The Government has announced an initiative for tomorrow week, Saturday 11th April, asking everyone to shine a light for all the sick, frontline workers and anyone affected by Covid-19.

Families, creative groups and media have all been asked to take part in the 'Shine Your Light' initiative which was created by RTÉ.

Public buildings and Irish embassies will be lit up in solidarity.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said there had been an outpouring of creative responses to the pandemic, especially online.

She said that 240,000 had been tuning in to RTÉ's Home School Hub, representing four out of five children watching TV at that time.

"We are supporting the arts community at this difficult time," Minister Madigan said.

"We are also supporting opportunities for creativity at home. We can all use the resources of arts and culture to get creative, to have fun with creativity and to learn a new creative skill.

"I am confident that arts, culture and creativity will play an important role in bringing healing to the nation as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge.

"The Government response to the impact of Covid-19 on the arts and culture sector is based on two principles.

"Firstly, it is extremely important that we deploy all means at our disposal to protect the incomes of people who work in this sector so that they can produce work that will continue to enrich our cultural lives.

"Secondly, recognising that creative activity supports wellbeing, it is important that we develop innovative and imaginative initiatives to bring arts and creative engagement directly into our homes and lives," said Ms Madigan.

Arts Council chairperson Kevin Rafter announced a €1m fund for new online art projects open to anyone with a track record of work as an artist.

The award is open to anyone who can demonstrate a track record of professional practice as an artist, with no restriction on the type or form of art that can be created, whether new writing; new music; readings; music performances; performance of short monologues or dramas; visual art such as painting, photography or sculpture; sound art; presentation of art films or documentaries; or online collaborations.

Successful applicants will be awarded €3,000.

Artists already receiving funding from the Arts Council across a range of schemes are not eligible to apply.


  • Creative Ireland is offering creative resources online to help you #CreateAtHome.
  • RTÉ School Hub and RTÉ Culture are showcasing material from the national cultural institutions, national arts organisations and the Arts Council across their platforms. The RTÉ Home School Hub has been a huge success. For example, 240,000 tuned in on TV on Monday and Tuesday. 
  • Fighting Words have online resources to support creative writing for both primary and post-primary levels.
  • Creative Schools, a cross-Government partnership, is finding imaginative, innovative ways to support children, young people, schools and families across the country.
  • Creative Ireland and Healthy Ireland will support wellbeing through a partnership with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.
  • Tá an deis ag gach uile duine anois a grá agus a ghrá don Ghaeilge a threisiú agus a spreagadh. Is féidir tabhairt faoi chúrsa Gaeilge ar líne, nó cuidiú lenár mbailiúcháin náisiúnta béaloideas a thras-scríobh. Beidh TG4 ag tabhairt an pobal Gaelach le chéile ar líne, agus ag tabhairt ardán dár gceol traidisiúnta
  • Waterways Ireland developed a series of educational resources for children to bring the waterways and the outdoors to life in a fun, creative manner which RTÉ is featuring on its Home School Hub.
  • A new €1m scheme will support Irish and Irish-based professional artists to create new writing, new music, visual art, painting photography and sculpture.
  • In a partnership with RTÉ and others, a broad range of cultural, heritage and language content from archives and new sources working with bodies such as Druid and Other Voices will be available.
  • A new online initiative will be supported. Working with Facebook Ireland, Culture Ireland is operating a new grant scheme titled IrelandPerforms for Facebook Live.
  • A short film will be aired each day on the RTÉ.ie/culture, in partnership with Screen Ireland.
  • TG4 will partner with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for a reimagined Fleadh Ceoil and TG4 Molscéal in collaboration with Ealaín na Gaeltachta, TechSpace and others.
  • The Abbey's Dear Ireland project will see 50 writers producing monologues to be performed by 50 actors in April.

Additional reporting Sinéad Crowley