Woe is us– budget, snow, and Jackie Healy Rae. Sigh.
Here’s what been buzzing on the wire:
- Breakdowns on the arts & the budget can be found from Theatre Forum and the National Campaign for the Arts. Reactions? Cuts don’t seem to be as savage as anticipated (possibly due to very successful lobbying & high-profile appeals?), and Culture Ireland’s budget has actually been increased by 71%*. Overall the Culture budget was cut by 10.63% (versus Sport which had a 26.5% cut). The Arts Council is down by 5%, IMMA, CBL, Crawford, and NCH down 8%, and the NLI down 14% (ouch). A statement from the Minister leads with the headline ‘Budget provides 400 million to support Tourism, Culture and Sport sectors’ (hmm, positive spin much?) Laurence Mackin has reviewed the cuts in the Irish Times as well.
- The RHA is offering a cut-price deal on renting a pop-up space on their premises between February-April.
- Clear favourite Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize— the first to win for an aural work.
- We teach the 1980s US ‘Culture Wars’ as if a part of art’s history, but I was shocked to hear of the recent censorship at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C.’s exhibition Hide/Seek (the first major American exhibition of homosexuality in portraiture) . Even the (relatively conservative) Association of Art Museum Directors has condemned the decision, truly a disgrace for the Smithsonian.
- After the recent excellent conference on the arts & diversity at the Chester Beatty Library, it was sobering to read that 21 Oxbridge colleges admitted zero black students last year: ‘The FoI data also shows that of more than 1,500 academic and lab staff at Cambridge, none are black.’ Is it possible!?! Apparently so…
- In case this week has you hiding under the covers, wondering if there’s hope left in the world… I give you scientists in panda suits.
* edit: Laurence Mackin had CI’s budget down by 2%; I asked him on his blog about the discrepancy in his figures versus the 71% increase cited elsewhere, and here’s his response:
According to the Government estimates (available at http://www.budget.gov.ie/budgets/2011/Documents/Estimates%20Budget%202011.pdf) Culture Ireland got €4.083 million in 2010 and will get €3.997 million in 2011 – a decrease of 2 per cent. According to the Minister for the Arts Mary Hanafin “a carry-over of €3m from 2010 will be used towards the funding of Culture Ireland’s major year-long season of contemporary Irish culture, Imagine Ireland, across the US in 2011” – hence the figure of €6,997 at Theatre Forum and elsewhere.
Basically, Culture Ireland’s budget is the €3.997 and the €3 million is a once-off payment to fund this once-off programme. You could argue that their budget has gone up by that much, but my understanding, following a phonecall to the Department, is that the €3 million must go on the US programme and isn’t transferable to other projects under CI’s aegis. Hope that clears it up.
It does… sort of. Certainly it clears up the discrepancy, and the earmarked €3 million can’t really be considered a true budgetary increase… nevertheless it’s a clear vote of confidence/investment in favour of CI’s work in a difficult climate.