At the request of arts organisations, both local and national, I raised with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, through Parliamentary Questions in Dáil Éireann, the need to provide adequate financial supports for the arts sector due to the adverse impact of covid-19.
This crisis has a serious impact on all sectors of the arts and creative industries. Great credit is due to the National Campaign for the Arts in putting to government a very strong case for support. They highlighted the need to provide help for artists and art workers and I was glad to support that campaign.
Indeed through these challenging times artists continue to work to bring art, culture and joy to our communities and those efforts are to be commended.
Below reply from the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to my Parliamentary Question tabled on this very important issue –
For Written Answer on : 16/06/2020
Question Number(s): 1110 Question Reference(s): 11492/20
Department: Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Culture; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the further developments in relation to the need to provide adequate financial supports for the arts sector in view of the receipt of her correspondence of 30 April 2020 to this Deputy (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Email sent 10/06/2020 at 12:02
As Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht I recognise that COVID-19, and the public health measures necessary to slow the spread of the virus, have had an unprecedented effect on the cultural sector. The response of the Government has been to introduce measures to support workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 that apply to all sectors of the economy, including those who work in the culture sector. On 22 May, I published a comprehensive booklet on the supports available to the art sector and this is available at this link
In addition, I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Taoiseach and I today announced €25 million in extra supports to help the Arts and Culture sector recover from the Covid19 Emergency in 2020. The funding will include bursaries and commissions to artists and arts organisations, and resources for museums and culture workers as they prepare for the re-opening of society. This is additional to funding previously allocated to the sector.
A total of €20 million will be allocated to the Arts Council bringing its allocation this year to €100 million. A further €5 million will be available for other measures, including securing the future of key cultural and museum spaces and facilities throughout Ireland, and the production of high-quality digital art and on-line performances.