Arts sector gets €25m to help offset impact of coronavirus

Supports includes bursaries and commissions to artists and arts organisations

Some €20m of the new funding will go to the Arts Council. Photograph: The Irish Times

Some €20m of the new funding will go to the Arts Council. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The Government has announced extra funding of €25 million for the arts and culture sector to help tackle challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan announced a package of supports which includes bursaries and commissions to artists and arts organisations, and resources for museums and culture workers as they prepare for the re-opening of society.

The funding is in addition to money 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 made 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.

“Over the last few months we have had many days of sorrow and suffering. In times like this we see the true value of culture to society - the books, the films, the songs, the plays - all the different forms of culture that entertain as well as enlighten,” Mr Varadkar said.

“The pandemic hasn’t been easy for our artists and cultural institutions, and I know their livelihoods have been hit hard. So many events have been cancelled, so many places have been forced to close. The Government wants to recognise how important culture is to our lives and it wants to match its words with actions.”

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan said the sector had “suffered more than most in the crisis and will continue to experience difficult and challenging times long after other sectors have returned to work”.

“Despite this, I am confident that artists and arts organisations across the country can weather this storm and emerge with all the wonderful creativity that is its hallmark.”