NCFA Launches 13-Point Plan to Save Arts Sector

NCFA Launches 13-Point Plan to Save Arts Sector

Plan includes call for additional €20m for Arts Council; extension of Covid-19 unemployment payment and wage subsidy; and capital scheme for venues.

The National Campaign for the Arts has today (27 May) launched a 13-point plan to secure the survival and recovery of the arts and culture sector in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan calls on the Government to invest an extra €20m in the Arts Council this year so that it can support artists, arts workers and arts organisations. The NCFA also wants the Council to guarantee at least repeat funding to all organisations in 2021 because of anticipated losses. Initial Arts Council surveys indicate that organisations will lose €2.9 million in income ‘per month of shutdown’. 19,000 days of paid work have already been lost to the end of April.

The NCFA is also calling for the Covid-19 unemployment payment to be extended until it is viable for arts and cultural events to take place. Last week, it was revealed by Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan that 14,000 people in the arts sector are receiving this payment.

The group is also seeking a range of new investments for artists and arts workers from the Arts Council, including new schemes and increases to project awards, commissions and bursaries.

The 13-point plan is divided into immediate, medium- and long-term solutions. Among the other proposals included are that the government ensures an equitable portion of the European Commission’s structural fund is committed to the arts; that there is a full Minister for Culture in the next cabinet; that the Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme be extended for arts organisations; and that there is a dedicated capital scheme for arts centres and venues.

‘The arts are the books you are reading, the TV shows you’re watching, the music you’re listening to, the artworks you’re fascinated with,’ the plan’s introduction reads.

The arts provide multiple benefits for the individual, and for society. Engaging with the arts contributes positively to education, health, and wellbeing. These are emotional and societal benefits which cannot and should not be wholly measured through an economic lens. However, investment in the arts sector also makes economic sense. …

Arts and culture bolster two indigenous sectors that are currently most challenged - tourism and hospitality.… This is why we talk about investing in the arts and not funding the arts because the exchequer and the country, business, society, communities, and the individual, including the artist, all benefit from that investment… everyone reaps the rewards.

The Arts Council recently announced a new committee that will advise the Council on the challenges facing the arts sector. Minister Madigan said last week that the group is expected to report within the next two weeks.

Download the full NCFA plan below. For more, visit

Published on 27 May 2020

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