City council approves funding for arts groups

Galway City Council has approved funding for 75 arts groups throughout the city.

After an assessment by the Arts Funding Committee, 75 groups out of 84 applications were recommended to receive funding totaling €410,000, an increase of €25,000 from the previous year.

The biggest recipients of funding are Galway International Arts Festival which will receive €46,000, with Druid Theatre Company and Macnas getting €29,000 and €24,000 respectively.

Arts officer for the city council James Harrold said; “What we are trying to do every year is to spend the money wisely on organisations who need the money as well as putting [the money] to good use in the community.”

Padraig Conneely, chair of the Arts Funding Committee, said the funding shows the city council’s commitment to supporting arts in the city.

“The increase of an extra €25,000 is good but we would like more. Arts is very important to Galway and we should not be paying it lip service. We show are support [to arts] with facts and facts are financial contributions. Some amounts are small but small amounts can go very far.”

Councillors were unanimous in their praise of the news in City Hall on Monday afternoon.

Labour councillor Billy Cameron said; “This document reassures you without a doubt that [Galway city] is the creative and cultural capital of Ireland. Other councils must be envious of our array of talent. We are a city of festivals.”

Galway City West councillor Donal Lyons said it was pleasing to see the funding spread around the community.

“It is great to see national and international headline acts as well as the small acts [being funded]. There are seven new applicants which shows the increase of arts and interest [in the city]. The efforts of the council should not go unnoticed and maybe [in the future] local businesses will support the local arts. Arts groups do a fantastic job and we own a great job to the arts communities for promoting the city.

Independent councillor Mike Cubbard said it is great to see the council increase funding and support to arts groups in the city with Sinn Féin councillor Mark Lohan saying the funding breathes life into the city and brings something which is very unique to the city.

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