The Arts Council announced today its intention to develop a further three-year initiative for the Traditional Arts. The move comes after the successful completion of the Traditional Arts Initiative 2005-2008, which introduced the Deis scheme and increased support for the traditional arts through the Arts Council’s mainstream grants and awards.
The Deis scheme, established under the 2005 initiative, successfully facilitated and encouraged the traditional arts community in applying for funding from the Arts Council. Since its introduction in September 2005 Deis has funded over 250 separate projects to the tune of almost €1.7 million.
Speaking at a function today to mark the success of the initiative, the Chair of the Arts Council, Olive Braiden, said: "This was an initiative that responded to the unique status accorded these art forms in Irish culture, which - although shaped by each generation - express something of a perennial native genius; one that continues to make its presence felt in Irish life."
She continued: "Deis demonstrates that every Arts Council initiative, if it is to be successful, relies on the initiative of those it seeks to serve. In helping us to begin to get a real sense of what their goals and ambitions are, and what we can do to help traditional artists realise those goals, I can assure you that this initiative has been such a success. It should be of no surprise to all then that Council intends to develop another three year initiative for Traditional Arts."
Ms Braiden said the Arts Council’s increased support for the traditional arts was evident in it funding through its mainstream grants, awards and developmental initiatives, as well as through bespoke schemes such as Turas.
"Today the Arts Council is sending out the offer of funding letters to our Regularly Funded Organisations. I note with pleasure the presence here this afternoon of representatives of two of the brightest and most outstanding RFOs -- Na Piobairí Uilleann and the Irish Traditional Music Archive," Ms Braiden added. [To view the RFO decisions, click here: 2009 RFO decisions (0.05 MB, Adobe PDF).]
Ms Braiden said the Arts Council was proud of its role as a State agency, and was appreciative of the funding it receives from the Government through the Department of Arts Sport and Tourism.