Additional Arts Council Funding Brings 2020 Total to €105m
As part of the government’s ‘July Stimulus’, which was announced last week to boost the economy during the pandemic, the Arts Council’s funding has been further increased to €105m, €30m (40%) more than 2019.
The Council’s budget for 2020 was meant to be €80m following last October’s budget, but as a result of the impact of the pandemic, an additional €20m was announced in June by former Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan following intensive campaigning by the sector. The new Minister for Culture Catherine Martin has now announced an additional €5m for the Council as part of a package of funding for the arts and culture sector. The full announcement includes supports for Creative Ireland, the Gaeltacht, cultural institutions and the film and television sector also.
Among the measures announced is a €10 million pilot ‘Performance and Production Support Package’ that will assist venues and promoters in music and theatre. There is also a new €10 million Culture Fund, which includes increased funding for the government’s well-being and creativity programme Creative Ireland and an additional €250k for Ealaín na Gaeltachta to support artists and arts in schools in Gaeltacht areas.
Under the July Stimulus also, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will become the Employment Wage Support Scheme and will run until April 2021. Companies whose turnover has fallen by 30% can qualify and will receive a flat support of €203 per employee. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is also continuing until April 2021, but the rates will change in September.
The Arts Council welcomed the Minister’s announcement of the additional €5m and said all extra funding would be used to support a range of measures, including enhanced bursary awards; a capacity building scheme to support organisations to adapt and develop new skills and expertise; funding to support artists to upskill and take on new training or professional development; enhanced project awards to support new work for audiences on a once-off basis; enhanced commissions to allow arts organisations to commission new work; an Emergency Stabilisation Fund (announced last week) to support arts organisations facing significant financial difficulties, and additional funds will also be allocated to the Arts Council’s equality, human rights and diversity policy.
Minister Martin also recently announced that a new task force for arts and culture will be set up shortly to further support the sector through the pandemic.
For full details on the July Stimulus and the arts and culture sector, visit www.chg.gov.ie/jobsstimulus.