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Minister Madigan announces new Markievicz bursaries

Five annual awards of €20,000 for women artists

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, T.D., today (Wednesday 21 November) announced details of a new bursary scheme for women artists – the ‘Markievicz bursaries'.
Minister 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 in producing new work that reflects on the role of women in the period covered by the centenary commemorations and beyond.”
Awards under the scheme will be made each year to up to 5 artists/writers (either individual artists working alone or in collaboration with others) to a maximum value of €20k per individual or group. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will partner with the Arts Council on the governance arrangements and the administration of the scheme, which will open for submissions from mid-January to mid-February with bursaries to be awarded in May 2019.
The scheme will be open via a public call to female artists working in all arts genres supported by the Arts Council. Given the importance of the language revival movement during the revolutionary period, and the Department's particular responsibilities to support the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, one of the bursaries each year will be assigned to an artist working in the Gaeltacht and through the medium of the Irish language. Applications from individuals or groups within culturally diverse communities and from people with disabilities will also be encouraged under the scheme.
Minister Madigan continued: “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.”

Countess Constance de Markievicz was the sole woman, of a total of 17 women candidates in Great Britain and Ireland, to be elected in the landmark general election of 14 December 1918.
A trained artist, de Markievicz recognised the potential of portraiture for political expression and propaganda. The Gallery is therefore an apt and appropriate setting for the Minister’s announcement.
The date of this launch is significant as it is the centenary of the passage of a significant piece of legislation by the Westminster Parliament in 1918 – The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act – that allowed women to stand for election in parliamentary elections for the first time and on a fully equal footing with men, thus facilitating the candidature of de Markievicz in Dublin and her Sinn Féin colleague Winifred Carney in Belfast.
The National Gallery is currently showing “Markievicz: Portraits and Propaganda” (27 October–10 February 2019, Room 31, Free admission)