30 June 2011: Arts Councils north and south underline common commitment to supporting individual artists

The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) reaffirmed at their joint annual plenary meeting that they share a common strategic commitment to supporting individual artists.

The Councils reviewed the findings of research on the Living and Working Conditions of Artists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The research showed the average professional artist living in the Republic of Ireland earns just €14,500 a year from his or her art, despite having a higher level of formal education than the wider labour force.

"If we value the arts we must value the individual artist and we must create the conditions in which artists can share the economic benefits that derive from their work," stated Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon following their recent plenary.

Rosemary Kelly, Chairman of ACNI said:"Sustaining artists' careers must be a priority and the arts sector must be encouraged to offer opportunities which will ensure that talented artists choose and are able to live and work here."

At the joint meeting, the two Arts Councils expressed concern regarding changes in the economic environment and their impact upon professional artists living and working in Ireland today.

The research, completed last year was the largest study of its kind to be undertaken in a generation, and one which has provided an evidence base necessary to understand the pressures facing artists. 

The Councils have committed to reviewing the report findings annually and to ensuring that they inform their strategic decisions in the years ahead.

Context note: The central component of the research was to conduct a large scale survey of professional artists.  The full report, commissioned by both Councils, produced by Hibernian Consulting and published in 2010 references the socio-economic context in which artists operate, and also provides information on similar international studies carried out in other countries to support professional artists.   The key findings from the survey highlight the demographic characteristics of artists; their levels of education and training; their work patterns and unemployment; their mobility and their levels of income and standard of living. 

For further details and to access a copy of the report click here: http://bit.ly/jy76gi

Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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