13 April 2021
By Tom Collins
81 Artists and Arts Organisations are set to receive funding totalling €136,000 from Cork County Council Arts Grants Scheme 2021. Following a very difficult year for the Arts Sector, the Council hopes that the funding provided in this year’s Arts Grants Scheme will help to revitalise arts in the county and pave the way for a return to cultural spaces and events later this year, in line with public health guidelines.
Welcoming the announcement, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said,
“Over the past twelve months we have seen the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on the Arts Sector and on our social, cultural and everyday lives. While current restrictions mean that some festivals will continue with online programmes, many have moved their programmes to the Autumn in anticipation of live events resuming safely. This need to innovate and work creatively to overcome difficulties and create meaningful opportunities for public engagement in the Arts is clear from the projects that have been awarded as part of this year’s Arts Grants Scheme. This funding will enable festivals, artists and voluntary arts organisations to deliver projects that will have a real impact on revitalising local communities and putting art at the heart of 2021.”
The Arts Grants Scheme provides funding for a range of arts and cultural activities while also supporting festivals, voluntary arts groups, professional artists and youth arts, as well as a range of inclusive arts programmes reaching the elderly and those with disability. Cork County Council is one of the few local authorities that has a specific scheme supporting Irish Language Arts and will provide funding to four projects in this area. This recent initiative was developed to support Irish language use by encouraging arts organisations and artists to develop creative projects that are Irish language based.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey echoed the importance of these supports to ensure the Arts remains accessible to all in Cork County,
“While the annual economic benefit of the Arts events funded by this scheme is estimated to have been in excess of €5 million prior to Covid-19, the social, cultural and community impact is invaluable.” Last year, Cork County Council’s support of the Arts enabled many groups to continue their work through a particularly challenging period. Arts funding has helped organisations and artists to adapt and improvise in 2020 and we will see the benefits of this as further funding is made available this year. For 2021, our aim is to see the Arts thrive and in turn help revitalise our towns and public spaces by allowing all our citizens to actively participate in the creative arts.”
Cork County Council’s Arts Grants Scheme is designed to support events, activities and new initiatives that enhance public access to the Arts and will support cultural development in all eight of the county’s Municipal Districts. The announcement of the 2021 Arts grant recipients signals the first steps towards plans for a safe resumption of many cultural activities in communities across the county.