As you may have seen in the news, the government has published a Roadmap for reopening society and business, based on a broad range of assumptions and implemented on a phased basis, each of which is subject to measurement and further assessment before implementation.
The various government departments have been in conversation with a wide range of groups, organisations, and representative bodies such as VAI. In our own case, we have a weekly meeting with the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht to review current supports, and with the support of other representative bodies, look at what the transition period will mean for individual artists, workers in the cultural field, and arts organisations, as well as looking at further ahead into 2021. This form of interaction has been, and will continue to be, a strong focus as we continue our work supporting artists in their professional lives.
There will be further clarification on the way that will address key questions around exhibitions, studios, etc. An amount of consultation has taken place, and it is clear that organisations will not simply re-open their doors and that work will have to be undertaken to ensure that the physical spaces, infrastructure, training, and health and safety measures are in place so as to protect the people who work in the organisations as well as those who access them for services, such as studio/work spaces. We understand that extensive work has been undertaken in this area for other parts of the cultural sector, and believe that the visual arts sector can learn much from the experience of the experts that have been tasked with identifying what needs to be done.
With regards to specific questions that you may have about when exhibitions, events, and jobs and opportunities as well as access to facilities will return, we hope to get clarification on this in terms of government guidelines over the next days. As soon as this is available we will publish it using our normal channels. How organisations implement these guidelines will be dependent on a wide range of factors, so we recommend making direct contact with specific organisations to ask for their timelines once they have had time to digest today’s announcement and look to the level of planning and change that they need to implement to comply with Health and Safety guidelines and return to opening their spaces.