21 May Open Forum
Today’s the Day
In our world of work and social isolation, only partially relieved by Zoom and other online resources, today is the first day of the Government’s Phased Reopening Plan. For the Culture sector, some arts workers and artists can get back to work, subject to Health & Safety compliance and social distancing. For a few, this means some studios, galleries and arts centres will reopen over the summer. For others, working remotely will continue for the next few months. For many arts workers and artists, Covid-19 restrictions backstage, onstage and around audiences will make traditional production and financial models unviable. So while there is a lot of attention trained on rebooting, reimagining and reopening the country’s arts, cultural and social activities, there’s much to be done to achieve that.
Open Forum – Production and Programme challenges
21 May, 2pm
Some of the most difficult challenges facing independent arts workers and artists as well as production companies are how to make and programme work while keeping artists, crew and cast safe given all the Health & Safety and social distancing requirements now in place. To discuss these and other challenges, there will be an Open Forum on Thursday next, 21 May at 2pm. This is open to all. Please register if you’d like to join this conversation and let us know if you’d like to address the group with a one-liner on your chosen topic.
Note – please register by 1pm on Thursday so we can include you in the mailout with Zoom links. Zoom logins will be sent at 1.30pm.
Reopening Arts Centres – Guidelines.Starting today, many arts organisations face this challenge of reopening after months of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. The purpose of the Reopening Arts Centres Guidelines is to bring the necessary public health and safety expertise to all of the country’s arts centres. These Guidelines are the first in a series with follow-up publications on Occupational and Public Safety risk assessment in the next week to promote the work place safety of artists, arts workers and audiences. A Working Group, chaired by Patricia McBride of An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny, is working with Peter Jordan and Joanne Moore of SLUA Event Safety Consultancy preparing these Guidelines so Arts Centres can reopen as workplaces as well as safe places of assembly. Please share the Reopening Arts Centre project information freely with your colleagues and networks.
Supports for artists and arts workers
In the first months of Covid-19 restrictions, artists and arts workers grappled with their eligibility for and access to support for arts workers. Here’s the up to date tax information for self-employed artists and arts workers, and special thanks to actor and accountant Peter Daly who pulled it together in record time in the early weeks of the crisis. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has a dedicated helpdesk for queries about income support and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your employment support/Pandemic Unemployment Support query.
Arts Council supports for artists
In recent weeks, many application deadlines for Arts Council funding schemes have been extended, others have been postponed or deferred and others, including touring and theatre and dance residencies, have been cancelled. This has piled frustration on top of anxiety about few or no work opportunities for artists and arts workers in the next 12 months. We are speaking to the Arts Council about this but if these decisions have adversely affected you, mail email@example.com as well as your Arts Council contact describing the impact of these decisions on your ability to work. We need to collectively let the Arts Council know how decisions impact on our sector.
Support is being made available by various Government Departments and organisations. If you are a community and voluntary organisation, social enterprise or charity and you are in urgent need of funding to help your organisation through COVID-19, find out more about the Department of Rural and Community Development: COVID-19 Stability Scheme for Community Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprise Organisations. Note the imminent closing date for applications to the scheme below providing support up to €100K to eligible organisations for overhead and operational costs is this Wednesday 20 May at 5pm.
We hope to see many of you on Zoom on Thursday. Very best wishes,
Anna & Irma