Weekly round-up: 12 December 2011

South Dublin County Council's new public art site

The big news last week was of course the budget… the National Campaign for the Arts and Laurence Mackin of the IT have provided the details of cuts to the budget (and full details are available from the Department)… a few key points:

  • Gross funding in 2012 for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will be €267 million (plus an extra €8.6 million in funding for the National Gallery.) Note that it’s not possible to assess, strictly speaking, how this compares with previous years, due to the shifts in department make-up.
  • However, overall 49% of the department’s budget (€129.6 million) is being allocated in 2012 to Arts, Culture and Film programme areas. Arts current funding is down 6%: from €124 million to €117 million.
  • The Arts Council is down 3.2%, from €65.16 to €63.1 million.
  • Arts capital funding is the most severely hit — down 34% from €32 million to €21 million. Most of this (13.2 million) is allocated to the Irish Film Board, and constitutes their annual funding (despite the ‘capital’ label)- although their funding is down overall by 14.9%.
  • Culture Ireland will be down 11%.
  • How did the national institutions fare? National Archives (-5%); IMMA, CBL, NCH and the Crawford (-4%); NMI (-5%); NLI (-7%). However these figures don’t count huge drops in capital budgets, which will severely affect the national institutions’ plans for developing infrastructure and other crucial projects.

Although the overall funding picture appears to be better than expected, the national institutions will be hard hit, and there will be other financial implications from ancillary budget measures for arts organisations (the increase in VAT, for example, as well as the decrease in CE funding which many organisations rely upon).

In other news…the Arts Council has announced its 2012 project grant recipients — an interesting look at work which lies ahead!

The new director of the National Gallery was finally announced — and it’s Sean Rainbird, current Director of the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, who also worked for many years at the Tate. Word has it that current staff are delighted with the appointment — I think it will be a much-needed breath of fresh air into the gallery, and look forward to his tenure!

South Dublin County Council has unveiled a new public art website — searchable and snazzy — and very useful for students of public art projects.

Fintan O’Toole has blasted the Abbey’s latest production of The Government Inspector, and decried (again) what he perceives is the national theatre’s failure to actively engage with the current breakdown of Irish society.

The Music Generation programme is being expanded to Laois, Wicklow and Cork City — no doubt news of new opportunities will soon follow…

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has announced its call for volunteers.

An interesting article in the Guardian (‘Should the arts be more selective about sponsors?‘) canvassed reactions to the withdrawal of two poets from the TS Eliot prize competition over their objections to the award’s sponsorship by a hedge fund.

I’m really digging all the posts at the Guardian’s Culture Professional Network blog… tons of interesting and useful posts there to anyone working in the field.

Not strictly arts-related, but if you are a researcher check out the new British Newspaper Archive project from the British Library (lovingly reviewed by the fantastic Bioscope blog) — it’s gonna rock your world.

And finally… congrats to our fantastic 2011 class of Arts Management & Cultural Policy MA graduates! It was wonderful to see them in the glad rags last week at commencement 🙂 🙂

Hope everyone is enjoying all of the holiday activities across town — such a busy time of year!