The Arts Council, the Irish Government agency for developing the arts, has announced additional funding this year to organisations working in the area of young people, children and the arts. This funding has been made possible as a result of additional funds voted to the Arts Council at the end of 2006 by the Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism, Mr John O’Donoghue TD.
Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council, said: “These grants represent the first step in creating a new development fund to support young people and children as makers, viewers and listeners of the arts. This is a crucially important area of arts activity and is a high priority for the Arts Council, as expressed in our strategy Partnership for the Arts 2006-2010. We are looking carefully at a number of initiatives which will address strategically important initiatives for young people and children over the next four years. In addition to creating a new development fund in 2008 we will also examine ways in which children and young people can be recognised and supported as critical consumers of the arts”.
The fund, totalling €185,000 has been offered this year to sixteen organisations, who work specifically, or primarily, in the area of children and young people’s arts. These organisations are a vital component in the national arts infrastructure as they provide leadership, develop best practice, support national and international networks, identify and inform professional training needs, and actively engage in advocacy for the development of young people’s arts in Ireland.
The sixteen organisations who received funding this year are listed below:
- National Association for Youth Drama :€40,000 towards the National Youth Theatre 2007.
- Cumann Naisunta na gCor: €30,000 towards the development of new county-wide Youth Choirs Infrastructure
- Westmeath County Council: €15,000 towards its 2007 Youth Theatre and Youth Dance programme.
- Louth County Council: €15,000 towards priorities identified in the County Youth Arts Strategy.
- Irish Association for Youth Orchestras: towards programmes for each of the three regional orchestras – South East, Regional Orchestra, North West Regional Orchestra and Midlands Regional Orchestra.
- Children’s Books Ireland: €15,000 towards research on book-based practice for young people.
- Dublin Youth Theatre: €11,000 towards events in its 30th Anniversary Celebration programme.
- Activate Youth Theatre (Graffiti Theatre Company): €7,000 towards its ‘Ideal Homes’ production.
- Little Red Kettle (run by Red Kettle, Waterford): €7,000 towards its Summer Play Development programme.
- Waterford Youth Arts: €7,000 towards a collaborative choreographic project with Fluxusdance (Kildare).
- Irish National Youth Ballet: €5,000 towards professional costs of its 2007 programme.
- Carlow Young Artists’ Choir: €5,000 towards commissioning two new works by leading Irish composers.
- Galway Circus Project: €4,000 towards establishing a youth exchange programme with Belfast Community Circus.
- Young Irish Film Makers: €4,000 towards its Young Kilkenny Film Makers programme.
- Galway Youth Theatre: €3,000 towards elements of its 2007 production programme.
- Dublin Youth Dance Company: €2,000 towards elements of its 2007 production programme.