January proved a particularly challenging month for the Arts Council, with meetings to consider the major 2010 grant allocations to organisations. The decisions were made in the context of a reduced budget and in the knowledge that the public funding environment is likely to remain uncertain for several years.
In 2009, the Arts Council moved swiftly to manage a number of reductions in its own funding, and succeeded in investing €77m in the arts, significantly more than the €73.35 million it received from the Exchequer. Through savings and forward committing 2010 funds, the Council helped protect cash-strapped organisations from sudden funding fluctuations in order to maintain arts provision around the country.
This year, however, the Arts Council has around €68million to invest, €9m less than in 2009, and this fact made the Council's choices all the harder. The decisions were based on a considered, policy-based approach in order to get the best arts result for the public. Organisations will be receiving letters detailing the decisions in the days ahead.
Also in January, the Arts Council held a showcase and networking event for recipients of the Young Ensembles Scheme 2009. Young representatives (aged 12-23) from ensembles that were awarded funding through the Arts Council’s Young Ensembles Scheme (YES) in 2009 participated in a showcase and exhibition of their projects. The event demonstrated a clear passion for and dedication to a range of art forms among some of Ireland’s younger citizens. We include more information on the event and the recipients of the scheme in this month’s newsletter.
The Council recently released two research reports: A Review of Visual Artists’ Workspaces and Public engagement with Architecture in the Republic of Ireland. The two reports are available to download in this month’s edition.
We announce the upcoming deadlines for the Artist in the Community Scheme 2010. This year the Scheme will also offer an additional funding line aimed at those who want to work with a mentor during the research and development phase. We include a notice on the upcoming deadline for the Deis Recording Round and remind you of the closing date for the second round of the Small Arts Festival Scheme 2010.
This month’s newsletter also includes a call from Arts Audiences to artists and arts organisations who wish to publicise their websites through the Arts Audiences initiative.
In conjunction with Music Network, we announce the recipients of the Music Capital Scheme, an initiative designed to provide support for the purchase of musical instruments. The newsletter also includes a list of recipients for round one of the Small Arts Festivals Scheme for 2010.
Finally, closing the newsletter are our regular articles from the Cultural Contact Point and news from the arts community.