Words: Dray Morgan
The arts council will enact the final phase of the 10-year “Making Great Art Work Strategy”, including creating more physical creative spaces, restructuring the nighttime economy and revamping applications for grants
The plan, subheaded “More People. More Places. More Spaces.”, factors in issues such as Covid-19, the Cost of Living Crisis, the lack of space for artists and other elements which may have inhibited the creation of art in Ireland.
In the opening pages of the plan, The Arts Council recognises the need for “radical change” and “that more needs to be done to improve the living and working conditions for artists”.
The plan calls for the Irish Government to “unlock the potential” of the One Per Cent Scheme. The scheme is a government initiative, first introduced in 1978, where 1% of the cost of any publicly funded development can be allocated to the commissioning of art for public benefit.
The Arts Council also indicates that further integration with The Irish Government is necessary in order to be able to emphasise the importance of art in political planning. This includes restructuring the Irish nighttime economy, reflecting on the feasibility of the current model and changing accordingly.
A new Public Engagement Development Plan will be implemented in order to ensure a full recovery in audiences to the arts post-pandemic. Five million euro will also continue to be utilised to develop arts infrastructure throughout areas of Ireland which may have been neglected in the past.
A restructuring of the framework to apply for grants is also being implemented, making applications easier partially through accessible physical regional hubs. A new online platform is also set to be launched to make the process as easy as possible.
The document also pledges to Increase investment in children and young people. This includes a three million euro yearly investment into Creative Schools in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills. So far, the program has reached 831 schools and engages 80 creative associates to work in those schools.
As well as this, support for digital artists will be advanced significantly, with a focus on artists using novel technologies. In addition, a singular all-island dance body will be developed in order to attract and retain more international dancers.
The news comes after The Arts Council incorrectly issues letters, granting over three million euro to 141 applicants before rescinding the offer and releasing an apology.
Arts Council investment has almost doubled from 57 million euro in 2019 to 109 million euro last year. 712 applicants have been granted money to increase the capacity of their creative space as well as 17 areas being completely repurposed for the arts since 2020.
Read the full plan here.
Elsewhere on District: The Arts Council Incorrectly Issued Letters Granting Over €3 Million To Applicants