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More People. More Places. More Spaces. The Arts Council release their Three-Year Plan | The Arts Council

  • More people supported, funded and engaged
  • More places to experience the arts
  • More spaces to include the arts

Today the Arts Council has announced the release of our new Three-Year Plan 2023 – 2025. The plan, the final stage of the Making Great Art Work Strategy, focuses on supporting more people to make art and to participate in art, no matter where they live or who they are.  

The Council’s Strategy sets out a framework for the development of the arts in Ireland from 2016 to 2025. This plan is reflective of the Art Council’s vision and goals in championing brilliant art. It also embraces change, looking to our growing and diverse population, and concerns around climate action and planning for the future. 

Since 2019 funding levels increased by 73% (€75m to €130m). One of the standout successes is that this has enabled the Arts Council to treble our support to individual artists. Our workforce has also increased to ensure at least 92% of this funding can benefit artists and public alike. The Arts Council is dedicated to enhancing its own capacity and capabilities towards transformative change. We cannot underestimate the social impact that art, in any form, has on the people of Ireland. The Arts Council strives to support excellence and to help elevate the arts for everyone.  

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, said:  

“We want to support more people, encourage more artists and ensure more audience engagement. This support will focus on ensuring the highest quality of work and of experiences. Artists need great spaces in which to create. These spaces and places across the country supported through this three-year plan, represent a key component of the critical infrastructure for the arts nationally. I’m excited about our vision for the country and how we can ensure this by increasing our support over the next three years for more people, more places and more spaces.” 

Kevin Rafter, Chair of the Arts Council, said:

“The Arts Council’s current strategy is based on the role of the artist and the public engagement with the arts. This new three-year plan will allow the organisation to continue to deliver on these objectives, and key policies including ‘Paying the Artist’ and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The Council’s budget has increased by over 70% since 2019 and this money allowed the arts sector get through the Covid-19 crisis. To continue developing the arts throughout the country, and address the cost of living crisis, the Council has asked the government for a budget of €150m in 2024.” 

The Three-Year Plan will focus on three core areas:   

More People

We aim to support more artists in their pursuit of excellence. We wish to see more people – from more disciplines, from more backgrounds and with more ideas – have the opportunities to create and ultimately present their work so it can be discovered, enjoyed and valued. We want to fund, support, nurture and champion everyone from the individual artist to arts organisations. We want to ensure a basic income for the artist. We want to encourage and include people of every culture to add their voice, their expression to the community in making, participating in and attending the arts. We want young people who missed out on the experiences of performing or creation due to Covid to embark on their colourful journey through the arts.

Between 2020 and 2022 the Arts Council invested €42 million in bursaries to support artists. This helped to sustain and develop their careers. We will advocate for an increased level of investment so that artists’ careers can continue to develop and in turn create the signature of who we are as individuals and as a nation. 

The Arts Council is also aware that challenges persist in growing and diversifying audiences and participants, and we are committed to development initiatives that continue to address this both through audience engagement and via our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Children and young people across the country remain a priority as creators and as audiences.

More Places

We believe that the arts should be accessible to all and experienced everywhere. How and where the public can encounter art remains a core purpose of the Arts Council. The Arts Council now funds arts centres in all 26 counties, partners with local government, and is informed by the National Planning Framework. 

Investment in local and national arts organisations and partnership with local authorities is a fundamental route to encourage public engagement with the arts. The Arts Council’s planned Digital Policy will expand this sense of place, and work is needed to reconnect with and grow audiences. We want to support people and organisations with initiatives such as the Night Time Economy Strategy and events like Culture Night. We want to give opportunities to children and artists in local communities through our Creative Schools and Creative Places programmes. 

The Arts Council is witnessing new and exciting developments in how art is made, who makes it and how the public engages with it. We are embracing the evolution of multi-disciplinary artforms and practices. These are supported by the Arts Council’s policies which continue to be informed through close engagement with and knowledge of the arts sector. 

More Spaces

Space is vital; space to create, to perform, to exhibit, to interact. We want to help people find this. We want to provide more opportunities to fund spaces for all our artists. Covid has taught us that art can be devised, crafted, and presented almost anywhere. We want to help people find their platform, their stage, their canvas, their space. 

We will utilise our expertise to inform spatial and demographic planning which will benefit people across Ireland. The Arts Council has already advanced this vision through the publication of its Spatial Policy – Place, Space and People – and in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Digital Policy, both to be published soon. The Arts Council has developed a strategic approach to our statutory role as a prescribed body in the planning process. Using our influence, the Arts Council works to embed arts and culture in the planning and development process. 

View and download the Arts Council’s Three-Year Plan 2023 – 2025

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