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Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media | Arts Sector supports

To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she continues to promote the arts in its various forms in this country, both professional and amateur; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


As Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, I allocate funding to the Arts Council. Under the Arts Act 2003, the Arts Council has primary responsibility for the development of the arts in Ireland.The Council works under its 10 years Strategy to address its statutory remit through a policy-driven focus on investment, advice, advocacy and partnership. My Department continues to invest in the development of the arts and artists countrywide with the record €130m annual funding for the Arts Council now in place for the third year running.

The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based initiative within my Department designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. Under its Creative Communities initiative, in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has allocated over €28 million since 2018 to the 31 local authorities to empower and support community-led participation. Creative Communities delivers investment directly into local creative economies through their local authorities.

My role as Minister with responsibility for leading the co-ordination of the Decade of Centenaries Programme (2012-2023) is to help ensure that the challenging events of this important and formative period in our history and related themes, are meaningfully, proportionately and sensitively remembered. I allocated €5 million to support the 2022 commemorative programme to deliver rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022. Many of these investment programmes are delivered through the local authorities.

My Department also provides funding to support Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann which is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music both at community and national level. Annual funding is provided to CCÉ for its work in the protection and promotion of Irish traditional music and culture.

My Department runs a Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools Scheme. The Scheme is designed to support local cultural festivals and summer schools which are not in receipt of other central Government monies, and which may not be eligible under funding criteria for larger scale events supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council and similar bodies.

I announced an additional €10m for 2023 to fully fund the annual cost of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme, a three year, €105m scheme involving 2,000 artists and creative arts workers nationwide which will support each beneficiary in developing and sustaining a professional arts practice.

My Department is exploring options for up to €2m in capital supports for stakeholders in the Night Time Economy in the context of the implementation of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report. This is in addition to €4m in current spending for a range of initiatives and pilot projects to support a more vibrant and diverse Night-Time Economy across Ireland.

Much of the nationwide infrastructure of venues and arts centres used by the artistic communities were initiated and funded by local authorities. My Department focuses on providing capital grant funding to assist and maintain these arts and cultural facilities. Funding is administered through applications received for specific Grant Schemes.Under Budget 2023, I announced €7m in additional capital funding for artists’ spaces and climate adaptation. I hope to announce a new small capital scheme in the coming months.

Also supported annually under this subhead are smaller capital schemes. The Music Capital Scheme is supported by my Department and managed by Music Network. This provides funding for the purchase of musical instruments to both non-professional performing groups/ensembles and professional musicians.

In response to Covid-19, capital funding towards the pilot Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021 funds local authorities to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities, taking account of public health guidelines and of the needs of the local arts community. Outdoor public spaces can provide year-round use can improve well-being and contribute positively to the public realm.Up to 22 projects have been allocated funding under the scheme and a number of these have now been completed.

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