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Minister Martin awards over €620k for After Hours Museum Grant Scheme

Minister Catherine Martin awards over €620,000 in funding for After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme and announces a new pilot Night-Time Economy initiative aimed at young people.


  • - €620,000 awarded to support over 220 night-time events in 51 museums and galleries across the Country.
  • - €119,000 awarded to support a new pilot scheme to provide events for young people to attend and venues for young artists to perform in.


The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has today allocated awards of just over €620,000 to museums and galleries under the After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme announced earlier this year. The scheme aims to support museums and galleries to open their doors later by hosting innovative events to encourage people to enjoy a more diverse nightlife in our towns and cities across the country.


This funding allocation will support 51 organisations and well over 220 events spread across the country, covering poetry, film, dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts and multidisciplinary projects.


Events due to take place include:


  • EPIC will host 4 concerts in November and December of Choir Performances and Spoken word.
  • Airfield Estate in Dundrum will host a series of concerts and late evening tours.
  • The Glucksman in Cork, will host five evenings of Art, Poetry, Music and DJs from Sep 28th-Oct 26th, running on Thursday evenings.
  • UCD Classical Museum, in Dublin, will host 6 events including poetry, storytelling, art, and music until mid-November.
  • Hunt Museum Limerick, running 9 nights of secret events, clues will be left through their social media in the week coming up to the events.
  • 14 Henrietta Street, in Dublin City, will provide tours, live drawing, music from all eras of the house's life, a journey through the city's poetry and tenement plays.
  • Russborough House in Co. Wicklow, will host a performance of Firestorm by Rogu. The Dark Maze will run for four nights and they will host a Halloween storytelling evening
  • Dublin Castle will host a ball in November and will also run 6 late night tours.
  • Joyce Tower Museum in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin are to run a week of late night events in September, including readings and musical performances.
  • National Famine Museum in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, will host a Samhain Ecotherapy Workshop and also Murder Mystery Nights.
  • The Dock in Carrick On Shannon, Co. Leitrim, The Northern soul exhibition will open late for two weekends and have guided tours, a film screening and a DJ set.
  • Ballinglen Museum of Art in Co. Mayo, will run a series of events which will consist of theatre, musicians, actors and storytellers.
  • Tipperary Museum of Hidden History will host music sessions in the museum from local musicians and artists from September to October.


Funding was also made available to the National Cultural institutions to support new initiatives and build on some of the pilots initiated from last year.


The National Concert Hall, in partnership with independent promoter Foggy Notions, will further develop last year’s successful Haunted Dancehall event. The National Gallery of Ireland will run a series of events on Thursday evenings from October to December aimed primarily at 20 to 35 year olds. Bespoke tours of the National Collection and diverse events with music, DJs and creative experience will help to drive footfall. The Café and shop will also open late.


Access a full listing of grant recipients here.


Announcing the funding awards, Minister Martin said:


I am really encouraged by the response to this scheme and the imaginative, diverse range of events which will take place right across the country as result of this initiative.  I hope this will attract new audiences and give people an opportunity to attend their local museum which they may not be able to do during the day. There is something for everyone here to enjoy and I would encourage people to head out and explore and experience what is on offer at these venues.  I hope that the organisations see the value in opening up their spaces later into the night to support a more vibrant night-time economy and provide opportunities for local artists and DJs.”


Speaking further Minister Martin said: “I am also delighted to see that the National Cultural Institutions are continuing to explore how they can open up the spaces to increased late night activity.  I am particularly excited to see a new iteration of the highly acclaimed “Haunted Dancehall” event which took place last year in the NCH.  It is great to see new audiences connecting with our valuable Cultural spaces and working in new and innovative ways”.


In support of the recommendations from the Night-Time Economy Report, which highlighted the need to increase opportunities for young people to engage in the Night-Time Economy, and specifically those activities which are not alcohol-based, the Minister also announced a new pilot Night-Time Economy youth initiative.


The pilot will support over 70 night-time events around the country by young people, for young people, in the 14 - 24-year-old age bracket. The initiative aims to provide young and upcoming artists with authentic performance spaces, allowing them the experience of being in the environment of ‘real gigs’ with professional stage, lighting, camera and sound crew. It also provides those much needed spaces for young people to socialise together safely at night.


The funding of just over €119,000 was awarded to organisations that have a proven track record of working with young people and venues to create those important opportunities and cultural experiences in the Night-Time Economy.


Events are due to take place from September to December and will include open mic nights, improv, comedy, DJ workshops and sets and singer/songwriter nights.


Access a full listing of grant recipients here.


Announcing the new pilot scheme aimed at young people, Minister Martin said:


Last year my Department, in conjunction with National Youth Participation Office, hosted two focus groups for young people to share their views on the Night-Time Economy. We have listened to their recommendations and I am very pleased to announce this pilot scheme as a direct outcome of these discussions.  The pilot aims to provide more alcohol-free activities for young people, and give them the variety of authentic venues and spaces to allow them participate and socialise safely together later in the evening and at night.”






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Note for Editors: 


After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme


Funding of up to €10,000 was made available to museums to open later for a minimum of four nights.  Applicants had to commit to opening until at least 9p.m.


The funding was offered to Museums and Galleries that are Institutional members of the Irish Museum Association and/or are a member of   Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). Applications for amounts greater than €10,000 were considered where a museum or gallery wanted to roll out a prolonged and/or more ambitious programme of events. They were assessed on a case by case basis in the context of available funding; additional funding was not guaranteed and the above principles applied.


Museums were encouraged to work with new partners to attract new audiences for the museum/gallery space and inspire new uses of existing spaces in the community for late night artists and cultural communities.

Events eligible for funding included but were not limited to, late evening or night tours, live music, live DJ, dancing (performative or participatory!), exhibitions, poetry readings, comedy shows (Stand up, sketch or improvisation), theatre, film, live podcasts, storytelling, classes and wellbeing initiatives.

Night-Time Economy Pilot Youth Initiative




The Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce, published in September 2021, aims to create a more diverse and inclusive Night-Time Economy.  The Taskforce looked at the Night-time Economy (NTE) holistically with the aim of increasing cultural opportunities for families and other age-groups into the evening and also looked at new ways of encouraging innovation and creativity in the Night-Time Economy. The Taskforce also advocated broadening the part of the NTE offering that does not centre around the sale of alcohol.


Action 5 of the NTE Taskforce Report recommended that dedicated Night-Time Economy Activation Workshops should be held to determine what actions are required to support Night-Time Economy initiatives for different age-groups and that a series of recommendations should be developed following this consultation process.


Two workshops were held last year in partnership with the Department of Children, Equality, Diversity, Integration and Youth (D/CEDIY) and the National Participation Office. The focus groups offered a platform for young people to share their views on the Night-Time Economy and provided them with an opportunity to provide very real, tangible suggestions on how to improve the Night-Time Economy for young people. 


The lack of variety in terms of venues that young people can attend was highlighted by participants. The lack of authentic spaces for young people to perform in was also raised, as was the restricted night time offerings for those who don’t want to consume alcohol.  The participants identified a number of initiatives which they would like to see facilitated in venues:


  • Late evening or night events (all genres) with young artists for young people.
  • Spaces for young musicians/artists to practice and rehearse.


The announcement of today’s pilot initiative is a direct outcome of this process.


Successful applicants are expected to participate in evaluation and share learnings. This will entail a systematic and objective assessment in the form of a written report, with the participation of children and young people demonstrated, in order to determine the impact, learnings and sustainability of the project.