National Campaign For the Arts Manifesto - General Election 2016


Ireland is at the bottom of the European league for government investment in Culture and the Arts

The Council of Europe data shows that in 2012 Ireland spent just 0.11% of GDP on Culture and the Arts compared to a European average of 0.6% of GDP.


If our government truly values our Culture, our Arts and our Artists then their course of action is straightforward.

  • Get Ireland off the bottom of the Arts and Culture Investment League.
  • Commit to an investment 0.3% of GDP over the lifetime of the next government, taking us halfway to the European average.


Bringing investment in line with our European partners is a necessary first step. In order to ensure the sustainable development of the Arts and Culture sector the following are required:


Appoint an expert panel of Artists/Cultural Managers to function as Policy and Strategy Advisors to the Minister and the Department. Members of the Arts community are also available for selection to serve on the boards of all cultural and other institutions in their capacity as experts


  • Get Ireland off the bottom of the Arts and Culture investment league by committing to the investment of 0.3% of GDP over lifetime of the next government
  • Restoration of €30 million worth of cuts imposed on the Arts Council and aim to reach at least €180 million annual budget for the Arts Council within the life of the next government
  • Implement tax efficiencies/strategies to stimulate corporate and philanthropic investment in the arts
  • Create a new Arts fund from National Lottery income which is separate and distinct from Arts Council funding


  • Ensure all local authorities publish an Arts Plan/Cultural Strategy by the end of 2016
  • Fill all vacant Local Authority Arts Officer positions
  • Reclassify Local Authority Arts spending as non-discretionary  
  • Actively fund creative industries and Arts activity through Local Enterprise Boards and LEADER      


  • Implement the Arts in Education Charter  
  • Extend the Junior Cycle Review to include Dance, Theatre and Music      
  • Shift government investment policy from STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering,  ARTS, Maths) focus   


The severe cuts in government funding for the arts in recent years have led to the closure of many excellent arts organisations, robbing citizens of their rightful access to the arts, as set out in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The next and subsequent governments must acknowledge and enforce Article 27 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • 1)    Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.   
  • 2)    Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he/she is the author. 


In preparation for the election of 2016, the NCFA wants each political party to pledge its support for the above action points and work with the cultural community to advance these.