23 June 2008: The Arts Council, The IRMA Trust and Music Network announce details of the Music Capital Scheme

The Arts Council, The IRMA Trust and Music Network today announced details of the Music Capital Scheme and Research Project, an action-research initiative designed to provide support for the purchase of musical instruments in 2008. The scheme and research project will be operated on a pilot basis in 2008 and will be designed to recommend formalised structures for ongoing support in this area beyond 2008. Closing date for applications 5.30pm Monday 29 September.

Speaking at the event, Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council said, The Arts Council have long prided ourselves in being a voice for the arts. Now, it has been observed that all music begins with the voice. But it most certainly does not end there. And our very human delight in invention has in the past led to the reworking not only of music genres, but also of the actual instruments that make music come alive."

Commenting on the initiative, Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said, "The Arts Council is aware of a range of needs for capital investment in music throughout Ireland. One of the principal areas of difficulty for musicians and for ensembles can be the purchasing of instruments. The costs of instrument purchase, maintenance and repair can be significant barriers to the development of many organisations and this scheme aims to address this."

There are three categories of support under the Music Capital Scheme aimed at highly skilled performing artists, non-professional performing groups/ensembles and those working in youth or community organisations supporting musical practice. This scheme marks a new departure for the Arts Council as for the first time non-professional music groups can apply for funding under one strand of the scheme.

The Music Capital Scheme, managed by Music Network, will focus exclusively on the area of music instrument purchase in 2008. Awards in this scheme will be made to individual artists, to ensembles and to organisations supporting musical practice in other ways. A total fund of up to €350,000 in grant aid is available in 2008, of which up to €130,000 is specifically intended to support the purchase of rehearsal equipment and instruments for use by youth and community groups, via a once-off investment in the scheme funded by the IRMA Trust.  

Dick Doyle, IRMA Trust Director & CEO of IRMA & PPI, stated, "The IRMA Trust is pleased to partner with the Arts Council on a national scheme of this nature. The Trust has invested over €1.5 million to date in helping young people gain access to music. What this scheme is all about is bringing rehearsal facilities locally to young bands."

The research project, managed by the Arts Council, will look beyond the scope of the new scheme at a broader range of related issues including the needs for equipment purchase; for the provision of rehearsal venues; and for the development of performing venues for artists, ensembles, venues and support organisations working in all areas of musical practice.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.30 pm Monday 29 September 2008. For further information visit www.musicnetwork.ie or contact the Music Capital Scheme Manager, Music Network, Tel. 01 671 94 29 or email capitalscheme@musicnetwork.ie

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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