I propose to take Questions Nos. 364 and 367 together.
I am pleased to inform the Deputies that I have appointed the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce which is beìng chaired by Clare Duignan and membership 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
- 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
The Taskforce will prepare a report for the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 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.
The taskforce can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and all correspondence will be published in due course.
Earlier this month, I launched a number of new music and performance support schemes to aid employment in the creative industries. An allocation of €5 million is being made available under the “Live Performance Support Scheme”, which aims to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters of live performances and provide employment to workers in the creative industries.
A further support package, the Music Stimulus Package, involves three funding schemes designed to help sustain the popular and commercial music sector across all music genres, including rock, pop, hip hop, indie, jazz, country and western and traditional and folk. Under this package, a fund of €1,000,000 is being put in place to stimulate areas of work which artists would usually fund with income from own sources including live event fees. These schemes are targeted at professional musicians and their teams and will support song writing camps, recording and album releases. The aim is to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions. The Music Stimulus Package schemes will be managed on behalf of the Department by First Music Contact and will be subject to peer panel assessment.
The conditions and arrangements for payment of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are a matter for my colleague the Minister for Social Protection.