COVID-19 Measures to support artistic and cultural life

Minister Madigan announces measures to support artistic & cultural life during COVID-19 emergency

Minister Madigan

A range of specific measures to support the artistic and cultural life of the nation at this difficult time – with a particular focus on wellbeing through personal and community creativity – was announced today, April 3.

The shut-down of cultural activity across the country is having serious consequences for artists and producers, and for a whole range of organisations that depend upon cultural activity.  At the same time, we are witnessing a spontaneous outpouring of creative activity by individuals and communities.

The Government, Creative Ireland, the Arts Council, RTE, the local authorities and many other organisations are putting programmes and supports in place to encourage creativity as a source of individual and community wellbeing.

A national  initiative to Shine Your Light created by RTÉ was also announced for Easter Saturday, where the country is being invited to shine a light for all the people who are sick, for those who have lost their lives and their loved ones, for our frontline staff, our healthcare workers, the people who are keeping us going through these dark times.  A light will be shone on public buildings and on our Embassies, and Peacekeeping posts all around the world and shared with the public across all of the RTÉ platforms.  Everyone, especially children, are invited to get involved and to create their own way of shining a light from their homes.


Speaking at the event, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said:

“We are supporting the Arts Community at this difficult time.  We are also supporting opportunities for creativity at home. We can all use the resources of arts and culture to get creative, to have fun with creativity and to learn a new creative skill. I am confident that arts, culture and creativity will play an important role in bringing healing to the nation as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge.

“The Government response to the impact of Covid-19 on the arts and culture sector is based on two principles:

“First, it is extremely important that we deploy all means at our disposal to protect the incomes of people who work in this sector so that they can produce work that will continue to enrich our cultural lives.

“Second, recognising that creative activity supports wellbeing, it is important that we develop innovative and imaginative initiatives to bring arts and creative engagement directly into our homes and lives.”

She added, “my Department has provided €25 million in funding to the National Cultural Institutions, the Arts Council and Screen Ireland since the 12 March.  The Arts Council has issued some €18 million to artists and arts organisations in the same period.  This will help to support the continued development and production of artistic, cultural and creative output over the coming period.”

Speaking at the event, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said:

“I am personally convinced that participation in cultural and creative activity drives personal development and increases wellbeing.  Wellbeing is what we all need to talk about now – the arts and creativity are instruments that we must use to a greater extent than ever before.

“The creative industries are not just important in themselves but also because they connect arts and culture to economic activity and social wellbeing.

“We will need to think imaginatively and creatively about how we will rebuild our economy when this crisis is over – and how we can shape an economy that supports the wellbeing of our people, not just financially but in terms of human expression.  The creative industries will have an important role to play.”

The full range of cultural resources and measures is now available to view at

Full details