Isle of Man Arts Council grants announced

A small self-governed island off the west coast of England has announced its arts programme funding scheme for residents.

Geoff Corkish, Member of the House of Keys for Douglas West, announced that the Isle of Man Arts Council will provide underwriting, grants, bursaries and loans worth more than £140,000 (€175,570) to 34 organisations and individuals in its 2016-17 funding round.

‘The arts make an enormous contribution to the Island’s prosperity, quality of life and cultural identity. A wide variety of arts activities are only enabled by support from the Arts Council. Funding allows organisations to maintain venues, employ staff and run projects that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike,’ he said.

‘We enjoy a huge range of arts activity here, be they one-off performances, festivals, community events, competitions and the like. Our evaluation of Island of Culture 2014 showed the arts and creative industries contribute £6.4 million a year to our economy. They boost our quality of life and wellbeing and enhance our unique cultural identity.’

Gaiety Theatre
Gaiety Theatre

Emma Callin, arts development manager with the Department of Education and Children, said: ‘At the Gaiety Theatre, for example, we subsidise the amateur hire rate, without which the many talented amateur groups and artists we all enjoy would pay professional rates. That would price many of them out of the theatre and reduce participation in, and enjoyment of, the arts.

‘The creative industries is a growth sector for the Isle of Man and exposure to, and participation in, the arts is leading to more people opting for it as a career, which is also good for the economy,’ she added.

The island, which is home to 85,000 residents, is located in the Irish Sea and is one of three Crown dependencies along with Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel.

IOM Arts Council considers applications throughout the year.