PRESS RELEASE September 13, 2018: NCFA Call on Government to Publish a Detailed Roadmap for the Arts

Louise O’Neill: Art has the ability to shape the way we see ourselves
22nd July 2018
Press Release: NCFA Responds to Budget 2019
9th October 2018

NCFA call on Government to publish a detailed roadmap setting out the short and medium-term plans to double investment in the Arts and Culture sector over the next 6 years, noting that “…while average earnings have increased by 15.7%, those in the arts, over the same period, have decreased by 3.5% (CSO report)”

As Budget 2019 negotiations continue, Angela Dorgan, the newly appointed Chair of the National Campaign for The Arts (NCFA), today reiterated their call on the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to strongly and carefully consider the NCFA Pre-Budget Submission 2019 and make good on previous public commitments to increasing arts funding. 

Dorgan said It is now time for the Taoiseach and his party to provide a detailed road map on how and when his commitment to doubling arts funding by 2022 will be delivered. It is worth noting that we are now in the second year of that seven-year commitment, with no evidence of how it will be achieved. The NCFA is encouraged by the commitment of funding that An Taoiseach, Minister Madigan and the Government have made to the National Cultural Institutions in 2018 but would echo the Taoiseach’s sentiment that you can’t have theatres without actors.

The NCFA are calling on the Government to ensure that this investment be allocated to the Arts Council in the main, to ensure that funding is directly channelled to Ireland’s Artists and Makers, and those organisations who directly support them.  

Dorgan continued: “The products of our Artists and Makers, are integral aspects of our national identity, and are adopted by all sectors of Irish industry to frame the positive, dynamic and vibrant perception of Ireland and the Irish across the world. Direct investment into Irish Artists and Makers, and those who support them in their endeavours, will ensure we as a nation continue to produce world class Artistic and Cultural output. The NCFA represents a sector with over 23,000 Artists, Makers, Arts and Cultural organisations across Ireland. We firmly believe that the Arts Council are best equipped to deliver to a sector starved of investment, most of whom are still funded at austerity levels. The NCFA note with much dismay that recent figures published by the Central Statistics Office show that while average earnings have increased by 15.7%, those in the arts, over the same period, have decreased by 3.5%.”

One of the strengths of the Government’s ten-year cultural capital plan is the clarity on medium term investment which enables all the partners and institutions involved to put their own plans in place and to secure the best value and impact from that public investment. Good outcomes need good strategic planning – which needs lead time. The Canadian example shows that a clear multiannual road map setting out the Trudeau government’s cultural investment plans on the current side, as well as on capital, has enabled Canada’s Arts and Cultural sector to plan ahead and make best use of that strategic uplift and transformative approach towards the sector. 

The reasons underpinning the multiyear capital plans, as set out by the Taoiseach and Ministers Donohue and Madigan, make a compelling case for mapping out how the commitment to double arts funding will be made. Dorgan adds that “A basic outline of the terms or approach to achieving this commitment would be very welcome”.  

Founded in 2009, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) is a volunteer-led, grassroots movement that makes the case for the Arts in Ireland. The NCFA works to ensure that the Arts are on national and local government agendas. The NCFA is committed to ensuring that the Arts are understood and recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. The NCFA is made up of a broad membership, from individuals and groups, to arts and culture organisations throughout Ireland. // Facebook @NCFAie // Twitter @campaign4arts //#RoadmapfortheArts #NCFA 


In brief, the NCFA Pre-Budget Submission calls for: 

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 dedicatedresearch and development fundfor 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. 

Continuesocial welfare reformto 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 Schoolsprogramme nationally in 2019 and ensure it is mainstreamed beyond the life of the Creative Ireland initiative. 

Fund a feasibility study into Drama and Theatre Studiesas a Leaving Cert subject. 


About the NCFA

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) was established in 2009. 

Our work is continuous, and focuses on sectoral engagement, policy analysis and research, and advocacy. Since its establishment, many people have gifted their time in support of the NCFA by joining committees, coordinating actions, running campaigns and advocating for research.

We are made up of a Steering Group, a broader advisory group and working groups. The Steering Group is responsible for long-term strategy and its members focus on specific campaigns or research objectives. Occasionally, supporters may volunteer or be invited to bring their expertise to a working group, undertaking a specific campaign or research task within an agreed time frame.   


For further information on Central Statistics Office Figures visit:


For more media information contact:   

NCFA Steering Group: 

Media Enquiries: Aileen Galvin: / 087 8595063 

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