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To: Minister of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht - Josepha Madigan, Dept of an Taoiseach, Dept of Social Protection, Dept of Finance, Arts Council, Creative Ireland

#ARTSBLACKOUT - Boycott the COVID-19 Art Schemes, Demand Support for Every Arts Worker

This campaign has ended.

We, the practitioners of culture, are asking for the support of our peers, audiences, and allies alike as we stand together to pledge to boycott the recently announced Arts Council Covid-19 Crisis Response Award and the Culture Ireland Ireland Performs Initiative. We will not be applying to the schemes and we will not watch the outcomes of either award online.

We reject the package of schemes announced by Minister Josepha Madigan on Friday 3rd of April in its entirety. The response was wholly inadequate to the scale of the crisis in our sector and is disconnected from the reality of artists’ living and working conditions.

We realise this is an extremely difficult time to be asking artists and arts workers to boycott potential streams of income, but we are asking for your solidarity for the thousands of us who will not receive these limiting and highly competitive awards. Every artist and art worker in Ireland has lost income due to the crisis and we need a response that will provide adequate support for everyone.

Why is this important?

Link to full statement and list of demands:

How to support:

> Pledge to boycott the awards & the awards’ outcomes online
> Support the boycott by usings our images on your social media
> Share the boycott using the hashtag #ARTSBLACKOUT #COVIDARTSCRISIS

Instagram - @Arts_Blackout

In place of the schemes proposed by the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, we are issuing the following demands. We have formulated these in consultation with artists and arts workers across the sector and invite artists participating in the boycott to submit their own demands. Please email [email protected]


1. For the Department of Social Protection to streamline access for artists and arts workers to the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment. A letter of reference from any Irish cultural organisation or venue should be accepted as evidence of working in the sector.

2. For the Government to begin setting up a Universal Basic Income Scheme through a pilot scheme for sole traders, arts workers, the underemployed, the unemployed and the community volunteering sector.

3. For at least a €10 million COVID-19 emergency fund to be made available to the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.

4. For the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht to seek out sustained and meaningful consultation with artists from across the sector. To initiate a far-reaching debate on the current nature of the status of the artist with a view to ensuring the sustainability of artists' careers, practices and activities, as well as artists’ freedom of expression, social and financial recognition, and individual well-being.

5. For all publicly funded COVID-19 Art Schemes to take into account the different circumstances of artists in regards to space, time, materials and favour no particular medium, style, or type of practice. For equality and inclusion to be at the centre of decision making.

6. For all publicly funded cultural organisations to honour artist payments that were contracted to take place during the COVID-19 emergency measures, regardless of the status of work

7. For the Arts Council of Ireland and Local Authority Arts Offices to introduce non-competitive awards during the crisis and distribute funds to applicants equally.

8. For the Arts Council of Ireland to release funds to finance rent on studios, rehearsal spaces, and vital production spaces, to ensure that artists are not charged rent during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2020-04-11 19:16:55 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-04-09 18:42:44 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-04-09 16:35:53 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-04-09 16:06:35 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-04-09 15:39:40 +0100

10 signatures reached