Sunday, 21 December 2008
100% CUT IN FUNDING TO IRISH WRITERS' CENTRE
The Irish Writers' Centre's funding has been cut by 100%.
I was gobsmacked when I read about this in the Irish Times yesterday; I thought I must have misread. The Irish Writers' Centre have lost ALL of their Arts COuncil funding for this year. They received €200,000 last year but will receive ZERO in this round of grant allocations. Why? What have they done to deserve this? Surely that money paid wages and basic things like the electricity and heating bills? Where is the shortfall to come from? I have worked in a Writers' Centre and I know how difficult it is to make ends meet while providing a lively programme of events for writers and all those with an interest in literature.
The Irish Writers' Centre runs impressive courses and is a national one-stop shop for information on writers and writing in Ireland. How can the Arts Council justify this type of slash in funding? It is mystifying to me, as a person who values the Writers' Centre and its work, and has enjoyed many courses and nights out there.
Literature as a whole has been awarded a measly €2.28 million (down more than 9.5%) for 2009. The Abbey Theatre alone will receive almost 4 times that amount. I just hope that the Writers' Centre does not disappear under the weight of this funding cut; that, to my mind, would be criminal.