A new €9 million programme called Space to Create was launched in Ireland last week. It will see artists benefit from creative spaces around the city.
Space to Create will see Dublin City Council (DCC) identify buildings around the city which are suitable for refurbishment into functioning artist workspaces.
Ray Yeates, a City Arts Officer with DCC, says that an old townhouse and an old restaurant are among some of the locations that will be developed for these spaces.
A boost for the creative industries – 60 new spaces
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ray Yeates said that the €9 million funding comes from Dublin City Council, the Department of Culture and Arts, and a philanthropist.
He said, “They are wishing to remain private but it has been a major gamechanger to be approached by a donor and it has triggered this programme to a large degree, which we had been slowly, patiently putting together over years.
“And now it is coalescing into a major programme”. He went on to say that the council has located sites where temporary units and buildings can be put. They will also take out leases on the north side of Dublin to make these creative workspaces.
The qualities and work focus of applicable candidates are quite broad. Yeates said artists could include anyone from performers to composers to visual artists.
Marginalised due to economic pressures – a constant problem
For years, Yeates said that these spaces have been “marginalised” due to economic pressures. He said, “I think a lot of artists moved out of the capital because of pressure of rents.
“But to have a workspace and we hope to give these at less than €200 a month would be an amazing anchor for a lot of artists to stay here. And it is a big start and we need several hundred of these spaces and not just 60.
“But this is a statement of intent and I would hope we would be adding as the years go by”. With this move towards funding the arts, artists throughout the city will be able to benefit from 60 creative spaces developed in the city.
Funding for the arts – well-deserved funds
The funding sees €3 million come from the Department of Tourism, €3 million from Dublin City Council and €3 million from an anonymous philanthropist.
It is in line with the government’s commitment under The Programme for Government “to increase the provision of affordable workspaces for artists and creative practitioners and ensure the timely delivery of arts and culture capital investment commitments such as our national cultural institutions, as outlined in Project Ireland 2040”.
Minister Catherine Martin announced the initiative on 22 June. She announced the first artists to go into the 14 already-identified spaces in Dublin.
The announcement was made at the former Filmbase, which is already home to six arts organisations. It will take on even more tenants after essential upgrading and refurbishments.
Other sites include Artane Place, 8 and 9 Merchants Quay, Eden restaurant in Temple Bar, and a vacant site on Bridgefoot Street.