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News

Pre-Budget Submission 2018

August 11 2017, at 11.31am


About NCFA:

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) is a volunteer-led, grassroots 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 .  This submission is made on behalf of arts and cultural organisations and individuals that form part of NCFA.
 

Our Insight:

In order to ensure our mandate and advocacy focus is consistently refreshed and renewed, NCFA maintains regular communication with its membership and the public via a range of means; including social and traditional media, newsletters, and events. Earlier this year, NCFA undertook an insight survey, encompassing a sample of 1,000 respondents across our membership and the general public.

The insight gleaned through this process has indicated strong support for the organisation’s priorities as well as some unique feedback regarding new policy initiatives, such as Creative Ireland. The recommendations included in this pre-budget submission are underpinned by the feedback and prioritisation highlighted in our recent survey,

Budget Recommendations 2018:

According to Eurostat, Ireland currently spends 0.2% of GDP on cultural services, exactly half the EU-28 average - placing Ireland among the bottom three EU countries for cultural spend.

NCFA welcomes the commitment made by An Taoiseach to double investment in the arts over five years. The realisation of this commitment, alongside the re-prioritisation of arts and culture in other policy measures, such as the creation of a Department of Culture, indicate a much-needed move to place arts and culture at the centre of government thinking.

The following recommendations serve to further embed this critical shift in Government policy, and align with the three top priorities highlighted by our recent survey - which centre on funding and investment, working and living conditions for artists, and arts policy.

Funding & Investment in the Arts

I. Funding Commitment:  NCFA calls on the Government to implement its commitment to double funding and investment in the arts over five years, bringing Ireland in line with the EU-28 average. The Government should provide a clear plan as to how this will be delivered over the five year period, and prioritise an uplift in core investment in the funding agencies and cultural institutions.

II. Multi-Annual Budgeting:  Given the new strategic funding approach recently introduced by the Arts Council, NCFA suggests the implementation of multi-annual  current budgeting by Government to further facilitate agencies in providing multi-annual funding to arts organisations.

III. Arts Council Funding:  To continue the uplift of current funding towards its pre-recession figure, NCFA calls for an increase in 2018 of at least 20% to Arts Council core funding, excluding one-off commemorative events or Creative Ireland initiatives.

IV. Local Authority Spending on the Arts: As Local Authority funding on the arts is currently discretionary, NCFA recommends that this position should be changed to ensure funding is ring-fenced for consistency and artist access.

Artist’s Social Welfare

NCFA welcomes the pilot social welfare initiative announced earlier this year. However, the reach of the pilot is limited insofar as it only extends to self-employed artists in two specific communities (literature and visual art), leaving  the majority of working artists  without access.

As such, NCFA recommends that, following the pilot, social welfare access is expanded to include other artforms, and to cover artists who work as employees, as well as self-employed artists. Systems such as that of the Netherlands should be used as a model for the sustainability of those working in the sector ie: practicing artists are guaranteed a basic income for up to 4 years within a 10 year period.(1)

Policy Focus

I. Adherence to ‘Arm’s Length’ Principle: An integral element of the artistic process and good governance in the cultural sector necessary for freedom in creation and curation of work. Therefore, NCFA re-states the need for this principle to be upheld and assured, alongside the requirement for transparency in all funding allocation including Creative Ireland spend.

II. Tax Breaks for Philanthropic Support:  NCFA recognises the importance of philanthropic and corporate support for the Arts, as well as the tax breaks necessary to encourage the growth and potential of this approach. This should seen as part of a healthy funding ecology, in addition to, rather than replacing, core public investment.

III. Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and LEADER Funding Support for Arts and Culture: A key driver of regional and local social and economic development, LEOs and LEADER funds can offer a unique resource to arts initiatives and artists. Our research reveals that, in many local authority areas, these funds, and information on how to access them, are not readily available to the arts sector. NCFA calls on the Government to ensure that new and existing funding schemes offered by local LEADER companies and LEOs should should be easily and transparently accessible to arts organisations. LEADER companies and LEOs should be given guidance to ensure that schemes they manage are available to the arts.

IV. Research and Development Fund for European Projects: NCFA calls on the Government to establish a dedicated fund to enable prospective applicants for Creative Europe funding to effectively devise and prepare large-scale projects to the level of excellence required for success. There is currently a small amount of funding available from Creative Europe Desk Ireland (http://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu) to foster networks, but it is does not enable arts organisations to buy the time required to research and develop large multi-stakeholder projects. Given the pressure on an already stretched sector to generate applications for national funds, potential applicants do not have the resources to build proposals, and arguably, this is why Ireland has underperformed in Creative Europe funding rounds to date.(2)

Submitted on behalf of NCFA’s membership by its Steering Group:
Jo Mangan (NCFA Chair; Director, Carlow Arts Festival), Eoghan Carrick (theatre director), Tom Creed (theatre and opera director), Olwen Dawe (Director, Irish Business Intelligence, policy analyst and consultant), Angela Dorgan (CEO, First Music Contact), Eugene Downes (Director, Kilkenny Arts Festival), Ed Guiney (Company Director, Element Pictures), Fiona Kearney (Director, Lewis Glucksman Gallery), Cian O’Brien (Artistic DIrector, Project Arts Centre)

For further information about this submission please contact  Jo Mangan (NCFA Chair): info@ncfa.ie  or  jomangan@me.com
087 286 2082

www.ncfa.ie

 


Press release – Thursday 8th December 2016

December 08 2016, at 1.36pm


National Campaign for the Arts welcomes Creative Ireland initiative

  • NCFA hopeful that Creative Ireland marks a sea change in national arts and cultural policy, but it must be matched by long-term investment boost
  • Proposed Social Protection changes offer a long overdue safety net for self-employed artists
  • Ireland remains bottom of the league for investment in the Arts and Culture in Europe*

The National Campaign for the Arts welcomes the launch today of the Creative Ireland initiative.  The NCFA has had a series of meetings with Minister Humphreys, her officials and the Ireland 2016 team in recent weeks to advocate a number of key principles and proposals, many of which are reflected in the initiative as announced. We believe the stated ambition of putting arts, culture and creativity at the heart of Government decision-making for the first time has the potential - if delivered - to realise a sea change for the cultural sector but also for the well-being of Irish society as a whole.

NCFA has long emphasised the fact that Ireland’s creativity is our outstanding natural resource. We are heartened to see this is being recognised with the launch of the Creative Ireland initiative. However, with Ireland still at the bottom of the European league table in terms of GDP percentage spend on arts and culture, transformational investment is needed to enable the arts sector, as prime generators of cultural and creative output, to fully deliver Creative Ireland’s ambitious aims.

The NCFA will continue to engage with the Government and the Creative Ireland team to advocate, advise and participate in the development and delivery of the programme’s pillars. NCFA members in each county will also engage with their Local Authority to promote best practice in developing the new local cultural plans and programme funding being introduced as part of the initiative.

NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said: “If transformational investment is delivered in the coming years as a result of this ambitious Government initiative, Ireland will finally be able to consign to history its unenviable position at the bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on arts and culture.  We have the chance now to tap fully into our most extraordinary natural resource – our innate creativity - for the lasting benefit of all our citizens.”

The NCFA also welcomes the statement today by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys that “The Departments of Arts and Social Protection are working together to devise a mechanism to assist self-employed artists who have applied for Jobseekers Allowance. This would be a pilot scheme.”  This is something the NCFA has long advocated for, and should see finally an improvement in the fortunes of the majority of artists who create and produce great work despite their precarious livelihood.

*Source Council of Europe

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS
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.


NCFA Response to Budget 2017 - Press release – Tuesday 11th October 2016

October 11 2016, at 8.12pm


  • NCFA welcomes modest uplift in allocations for cultural agencies and institutions. However dismay expressed by NCFA members as Arts, Culture and Film budget cut by 16% year on year. Ireland retains its position at bottom of the EU league in terms of average GDP spending on the arts.
  • €48m commemorations funding should have been fully retained for arts, film, culture and heritage 
  • €5m for Commemorations Legacy initiative should be directly invested in Arts Council and other agencies

 

The National Campaign for the Arts today welcomed the modest increases in funding in Budget 2017 to the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, the National Cultural Institutions and the Irish Film Board.

Dismay was expressed by members however, that in a budget that saw an additional €1 billion approx. allocated in expenditure, the Arts, Culture & Film budget, which was increased from €156.5m in 2015 to €188.5m in 2016, reduced to €158.3m for 2017 - a 16% cut.

Given the enormous value and impact of the State’s additional investment in arts and culture for the commemorations programme this year, the NCFA believes that this increased level of cultural investment for 2016 should have been fully retained, rather than redirecting some of that funding from the cultural sector to other sectors, as the Government has done in this budget.

With regard to the €5m reserved for a “Culture 2025/Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme legacy initiative”, the NCFA feels that rather than creating a separate new fund of this kind, these resources would make a greater impact if invested directly into the Arts Council, which would have doubled the increase for that agency, which has the core remit in this area.

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 into 2017.

NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said: "We recognise all the efforts made by Minister Humphreys to maximize the outcome for her department. While recognising the positive impact of the steps taken, we are disappointed that the outcome was not more positive for the sector. In our pre-Budget submission the NCFA stressed the need to work urgently toward restoring the €30 million stripped from the Arts Council funding since 2008 and the devastating cuts to the National Cultural Institutions. This would have provided some much needed stability for artists and arts organisations. There is strong disappointment coming from members who expected a significant increase from Budget 2017, in order to make extraordinary art happen for the citizens of Ireland. At 0.1% of GDP, Ireland’s expenditure on Arts and Culture is 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.”


ABOUT THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS

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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For media information, contact: Sabrina Sheehan sabrinasheehan@missionpr.ie
(01) 675 0695
/Ends

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What Next? Minutes of meeting 28 September 2016

September 29 2016, at 1.19pm


NCFA What Next?
Minutes of meeting, 28 September 2016

In attendance: Niamh Lunny, Gráinne Pollack, Síofra NicLiam, Eoghan Carrick

NOTE: meeting next week will be in the Peacock Theatre Café (Abbey Theatre), Wednesday 9am

Steering group meeting update:

  • Meetings are being set up with TDs around the country to discuss the Pre-Budget Submission.
  • Discussions around making sure the information is well disseminated. Looking into creating short discussions to be hosted on Sound Cloud.
  • There is a push get the Road Show for colleges around Ireland going. It will focus on giving people information of the circumstances and how to lobby.
  • Discussed fundraising and how to develop a fundraising campaign.
  • Niamh Lunny discussed creating a history/timeline of the NCFA. It will be worked up in relation to the website

Whats Next? update:

  • Gráinne has done some work in writing up content for the Newsletter. It will be ready to send to by the end of the week. All members should receive it.
  • Eoghan Carrick and Síofra NicLiam met with Paul Murphy AAA. The AAA are in agreement with much of the NCFA requests. Particular interest in STEAM, the Social Welfare reform and the increase in funding to the arts. They are working up their budget and are going to put a line for the increase in funding. They have no arts policy but are hoping to clarify it in writing by December.
  • Philomena Byrne, Eoghan Carrick and Aideen Howard met with Richard Boyd Barrett. They discussed the NCFA asks in the Pre-Budget Submission and Richard Boyd Barrett and the PBP are on board. The PBP arts policy name checks the NCFA Pre-Budget submission.
  • Eoghan’s website update: Paul Brennan is going to update the website. It will be a new website started from scratch. Much of the content is available on the current website. It will need to be updated and made more accessible for new administrators to use it. Copy for the website will be edited and developed by the communications team which is being set up now.

To Do:

  • Niamh get in touch with Tanya Bannotti
  • Niamh to meet with Brian Horgan about fundraising.
  • Gráinne and Síofra to sort out newsletter and send it to Aoife Lucey for Friday
  • Eoghan to continue website work
  • Meeting next week in the Peacock Theatre Café

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