Words: Ellen Kenny
The Safe to Create programme has launched a series of resources for Irish artists and the creative to promote dignity at work.
The Irish Theatre Institute and Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media launched the Safe to Create programme today. This programme offers resources and support to those in the Irish creative industry to ensure their safety and dignity.
The new programme includes a ‘Report to Support’ anonymous reporting system for artists. This is designed to provide a facility for those working in the creative sectors to report incidents of bullying and harassment anonymously. Information collected through the report will also be aggregated twice annually and used to inform the development and delivery of additional Dignity at Work supports.
The programme has also launched a website featuring practical information, guidance, toolkits and templates for artists, arts workers and organisations regarding their rights and responsibilities. Artists can also make complaints about bullying and harassment on this website. Safe to Create has also created a Wellbeing and Support Service for victims of harmful behaviours. This will include one-on-one counselling, access to legal advice and a 24-hour trauma helpline.
Other supports from Safe to Create include workshop roadshows to provide information for individuals and support for organisations. There will also be a Code of Behaviour that organisations are asked to adopt to create workplaces free from intimidation of any kind.
Speaking at the launch of Safe to Create, Minister Catherine Martin said that “today is a very positive day for the Arts in Ireland. Since I launched the Speak Up: A Call for Change Report in October 2021, my officials and I have been working closely with the Irish Theatre Institute, as well as Screen Ireland, the Arts Council and Minding Creative Minds who have done amazing work in getting us to where we are today.”
“Having secured an additional 500,000 euro in Budget 2023 for the Safe to Create programme, I look forward to continuing working with them into the future.”
The new programme was inspired by a 2021 report from the Irish Theatre Institute. The report found that 70 per cent of people in the arts sector have experienced harmful workplace behaviours. The majority of these cases were repeated and took place in a professional setting.
The study also found that freelance arts workers were more likely to face harmful workplace experiences. Those in the dance sector were most likely to experience harassment and bullying.
According to the respondents, the majority of perpetrators were reported to hold positions of authority. The majority of perpetrators did not face any consequences.
Elsewhere on District: Rory Hearne explains how we can all get houses in “Gaffs”