National Campaign For The Arts Launch Pre-Budget Submission 2019

Cultural Funding and Investment in the News
16th June 2018
Oireachtas Pre Budget Presentation 2018 Speeches
13th July 2018

National Campaign for The Arts (NCFA) is calling on the Taoiseach to make good on his much publicised commitment to double investment in the Arts and Culture through the Arts Council over the next 6 years. NCFA is urging the Government to publish a detailed roadmap setting out its short to medium-term plans to achieve this.

NCFA is particularly concerned that much of the new Government cultural investment through Project Ireland 2040, Global Ireland and Creative Ireland is on capital projects and promotion, with little investment in artists and their work. Increased funding for the Arts Council is the most direct and efficient way of re-balancing resources.

Mr Varadkar recently stated that “you can’t have theatres without actors”, yet we find ourselves in an ongoing situation of chronic under-investment in the work of artists nationally and regionally. It is vital to ensure proper investment in the human infrastructure of the arts sector if we are to maintain our enviable reputation for producing world class artists.Crucially investment through the Arts Council will have a direct impact on the work of artists and maintain the arm’s length principle which is needed urgently.


NCFA calls on Government to implement the following measures: 

  • Increase funding to the Arts Council by €13.2 million in 2019, bringing funding back up to the 2008 level of €82 million, with a view to doubling investment in the Arts Council to a total of €130 million over the next six years
  • Publish a detailed road map for how overall investment in the Arts and Culture will be doubled over the next six years
  • Implement new tax incentives to stimulate corporate and philanthropic investment in the Arts
  • Classify local authority arts spending as a mandatory requirement and encourage funding of creative industries and arts activity via Local Enterprise Offices and LEADER funds
  • Establish a dedicated research and development fund for European cultural projects so artists can fulfil the ambitions of the Global Ireland plan
  • Classify investment in online infrastructure as capital spending to support artists and cultural organisations develop their digital resources
  • Continue social welfare reform to allow all arts workers to pursue their careers with dignity
  • Shift the focus of Government education investment policy from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) to STEAM (STEM + Art = STEAM)
  • Expand the Creative Schools programme nationally in 2019 and ensure it is mainstreamed beyond the life of the Creative Ireland initiative.
  • Fund a feasibility study into Drama and Theatre Studies as a Leaving Cert subject.

NCFA recognises the progress that has been achieved to date on certain issues ‒ including the adoption of a new pilot Social Welfare scheme.




About NCFA

This submission is made on behalf of Arts and Cultural organisations and individuals that make up the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA).

NCFA is a volunteer-led, grassroots movement that makes the case for the Arts in Ireland. We work to ensure that the Arts are on national and local government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.

Contacts for Comments:

NCFA Steering Group:

Sabrina Sheehan:

Help the NCFA continue to advocate for the arts in Ireland.