01 February 2010: Arts Council announces 2010 funding decisions

The Arts Council, the government agency for funding and developing the arts, has made its major grant allocations for 2010, distributing in excess of €49m to more than 350 arts organisations. Letters detailing news of the decisions were posted on Friday.
In its overall approach, the Council sought to ensure that organisations can continue to bring the best of the arts to audiences across Ireland. Emphasis was given to achieving a regional balance, on enabling the arts to reach more people, and on supporting artists to make work.
The financial allocations are outlined below. While the value of the allocations has decreased across the artforms, the relativity of allocation between the artforms (with the exception of Opera), has remained broadly similar to previous years. (see table and chart)
Funding by artform in the three major Arts Council grants programmes (Regularly Funded Organisations, Annual Funding and Annual Programming Grants):

Areas of arts practice2009 (€)2010 (€)
Visual Arts5,063,1574,209,700
Traditional Arts1,512,9101,297,800
Street Arts and Spectacle823,000680,500

The Arts Council also funds organisations working across a number of artforms, and the grants described above are augmented by funds awarded in the categories below:

Areas of arts practice2009 (€)2010 (€)
Young People3,327,5342,752,300
Local Arts3,335,0002,743,700
Festivals and Events2,463,0002,049,000
Arts Participation1,354,5001,108,000
Artists' Supports275,182254,000

*includes allocation of €7.25 million to the Abbey Theatre for 2010
Faced with a particularly difficult budgetary environment - the Council has €9 million less to invest in the arts than in 2009  - it has not been possible to maintain the same level of funding to the same number of organisations as in the past. A number of organisations will cease to be funded under the three main grants programmes.
Funding of organisations in the three major Arts Council grants programmes:

Number of organisations that applied for funding 407410
Number of organisations offered funding 352354
Number offered funding increases3410
Number offered same level of funding9324
Number offered funding decreases on 2009 241313
Organisations offered funding for the first time in these programmes87

The Arts Council has maintained the Aosdána cnuas at its current level. The cnuas is a stipend paid to qualifying Aosdána members to enable them to devote their energies fully to their art. In addition, cuts to artists' retreats have been minimised while essential facilities and infrastructure for artists are being maintained.
The Council also prioritised regional balance, where key venues and festivals have been supported to produce the best of the arts for people right across the country. In addition, the Arts Council has established a new fund for touring; this will extend the life of productions, exhibitions and performances, and ensure more people experience the arts in 2010.
In its overall budgetary approach, the Council has allocated 20 percent of its direct funding to projects and awards.  As well as safeguarding funding for new and emerging artistic talent, this will provide opportunities for artists within organisations no longer funded on a recurring basis.
The Council's overall administrative budget has also been reduced by 30% from its 2008 level.
Details of the grant offers can be seen here:

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

Recent publications
22 April 2014: Arts Council Plenary Minutes (March 2014) (PDF, 0.07 MB)
15 April 2014: Irish Arts Sector - Private Investment Report (PDF, 1.16 MB)
10 April 2014: Arts Council Prompt Payments Report January-March 2014 (PDF, 0.46 MB)