Arts Council announce €130million in new funding for arts sector

Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly described the 130million budget for the council as a "historic level of funding for the arts community."

Speaking onMorning Irelandwith Audrey Carville, Ms.Kennelly said that the funding for the arts council was "a recognition by the government of the part that the arts community is going to play in the renewal of our society."

The Arts Council has announced funding to over 150 organisations, this week, ranging from theatre, to dance, to visual art and opera.

The funding is in aid of running events such as festivals, galleries, choirs, orchestras and arts centres.

Kennelly is optimistic that festivals will be allowed to run during the year, mentioning that "the arts community showed last year, during its brief reopening, was that it could provide events extremely safely for the public."

"The sector is very well equipped to provide those safe environments and there were no none cases of COVID-19 from that reopening.

"We're hoping that when restrictions lift, that the arts community will be at the forefront of bring events back to the public.

"Every sort of organisation is being supported from Galway Community circuit to the Abbey Theatre to the Limetree Theatre in Limerick, a huge range of organisations have received their funding this week, but that's just one part of many funding programmes in the year to come."

The Arts Council aims to use this funding to support work from under-represented voices.

This comes as the Everyman theatre in Cork announced that it will be holding 'Theatre-Making and Citizenship, Cork' programme with online workshops, exploring writing, devising and performance, with the Abbey Theatre and Graffiti Theatre company.

"We're very aware that we need to open our doors wider to voices that have been missing or unheard in recent years," Kennelly said.

"We're passionately committed to reflecting the true story of Ireland in 2021 through our artists."

Since level 5 lockdown restrictions came into effect last year, artists and arts organisations have been attempting to adapt by sharing pieces of work through social media and streaming performances online.

The Irish National Opera is working with local communities to co-create a virtual reality community opera for 2022.