“Inappropriate, Ill-Thought Out, Disrespectful, Demeaning And Embarrassing”


From top:  Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan at a press briefing last week; statement released by This Is Pop Baby

This afternoon.

Further to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan announcing the Government’s €1million fund for new online art projects during the Covid-19 emergency – amounting to approximately 334 awards of €3,000 per artist…

Theatre and events production company This Is Pop Baby have released a statement, above, criticising the initiative and calling for a boycott of the scheme, saying that it boils down to “very small grants for artists to create online content for the highly unethical corporation, Facebook”.

It adds:

“We also not that this funding is only available to those not in receipt of other arts funding, or the emergency Covid-19 social welfare payment.

“We find these measures deeply inappropriate, ill-thought out, disrespectful, demeaning and embarrassing on the international stage.”

Via This is Pop Baby

Previously: The Shining

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28 thoughts on ““Inappropriate, Ill-Thought Out, Disrespectful, Demeaning And Embarrassing”

  1. Baz

    failed artists that require the taxpayers tit complain about the taxpayers tit

    if your art is so desirous the global markets will lap it up – rarely a thing an Irish ‘artist’ achieves

    artist so often in Ireland = work shy dole head

  2. Shane Duffy

    You’ll note that This Is Pop never mentioned it’s quite prepared to stand on the backs of Irish theatre artists in order to slip through the back door of the Abbey so it can present its work this Christmas on the main stage, in effect shutting out many freelance actors who rely on the Abbey’s Christmas show to get them over the end of the year.

    Anyone advising struggling artists to boycott €3000 should cop themselves on. The project might be flawed, but 3 grand will get many a poet, sculptor, painter, composer etc, etc, through this.

    1. Tony

      Three grand for three months. 230 odd quid a week and still expected to produce. Not much use. Better off on the scratch

      1. Shane Duffy

        Who says it’s a weekly stipend? A professional artist will produce something worthy in a week. Two or weeks even. €1,000-1,500 for a week’s worth is pretty decent. Looking at Twitter this echo chamber has been hijacked by about 10-12 people only, mainly theatre folk. No other art discipline seems interested on hopping on the bandwagon, it’s just the same names banging the same old drum. That in itself speaks volumes.

          1. Ringsend Incinerator

            The well-known artist…. every column in the Irish Times a work of artistic merit worthy of an income tax exception (albeit in the fiction category)

  3. Eamonn Clancy

    Bit rich coming from the company who were behind this year’s Eurovision entry. They can well afford to stick their nose up at 3 grand.

    1. V

      Well if that’s the case
      You can see why they’d be insulted by three grand

      The royalty for their property to be aired live to the Eurovision audience + apps + downloads would have been another two 00s; at least

      Mind you
      It’s hard to knock a profession that gets the first 50k (last I looked btw) of their annual net income Tax free

        1. V

          The Arts

          And before you ask
          I dunno either
          It seems anything goes
          I think you just have to introduce yourself and refer to yourself as an artist
          But everywhere like
          Not just on your invoices, business cards and Facebook page

          1. Itchysays

            Okay V.
            I’m in the ‘Arts’ all my working life…I pay the same, if not more tax and USC than the average PAYE worker.
            There are no special allowances or ‘breaks’ for working artists as we are treated exactly the same as Self Employed sectors… and so we should too, no exceptions.

            Unless you are referring to those on rolling Arts Council grants such as designers, sculptors, painters etc….or those within the abhorrent buddy clique of Aosdana ?
            Also, unlike other Self Employed sectors, artists can claim very little tax relief against incurred expenses, these were whittled away over the past 15 to 20 years.

            To my knowledge the only ‘special arrangement’ regards Revenue and Tax is solely with the National Symphony Orchestra, like similar arrangements to the ones Civil Servants continue to enjoy that were agreed in the 1950s.

            And for what its worth…I completely disagree with THISISPOPBABY’s, or any organisation pertaining to speak for or support artists of any discipline’s opinions regards Covid-19 funding or handouts, in my experience said organisations exist solely to employ themselves, and to keep themselves in that employment.

            Now, I’ve work to get back to…’Nite.

          2. Itchysays

            If you are referring specifically to this section of the Revenue …

            [Guidelines have been drawn up by the Arts Council and by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. We use these to determine whether a work is original and creative, and whether it is generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit. We also sometimes consult with other bodies such as The Arts Council in reaching decisions in relation to Artists’ Exemption.

            If we make a determination for a piece of work, you are deemed to have Artists’ Exemption from the year in which the claim is made. This means that income up to a maximum of €50,000 per annum from these works are exempt from IT.]

            …You should pay particular attention to the…”whether it is generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit” bit.

          3. Niamh

            We don’t get tax cuts. We don’t pay tax on arts income up to fifty grand – our income from other sources is taxed like everyone else.

            An award-winning internationally published Irish writer, spending about 4 years on a novel say, can expect to make maximum of 30-40 grand over the course of four-five subsequent years, and that’s the absolute exception, assuming among other things that they are published by a wealthy publishing house.

            To make art most artists I know compromise of things other people would take for granted – house, car, living in Dublin, health insurance, holidays – to fund the big break which might conceivably pay then ten grand per year for a few years. They fit other jobs around it but must not let other work overwhelm the art, so this is tricky (ie it’s low-paid low-stakes work that frees their mind up for art work).

            Una Mullally is neither an artist nor representative of the norm.

  4. broadbag

    ”the highly unethical, global corporation Facebook” they must have forgotten how often they’ve used said corporation’s ads to spam everyone’s timeline while promoting their ‘art’, hmmm…

  5. Harry M

    I’ve seen the massively negative reaction, on twitter at least, to Madigan’s announcement from artists.

    I don’t understand the exceptionalism of artists here, and am open to having it explained to me. Artists are essentially in the service sector, and are a very important group and one which should be protected imo, soul of the nation and all that. But for what reason can they not rely on the €350 per week that the rest of the country who might find themselves out of work are happy to rely upon at this exceptional time? What is the ‘extra’ that they ware looking for here?

    1. V

      They are also a sector of the workforce that have their own Senior Minister

      How many others in the sole trader SME workforce can say that?

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Hope you’re not thinking of Higgins who puts a few sentences together here every so often

  6. Termagant

    3 grand’s a nice chunk for online content.
    If the starving artist class are united behind the disdain being shown here
    Maybe they should starve a bit more

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