We are delighted to have been involved in a number of projects with the Arts Council supporting the promotion of equality in the arts sector in Ireland and the implementation of policy changes to fulfil the organisation’s obligations under the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty.
In 2022, we carried out an evaluation of the Arts Council’s first 3 year Equality, Human Rights and Diversity (EHRD) Policy and Strategy with Navigo Consulting, including interviews with key staff across all areas of operations and focus groups with artists across all equality grounds.
The Arts Council has in August launched its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Plan 2023–2028 , composed by the Arts Council’s Equality, Diversity, & Inclusion team, drawing on our evaluation and recommendations.
Analysis of Equality Data
In 2023, we conducted an analysis of the 2022 equality data gathered by the Arts Council from all awards scheme applicants. This was published in August.
Read the full report at Equality Data and Arts Council Awards 2022
The following differences are most pronounced, and these strongly reflect the patterns evident in the previous year.
The analysis in this report is based on diversity data submitted as part of applications made to the Arts Council and for Arts Council schemes managed by Create and Arts & Disability Ireland in the year 2022. The diversity of applications and awards are compared in terms of disability, ethnicity, gender, and where possible, geographic location. To understand the relative demographic representativeness of applicants and recipients, each of these metrics have been compared (where possible) to the population of Ireland Census 2022. This report presents a summary of key findings from that analysis.
- There is a higher proportion of both applicants and recipients who identify as female compared to the general population.
- Individuals who identify as having a disability are under-represented amongst applicants and recipients compared to the general population.
- In respect of ethnicity, the rate of application and award is lowest among individuals who identify their ethnic background as Other or Mixed, Asian or Asian Irish, Black or Black Irish, or belonging to the Traveller Community.
- Geographic spread was uneven, with Dublin was significantly over-represented in terms of proportion of applicants and recipients compared to the population. Cork, Galway, Wicklow, Clare and Sligo were also slightly over-represented in applications.
Arts funding in Ireland: exploring factors affecting grant awards to Black and Black-Irish artists.
In its 2021 Awards Data Report, the Arts Council published data which showed that Black or Black Irish artists made up 1.9% of applications, 1.5% of successful applications, 1.4% of unsuccessful applications, and 4.5% of applications deemed ineligible. The proportion of ineligible applications is higher than any other ethnic or racial group. We undertook research for the Arts Council of Ireland to understand why Black or Black-Irish artists were more likely to be deemed ineligible than other ethnic or racial groups amongst applicants to Arts Council funding.
We investigated a wide range of factors which might contribute to this high rate of ineligible applications. We reviewed a wide literature on barriers faced by minority artists, analysed available application data, and in March 2023, we invited Black and Black-Irish artists to take part in this research on a confidential basis regarding their experience of the application process. Participants in the research interview were compensated for their input by the Arts Council in line with its Paying the Artist policy.
The findings will inform a review of the application process to ensure that decision-making processes are based on best practice and applicants of all backgrounds are treated fairly. A summary report with recommendations which anonymises interview contributions has been shared with the Arts Council.
For more on the Arts Council’s work on equality, see https://www.artscouncil.ie/Equality-Diversity-Inclusion/
Queries about the above publications should be directed to the EDI Unit at www.artscouncil.ie