NCFA Community Survey indicates worry across entire sector about Creative Ireland: Press release – Thursday 12th October 2017

Some Press relating to Budget 2018
11th October 2017
NCFA condemns sexual harassment in the workplace
29th October 2017
  • NCFA Community Survey indicates worry across entire sector about Creative Ireland’s focus on publicity and marketing over long term sustainable policy change and investment
  • Urgent call from National Campaign for the Arts to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to outline roadmap for his commitment to doubling investment in the sector

The National Campaign for the Arts announces results of its recent 2017 national survey, which was open to the public as well as its members and shows a deep concern for the state of investment in the arts in Ireland. Sentiment indicated a general level of enthusiasm for the high-level, unified and cross-Governmental initiative Creative Ireland.  However there was, also, understandably, caution and concern over the initiative centring mainly on publicity and marketing rather than long-term sustainable policy change for the sector.

NCFA Policy Mandate Priorities – Responses in Order of Priority

  • “Ireland’s government investment in the Arts needs to be improved from its current position at the bottom of the European average, as stated in the European Council Investment League”  (84%)
  • “Ireland should ensure transparency in the allocation of public funding to the Arts.” (71%)
  • “Working and living conditions for artists in Ireland must be improved from their current standard.” (68%)
  • “Funding to the Arts must be consistent with the ‘arm’s length’ principle.” (61%)
  • “That Government should maintain a research brief around policy and funding to the Arts. “(51%)
  • “Government policy must put Arts at the heart of educational and economic thinking – the Arts must be at the core of all public policy decision-making.” (50%)

Regrettably, Budget 2018’s disappointing announcements for the sector alongside a side-stepping on earlier budgetary statements made by an Taoiseach – have left the sector questioning just how genuine the Government’s commitment to the arts actually is, with acclaimed playwright Enda Walsh stating “When the Taoiseach made his campaign pledge to double arts funding, it transformed hopes and expectations for artists and arts workers across Ireland, just as Justin Trudeau’s pledge had done in Canada. Like Mr Trudeau, the Taoiseach should now set out a concrete, costed plan to deliver his promise.” 

The National Campaign for the Arts echoes that call and calls on the Taoiseach as a matter of urgency to set out a concrete 5-year programme of increases.  The sector needs to see a credible path to delivering his pledge to ensure this commitment still exists.

The contrast with Canada is striking: both the Taoiseach and the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, campaigned for office with a pledge to double arts and culture funding, but PM Trudeau actually delivered on his pledge in his first budget last year with a clear indication of how an additional $1.89 billion is to be invested in the sector over 5 years.

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 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.

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Sabrina Sheehan
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