Galway City Council doles out €400,000 to arts groups

James Harrold, Galway City Arts Officer: announced increase in budget.

Councillors throughout the country are envious of Galway’s bank of creative and artistic talent, a city councillor claimed.

Billy Cameron’s comments came during a discussion on the City Council’s Arts Act Grant Scheme for 2018 – the local authority has allocated a total of more than €400,000 to 75 different organisations in the city.

A total of 84 applications were received under the scheme for 2018.

Arts Officer James Harrold told a meeting of the local authority last week that staff at the Arts Office processed the applications and the Arts Funding Committee – which is made up of internal and external assessors – had agreed on the grants.

He said the budget for the grants had increased by €25,000 on last year to a total of €410,000.

Mr Harrold explained that his objective was to spread the money as widely as possible to organisations that had shown they need it.

The biggest beneficiaries were Galway International Arts Festival at €46,000 (unchanged from last year); Druid Theatre Company (€29,000, up €1,000 on last year); Galway Music Residency (€24,000 up €1,000); Macnas (€24,000, unchanged); Galway Arts Centre (€20,000 up €1,000); Galway Film Fleadh (€18,000, unchanged); Baboró (€17,000 up €1,500); Music for Galway (€16,000 up €2,000); Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust (€10,000 up €1,000); Tulca (€10,000, unchanged) and Galway Film Centre (€10,000, unchanged).

Cllr Padraig Conneely, Chair of the Council’s Arts and Culture Strategic Policy Committee, said the grants scheme showed that the local authority was not just paying lip service to the arts in Galway.

Cllr Billy Cameron said the scheme reassured that Galway is the creative and cultural capital of Ireland, and councillors throughout the country must be envious because Galway has such a bank of creative and artistic talent.

Mr Harrold was praised for his dedication to the arts in Galway, and votes of sympathy were passed by councillors on the death of his mother last week.