SEVEN Limerick-based arts organisations and festivals have netted almost €1.5 million in annual funding from the Arts Council.
The biggest grant - of just under €900,000 - goes to the Irish Chamber Orchestra, which has been earning rave reviews of late for performances under the guidance of its new principal artistic partner, Hungarian maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy.
While the grant actually represents a reduction of 5% in the ensemble’s annual funding, to get such a substantial amount is music to the ears of the ICO.
“We had actually feared that the arts would be cut back even more in the current climate and as ever we are deeply grateful to the Arts Council for its support,” said the ICO’s Charlotte Eglington.
Another organisation based at UL, the Association of Irish Choirs, is to get €130,000 in Arts Council funding this year.
Limerick’s contemporary visual arts festival Eva, meanwhile, gets €180,000 this year while Fresh, the city’s festival for young film-makers has reeled in €53,000.
Limerick City Gallery of Art receives €125,000 and Limerick Printmakers get €65,000.
And in County Limerick, annual funding of €20,000 has been awarded to Friar’s Gate Theatre in Kilmallock.
According to the Arts Council, all seven Limerick organisations deserved support for having “a proven track record of delivering great arts experiences for people all over the county and beyond”.
Chairman of the Arts Council Pat Moylan said: “Despite the fact that funding to the arts has been cut by around 30% since 2008, we recognise that work of the Arts Council produces an important social dividend that positively impacts on the quality of life of citizens across the country. Not only this, but the arts play a vital role in our economy, especially in job creation and tourism. Therefore, we see it as vital to areas such as Limerick and other areas across the country that support for the arts is maintained.”