€25m in extra supports announced for arts and culture sector

€25m in extra supports announced for arts and culture sector
Josepha Madigan and Leo Varadkar announcing the additional supports. Picture: Juilen Behal

The Government has announced €25m in extra supports to help the arts and culture sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The extra funding was announced by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Culture Minister Josepha Madigan this morning.

The arts community has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic with many gigs, festivals and events being cancelled since last March. 

The new funding comes on top of previous funds allocated to the sector and will include bursaries and commissions to artists and arts organisations as well as resources for museums and culture workers.

The Government announced that €20m will be allocated to the Arts Council, while €5m will be available “for other measures, including securing the future of key cultural and museum spaces and facilities throughout Ireland, and the production of high-quality digital art and on-line performances”.

Announcing the funding, the Taoiseach said that in times like this “we see the true value of culture to society”.

Mr Varadkar said: “The pandemic hasn’t been easy for our artists and cultural institutions, and I know their livelihoods have been hit hard.

“So many events have been cancelled, so many places have been forced to close. The Government wants to recognise how important culture is to our lives and it wants to match its words with actions.

“So today, on Bloomsday, we are announcing an additional €25m to help our arts and culture sector across our country, and show our thanks and our commitment to our artists and cultural institutions at this time.

“I am grateful to the members of the Advisory Group established by the Arts Council who helped us identify ways to deal with the Covid-19 Crisis in the arts, and to Minister Madigan for driving this forward.” 

Ms Madigan said she was “delighted” to be able to announce the funding.

"This sector has suffered more than most in the crisis and will continue to experience difficult and challenging times long after other sectors have returned to work,” she said.

“Despite this, I am confident that artists and arts organisations across the country can weather this storm and emerge with all the wonderful creativity that is its hallmark.” 

A statement revealed that the Department of Culture will provide supports for cultural centres including local and regional museums, as well as for new online cultural and creative content to build on the success of programmes such as Ireland Performs, the Other Voices Courage programme and Cruinniú na nÓg.

The Department is also working closely with the National Cultural Institutions to address issues arising from the crisis.

Speaking today, Ms Madigan said the majority of events scheduled for 2020 won’t be going ahead.

However, outdoor concerts could be allowed in the Autumn if Covid-19 remains suppressed.

Mr Varadkar has said outdoor cultural events with a few thousand people could return as early as September.

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