Linking public arts funding with anti-harassment policies, and the establishment of an anonymous way for people to report harmful experiences, are among are among the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee which has been looking at the issue of safety in the artistic workplace.
The Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media launched its report, 'A Safe and Respectful Working Environment in the Arts' this afternoon.
Among the recommendations are that public arts funding should have anti-harassment and dignity in the workplace initiatives as a prerequisite, that public arts funding should be reformed in line with gender equality initiatives and that further research on harmful workplace behaviours be carried out.
The committee also recommends that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media establish an independent facility for the anonymous disclosure of experiences of harmful workplace behaviours across the arts sector.
Launching the report, the committee members paid tribute to the women who came forward to give testimony to the committee and said its findings would not be as strong without their input.
Chair of the committee Deputy Niamh Smyth said every artist and arts' worker deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity in their workplace, and that this should be a baseline standard, not a special requirement.
Senator Fintan Warfield of Sinn Féin said people in leadership positions need to support change and he said it is also time for men to "come to the table" in the music industry and the wider arts industry.
Research in the area is very important and the sector has to be tracked on a regular basis, he added.
Senator Malcolm Byrne said one of the big challenges in the arts is the power dynamic challenge which can be difficult for new and emerging artists, but he said there should be dignity in every workplace including the arts.
A number of arts organisations including FairPlé, which represents women in traditional music and SAOI (Safe Arts of Ireland) were present at the launch and thanked the committee for their work and paid tribute to the people who gave testimony throughout the process.
Ciara Lynch from SAOI, who works in the comedy sector, pointed out that sectors like comedy do not receive Arts Council funding and that it is vital that people in those industries are also protected.
President of actors' Irish Equity Gerry O'Brien said "blacklisting" exists in the industry meaning people are afraid to speak up or they "won't work again" and said this issue must be addressed.
Emilie Conway of the group DADA, which represents disabled artists and academics, welcomed the report and said it was good to see that the particular barriers faced by disabled artists were acknowledged.