Historical Harp Society of Ireland

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

HHSI Funding Cuts

The Historical Harp Society of Ireland has taken a severe funding cut for 2010 from our Arts Council. Overall, we have just over a quarter of the funding that we had in 2008. The Arts Council's decision forces us to substantially review what will be possible for our calendar of events for the year and to scale back drastically.

We understand that the current economic crisis must inevitably have repercussions for the arts sector but we feel that such a severe decrease is disproportionate and undervalues our unique work as the only resource organisation in Ireland solely dedicated to promoting a revival of the original Irish harp. The irony that this neglected instrument is depicted on all government documents will not escape many of you.

Siobhán Armstrong, Simon Chadwick and Natalie Surina have worked hard since 2002 to make the HHSI an organisation of which the members—and indeed Ireland—can be proud. As you know, we now have

  • the HHSI Student Harp Rental Bank, full of unique student replica harps; a first anywhere in the world;
  • the HHSI library of printed material, sound recordings and ephemera; again a world-wide first;
  • monthly historical harp tuition in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Kilkenny and Waterford;
  • talks, workshops and beginners' Taster Days;
  • Scoil na gClairseach—Summer School of Early Irish Harp: the premier international summer school for the instrument;
  • the HHSI summer concert series presenting some of the cream of the world's historical harping community in concert in Ireland each August.

We would like to ask those of you who are not yet associate members of the HHSI to consider taking out membership this year as each membership subscription will help us. You can do so on-line (please click here) or you can send us a cheque (in euros or in your currency's equivalent), made payable to 'HHSI'. If you can afford to patronise the Society by giving us a donation larger than the membership fee, we would be particularly grateful.

In addition, if you have any ideas on how you think we might raise additional funds, we would welcome them. If we can't raise enough funds to function, over the coming years, then, unfortunately, the existence of the Society cannot be taken for granted. This would be a real waste of the time and effort that has been invested over the last eight years. For our part, we who deal with the day-to-day running of the Society will do our utmost to see how we can fill
the funding gaps. If there is anything you think you can do to help, then, again, we would be very grateful. Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@irishharp.org or by phone +353 (0)51 646286