Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts & Culture Niamh Smyth has called on government to put in place a detailed roadmap for the funding of the arts.
Deputy Smyth hosted a briefing from artists and representatives at Leinster House this week where they outlined the impact of continued employment uncertainty and low pay on their lives.
“The review of pay and conditions by Theatre Forum has found that one in three performing artists earn less than the minimum wage, while more than one in eight are paid flat fees, no matter how many hours they work”, said Deputy Smyth.
“These conditions have led to situations whereby some artists have been engaged full-time on projects which have been commercially and critically successful and even lauded internationally, but the artists themselves were only paid €5,000 for their time and effort. It is not realistic to hold ourselves up as beacons of arts and culture for the world and yet do so little to support our talent.
“The controversy which has engulfed the Abbey Theatre needs to be a catalyst for a much broader conversation about the precarious and poorly remunerated nature of the sector.
“We need to build on the issues which have been raised, and set out a sustainable future for the sector in the context of Culture 2025. A clear commitment has been given to carry out a critical analysis of direct and indirect supports that are funding arts and cultural activity. That work must be frontloaded in order to stabilise the sector”, concluded Deputy Smyth.