24 July 2020
The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) warmly welcomes the significant new investment in arts and culture announced by Minister Catherine Martin today as part of the Government’s July Stimulus Package. The impact of the Covid -19 crisis on the arts has been profound and will be long lasting as set out by the NCFA and others at the recent Covid-19 Oireachtas Committee meeting. Throughout the crisis the Irish public has recognised that arts and culture are a fundamental part of our lives. The NCFA is heartened that the new Government has acknowledged this in today’s additional investment in The Arts Council, Creative Ireland, Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and other initiatives. We also welcome that the language of active investment in the arts for the benefit of all society, which echoes the NCFA campaign, informs today’s statement from Minister Martin. This investment will not only provide opportunities for artists, arts workers and arts organisations but will also lead to magical, life-changing experiences for child and adult audiences across the country and around the world. We look forward to further detail on how this substantial stimulus will reach artists in coming weeks and months.
The NCFA plan for the Survival and Recovery of the Irish Arts Sector was published on 27 May setting out 13 urgent actions to restore the arts & culture sector. Through the efforts of our members and our ongoing campaign, 6 of those 13 actions have now been delivered. Those include commitment by Government of an additional €20 million to The Arts Council to respond to the Covid-19 Crisis, an extra €5 million for the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, streamlining of the Arts Council application process for arts organisations for 2021 funding, the announcement of a capital grant scheme for arts organisations, the extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
We acknowledge the positive engagement of the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, the Covid-19 Oireachtas Committee, The Arts Council and representatives of the various political parties. Yet, there is still more to achieve. NCFA looks forward to further engagement with our stakeholders to deliver the outstanding recommendations of our Recovery and Survival Plan for the Arts and Culture including increased arts funding for 2021 to all statutory agencies (including €110 million for the Arts Council and €10 million for Creative Ireland), insurance refund and reform, a review of the tax regime to encourage philanthropic giving and a ring-fenced amount of EU funding for Arts and Culture. To assist in delivering these we call on Minister Catherine Martin to hire an arts advisor with deep knowledge of the sector. You can view the full 13 point plan on the NCFA website here.
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