Skip to main content

Long-term collaborative solutions are needed to maintain artist rights

Lady working on a dress mannequin using maps as material
Joanne Milmoe

DACS welcomes the Arts Council of Northern Ireland's Creative Individuals Recovery Programme funding, providing over 1,400 people working in arts and culture with grants of up to £2,000 to aide their practice.

The pandemic has proved devastating for artists both financially and creatively with many seeing their freelance and part-time jobs disappear without warning and many without access to furlough funding. Whilst DACS supports this move to support the creative sector, there are many artists who remain locked out of funding opportunities across the UK.

DACS’ Manifesto for Artists, launched in March 2021, shed light on the devastating impact that Covid-19 had on artists, who already often faced financial hardship. In a survey of our membership, the statistics speak for themselves:

  • 73% reported that their livelihoods had been affected by the pandemic.
  • 54% have seen the cancellation or postponement of exhibitions and projects.
  • 47% are not eligible for any government support.

As we navigate how the cultural and creative sector recovers post-pandemic, we must support artists through a range of mechanisms to ensure that their rights are maintained and that they can sustain their practice as artists. DACS continues to lobby for the rights of artists and champions new ways for the Government to support visual artists in our communities across the country. This is the driving vision behind the Smart Fund, a proposal which could generate up to £300 million annually for both creators and communities.

Smart Fund provides a long-term solution to support creators of all ages and backgrounds, and the communities in which they are based. In an industry hit hard by the pandemic, it is time to reflect on how the creative industries can be sustained and provide prosperity for all through unique opportunities to collaborate across Government, technology companies and the creative industries.

Gilane Tawadros
DACS Chief Executive

About the programme

The Creative Individuals Recovery Programme has been co-designed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) with the Department for Communities.