Green Party Leader Clare Bailey MLA has welcomed the announcement of the awarding of grants to 1,400 people working in the arts and culture in Northern Ireland, and has called for long-term action to protect the funding of our arts sector.
The South Belfast MLA said: “The fantastic news this week that Belfast’s Array Collective won the Turner Prize has demonstrated just how much talent and vibrancy exists in Northern Ireland’s arts and culture sector.
“Many of those working in the arts sector are freelancers or self-employed, and the pandemic has been a very difficult time for them. The £2.7m worth of grants allocated through the Creative Individuals Recovery Programme (CRIP) are welcome. This money will hopefully help alleviate some of the effect of the pandemic for those working in the arts.
“The Department for Communities had previously said that there would be £5m worth of CRIP funding available. I call on Minister Hargey to provide clarity on how and when the remaining £2.3m will be spent.
“But the emergency funding the arts has received during the pandemic is not enough by itself. Our arts sector has been chronically underfunded for years, as evidenced by the lack of purpose-built studio spaces. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, I urge the Executive parties to ensure that the arts are adequately funded in the long term, and Northern Ireland’s artists and creatives are enabled to thrive.”
Media contact: Jack O’Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)