IRELAND'S ARTS and culture sector will be getting a much-needed boost as the Government have announced an additional €25 million in funds.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, made the announcement yesterday, 16 June-- also known as Bloomsday after the protagonist in James Joyce's Ulysses-- where she pledged the €25 million package to support the arts following the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the sector among the hardest hit.
The funding will include grants and commissions for artists and art organisations, including museums,as the country prepares to reopen for domestic tourism.
With An Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar this morning in Government Buildings to announce €25m for #Arts and #Culture.
I am confident that the arts & artists can weather this storm and emerge with all the wonderful creativity that is its hallmark.
↪️ https://t.co/cKSM4JjfjU pic.twitter.com/TPvG2pYtrH
— Josepha Madigan ⚖️✨ (@josephamadigan) June 16, 2020
€20 million will go to the Arts Council of Ireland on top of the 80 million granted earlier in the year, in order to prevent the closure of essential cultural organisations and businesses and provide bursary schemes for independent artists.
➡️Breaking news: The Arts Council welcomes an additional €20 million support package for 2020. The announcement recognises the significant challenges facing the art sector arising from the COVID-19 emergency.https://t.co/ZzSore7yqB pic.twitter.com/D4nwUJ5y1r
— Arts Council Ireland (@artscouncil_ie) June 16, 2020
The extra €5 million will help to secure the future of culturally important productions, such as digital art and online performances, which may become the normality until social distancing measures can be dropped.
Speaking of the "challenges that artists have faced" as well as the "hugely important role they have played" in since the world got so much smaller under lockdown, Minister Madigan said the government is "determined to ensure that we have a vibrant arts and culture sector in the future".
"I am confident that the arts and artists can weather this storm and emerge with all the wonderful creativity that is its hallmark," she wrote in a statement on social media.
The move was welcomed by the Arts Council of Ireland, with Director Maureen Kennelly, speaking to RTÉ News, describing it as a "landmark day" for the sector.