireland’ initiative. We will invest some €600,000 as we deliver the Scoileanna Ildánaca/Creative Schools pilot initiative to 150 schools.
Several organisations previously supported only through non-recurring funding have received offers under the new Strategic Funding programme, including theatre company ANU Productions, dance company United Fall, publishers Tramp Press and Galway Community Circus.
The Council will invest €210,000 its highly successful Title by Title scheme in 2018, with awards to support the production of seven books and to support the costs of eight literary journals. Works will be published in Irish and English, in both traditional and online formats, and will cover a number of genres including children’s literature, poetry and literary fiction. In addition, 2018 will see the appointment of a new Laureate for Irish Fiction and a new Laureate na n-Óg, with both sure to underscore the excellence of Irish literature and encourage people of all ages to read.
Also in 2018, the Arts Council will invest €221,000 to support almost 700 artists in 19 studio spaces across the country, from spacecraft in Limerick, to BLOCK T in Dublin to Custom House Studios in Westport, Co Mayo.
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