Arts Council Funding Increased to €130m for 2021

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin

Arts Council Funding Increased to €130m for 2021

€50m in live entertainment supports also announced.

The government has today announced that the budget for the Arts Council will be increased to €130m for 2021, an increase of €50m (63%) on the 2020 budget of €80m.

€50m in live entertainment supports has also been announced. Details to follow.

The Council’s 2020 budget had already been increased by €20m by Minister Josepha Madigan in June of this year as a result of the pandemic and following intensive campaigning by the sector. It was then further increased by the new Minister for Arts Catherine Martin by an additional €5m in July, bringing it to €105m. In its Budget submission in September, the National Campaign for the Arts had called for funding of €135m for 2021.

The allocation of €130m is the largest amount received by the Council to date, substantially higher than the €83m received at the height of the Celtic Tiger in 2007. See below for Arts Council figures since 2007.

Arts Council funding, 2007–2020
2007: €83m
2008: €81.6m
2009: €73.4m
2010: €68.7m
2011: €65.2m
2012: €63.2m
2013: €59.9m
2014: €56.7m
2015: €56.9m
2016: €60.1m 
2017: €65.1m
2018: €68.1m
2019: €75m
2020: €80m
2021: €130m 

Commenting on the budget increase, Kevin Rafter, Chair of the Arts Council, said:

The funding commitment for 2021 represents a strong signal that artists and arts organisations will be central to the government’s national recovery plan. The sector has faced extraordinary challenges arising from the Covid-19 crisis but the historic €130m budget allocation will help the Arts Council protect jobs and livelihoods as well as help key arts organisations experiencing financial difficulties as they continue to deal with the crisis in 2021.

The Council said the funding would be used to support artists and arts organisations through the pandemic, and to ensure that people across the country could continue to engage with the arts in 2021.

Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly said, ‘Artists, arts workers and arts organisations have shown remarkable resilience, imagination and compassion in their behaviour during the pandemic. They continue to face immense challenges. With this increased investment, we look forward to supporting the sector to meet these challenges so that jobs can be protected, high quality work can be made and can reach the public.’

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Published on 13 October 2020

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