21 December 2007: Arts Council announces Annual Funding decisions totalling €20 million

The Arts Council today announced Annual Funding allocations to 143 organisations and 34 local authorities for 2008.  The Arts Council received a total of 209 applications for this Annual Funding programme with the demand being in excess of €37 million. Of these the Arts Council has offered funding to 143 organisations and 34 local authorities for 2008, totalling almost €20 million.

Ms Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council, said 2007 has been a significant year for the Arts Council in terms of reforming its funding programmes to make them more relevant to the needs of arts organisations and artists. "Of the suite of new funding programmes, the Annual Funding programme is the final to be rolled out", she said.  

The decisions follow the announcement that along with the €82.1 million allocation for 2008, the Council has received €3 million extra in funding from the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Seamus Brennan, TD, in its 2007 allocation. 

Mary Cloake, Arts Council Director said: "In addition to completing the roll-out of our funding programmes, these new funds give us the opportunity to fund initiatives which help to take the arts to a wider public across the country.  In 2008 we will now be able to support additional touring and a new community music scheme."  

 Touring

The additional funds at the end of 2007 have enabled the Arts Council to support a number of additional touring initiatives for 2008. 

Highlights of projects supported under the touring initiative include: The Gate Theatre’s (€180,000) plans to present a national tour of its award winning production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in Autumn 2008; the NASC (€100,000) and NOMAD (€100,000) networks of regional arts venues have each been offered additional funding to support their own touring plans for 2008; and further support for Traditional Arts touring initiatives (€50,000).

This funding is additional to support for a number of tours taking place under the Touring Experiment in Spring 2008, which were previously announced. These include the NASC tour of Rough Magic’s production of The Taming of the Shrew and Red Kettle’s tour of their own production of Boy Soldier.  The total value of funding made available in 2008 to support these tours is c. €750,000.

The Arts Council Director said the Arts Council will consider the findings of the Touring Experiment (an action research project) in mid 2008, and will announce future touring opportunities, if resources permit, in Autumn 2008 for 2009 and beyond.  

Community Music

There is a pressing need for investment to enable people right across the country to access to musical instruments. The Council has allocated funding of €500,000 towards establishing a new Community Music Scheme, commencing in 2008. The scheme is an action-based project which will gauge the need for investment in instruments for the professional music sector, and also provide direct support to various types of bands and other community-based music making. 

Additional funds which remain after this spending round will be decided on by the Arts Council at its January meeting. The Council will consider in particular its existing policy commitments, for example in the traditional arts, when making these decisions.  

Editor’s Note 1:  Arts Council new funding programmes

The Arts Council introduced five new funding programmes throughout 2007. Decisions were made earlier this year for the RFOs (advised in June) and the Programme Funding (in October).  Details of the Small Festivals scheme were announced last week and details of the first round of Project Funding for 2008 have also been placed on the Arts Council website with funds totalling €2 million  allocated to 57 projects.

Editors Note 2

To view the organisations in receipt of funding - please go to the decisions database on the Arts Council website: select ‘Annual Funding‘ from the 'Fund' menu; select the year '2008' and click on 'Search'.

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

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