Relief for arts organisations at unchanged funding levels

Cash allocated to Irish arts organisations from the Arts Council remains relatively similar to 2014 — satisfying the majority of groups.

The lion’s share of the €56.7m funding was spread between 86 organisations in Dublin, including a €6.2m allotment for the Abbey Theatre.

The Gate Theatre has been allocated €860,000; Rough Magic Theatre Company will receive €480,000; and the Irish Traditional Music Archive is to get €610,000.

The council announced funding for 23 organisations in Cork; 18 in Galway; 11 in Limerick; six in Waterford; and four each for Kerry, Clare, and Tipperary.

In Cork City, 17 organisations received funding, including €245,000 for the National Sculpture Factory; €190,000 for Graffiti Theatre Company Ltd; €180,000 for the Triskel Arts Centre; €175,000 for the Everyman Theatre; and €150,000 for Cork Opera House.

Cork Opera House CEO Mary Hickson said: “While €150,000 may seem low in relation to our peers in the industry, it demonstrates an increase of over 11%,” she said.

“While we would like it to be higher, there are other opportunities within the Arts Council for funding through other schemes.”

Most festivals saw their funding levels remain stable.

Galway Arts Festival is given €490,000; Kilkenny Arts Festival is to receive €390,000; and the Tiger Dublin Fringe €340,000.

Dublin Theatre Festival bucked the trend, securing an increase from €766,000 in 2014 to €810,000 this year.

Wexford Festival Opera funding rose by €20,000 this year to €1.42m.

Just six organisations received funding in Cavan/ Monaghan — the constituency of Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

This year the allocations come with a condition — organisations receiving a certain level of funding must publish information about their board members and salaries of senior employees.

Executive director of the Everyman Theatre in Cork, Sean Kelly, said: “Overall we were very happy with our allocation because it was the first year in a number of years we don’t have to deal with a reduction in funding,” he said.

“Transparency in general is absolutely to be welcomed. I don’t think anyone will have a problem with that.”

Budget 2015 was the first time in six years that the Arts Council itself did not suffer a funding cut.

It received a total of €274m.


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