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.

Creative learning scheme targets city schools

Photo of students with photographer
17 Apr 2018

A £120k pilot scheme will see ten Northern Ireland secondary schools collaborate with artists on a range of projects to improve wellbeing and increase interest in cultural careers.

Northern Ireland reduces size of arts portfolio as cuts continue

Photo of Grand Opera House
13 Apr 2018

100 arts organisations will share £13.1m this year, as the Arts Council struggles to deal with a £23m reduction in public spending on the arts over the past six years.

A successful move

Photo of audience at open air concert
05 Apr 2018

Open House arts festival took a risk when it moved from Belfast to Bangor in Northern Ireland, but one that is paying off now that it’s making a difference again. Colette Fahy tells the story.

Young high-flyers on the board

Photo of young people sitting in workshop
08 Mar 2018

A Northern Ireland scheme that places young professionals on arts boards benefits the sector and the young people alike. Natalie Cooke reveals what she gained from the experience.

Pressure mounts on Arts Council of Northern Ireland Chair

Photo of office
08 Feb 2018

51 regularly funded arts organisations have supported a statement expressing no confidence in the funder’s Chair, who has spent weeks embroiled in controversy.

New and inclusive music

Photo of musicians on dark stage
25 Jan 2018

Frank Lyons explains how a combined academic and artistic approach has been key to the success of a new ensemble featuring disabled and non-disabled musicians.

‘Cornerstones’ of Northern Ireland craft sector merge

10 Oct 2017

Craft NI is now the sole representative body for artists, designers and makers.

Northern Ireland considers abolishing Arts Council

Photo of dancing to Ulster Orchestra
28 Jul 2017

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has defended its independence, claiming that policy-making expertise and access to external funding would be at risk if it were to lose its arms-length status. 

Arts engagement in Northern Ireland outpaces England

Photo of woman entering exhbition
30 Jun 2017

Arts attendance among people living in the most deprived areas has grown, but the gap between these areas and those of least deprivation has widened over the past decade. 

Lottery arts funding plummets by £55m

Photo of National Lottery sign in shop
20 Jun 2017

National Lottery operator Camelot expects “disappointing” sales to decline further this year.

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