Dormant accounts invested in arts development scheme

16 Sep 2021

£500,000 of unclaimed money has been granted to a development programme for Northern Irish arts organisations.

Arts & Business NI received the Dormant Accounts Fund NI award to support its new programme Blueprint.

It is the first strategic grant awarded by fund after Northern Ireland's Department of Finance opened applications in January.

Blueprint is a five-year partnership programme to help arts organisations develop financial skills, review business models and generate income in “new and creative ways”.

Arts & Business NI says it will "create a stronger, healthier arts funding ecology".

"Our ambition to create transformational change and build long-term financial strength in the NI cultural sector, mirrors the aims of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI," Chair Martin Bradley said. 

Northern Ireland opens £5m recovery programme

15 Sep 2021

A recovery funding programme for Northern Irish creatives has been opened by Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) and the Department for Communities.

ACNI Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the £5m Creative Individuals Recovery Programme (CIRP) is designed to help creatives continue developing important skills.

It can help pay to create new work, hire facilities or equipment, improve professional skills or attend industry events.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available, with applications closing October 6.

“CIRP funding can help our creative individuals to positively contribute, as they did before the pandemic, to the significant cultural value of Northern Ireland as a great place to work, live and invest,“ McDonough said.

£50k for Northern Ireland ethnic artists

08 Sep 2021

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has made £50,000 available for a new programme supporting artists from a minority ethnic background.

The mentoring and residency programme will offer grants of up to £5,000 for research, learning, networking and cultural exchange opportunities.

Applications are open until October 4, with artists at every stage of their career encouraged to apply.

Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the programme seeks to address the "numerous and complex barriers to access, progression and representation in the arts" that minority ethnic artists face. 

The council is in the process of establishing a Minority Ethnic Deliberative Forum to strengthen diversity within the sector and inform future decision making.

Brexit is erasing Northern Irish arts, report warns

27 Aug 2021

Northern Ireland's arts sector is feeling the effects of Brexit more than most.

A report by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) warns the country's arts and artists are becoming "less visible" internationally as companies struggle to tour, British arts suppliers are unwilling to ship to Northern Ireland and the small sector's voice is lost in cross-national negotiations.

It notes "anecdotal evidence" that arts organisations with the means to do so are establishing themselves in the Republic of Ireland to circumvent some of these issues and remain eligible for EU funding.

But ACNI says it has no way of substantiating how many organisations might be doing this - or whether they are at all. 

"The most we can say is that this is potentially more likely as a consequence of Brexit and the third party status of Northern Ireland-based arts and culture organisations.

"Creative Europe funding, in particular, has been an important source of funding for a number of organisations in Northern Ireland – especially touring and production organisations who will now find it more difficult to form creative partnerships across Europe.  This will impact on the diversity of product audiences will be exposed to and participants will be able to engage in."


Visa fast track only for elite of the elite

06 May 2021

Home Secretary Priti Patel says the system aims to attract "the best and brightest", but there are fewer options for stars beyond the screen and stage.

Emergency funding lifelines for Northern Irish and Scottish arts

16 Feb 2021

Northern Irish organisations' coronavirus deficits will be eliminated by new grants as Scotland offers new support for events and freelancers.

Northern Irish arts sector left in limbo as funding is delayed

01 Feb 2021

Organisations clamouring for support have released a five-point recovery plan amid a projected £16m funding shortfall.

Northern Ireland opens £7.75m emergency fund

28 Oct 2020

The long-awaited grants scheme is focussed on the sector's renewal as much as its immediate survival.

£29m emergency funding for Northern Irish arts

29 Sep 2020

Emergency funding has finally been approved. Will it reach the sector in time to ensure its survival?

Northern Irish arts at 'brink of devastation'

17 Sep 2020

Organisations are pleading with politicians to urgently release £33m funding that was allocated months ago.

Announcement of reopening brings little cheer to music and theatre

Belfast's Grand Opera House
24 Jun 2020

Although museums and galleries in England and Scotland can prepare to reopen, the  performing arts remain in lockdown and fears grow for the future of venue-based organisations.

Covid-19: Funders reveal plans for the survival of the sector

02 Apr 2020

£11m for Scotland, £7m for Wales and £1m for Northern Ireland as their arts councils announce plans to support organisations and creative workers.

Northern Irish arts organisations earn more as grants fall

10 Mar 2020

Organisations visited more neighbourhoods, worked with more schools and made more money last year – but attendance is still precarious. 

Arts Councils won’t enforce minimum pay

08 Nov 2019

The Arts Council of Wales has said it won’t fund projects that don’t budget minimum pay rates for artists. We asked the other councils why they aren’t doing the same.

Making the impossible possible

A photo of an Open Arts performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream
23 May 2019

Last month, weekly arts group participants with sensory impairments, physical disabilities and mental illnesses came together to perform an adapted Shakespeare play in Belfast. Eileen Branagh explains the process of creative collaboration that allowed the cast to realise their ambitions.

Price hikes will restrict access, Northern Ireland sector warned

Belfast Grand Opera House
05 Apr 2019

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has reported that average ticket prices have risen above the rate of inflation over the last three years.

Arts attendance in Northern Ireland falls by a quarter as cuts bite

A man playing a guitar on stage
08 Feb 2019

Annually Funded Organisations are suffering “damage to long-term sustainability”, having slashed marketing budgets in the face of core funding cuts of almost 40% over three years.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland could re-introduce multi-year funding

Women dancing on a stage
17 Jan 2019

The funder has also set out plans to create a consultative assembly of arts professionals, after hearing calls to communicate more effectively with the sector.

NI arts sector warned 2019 may be ‘most challenging year yet’

Photo of Grand Opera House, Belfast
21 Dec 2018

“The future is bleak unless new innovative solutions to the funding challenge can be found,” says the Chair of Arts Council Northern Ireland.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland consults on new 5-year strategy

A rehearsal at Stage Beyond, a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties
11 Jul 2018

Political deadlock has led to the current strategy being extended for a year.


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