Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ceisteanna (265)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

265. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the degree to which she is actively involved in supporting cultural events at various locations nationally directly or through bodies under her aegis in each of the past two years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38006/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

While it would be a significant underrating to provide the Deputy with full details of all cultural events in which my Department is directly involved, It is my hope that the reply that follows will provide sufficient information regarding some of my Department's output in this area.  More details of are available on my Department's website at https://www.chg.gov.ie/

In addition to activities funded by my Department, events are also arranged by individual National Cultural Institutions and bodies under the aegis of my Department. These are  day-to-day matters for each specific body in which I do not have an operational role. 

Culture Night

My Department is also responsible for Culture Night, organised in conjunction with local authorities and partners.

Culture Night has grown from a relatively small scale cultural event staged only in Dublin in 2006 to the significant national cultural event it now is, with over 400,000 people visiting Museums, galleries, historic houses, artists’ studios and cultural centres across the country on the night. In 2018, 1,606 venues across the island of Ireland participated in Culture Night, with an attendance of 420,000.  Events are run in partnership with local authorities. It is anticipated that 2019 will be a bigger event again and full details of events are available at www.culturenight.ie

Details of other projects and events previously funded directly can be seen at  https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/cultural-projects-funding/

Creative Ireland

Through the Creative Ireland Programme, my Department provides significant support to local authorities to enable them curate a programme of local events and activities each year.  This year, as in 2018, my Department allocated a sum of €2m (along with €1m allocated by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government) to all 31 local authorities – or €96,000 each approximately – to enable them support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives.  As well as this core support for local Creative Ireland programmes, each local authority is also provided with additional funding to support activities on Cruinniú na nÓg – the national day of creativity for children and young people which takes place in June.  This year each local authority was provided with €15,000 (and in the case of each of the four Dublin local authorities, a sum of €75,000 reflecting their larger populations) to activate Cruinniú na nÓg in their respective administrative areas.

Cumulatively, the above funding streams supported over 1200 projects nationally in 2018 and it is expected they will fund a similar amount of projects this year - to date 780 Cruinniú na nÓg projects alone were funded this year. The types of projects supported 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. Further information is available on https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/creative-communities

Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools Scheme

Department this year ran the Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools fund for which the closing date for applications was 19th April.  A total of €111,000 was allocated to 50 events under this scheme in 2019, with a maximum funding of €5,000 per grant available through a competitive application process.

Full details of this scheme are available at https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/small-scale-local-festivals-summer-schools/. It is currently envisaged that this funding scheme will run again in 2020, subject to available funding.  In this context, it may be useful to monitor the Department website next year and apply upon the announcement of the scheme. 

The Arts Council provides financial supports many multidisciplinary arts festivals, where  those festivals have  programmes across different artforms, including literature, music, street arts, theatre, visual arts and different areas of arts practice.  The Festivals Investment Scheme operated by the Arts Council  will open for applications on 15th October for events that will take place between July and December 2020.  These applications close on Thursday 14th November and details may be found at http://www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Festivals-Investment-Scheme/.

  Cooperation with Northern Ireland Scheme 

Eighteen projects are benefitting from funding under my Department's 2019 Cooperation with Northern Ireland Scheme  Projects range from exhibitions, workshops and cultural events and involve bodies on both sides of the border cooperating in a cultural context.  

Some examples of the projects being funded include the Smashing Times Theatre & Film Company which are producing an arts-based project using creative processes of theatre, film and new digital technologies to promote peace building and positive community relations between people and traditions in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland today.

Further details of these allocations can be seen at https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/co-operation-with-northern-Ireland/   

Commemorations

The State Ceremonial strand of the commemorative programme for the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries (2019 – 2023) will be augmented with a rich diversity of commemorative activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and broad public engagement.  Initiatives will be developed in collaboration with a range of State partners, including the National Cultural Institutions, (institutions of learning, local authorities, creative communities, trade unions and other stakeholders). 

The National Cultural Institutions will have a significant role in creating opportunities for people of all ages and traditions to explore and reflect upon this divisive period in our history.  In its Second Statement of Principles, published in 2017, the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations recommended that 'the opportunity to encourage scholarship at national and local level must be used as fully as possible, with particular emphasis on archival investment and development.  The Group recommended also that we ensure that 'Irish cultural institutions that house material most relevant to the period ... continue to play a central role in exploring and explaining the history of the period'.

Our National Cultural Institutions have an important role as custodians of our history and culture.  By conserving, protecting and sharing their extensive collections of authentic archive material, layers of meaning are added to the historical events that took place.  One such example is the National Library's latest cultural digitisation project – Towards a Republic – which runs over the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries and will see the digitisation of some of the personal papers of the signatories of the Treaty in preparation for the centenary of the foundation of the State.  A wealth of new material will be made freely accessible, including the personal papers of John Devoy, Arthur Griffith, Rosamond Jacob, Annie O’Farrelly, John Redmond and the Sheehy Skeffingtons, amongst many others.  These will provide invaluable and new insights into the political, social and cultural context of the period.

Question No. 266 answered with Question No. 31.