As part of an ongoing commitment to improving its range of supports for artists, the Arts Council has announced a significant increase in the Cnuas, the payment made to some Aosdána members to allow artists to devote themselves full time to creative work. The annual sum will rise from €12,180 to €20,000 over the next three years. The Cnuas forms an important part of the Arts Council’s support for artists at key levels of their careers.
Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council, said: "Partnership for the Arts sets out a programme to improve the working environment within which artists contribute to society. We are very pleased to be able to announce this increase in the Cnuas. It underscores the Arts Council’s commitment to encouraging and supporting individual artists and represents an investment in the arts for the future."
This is the first increase in the Cnuas since 2004. The Arts Council recognised that both the current payment and the earnings cap over which an artist may not receive the Cnuas are relatively low. The decision to stagger the increase over three years was made due to budgetary constraints.
Members of Aosdána are eligible to receive the Cnuas - an annuity for a term of five years - to assist them in concentrating their energies full-time to their art. A member may apply for a Cnuas at any time, but must provide both an outline of the art work proposed, and documentation of income. No Aosdána member with an income of more than one and a half times the value of the Cnuas - until now €18,270 - can receive the Cnuas.
The Arts Council provides a range of funds for individual artists including, bursaries; awards under its traditional arts initiative, Deis; grants geared towards new work; funding for once-off projects by individual artists; and travel and training grants.
The Arts Council also announced today, that in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, it will shortly commission a major study into the living and working conditions of artists in Ireland. This is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to evidence-based policy making in the arts.