National Campaign for the Arts response to Budget 2010 – Press release

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4th December 2009
Detailed breakdown of Arts funding in Budget 2010
9th December 2009

Press Release for immediate release

The National Campaign for the Arts relieved and pleased main Arts and Culture Agencies retained in Budget and asserts commitment to working with Government in 2010 for national recovery

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) has responded to Budget 2010 stating it is relieved that many of the demands it was petitioning for have been retained.  The Campaign also acknowledges that while the 5.6% cut to Arts Council funding will cause hardship among artists and arts organizations the NCFA is committed to working with the Minister for Arts and funding agencies in the drive for national recovery.

The NCFA is the umbrella organization for the diverse arts’ sectors in Ireland. It highlights the value of the arts to the country’s economic and social recovery and has been calling for the retention of Culture Ireland and the Irish Film Board, the maintenance of existing levels of arts funding for the Arts Council and continued full representation of the arts at senior cabinet level.

Fiach MacConghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre and spokesperson for the NCFA, said, “The Minster promised that the arts wouldn’t be disproportionately cut and he has delivered on that promise.  While the NCFA is disappointed about the reduction in Arts Council funding and worried about the impact of this right across the cultural sector, we acknowledge that in these economically tough times all areas of Irish life are fundamentally affected by the 2010 budget decisions.”

Tania Banotti, CEO of  Theatre Forum, added, “Support for the arts and cultural sector is vital for the national recovery and our self esteem. We are relieved that the Film Board and Culture Ireland have been retained. This is good news. This is a reflection of the impact of the National Campaign for the Arts on the political establishment and the hard work and dedication of Minister Cullen and his department. In 2010 the NCFA is thoroughly committed to working with the Minister and his colleagues in government to ensuring the arts remains a vital part of Ireland’s economic and social fabric.”

“The arts are a real economic and creative force to be reckoned with and a bridgehead back to the recovery of our international reputation” claimed Sarah Glennie, Director of the Irish Film Institute.
Joe Woods, Director of Poetry Ireland, also noted ““In a year when literature has seen so many triumphs and given that all sectors are being hit in this budget, this will be seen by as an endorsement by the State to the work of writers and artists.”

The NCFA also took the opportunity to praise its members.  Gerry Godley of the Improvised Music Company said “It is a myth that the arts communities in Ireland are not capable of collective action.  In light of the McCarthy Report there was an unprecedented level of action in the wider arts and cultural sector. Much of what has been achieved in the 3 and a half months since the NCFA was established has been down to the hard work of 20,000 local arts workers throughout the counties of Ireland mobilizing themselves, local politicians and their greater communities towards a recognition that in these economically difficult times the arts matter.”

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