The projects were brought forward by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and approved by Government in July 2022, subject to finalisation of each project proposal.
The two Councils frequently work together to co-fund Arts programming on the island. The Shared Island Fund allocations will complement and support this cooperation with capital support for arts and cultural infrastructure with a defined all-island focus. The five projects will be delivered by Arts partners, North and South, to provide new facilities and opportunity for artistic exchange, curation, and audience engagement across the island.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said: “The Shared Island Fund is about bringing people together from all parts of the island. Culture and the arts are among the ways we can do that, harnessing their power to unite people not to divide them. The five projects receiving funding are wide-ranging: enhancing archives for architectural records and amateur films, creating new studio spaces for traditional music and visual arts, and providing a cross-border residence for writers. There will also be new initiatives to connect artists north and south. I’m delighted to see Shared Island funding being used to promote the arts, which help to give us a new perspective on lives and culture in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It’s also a big step in expanding the all-island aspect of Creative Ireland.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD said: “I am pleased to see five new Arts investment projects moving forward today, supported through the Government’s Shared Island Fund. The Arts are uniquely important in providing perspective and inspiration in society and a vital part of how we share this island.”
“I commend the long-standing cooperation by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Arts Council Northern Ireland in developing these projects, which will enable cross-border interaction on Architectural and Film Heritage, Traditional Music, Writing and the Visual Arts.”
Minister Catherine Martin TD said: “Arts and culture play a vital role in our lives with phenomenal potential to bring people together. I am delighted to see these awards to five projects that will take forward a major Shared Island dimension to the Government’s investment in the Arts. The projects will provide new opportunities to build relationships and understanding through the Arts for people across all communities and traditions of this island.”
The five Shared Island funded projects are:
• Irish Architectural Archive (IAA) - €100k to provide enhanced digitisation and accessibility for the all-island architectural records.
• Irish Film Institute (IFI) - €200k to create and curate an archive of amateur filmmaking in Northern Ireland and the border region. The IFI will work with partners to exhibit films from this archive to audiences online and regionally.
• Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) - €1m to develop a new studio space and digitisation. The ITMA will develop a new residential studio space and enhance digitisation capacity to promote all-island Artist and Archivist collaborations.
• Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig - up to €1.5m to create a new visual artist studio. A studio for artists of all forms, alternating between Ireland and Northern Ireland, at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig.
• Bellaghy Bawn writer residencies - up to €4.6m for development of residencies at the historic Bawn building in Bellaghy creating a cross-border residential facility for writers to work and interact, in an inspirational historic building in the village of Bellaghy, close to the birthplace and childhood home of Seamus Heaney. The final design and business case is subject to approval and will be progressed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in cooperation with the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland, Mid-Ulster District Council and partner arts organisations on a cross-border basis.
In addition to the capital allocations being made available, the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will be working together to support Arts programming on a collaborative cross-border basis.
Notes to Editor:
Shared Island Arts investment projects:
- The Shared Island Arts investment projects were proposed by the Arts Council jointly with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The two Councils frequently work together to support Arts programming on the island. The Shared Island Fund allocations complement and support this cooperation with capital support for arts and cultural infrastructure with a defined all-island basis and purpose across five projects.
- Funding is being provided from the Government’s Shared Island Fund by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media through Service Level Agreements with the Arts delivery organisations.
- Further information will be announced through launches by the arts organisation delivery partners for each project in the months ahead.
- Funding for the Bellaghy Bawn project in will be progressed by the Department in cooperation with the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland, Mid-Ulster District Council and Arts organisation partners. The residency programme will be supported by the Arts Councils in a similar model to the existing cooperation and co-funding of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Monaghan. Bellaghy Bawn is a Monument in State Care in the ownership of the Department for Communities. The project will be subject to the necessary approval processes.
Shared Island initiative:
- As provided for in the Programme for Government, the Government is taking forward the Shared Island initiative, to work with all communities for a shared future, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement. This involves:
- unprecedented cooperative all-island investment, through the Shared Island Fund;
- engaging with all communities on how practically we share the island into the future, through the Shared Island dialogue series; and,
- providing a stronger evidence base and analysis of the whole island, through a programme of published research.
- The initiative is taken forward on a whole of Government basis, driven and coordinated through the Shared Island unit in the Department of the Taoiseach.
- The Government has so far allocated €247m from the Shared Island Fund, moving ahead with cross-border commitments, including to the Ulster Canal restoration and capital investment at Ulster University’s Derry campus, and commencing new all-island projects and programmes that respond to common interests and concerns