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Arts Council and the Dept of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media announce launch of ART:2023 programme | The Arts Council

The Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media announced today the launch of Art:2023, a major programme of events throughout 2023 and into April 2024 to mark the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries. This programme will build on the Art 2016 programme previously supported.

The programme Art: 2023 is an opportunity for artists and arts organisations to create new and exciting work of ambition and scale while reflecting on the themes of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.

The amount of funding provided is €2M, which is going towards Open Call and Arts Participation awards, and a further €600,000 going to Next Generation artists. There are 10 projects funded across Open Call and Arts Participation, and 24 artists will be funded through Next Generation. This is an increase from 2022, when 20 Next Generation artists were funded.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Martin said: “This partnership highlights the important role that artists and cultural organisations have played – and continue to play – in the Decade of Centenaries Programme. For many members of the public, this will be how they will choose to engage with the complex themes presented by the Decade of Centenaries Programme. ART:2023 provides a unique opportunity for artists and creators and will signify how much they are valued as we continue to discuss and debate the formation of our State. I am delighted that my Department is supporting the Arts Council to help these artists to deliver these collaborative, and ground-breaking projects.”

The Chair of the Arts Council, Professor Kevin Rafter, said: “I am personally thrilled to announce the launch of ART:2023, which, in addition to everything else, represents the final stage of our collaboration with the Decade of Centenaries. Artists have played a crucial role in Irish life since the foundation of the State. The diverse range of arts organisations and artists involved in ART:2023 will allow for further challenge and interpretation of our collective past and shared futures.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, welcomed the announcement saying: “As we move into the third decade of the new millennium, it is incumbent upon us to think about the future. In line with our 10-year strategy, Making Great Art Work, the goal of ART:2023 is to support the creation of ambitious artworks that integrate our history into a compelling vision of contemporary Ireland; we’re excited to give a voice to those artists and organisations who are contributing to a new outlook on our society, giving us a glimpse of what our shared future could and should look like.”

There are three strands that make up the Art: 2023 award:

Open Call 2023 – A Call to Artists
Open Call is a unique opportunity for artists to reinvigorate the Irish imagination and to look at the Decade of Centenaries from new perspectives through the creation of ambitious projects for the public. We invite artists and arts organisations to create national collaborative ground-breaking public-facing projects of ambition, impact and scale that encourage discourse, provocation or response to place and identity as part of contemporary Ireland.

Artists and organisations awarded this year include Solstice Arts Centre, Smashing Times Theatre Company, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Clonmel Junction Festival and Draíocht Arts Centre.

• ART:2023 Participation Award
This programme strand emphasises collaboration, inclusivity
and diversity and was created specifically for the ART:2023 programme. The
reach of the awarded activity spans the whole country, reflecting on our shared
history, but with an eye to our shared future. Award priorities are based on
artistic excellence, the quality of collaborative and participatory arts
practice and public engagement.

Artists and communities
will work together to respond with new perspectives on the themes of the Decade
of Centenaries.
The outcome of this award will be the
creation of an excellent and ambitious programme of public-facing work, which
encourages inclusivity, diversity, participation, provocation and discourse on
identity of place, space and people.

Following a call for proposals, the
awardees in this programme are Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Carlow Arts Festival, Amanda Coogan, Helium Arts, The Ark.

Next Generation – A Profile
The Next Generation Artists award was established in 2016 (originally the award was named 16 x 16) as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme to support a group of promising artists across all disciplines at an early but pivotal stage in their career. The awardees will be announced later in the year, following a call for applications next month.

The outcomes of these awards will be the creation of an excellent and ambitious programme of public-facing work that encourages inclusivity, diversity, participation, provocation and discourse on identity of place, space and people as the commemoration of our significant centenaries draws to a close.

The successful applicants and their projects are as follows:


Applicant name

Project name/title

Approved amount

Cairde Festival Ltd

Hereditas / Future Heritage
(Working Title)


Carlow Arts Festival



Coogan, Amanda



Helium Children’s Arts &

My Place to Be (Working
Title):inclusive early years spectacle for young children with disabilities


The Ark

Right Here Right Now, A
Festival of Children


Solstice Arts Centre

Hairline Crack [A Dialogue]


Smashing Times Theatre

States of Independence


CoisCeim Dance Theatre



Clonmel Junction Festival

From Out The Land


Draíocht Arts Centre



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