The Arts Council has published a new report which shows the outcomes and impacts of its response to the Covid-19 crisis since March 2020.
The report also includes the findings of a new survey of artists and arts workers which shows:
• Almost half (48%) of professional artists have considered abandoning their career in the arts over the last year, with lack of income and financial pressures being cited by 70% of those as the main reason for considering this.
• 48% of artists say the financial impact of the Covid crisis has been “severe”.
• Differences emerged between art forms, with those involved in music reporting more severe impacts in 2021 than in 2020, reflecting the ongoing impact of Covid restrictions on the arts.
• The percentage of income for professional artists from artistic activities has decreased substantially since March 2020.
The Arts Council carried out the impact assessment survey with individual artists in May and June 2021.
Speaking about the report, Chair of the Arts Council, Prof Kevin Rafter said, “Increased public investment has enabled the Arts Council to protect livelihoods and jobs, critical to the survival of the core arts infrastructure. But we know that the impact of the crisis will continue into 2022 for the arts and ongoing support from the Arts Council will be vital for artists, arts workers and arts organisations all over the country.”
Arts Council Director, Maureen Kennelly said, “The strong public narrative of support for the arts has been a positive and much appreciated factor in the Covid-19 crisis. With sustained and increased investment from government, and overwhelming support from the public, we know that we can finally support the arts profession to realise its true potential.”
Against the background of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, increased funding in 2022 will allow Arts Council to continue to develop the sector beyond the crisis. In line with previous commitments to increase support for the arts, the Arts Council has submitted a proposal to government for a budget allocation of €150m for 2022.
Eight priority areas have been identified by the Arts Council for additional funding in 2022 with an ambitious strategic plan for significant regional impact in areas aligned with our current policies:
1. Development of employment hubs for artists through the regional arts centre network
2. Establishment of new workspaces for artists countrywide
3. Expansion of Creative Places programme which will see concentrated investment in 10 new urban and rural communities
4. Stabilisation funding to ensure core infrastructure remains intact
5. Increased investment in diversity and inclusion initiatives to ensure participation by people from all backgrounds
6. Increased investment in festivals in every county
7. Focus on climate adaptation and sustainability
8. Focus on digitalisation to ensure sector is adequately resourced to operate in changed landscape (€2m)
As the development agency for the arts, the Arts Council will continue to play a leadership role in helping the sector to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.
The full report is available for download here.
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