NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS – 2016 FUNDING WELL BELOW
The National Campaign for the Arts today (Tuesday 13 October) expressed serious disappointment at the level of funding allocated for the arts sector in the 2016 Budget. When the special provision for the 2016 Centenary Programme is excluded, the increased allocation of €4.5 million to the entire department will do little or nothing to repair the significant damage suffered by the arts during the many years of relentless cuts and the standstill funding in 2015. Regrettably, Ireland’s unenviable position at the bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on the arts looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, given government commitment to the Department is set for cuts and standstill allocations into 2017.
Commenting on the provision for the arts, NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said: ”In its pre-Budget submission the NCFA stressed the need to work urgently toward restoring the €30 million stripped from the Arts Council funding since 2008. This would have provided some much needed stability for artists and arts organisations, enabling them to again make the valuable contribution to our society and economy, which has long been an essential part of our national identity. The allocation announced today does not even compensate for the effects of inflation and is a major disappointment to those who have struggled tirelessly to sustain a viable arts infrastructure against the odds for so many years. Ireland has long enjoyed an outstanding reputation for artistic excellence, at home and abroad, in the face of Government spending on arts and culture at just 0.11% of GDP. This has placed Ireland at the bottom of the list of EU countries compared with an average of 0.6%, surely something no country can condone. The NCFA calls on the Government to rethink their ongoing strategy for the arts and work actively with the arts community to raise arts funding to the EU average as a matter of urgency”
Established in 2009 as a response to the McCarthy Report, The National Campaign for the Arts is a nationwide, volunteer-led, grass roots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. It seeks to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.
The NCFA’s ambitious but inclusive proposition is to work with the Government and the sector to ensure Ireland is a “Republic of Culture” in 2016 and beyond: to recognise the centrality of the arts to the future, as well as the history, of our nation, and to achieve an appropriate and functional level of state investment in the arts and culture.
For further information, visit http://www.ncfa.ie
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