Primary support for the Arts is delivered through the Arts Council. The Arts Council operates a number of schemes and initiatives have been established for the particular support of visual arts. The Council considers visual arts to include a range of media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, live art/performance, film, video or other digital imaging media.
The Arts Council is dedicated to supporting a vibrant community of visual artists, visual arts groups and organisations so that the public can experience the highest standard of visual arts, in urban and in rural parts of Ireland.
The Arts Council offers various funding awards under the Visual Arts for artists, organisations, groups and curators to apply for support. In addition to the grants, awards and schemes offered across all artform areas, a number of schemes and initiatives have been established for the particular support of visual arts. Information on these can be accessed on the Arts Council's website at the following link http://www.artscouncil.ie/Arts-in-Ireland/Visual-arts/Schemes-and-initatives/.
In addition to the above, Culture Ireland operates a range of funding programmes to support and promote the presentation of Irish arts internationally. Under its programme it offers support to Irish professional artists, arts organisations and international presenters to present work by Irish artists at significant international venues and festivals. Culture Ireland considers applications for all forms of the arts, including photography, as defined in the Arts Act 2003: Further information on funding can be accessed at the following link https://www.cultureireland.ie/funding.
My Department’s Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-government, culture-based initiative, led by my Department, that emphasises the importance of human creativity for individual, community and societal wellbeing. The main source of support for community-based activities under the Creative Ireland Programme is Pillar 2 - 'Enabling Creativity in Every Community'. In 2019, a total of €3m has been allocated to all 31 local authorities (€96,000 each approximately) to enable them to support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives in each county. In 2018, over 1,200 events took place across all local authorities. Projects funded include arts projects, grant schemes, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, festivals, outreach projects, publications, research programmes, and workshops among other activities. They cover topics such as archaeology, architecture, biodiversity, crafts, heritage, dance, film, history, literature, music, photography, poetry, storytelling, theatre and the visual arts.
In July of this year, I announced the completion of a review of the Percent for Art scheme which will be of interest to visual artists. The outcome of this review led to changes to the scheme’s bands and limits which will make significantly increased funding available to the creative community. Many artists have already received high profile commissions for public art works as a result of this scheme and these increases will ensure many more will also benefit. The new limits and bands will apply from 1st January 2020 and details may be seen on my Department’s website at the following link https://www.chg.gov.ie/public-art/.
I will shortly be re-establishing an inter-agency group to improve information gathering and collation and sharing of best practice on Percent for Art schemes. This group will also link in with the Arts Council and seek to enhance the Council’s existing advisory role in relation to the Scheme.
My Department may from time to time have limited resources available to consider the provision of small amounts of funding for projects that promote the goals and actions contained in the National Biodiversity Action Plan, with a preferred emphasis on projects that have a scientific, monitoring or awareness raising element.