Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland - Cultur Na hEireann

One of the key Irish art organizations, Culture Ireland (Cultúr Na hÉireann) promotes Irish art and artists, internationally. Established in 2005 and based in Dublin, Culture Ireland is funded by the Department for Arts, Sport and Tourism. It allocates grants for overseas activity to Irish artists involved (eg) in painting, sculpture and the contemporary arts, as well as crafts organisations like the Crafts Council of Ireland. It also funds and facilitates Irish participation at certain international arts events and manages important cultural events. Cultúr Na hÉireann also advises the Minister For the Arts on world arts events and cultural affairs. Its annual budget for 2010 is €4.083 million (2009: €4.553 million; 2008: €4.75 million; 2007: €4.5 million; 2006/5: €3 million).

Governing Board

The governing board of Culture Ireland is appointed for a five-year term by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. It consists of 12 members and a chairperson all of whom serve on a voluntary basis. Current members, nominated in 2009 until 2014, are:

Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Uas. (Chairperson), Professor of Music, University of Limerick
Davey Arthur, Musician
Mary Cloake, Director of Arts Council
Dearbhla Collins, Pianist & Vocal Coach
Tom Crowley, Dean of Overseas Studies, American International College
Dessie Larkin, PR/Community Arts supporter
John Neary, Assistant Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
Martin Mackin, Communications Consultant
Mary McCarthy Director, National Sculpture Factory
Gerry Mullins, Communications Consultant
Niall O Donnchú Asst Secretary, Department of Arts Sport & Tourism
Simon Perry, Chief Executive, Irish Film Board

Implementation of Culture Ireland's arts policies is undertaken by an executive staff managed by the Chief Executive.

Specific Tasks

Cultúr Na hÉireann provides financial support for Irish artists and organisations to enable them to:

• Present artworks internationally
• Develop diverse international markets
• Develop artistic opportunities via workshops, residencies and exchanges.

There are four funding rounds per year, in February, May, August and November. Examples of eligable applications include travel costs of visual artists and their works to exhibit abroad (for example at the Venice Biennale); support for performances abroad of professional Irish bands, musicians or choral groups; readings by authors of their works and theatre and dance groups who wish to perform outside of Ireland (for example at the Edinburgh International Festival).

Another popular funding scheme by Culture Ireland is called 'See Here'. The aim of the scheme is to enable Irish Artists and arts organisations to invite (and fund) international promoters, curators or critics to see new Irish work with a view to subsequent international presentation. Applications for this scheme are accepted on an ongoing basis.

In addition, Cultúr Na hÉireann supports the representation of Irish painting and Irish scupture in showcase cultural exhibitions and other artistic events, maintains information online to promote contemporary Irish arts and produces high quality PR products, such as CDs and DVDs. The organization is also continuously involved in building and maintaining relationships with cultural organizations within the visual arts of Ireland and abroad, including bodies in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

Further information on Culture Ireland and its visual art grant program is available on Alternatively, telephone: (+353) 01-631-3905/3994/3917.

• For facts about the art industry in Ireland, see: Homepage.
• For a personal view of the top 20 contemporary fine art painters, see: Best Irish Artists.
• For the evolution of sculpture and painting in the 32 counties, see: History of Irish Art.
• For details of museums and contemporary arts venues, see: Irish Art Galleries.

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