Emer O'Kelly: Artists are now starved of any affection
Grants are focused on how works will play to the masses, leaving many of our talents penniless, writes Emer O'Kelly
Published 25/12/2011 | 05:00
NOT too many people in Ireland have heard of the Ciste Colmcille. It is a tiny, seldom-used fund available within the Arts Council to assist artists in dire need.
There has only been one application for its benefits in the past two years. I know of only three artists who have ever received funds from it -- in two cases because I know the artists in question, and in the third because, as a member of the Arts Council, it was my unpleasant, embarrassing duty to sit on the tiny sub-committee of three to adjudicate on the degree of urgency and need in a particular claim.
All three cases involved people who are household names to anyone who has ever read a book or seen a play or film. It was horrible to have to interrogate the paperwork supplied by a revered figure in need of urgent major surgery.