Councillors will be asked to vote on granting €8,000 in emergency funding to the 126 Gallery on Queen Street at next Monday’s city council meeting.
The future of the gallery, which last year attracted 8,000 visitors to its diverse exhibitions, was thrown into doubt following a 64 per cent cut in its funding. The gallery requires €15,000 in rental support to stay open.
At Monday’s city council meeting councillors agreed by councillors to discuss funding of the gallery at next week’s meeting. Councillors will be asked to vote on a Section 22 motion, which, if passed would grant €8,000 immediately in emergency funding to the gallery.
In 2012 The Arts Council provided €10,000, but this money can only be used for programming and not for other items such as rent. The city council was asked for €15,000 but in December City Hall informed the gallery its funding was €4,000. This is in addition to the €1,500 secured in August.
The €5,500 is in contrast to previous levels of funding of €10,500 (2009 ), €13,700 (2010 ), and €13,500 (2011 ), despite the recession and a strained council budget.
Since then, other sectors of the Galway arts community have lent their support to 126’s campaign to have its previous level of funding reinstated.
The Huston School of Film in NUI Galway wrote to City Hall last month, noting that the gallery “contributes greatly” to the “greater cultural life of Galway city”. Artspace Studios, also writing to the council, called 126 “a cultural gem” which has “greatly added to the rich artistic reputation” of the city.
The 126 Gallery is hopeful of receiving councillors’ support next week.
“We are hoping that the councillors can then raise a motion to find emergency funds to make up 126's funding shortfall,” a spokesperson for the gallery told the Galway Advertiser. “126 is also redesigning itself to become more self-sufficient financially to ensure its survival into the future, with incorporation of studios and other methods of generating income