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Reaction in the Arts Sector to Budget 2011

Yesterday’s austerity budget can now without doubt be recognised as the most far-reaching and seismic in the history of the state. The December 7th date would seemingly never arrive as the roundabouts and meandering by Government was pale distraction for the fear palpable in the general public. Family and social protection is of primary concern to any individual in this scenario. How one can provide for their loved ones, keep their home, child-care, education, health, career as well as having some sort of social life has well and truly been put under threat from this front bearing of the Government’s four year plan.

Speaking purely from a point of view of someone working in the Arts and Culture sector, this particular group of the economy has received hits and proves no exception in bearing its share of cuts. In a press release from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Minister Hanafin lays out the details of allocations and reductions on allocations for the coming year. In Brian Lenehan’s Budget delivery speech he outlined a scaling back of the €10 travel tax, while not eradicating it completly. the new travel tax will stand at €3. This, however, will be reviewed in 2011. In a statement the Minister outlines the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport will “continue to support the employment of some 250,000 people across all three sectors, as well as enhancing our cultural and sporting activities and contribute significantly to Ireland’s economic recovery in the coming years.”

Minister Hanafin further said “funding for the Arts Council will help sustain its main arts organisations, keep regional venues open and programmed and support festivals and touring. The Council supports over 50 venues, approximately 200 festivals and 400 arts organisations”

A breakdown of how the Budget of 2011 will affect the Arts and Culture sector is listed below:

  • An allocation of €65.2m for the Arts Council which is a 5% reduction on the 2010 allocation will enable it to maintain its major programmes and activities.
  • The Irish Film Board allocation of €18.4m will enable it to continue to support indigenous Irish audiovisual industry and attract inward investment from international productions.
  • The National Museum allocation of €14.2 million includes €2m capital funding for renovations at the Treasury in the Museum on Kildare Street and the fitting out of the Collections Resource Centre.
  • Almost €21m is allocated to the National Library, IMMA, National Concert Hall, Chester Beatty Library and Crawford Gallery.
  • The artists’ exemption will have a new threshold of €40,000. The section 481 investment tax relief for the film and television production sector will remain in place.
  • An allocation of €9.85m for the National Gallery – a reduction of 3% on 2010.
  • Over €4m is provided to support regional and smaller museums, as well as to fund events such as Culture Night 2011 and the major new contemporary art event Dublin Contemporary 2011.
  • A carry-over of €3m from 2010 will be used towards the funding of Culture Ireland’s major year-long season of contemporary Irish culture – Imagine Ireland– across the United States in 2011.

For information on how the Budget will affect Tourism and Sport in Ireland see the press release issued by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport here.

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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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25 Cultural Tourism Technology projects to be funded

Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport yesterday (1st November 2010) announced funding of in excess of €1 million towards Cultural Tourism Technology projects.

The projects to be funded are those which were successful under the Cultural Technology Grant Scheme – an initiative aimed at using technology to promote Irish arts and culture announced by Minister Hanafin in July of this year.

The aim of the initiative is to use a variety of the best emerging and existing technology information and communications methods to deliver a promotional, educational or information product to promote the Irish arts, culture and creative sectors and the successful projects each fulfils this aim.

The level of interest in the grant available greatly surpassed all expectations and Minister Hanafin said that “the extent and calibre of the applications received is clear evidence of our national spirit of innovation and creativity and demonstrates the vital role which the arts, culture and creative sectors can play in our economic recovery. Ireland is already well placed as a destination for the cultural tourist and the projects being funded under this initiative will further develop and support the cultural tourism product on offer in Ireland.”

The scope of the successful projects is far reaching and diverse, ranging from apps for iPhones and Smartphones, to mobile websites and tours of some of our cultural tourism highlights, to online interactive games, to even a hologram show.

When complete, the projects will allow self guided tours and walks of the National Botanic Gardens; virtual and 3D tours of the extensive collections of some of our National Cultural Institutions and a number of web based digital programmes aimed specifically at children, including a dedicated children’s Art Website where the creative work of children will go on display, a Digital Creativity Platform for children and an interactive online Viking game.

The high regard and widespread popularity of both our traditional and popular music will be further promoted and developed under the initiative, as will Dublin’s public art; the best of Irish theatre and opera; the ecclesiastical treasures of Co. Clare and the life and poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, to mention but a view of the successful projects.

Minister Hanafin added that “great ideas and innovations in technology are developing all the time and this initiative has allowed us to marry our innovative and creative thinking to our rich and developing cultural offering, thereby allowing us to showcase the best of our Irish art, music, culture and heritage in the most exciting, innovative and dynamic ways. This is the application of smart technology to culture, heritage and tradition.

For a full list of recipients of funding and description of projects see the following table:

Cultural Technology Grant Scheme 2010 projects

For more on this story see:

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