The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) wholeheartedly welcomes the significant announcements made this evening, Friday 28th May 2021, by Taoiseach Michael Martin. Government plans for the further re-opening of society and the phased resumption of artistic, cultural and live experiences are a welcome relief for Ireland’s artists, arts workers, arts organisations, and everyone who engages with the arts as an audience member or participant. NCFA acknowledges the huge commitment of Minister Catherine Martin and her colleagues at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to support the sector in difficult times, and looks forward to continuing to work with them as we reopen over the coming months.
NCFA is delighted that theatres and cinemas will begin to welcome back audiences from 7th June, that larger-scale test events are planned to take place around the country throughout June, and that audience numbers will increase for indoor and outdoor events as the summer progresses. Our cultural and entertainment venues are at the heart of every community in Ireland. However, reduced capacity and 2-metre social distancing rules, and the knock-on effect on ancillary revenue generation means that many venues will find it challenging to reopen at all at this time, or to sustain limited opening for an extended period. It is important to note that many will need continued supports to operate within the remaining health and safety restrictions. For that reason it is imperative that Government continues to invest in these organisations and businesses so long as capacities are limited to protect public health, including maintaining wage supports until the sector can reopen to full capacity.
NCFA also welcomes the resumption of international travel from 19th July, ensuring Irish artists can get back to presenting the best of our culture abroad, and so that international artists can come back to entertain and inspire Irish audiences.
What comes next will be the first act, the first draft, the first step towards the rebuilding of our nation’s cultural landscape. Ireland’s artistic workforce are energised, committed and ready to work with passion, creativity and ingenuity.
While artists, arts workers and arts organisations return to creating and presenting, NCFA will continue to amplify the voices of our artistic and cultural communities, with a primary focus on encouraging the introduction of Basic Income for artists and arts workers.
National Campaign for the Arts