Arts Council NI Report provides evidence of immediate need for a support fund for individual artists

A Statement from the Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Liam Hannaway:

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) was asked by the Department for Communities (DfC) to collate evidence demonstrating the impact of Covid-19 emergency funding for individual artists in 2020/21, and to evidence the need for sectoral support funding right now.

The Arts Council worked with DfC and with the ministerial Cultural Recovery Task Force group and produced the ‘Evidencing Need’ report which we published today (Aug 4th 2021).

This body of evidence demonstrates that there is immediate financial insecurity for those working in the creative industries and that career and skills development have been negatively affected. There is the significant risk that the talent pool of artists and creatives, necessary for the overall creative ecosystem, will leave Northern Ireland to find alternative work; this will take the sector years to recover from.

The £13m additional support from the UK Government will meet only some of the need, and should be released through grant programmes to the sector as a matter of urgency.

High level findings of this survey are included in the executive summary which I urge you to read. I am confident this report will help the Minister and the Department for Communities make the case for further sectoral support for those working in and around the arts and culture sectors in Northern Ireland.

On behalf of the Arts Council I would like to personally express the gratitude we have for each and every individual who took part in these valuable studies during one of the worst years of hardship the sector has experienced. This report could not have been completed without you.

Thank you.

Liam Hannaway

Chair, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

View the ‘Evidencing Need’ report here

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