Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (379, 380, 383)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

379. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she has been able to assist directly or through other bodies the arts at local level; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52450/19]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

380. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the degree to which she continues to have ongoing contact with local community groups with a view to promoting interest in the arts in its various forms at local level; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52451/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

383. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she has contact with the arts section of Kildare County Council with a view to promotion of the arts in the county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52454/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 379, 380 and 383 together.

Under Budget 2020, total funding for the arts and culture sector in 2020 will increase by over 2% from €189m to almost €193m. 

Primary support for the Arts is delivered through the Arts Council. Funding for the Arts Council has increased in recent years and will reach €80 million in 2020.  This is an increase of €5m or 6.7% over 2019.  The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003, operates within a published 10 year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work. This strategy prioritises support for artists throughout their careers, by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, by the impact of the arts on the creative economy, and by the depth and breadth of people's engagement with the arts.

Local authorities are the second-biggest funding organisation for the arts in Ireland.  According to the Arts Council's 2018 Annual Report,  their net investment was almost €40.1 million, an 8% increase on 2017 (€37.1 million), which in turn was a 7% increase on 2016 (€34.65 million).  The Arts Council's relationship with Local Authorities is based on the ten-year strategic partnership agreement entitled A Framework for Collaboration 2016–2025.  On the basis of this document, in 2018 both partners collaborate on various initiatives overseen by the Arts Council/Local Government Management Liaison Group and a Working Group.  In 2018, the Arts Council provided up to €1.8 million to local authorities to support key partnership arrangements. Local authority funding to venues was maintained in 2018 and increased in some instances and were broadly maintained in 2019. Further details of these initiatives with local authorities arts offices including Kildare can be  accessed on the Arts Council's website under "local arts " at the following link www.artscouncil.ie/Arts-in-Ireland/Local-arts/.

 The 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 well-being.  The vision of the Creative Ireland Programme is to position creativity at the heart of public policy, to enable, encourage and enhance collaboration and innovation, and to create opportunities for all citizens to engage with all forms of creative activity.

The main source of funding for local community events and activities under the Creative Ireland Programme is Pillar 2: Creative Communities'.  In 2019, total funding of €3m was allocated to all 31 local authorities (approximately €96,000 each) to enable them to support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives in each county.  Each local authority has established a Creative Ireland Co-coordinator and a local Culture Team to manage and allocate this funding in accordance with local needs and in line with their own, individual 5-year Culture and Creativity Strategy. Nearly 1,500 projects were funded nationwide in 2019 covering a broad range of topics including archaeology, architecture, biodiversity, crafts, heritage, drama, dance, literature, music, storytelling and the visual arts.

In addition to this core funding, the Creative Ireland Programme allocated approximately €15,000 to each local authority outside of Dublin and €75,000 each to the four local authorities in Dublin to develop a special programme of events for Cruinniú na nÓg – the national day of creativity for children and young people which was held in June.

I also announced my intention, in context of Budget 2020, to provide funding of €250,000 for the amateur drama sector in 2020. Details of that scheme will be announced shortly.