27 March 2015
ArtsMatterNI disappointed at funding decisions
#ArtsMattersNI is disappointed at the funding decisions made by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland (ACNI) and confirmed on Monday 23 March 2015. This is despite the 23,000 responses to the DCAL budget consultation opposing stringent cuts to the arts budget.
The reduction in annual funding for key arts organisations amounts to £893,576 which is potentially fatal for a sector that already receives the smallest amount of government funding.
Of the 115 applications received by ACNI, 87 organisations received standstill funding, while in the current economic climate this can be viewed positively in reality standstill funding represents a cut as other overheard costs such as light, electricity etc. will continue to increase, reducing the amount that can be invested in arts delivery.
In addition 6 organisations have received no funding and others substantial reductions.
The impact of these cuts will be immediate in terms of job losses, reduction in work for freelance artists and the cessation of performances and participation activities across NI. However the longer term impact on the quality and amount of arts activity that can be delivered to audiences will be even more significant.
There will be detrimental impact on how the arts contribute to the local economy, economic regeneration, tourism, education and health and well-being. In addition this devaluing of arts and culture activity sends out a negative message about Northern Ireland as a progressive society.
Ultimately audiences will suffer as a result of these cuts and #ArtsMattersNI calls on DCAL and ACNI to work with the sector and across the Stormont Executive to address the immediate and long-term impacts of these unprecedented and severe cuts.