Yesterday, the government announced a new bursary scheme for female artists which will see up to €100,000 of awards become available. The Markievicz bursary scheme will be made up of five annual awards worth €20,000 each. These will be awarded to artists or writers who work on their own or with others.
The awards, which are named after the first female cabinet minister in Ireland Countess Markievicz, was announced by Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan yesterday on the 100th anniversary of the enactment of legislation to allow women to stand in general elections.
The scheme will be open for submissions from mid-January to mid-February 2019 and the bursaries will be awarded to the winners in May 2019. It is open to all female artists in any genre, which is supported by the Arts Council, with one specific bursary being awarded to an artist working in the Gaeltacht and using the medium of the Irish language.
It is also encouraging applications from women who come from culturally diverse backgrounds and communities and from women with disabilities.
The Arts Council will partner with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the governance arrangements and the general administration of the scheme.
At the launch, which took place in The National Gallery, Minster Madigan said, "On this, the 100th anniversary of the enactment of legislation to allow women to stand in general elections, I am pleased to announce a new scheme that both honours Countess Constance de Markievicz - herself an artist - and provides support for female artists from all backgrounds and genres".
"Today is particularly pleasing, given the importance of culture, heritage and the Irish language to this Government. The Taoiseach has put on the record a very public commitment to double spending on arts and culture by 2025. Today is yet another important step along this road."