Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Questions (294, 297, 300, 303)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

294. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht the progress of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce. [24845/20]

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Bríd Smith

Question:

297. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht if a voice will be given to the commercial live events sector in the recently announced task force in order to represent the substantial needs of the live events community; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24908/20]

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Gary Gannon

Question:

300. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht if representation by the commercial live events sector will be ensured on the taskforce for the recovery of the arts and culture in view of the fact this subsection of workers are the least likely to return to work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25188/20]

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John Lahart

Question:

303. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht her plans to grant funding to the live events sector (details supplied); if the sector will be considered when appointing persons to the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25268/20]

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Written answers (Question to Media)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 294, 297, 300 and 303 together.

The Programme for Government: Our Shared Future, includes a commitment to “establish a cross-departmental taskforce to develop a clear approach, informed by the views of all stakeholders, to protect and sustain the arts and culture sector through the COVID-19 recovery and beyond. This will be fed into the National Economic Plan.” While the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have had an unprecedented effect on society and on the economy, the impact on the arts and culture sector has been more detrimental and will undoubtedly last longer than that of many other sectors.

To advance this commitment, I have announced the establishment of a new Taskforce for the recovery of the Arts and Culture sector under the Chair of Clare Duignan. I intend to address the first meeting of the Taskforce this afternoon. The Terms of Reference of the Taskforce are as follows.

The Taskforce will prepare a report for the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht including a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector can adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector includes culture, the arts, the audiovisual industry and the live entertainment industry. Taking as its starting point, the research and evidence of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the sector compiled by the Department, the Arts Council and other stakeholders, the Taskforce will:-

- adopt a solution-focused approach;

- seek sector-specific expert input and consult with stakeholders;

- invite additional individuals or expertise to attend meetings on an ad hoc basis, as it deems necessary;

- focus on providing intelligence and recommendations for an expected on-going and varying impact of COVID-19 restrictions;

- identify immediate and medium term goals for recovery and sustainability in the sector;

- identify possible policy initiatives or impediments to a robust sustainable recovery in the sector;

- recommend whole of Government policy initiatives and actions to support the sector;

- report to the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht by the 31 October 2020 in order to provide the Government with an action-plan for the sector.

Composition of Taskforce

Clare Duignan is chairing the Task Force and the other members are as follows:

- Arts Council

- Business to Arts

- Council of the National Cultural Institutions

- County and City Management Association (CCMA)

- Department of Health

- Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht,

- Department of Social Protection

- Ealaín na Gaeltachta

- Events Industry Alliance (2)

- Irish Congress of Trade Unions

- National Campaign for the Arts

- Irish Music Rights Organisation

- Irish Theatre Institute

- Screen Ireland

- Screen Producers Ireland

- Denise Chaila

- Martin Hayes

Each of the members has my gratitude for taking on this challenging task and I look forward to the report in due course.