Arts funding in Ireland: exploring factors affecting grant awards to Black and Black-Irish artists.

The Arts Council /An Chomhairle EalaĆ­on is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. It works in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers, and others to build a place for the arts in Irish life.

The Arts Council has policies that aim to ensure that all of its funding is spent strategically, all of its actions reflect the long-term interests of the public and that all decisions are transparent and fair.

Each year, the Arts Council publishes equality data on individuals applying for and receiving Arts Council funding, broken down by gender, disability and ethnicity.

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 are currently undertaking research for the Arts Council of Ireland to understand why Black or Black-Irish artists are more likely to be deemed ineligible than other ethnic or racial groups amongst applicants to Arts Council funding .

We will investigate a wide range of factors which might contribute to this high rate of ineligible applications, and would like to interview Black and Black-Irish artists regarding their experience of the application process.

We are inviting Black and Black-Irish artists to take part in this research on a confidential basis.

We would also like to hear from arts organisations who work with Black and Black-Irish artists to help us reach the widest possible range of people.

We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to have a 5 minute phone call with you to explore if you or anyone in your network may be able to contribute to this research. If you decide to proceed with the research interview we will make arrangements with you for a convenient time.

Participants in the full research interview will be compensated for their input.

We are an independent research firm operating with the highest ethical standards in research and with particular expertise on equality. You can read more about our work across our website

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 which anonymises interview contributions will be shared with the Arts Council.

Please provide your contact details at the following link:

Black / Black Irish artists and Arts Council funding – independent research by Lucy Michael Research