Four creative artists from the county have been made recipients of the latest bursary from Ealaín na Gaeltachta Teo, a joint venture between Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council, which promotes development of the contemporary and traditional arts in the Gaeltacht areas. Each year the company administers a comprehensive action plan providing funding for schemes which benefit organisations and artists throughout the Gaeltacht areas.
Amongst the 36 artists to whom assistance was granted, they include visual artist, Cathal Mac Fhionnghaile, writer Máire Wren and musicians Manus Lunny and Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde. Twelve musicians, six writers, fifteen visual artists, one dancer, one dramatist, and a circus practitioner were among the national recipients.
There continues to be a substantial increase in the number of arts projects in the Gaeltacht since Ealaín na Gaeltachta was first established fourteen years ago, despite recent cuts in funding. Dr Louis de Paor of Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, NUIG, a director of Ealaín na Gaeltachta, stresses the value of this type of bursary funding not only to the artists but to the wider community. He said: “It is important to note the value which the arts sector can generate from a relatively modest investment of €50,000 – equivalent to the cost of a salary for one or two full time employees. Through what are admittedly very small bursaries, 35 talented artists will be encouraged to produce work which further enriches our communities and enhances our global reputation as a creative hub. Since the Gaeltachtaí are rightly regarded as among the most significant locations for traditional and contemporary arts, the continuance and expansion of such funding makes absolute sense.”
Ealáin na Gaeltachta’s new five year development plan for 2012-2016 will be published in the coming months.