Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Arts Policy

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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239. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the degree to which she continues to support the arts throughout the country with particular reference to both amateur and professional given the need to recover from Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32773/22]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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240. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the role she sees for the arts at local and national, professional and amateur level to develop in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32774/22]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.

My Department's priorities are set out in its published Statement of Strategy 2021—2023.The Strategy sets out the actions that my Department will take over the coming period, both nationally and regionally, to enrich the quality of life in Ireland through supporting the development of tourism, culture, arts, sports, media and Irish language. In the context of culture, the goal is to “support and develop engagement with, and in arts, culture and creativity by individuals and communities thereby enriching lives through cultural activity; and to promote Ireland’s arts, culture and creativity globally while also coordinating the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 commemorations programme.” The Statement of Strategy is available at this link www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/9205f-statement-of-strategy-20212023/.

Some €371.4 million is allocated to the arts and culture sector this year including record levels of funding for the Arts Council and Screen Ireland in recent Budgets. The Arts Council maintained the record €130 million funding allocated in 2021, allowing it to continue to protect the jobs and livelihoods of artists and assist arts organisations through financial difficulties and empowering it to play a strong role in supporting artists and arts organisations to flourish in the years ahead.

€25 million is allocated to pilot a new Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme. This measure was the #1 ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Task Force and will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector on a national, regional and local basis.

I am cognisant of the challenges faced by the arts, culture and live entertainment industry as the sector recovers post-pandemic.I have provided a €50 million suite of supports for the live performance sector in 2022, to provide performance and employment opportunities for artists and crews, including €5m for Local Authorities to support local artists and performances through the LLPSS (Local Live Performance Support Scheme). This scheme has provided thousands of hours of employment for local musicians, artists and crews.

Funding for the arts and culture sector also includes €4 million to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the night-time economy task force and €5 million in additional funding for the national cultural institutions to ensure they continue to provide high-quality services to the public.

My role as Minister with responsibility for leading the co-ordination of the Decade of Centenaries Programme (2012-2023) is to help ensure that the challenging events of this important and formative period in our history and related themes, are meaningfully, proportionately and sensitively remembered.I have allocated €5 million to support the 2022 commemorative programme which will deliver rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022.Many of these investment programmes under will be delivered through the local authorities.

Earlier this year, I announced the Government’s decision to extend the Creative Ireland Programme until 2027. Creative Ireland was launched in 2017 as an all-of-Government culture and wellbeing programme committed to the vision that every person should have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. Creative Ireland collaborates across Government and with arts, community and voluntary organisations to deploy creativity as a strategy for wellbeing, social cohesion and economic success. Alongside its very successful Creative Youth initiative, the programme’s Creative Communities partnership with the 31 local authorities, and their delivery of thousands of creative projects, has been key to enabling community-led nationwide engagement.Earlier this month Cruinniú na nÓg 2022, took place on Saturday 11 June 2022 with events in every county. This initiativeis being delivered through the network of Creative Ireland Coordinators and local authority Culture and Creativity Teams in each of the 31 local authorities and is supported by RTÉ.

In response to Covid-19, capital funding towards the pilot Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021 by my Department funds local authorities to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities, taking account of public health guidelines and of the needs of the local arts community. Outdoor public spaces can provide year-round use can improve well-being and contribute positively to the public realm.

It is worth noting that much of the nationwide infrastructure of venues and arts centres were initiated and funded by local authorities. These centres are supported through capital schemes largely operated by my Department. Support provided to these arts centres by local authorities and the Arts Council is critical to ensuring that a stable and vibrant network can be maintained both for arts organisations and arts workers.

The Deputy may wish to note that the Department of Rural and Community Development funds a range of programmes and schemes to assist in rural and community development which are available to eligible community groups and organisations throughout the country. These schemes provide funding, support and assistance to communities at local level and include the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the LEADER programme; the Community Enhancement Programme, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme; the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Community Services Programme. Details of funding allocations under specific schemes provided by that Department are available online at www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-rural-and-community-development/.

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