Archive for August 10th, 2010

Poor Conditions of Irish Artists

10th August 2010 by Maura McHugh

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Arts Council, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, have published a report on how many artists are now working in Ireland, and the challenges they face as they pursue their chosen professions.

In the most comprehensive study for a generation, the two arts councils have shed critical new light on what it means to be an artist, writer, painter, musician or performer in modern day Ireland, north and south.

The Living and Working Conditions of Artists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland shows that artists are an exceptionally highly educated group, with over two-thirds having attained a university degree. They are also hard working, putting in more than 55 hours per week and frequently holding down extra jobs to support their creative endeavours.

In stark contrast to their academic achievements and evident commitment, however, the overwhelming majority of artists still earn just two-thirds of the average income [approx. €14,500 a year] for all other workers. Lack of provision for pensions also spells financial hardship ahead for the current generation of artists.

The findings of the report will influence how the arts councils continue to provide support and the measures they take to improve conditions for artists on the island.