Every organisation has received its funding allocation for the year April 2013 - March 2014. Clearly as far as resources are concerned, these are not the best of times. The challenge facing the Arts Council was to do the best we could, with what we had.
I realise that many organisations are disappointed with the funding offered. The reality is a reduction in Arts Council funding of over 30% since 2008. We simply do not have sufficient resources to meet the demand of organisations under our funding programmes and of artists who apply under other funding schemes and awards.
Recognising and in no way minimising the challenge facing organisations is important. So too is planning a way through difficult times. The role of the Arts Council is to support and develop the arts in Ireland. For 2013 our aim is to balance the needs of existing organisations with emerging and artists and practitioners. I strongly believe that the strategy underpinning our approach is correct.
We therefore hope that through project awards, bursaries, commissions, programme activity funds, touring, festivals and events and other schemes that many more individuals and organisations will be supported in 2013.
Delivering change and efficiency in how we deliver our services is work in progress. A number of changes will take place over the coming weeks. Firstly all payments will be centralised in a new payments team rather than being processed in arts teams. An email detailing the changes including a new email address and phone number will be circulated to all individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding in the coming days. We are confident that this new system will allow for an efficient and faster turnaround of payments. We are also writing to organisations funded through our grants programmes that will be affected by recent personnel changes indicating the changes to an arts team where applicable.
All of these changes have been made by the Arts Council to better deliver on our remit as an expert agency leading, developing and supporting the arts in Ireland.