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The Arts Council recently announced its investment plan for 2016, which will see it invest €60.1 million in bringing the arts to people and communities across Ireland. The annual investment strategy will see the Arts Council introduce its new 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work, which sets out the direction the Council will take in leading the arts in Ireland over the
coming decade.

The strategy, which was drafted last September will focus on five key priority areas: the artist; public engagement; investment strategy; spatial and demographic planning; and developing capacity. In support of this new strategy, the council has allocated funding to a wide array of organisations, disciples and events and schemes.

The Chair of the Arts Council Sheila Pratschke said: “The Arts Council has a new strategy focused on the artist and public engagement – our grant from Government in 2016 will enable us to begin to deliver on this strategy, investing public resources strategically to ensure more high quality art for the people of Ireland”.

The funding includes: €32 million to 195 arts organisations; €1.4 million in touring, which will see performances tour through every county in Ireland; €1.72 million in regular funding to Local Authorities; over €5.2 million to venues in every county; €2.6 million to festivals; €2.24 million to literature organisations and initiatives; €4 million to the visual arts (with €500 thousand specifically for artists bursaries); €6 million was awarded to theatre (with €1.2 million specifically for new projects). An additional €1 million to support multi-disciplinary projects for artists and organisations will be announced in the sprint.

The new strategy will help ensure that the arts are not a privilege reserved for people living in Ireland’s cultural capitals but something that can be enjoyed throughout every part of the country. 2016 gives particular support to independent artists through bursaries and projects. The new artists bursary scheme is worth €180,000, and bursaries for writers were increased by €232,000.

Arts organisations in literature, music, dance, visual arts, theatre, street art, circus, spectacle, opera, film, architecture and the tradition arts, and well as arts for young people and arts education have also seen either standstill or increased funding.

With regards to the individual breakdown of funding, the council has kept its levels steady and consistent with previous years. Druid Theatre Company saw its grant maintained at €762,000, as did Opera Theatre Company with a grant off €680,000, Music Network with a grant of €515,000 and Rough Magic with €480,000.

Individual festivals saw similarly steady figures. Wexford Festival Opera and Kilkenny Arts Festival saw their grants maintained at €1.42 million and €390,000 respectively. Dublin Theatre Festival and Tiger Dublin Fringe also saw stead figures. Galway Arts Festival received a small rise of €7,000.

Other grants include: €135,000 for Town Hall Theatre, Galway; €157,000 for Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo; €145,000 for Wexford Arts Centre; €361,000 for Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; €865,000 for Irish Chamber Orchestra; €215,000 for National Association for Youth Drama; €230,000 for Barnstorm Theatre Company, Kilkenny; and €205,000 for CoisCéim Dance Theatre.

Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride said: “These grant decisions will sustain and support artists as well as key arts organisations, venues and festivals in Ireland in 2016. Our renewed partnership with Local Authorities has also been prioritised through the establishment of a new partnership scheme. I am confident that the work these organisations and individuals are already planning will inspire and engage communities’ right across the country, and capture the imagination of the public throughout the year.”


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