I propose to take Questions Nos. 381 and 385 together.
Primary support for the Arts including theatre, stage productions, drama and music is delivered through the Arts Council. Funding for the Arts Council has increased in recent years and now stands at €80 million in 2020, and increase of some €5m or 6. 7% over 2019.
The Arts Council is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003 and arts organisations, artists, and groups working with the arts are entitled to apply for funding. The Arts Council’s strategic framework Making Great Art Work was published in 2015 and sets out the Arts Council plans to lead the development of the arts in the decade 2016–2025, setting out is mission which includes the investment of public monies allocated by the Government in supporting artist and arts organisations. The strategy also sets out the Arts Council’s commitment to monitor its funding to ensure there is a good balance between supports for established artists and organisations and for new and emerging artists and organisations. There are five priority areas contained within this strategy that include the artist, public engagement, investment strategy, spatial and demographic planning and developing capacity.
The Creative Ireland Programme is now in its third year and it provides significant support to Local Authorities to enable them curate a programme of local events and activities each year. 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.
It is anticipated that funding will be made available to local authorities in 2020 to enable them to further implement their Culture and Creative Strategies.
In addition to the above, in support of music, funding is provided by my Department:
- for the purchase of equipment under the Music Capital Scheme to performing groups and individual talented musicians on an annual basis throughout the country. The Scheme is managed by Music Network on behalf of my Department; and
- to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann which is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music both at community and national level.
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.