The Arts Council, An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the government agency for supporting and developing the arts in Ireland, has made its major grant offers for 2015, distributing some €30 million to more than 200 arts organisations. Letters detailing news of the decisions were posted on Monday.
In 2015, for the first time in six years, the Arts Council’s own Exchequer grant was maintained at 2014 levels (€56.668 million), and, anticipating future increases in investment, the Council was mindful in its allocations to help position the arts to benefit from, and play a full part in, the national recovery.
The decisions will mean that artistic talent continues to be nurtured; arts organisations are sustained; and people in every part of the country experience the best of the arts. In its approach, the Arts Council sought to strike a balance between different art forms; considered the impact of the arts on a national, regional and local basis; and encouraged new talent while strengthening organisations already delivering at a high level.
The Arts Council has published an interactive map on its website, where users can see details for each arts organisation funded in the three main grants programmes and the reason for the Arts Council’s investment. The map can be viewed here:
Amongst the larger grants offered were €1,420,00 to Wexford Festival Opera; €860,000 to The Gate theatre; €762,000 to Druid; €490,000 for Galway Arts Festival; €390,000 for Kilkenny Arts Festival; and €361,000 for the Royal Hibernian Academy. Separately, the Arts Council has committed €6.2 million to the Abbey theatre for 2015, as part of a three-year funding agreement.
Every local authority in the State, along with Ealaín na Gaeltachta, will receive funding directly from the Arts Council, a combined total of €2 million. Many will also receive further support through the funding of local authority-owned venues, with funding to all venues for 2015 totalling €4.9 million.
While many of the organisations offered funding will bring their work ‘on the road’ over the course of the year, the Arts Council will also invest an additional €1.25 million in touring in 2015. This will see some 500 extra performances, exhibitions and arts events being brought to 1 million people across the entire island of Ireland.
Throughout the year, the Arts Council will make further investment in the arts, including bursaries for individual artists, projects and awards. The Aosdána cnuas has been maintained at its current level of €17,180 per annum.
Arts Council Chair Sheila Pratschke said: “The arts mean so much to us in this country; they are our most popular pursuit and they define our identity. As, we hope, both the economy and national morale continue to improve in 2015, the arts will play a key role in shaping our future as a society.”
Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride said: “These grants decisions will support a strong infrastructure of arts organisations who will continue in 2015, to provide people in every region and county in Ireland from January to December with a range of arts experiences from festivals, to performances, from exhibitions to concerts as well as a host of other arts events which capture the public imagination.”
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