The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) has announced its Stand by the Arts Pre-Budget 2023 Submission highlighting the the role of the Arts in a time of crisis, and has ten key asks of the government ahead of Budget 2023 in late September.
The volunteer-led grassroots organisation is asking for 10 things:
- Invest in the Arts: €150 million in funding to the Arts Council in 2023
- Bring Irish Arts to the World: €7 million in funding to Culture Ireland in 2023
- Nurture Communities: Retain current funding of Creative Ireland to 2027
- Remove Systemic Barriers for Disabled Artists & Arts Workers
- Address the Climate Emergency
- Address the Lack of Diversity in the Arts
- Make Space for the Arts
- Support Adequate Research in the Arts
- Implement Insurance Reform
- Implement Taxation Reform
Our call to stand by the arts community goes out to all Ministers and Departments, across Government – to those who continuously go to bat for us, to those who hold in their hands the nation’s health and wellbeing, those who manage our education system, our justice system and can impact on the insurance landscape, those who honestly want real diversity, who are committed to inclusion, and passionate about the fate of our planet, those who appreciate the benefits of creativity and critical thinking, who need innovators and entrepreneurs, those who are guardians of our global reputation. And of course, those who now must make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the cost of both pandemic and global strife is weighed up against the immediate needs of a nation shrouded in uncertainty.
What use is art in these times of chaos and uncertainty? What is the role of the arts in addressing complex local and global challenges and why should we invest in them? Arts help us to express our realities, our hopes, and fears, they bring awareness, understanding and context to the world and its challenges. The arts bring communities together, fostering respect and understanding, breaking down cultural barriers, building trust and facilitating reconciliation. The arts demonstrate alternative ways of seeing and being, pose difficult questions and offer innovative solutions.
Our disabled artists and arts workers, and indeed all from marginalised communities who work in the arts, can provide a wealth of insight in times of crisis, informing healing, self-understanding, and the tools to overcome adversity. The arts call out indifference, ignorance, and extremism, they agitate, persuade, pressure and demand. Art can shock and infuriate, comfort and console, provide refuge for the mind, heart, and soul, and safe outlets for hurt, fear and anger. The arts offer paths of hope, journeys of adventure, escapism, beauty, and joy; they encourage ingenuity and innovation, abstract thought and problem solving; the arts give us the building blocks of a life better lived, the freedom of creativity and imagination, the life skills of empathy and compassion. Without the arts, our world would be one dimensional. They are vital to the fabric of our society.
“The arts sector’s ability to deliver myriad life-affirming benefits and crisis-coping tools to our 5 million citizens, will be determined by the Government’s interpretation of the value of the arts for all society, as reflected in the arts outcomes in Budget 2023.”Angela Dorgan, Chair, National Campaign for the Arts
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.